Site details

ESTUARIES AND RIAS OF SOUTHERN BRITTANY Flag of France
France
              Other Site (estuaries, pelagic, deep-sea)



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Laita estuary. Photo: D R

Extensive description of site:

This system is composed of a series a geographically closed short estuaries and is considered to have an essential potential (nurseries) for the productivity of the neighbouring areas ( fish spawning) of the continental shelf. This system is close to the GLENAN site . A remarkable feature of the south coast of Brittany is the presence of a series of rias (short estuaries of 10-20 km length) strongly influenced by the tides and exhibiting sharp salinity gradients. Together, these rias can be considered as a system having a global influence through their impact on the productivity of the near ocean and their role as nurseries for local species.

Habitats present:
 MudSandRock
Littoral XX
SublittoralXXX
Seagrass beds 

Description of fauna and flora:

The fauna and flora are documented through regular sampling ( trawling, dredging) in relation to the research programmes of the Marine Biology Station of Concarneau.

Human impact:

The estuaries of this area are variously subjected to pollution of diverse origins: industry, agriculture for some estuaries, quasi-absence of pollution for some others. This situation is very well suited for comparative environmental studies.

Facilities:

All facilities for marine biodiversity research are available, from seagoing research vessels to low draugt boats. The nearby marine Biology Station of Concarneau offers fully equipped laboratories.

Available database and website:

Continuous research has been conducted and inventories produced since 1970. A database is under construction.

Commitment and ongoing research:

The Marine Biology Station (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle) carries out inventories and regular surveys within the framework of combined field and laboratory ecotoxicology programmes.

Involvements:
Additional Information:

A more detailed description of the area and extensive list of references are available as hard copies.