This volume on the ecology of Mauritanian coastal waters and in particular the Banc d'Arguin, allows us to understand the functioning of this remarkable coastal wetland. Major questions concern the interaction between the Banc d'Arguin ecosystem on the one hand and the adjoining systems of the open ocean with its intensive upwelling phenomena and the Sahara desert on the other. Is the Banc d'Arguin ecosystem relatively isolated from its surroundings and does it function as a tropical pocket in a more temperate surrounding, as suggested by Sevrin-Reyssac (1983); or does it interact with both the Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean?
At the Banc d'Arguin, the area between the estuarine parts and the open ocean is extremely shallow and largely uncharted. Large research vessels cannot penetrate the shallows, whereas small vessels are often unable to negotiate the outer part of the shallow area due to rough weather conditions. Hence, separate teams report on work at the seaward side of this shallow sill and at the landward side. In addition, other teams address different questions, such as the productivity of the seagrass beds and the benthic fauna, the number of birds spending the summer at the Banc d'Arguin, and the distribution of several taxonomic groups of flora and fauna.
- Hydrology and underwater climate of the Banc d'Arguin - a review
- Wind, surface water temperature, surface salinity and pollution in Banc d'Arguin
- Hydrographical observations West of the Banc d'Arguin
- Remote sensing of sea surface and coastal area of the Golfe d'Arguin
- Heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) in sediment, zooplankton, and epibenthic invertebrates from the area of the continental slope of the Banc d'Arguin
- Leaf dynamics and standing stocks of intertidal Zostera noltii Hornem, and Cymodocea nodosa (Ucria) Ascherson on the Banc d'Arguin
- Periphyton density and shading in relation to tidal depth and fiddler crab activity in intertidal seagrass beds of the Banc d'Arguin
- Primary production and distribution of phytopigments in the water column and sediments on the upwelling shelf off the Mauritanian coast (Northwest Africa)
- Distribution of sponges on the Mauritanian continental shelfs
- The benthic infauna and benthic respiration off the Banc d'Arguin
- Patterns in pelagic and benthic nanoflagellate densities in the coastal upwelling system along the Banc d'Arguin
- Zooplankton distribution in the coastal upwelling system along the Banc d'Arguin
- Biomass of benthic tidal flat fauna of the Banc d'Arguin
- The trawl fauna of the Mauritanian shelf - density, species composition, and biomass
- Food items of the Grey Mullet Mugil cephalus in the Banc d'Arguin area
- The distribution and abundance of young fish on the Banc d'Arguin
- Seabirds in the shelf edge waters bordering the Banc d'Arguin in May
- The functioning of the ecosystem of the Banc d'Arguin - a review
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