Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning
EU Network of Excellence

Main Menu

· Home
· Contacts
· Data Systems
· Documents
· Links
· MarBEF Open Archive
· Network Description
· Outreach
· Photo Gallery
· Quality Assurance
· Register of Resources
· Research Projects
· Rules and Guidelines
· Training
· Wiki
· Worldconference


Register of Resources (RoR)

 People  |  Datasets  |  Literature  |  Institutes  |  Projects 

[ report an error in this record ] Print this page

Study of Post-extraction ecological effects in the Kwintebank sand dredging area

Dutch title: Studie van de ecologische effecten van zandwinning op de Kwintebank: evaluatie van de post-extractie effecten
Parent project: Research action SPSD-II: Second scientific support plan for a sustainable development policy, more
Reference no: EV/38
Acronym: SPEEK
Period: December 2003 till April 2006
Status: Completed

Thesaurus term: Benthos
Geographical terms: ANE, Belgium, Flemish Banks, Kwinte Bank [Marine Regions]; ANE, North Sea [Marine Regions]
 Institutes | Publications 

Institutes (5)  Top | Publications 
  • Ghent University; Faculty of Sciences; Department Geology and Soil Science; Renard Centre of Marine Geology (RCMG), partner
    • Van Lancker, Vera, partner
  • Ghent University; Faculty of Sciences; Biology Department; Marine Biology Section (MARBIOL), more, partner
  • Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO), more, sponsor
  • Fisheries Research Domain, more, partner
  • AZTI Foundation, partner

  • Context

    SPEEK is a cooperation between three Belgian laboratories (Ghent University/Marine Biology Section; Ghent University/ Renard Centre for Marine Geology; Agricultural Research Centre/ Sea Fisheries Department) and a Spanish Institute (AZTI Foundation). This cooperation aims at joining the expertise present in these groups to gain insight in the possible restoration of the benthic life in the central area of the Kwintebank. This area is closed for sand extraction activities for a period of three years. This ecological information will provide management information necessary for a sustainable management of the sand extraction area on the Belgian Continental Shelf.

  • Project description

    • Objectives

      The main aims of SPEEK are (1) to describe the long term effects of sand extraction on the benthic life on the Kwintebank; (2) to investigate the possible recovery of the benthic life after cessation of extraction activities in the central part of the Kwintebank; (3) to discriminate appropriate disturbance indicators for the impact assessment of sand extraction and (4) to provide management information with respect to extraction intensity and rotation of possible concession areas at sea.

    • Methodology

      SPEEK is investigating different benthic groups. Within the meiobenthos (all metazoans between 38µm and 1mm), focus is on the dominant taxa. The Marine Biology Section investigates the nematodes, while harpacticoid copepods are studied by AZTI. The Sea Fisheries Department explores the macrobenthos. These biological data will be backed up by geological data collected by RCMG.

      In the initial phase of the project, long term effects of sand extraction on the benthic life will be investigated by compiling all available historical data. If possible, more recently collected data, originating from the sand extraction period will be added to the historical data. Analysis of these databases will allow for assessing long term changes in the benthos. This will provide us with the basic information needed to evaluate the possible recovery of the benthic communities.

      Further research will evaluate the possible recovery of the different benthic groups in the central area of the Kwintebank, which is closed for sand extraction for a period of three years. The biological data will be combined with geo-acoustic measurements made in the framework of the projects Marebasse and Eumarsand. By combining traditional ecological research (analyzing diversity and community composition) with newly developed techniques at the Marine Biology Section (Nematode Biomass Spectra, MDA-modeling of nematode communities and ecotype approach for harpacticoid copepods), it will be possible to accurately describe the recovery and rate of recovery of the benthos.

      By comparing (1) the response time and sensitivity of the different benthic groups to sand extraction/cessation of sand extraction and (2) the accurateness of the different methods of analyzing the data, we will be able to suggest appropriate methods for monitoring the effects of sand extraction on the benthos. The final integration of all tasks will result in the formulation of management options concerning extraction intensity and rotation of extraction areas.

Publications (2)  Top | Institutes 
  • Vanaverbeke, J.; Vincx, M. (2008). Short-term changes in nematode communities from an abandoned intense sand extraction site on the Kwintebank (Belgian Continental Shelf) two years post-cessation. Mar. Environ. Res. 66(2): 240-248., more
  • Vanaverbeke, J. et al. (2007). Study of post-extraction ecological effects in the Kwintebank sand dredging area (SPEEK). Belgian Science Policy: Brussel. 92 pp.

All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Institutes | Publications 

If any information here appears to be incorrect, please contact us
Back to Register of Resources
Quick links


Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC)

Responsive Mode Programme (RMP) - Marie Nordstrom, copyright Aspden Rebecca

part of WoRMS logo

ERMS 2.0
Epinephelus marginatus Picture: JG Harmelin


Geographic System



Web site hosted and maintained by Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) - Contact