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Composition of the epibenthic decapod crustacean megafauna of the German Exclusive Economic Zone: comparison and analysis of past and recent surveys

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This study comprises and compares epibenthic samples of the marine crustacean decapod megafauna, taken with a beam trawl at numerous stations in the German Exclusive Economic Zone of the North Sea in the years 1987, 1990, 2007 and 2013. All decapod crustacean species were recorded quantitatively. An overview of the decapod faunal composition with respect to changes in space, species and abundance with time is given. A time-dependent decrease of rare and often northern species at the research area is obvious, as a result of an increase of some dominant species concentrating in coastal areas. In 2013, a more uniform species composition seems to have developed. Decapod species and abundance depletions may be influenced by many factors, among them also climate change and fisheries.

Affiliations: 1: Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Marine Zoology — Crustacean Section, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

1Corresponding author; e-mail:

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