Site details

HELGOLAND ISLAND, NORTH SEA
(lookup in gazetteer)
Flag of Germany
Germany
Conservation
status
5 stars - Fully protected as a national park or Natura 2000 site by national legislation
LTBR Focal Site



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Cliff coast and tidal rock flats to the north of the island of Helgoland Photo:

Synoptic description of site:

The Helgoland area in the inner German Bight comprises all typical sublittoral and the majority of littoral habitats of the southeastern North Sea.

Extensive description of site:

The Helgoland area in the inner German Bight comprises all typical sublittoral and the majority of littoral habitats of the southeastern North Sea including unique rocky substrates at Helgoland proper which are completely lacking elsewhere in the area and therefore constitute an oasis-type situation for a rich benthic flora and fauna. The rock flats and more than 35 square kilometres of rocky underwater landscape contain the most species-abundant habitat on the German coasts. Close cooperation with the Waddensea Station at Sylt (see separate site description) make further soft bottom biota accessible.

Habitats present:
 MudSandRock
Littoral XX
SublittoralXXX
Seagrass bedsX

Description of fauna and flora:

Due to the richness in biota all major taxa occur and are under study. Typical is the fauna and flora of the rocky intertidal (tidal range 2.5m) and that of sublittoral kelp beds. The pelagic micro-, phyto- and zooplankton have been sampled week-daily for 40 years. An all taxon biodiversity inventory is available.

Pristiness: High

Justification:

Helgoland is situated 35 naut. m away from the coast, outside of the main shipping routes and predominantly outside of the direct influences of the Elbe/Weser-River-inflow into the German Bight. The island complex itself is a protected nature reserve.

Human impact:

Helgoland is situated 35 nautical miles away from the coast, outside of the main shipping routes and predominantly outside of the direct influences of the Elbe/Weser-River-inflow into the German Bight. The island complex itself is a protected nature reserve.

Facilities:

A major Marine Station “Biologische Anstalt Helgoland” (as part of the Foundation Alfred Wegener Institute at Bremerhaven, AWI) has conducted marine biological research since its founding in 1892. It has all the facilities of a modern laboratory, and is in easy reach from the mainland via ferries (2.5h), catamarans (1h), and airlines (20min).

Available database and website:

The All Taxon Biodiversity Inventory is available in EXCEL on CD-ROM. and the data of the long term series are being made available by the PANGEA data system, accessible via the website (www.awi-bremerhaven.de).

Datasets covering this area:

Links:

Commitment and ongoing research:

Both biodiversity and long term research is a major topic of the institution’s science programme. Accordingly, a considerable part of the institutes budget is dedicated directly to biodiversity research.

Involvements:
Additional Information:

Bartsch, I. & R. Kuhlenkamp: The marine macroalgae of Helgoland (North Sea): an annotated list of records between 1845 and 1999. – Helgol. Mar. Res. 54: 160-189. Caspers, H. (1938): Die Bodenfauna der Helgoländer Tiefen Rinne. - Helgoländer wiss. Meeresuntersuchungen 2, 1-112. Drebes, G.,1974. Marines Phytoplankton, Eine Auswal der Helgoländer Planktonalgen (Diatomeen, Peridineen). Book. Thieme Verlag. Gillandt, L. (1979): Zur Ökologie der Polychaeten des Helgoländer Felslitorals. - Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters. 32: 1-35. Eilers Heike, Jakob Pernthaler, Jörg Peplies, Frank Oliver Glöckner, Gunnar Gerdts, Christian Schütt, and Rudolf Amann. (2001) Seasonal dynamics of cultured and uncultured pelagic bacteria in the North Sea.Appl. Environ. Microbiol, submitted Greve,-W.; Reiners,-F.; Nast,-J.(1996): Biocoenotic changes of the zooplankton in the German Bight: the possible effects of eutrophication and climate ICES 53: 951-956 Harms, J. (1993): Check list of species (algae, invertebrates and vertebrates found in the vicinity of the island of Helgoland (North Sea, German Bight) - a review of recent records. - Helgoländer Meeresunters. 47: 1-34. Hickel, W., Eickhoff, M., Spindler, M., Berg, J., Raabe, T. & Müller, R., 1997.Auswertungen von Langzeit-Untersuchungen von Nährstoffen und Phytoplankton in der Deutschen Bucht. UBA-FB 96-057. Hickel, W., Mangelsdorf, P.& Berg, J., 1993. The human impact in the German Bight: Human impact during three decades (1962-1991). Helg.Meeresunters. 47: 243-263. Hüppop, O. (1997): Langzeit-Veränderungen der Brutbestände Helgoländer See- und Küstenvögel. [Long-term changes in the numbers of breeding seabirds at the island of Helgoland, German Bight (North Sea)].Seevögel 18: 38-44. Janke, K. (1986): Die Makrofauna und ihre Verteilung im Nordost-Felswatt von Helgoland. - Helgoländer Meeresunters. 40, 1-55. Kühne, S. & E. Rachor (1996): The macrofauna of a stony sand area in the German Bight. - Helgoländer Meeresunters. 50, 433-452. Nordheim, H. von & T. Merck (Hrsg., 1995): Rote Liste der Biotoptypen, Tier- und Pflanzenarten des deutschen Wattenmeer- und Nordseebereichs. - Schr.-Reihe Landschaftspflege Naturschutz, Heft 44, 1-139. Rachor, E. et al. (1998): Rote Liste der bodenlebenden wirbellosen Meerestiere. - In: Bundesamt für Naturschutz, Bonn (Hrsg.): Rote Liste gefährdeter Tiere Deutschlands. - Schr.-Reihe Landschaftspflege Naturschutz, Heft 55: 290-300. Salzwedel, H., Rachor, E. & D. Gerdes (1985): Benthic macrofauna communities in the German Bight. - Veröff. Institut Meeresforschung Bremerhaven 20, 199-267. Wichels, A., Biel, S.S., Gelderblom, H.R., Brinkhoff, T., Muyzer, G. and Schütt ,C. (1998) Bacteriophage Diversity in the North Sea. Appl Environ Microbiol 64: 4128-4133