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Some typical limnic bentonts
Sea floor with various invertebrate benthons in front of an ice wall in McMurdo Sound in Antarctica

The benthos ( ancient Greek βένθος , subsidiary form of βάθος bathos , "the depth"; also benthon , individually: the benthont ; with Homer mostly the depth of the sea: κατὰ βένθος ἁλός kata benthos alos - Ilias 18, 38. 49) is the totality of all living beings occurring in the bottom zone of a body of water , the Benthal . The associated adjective for “living in the area of ​​the water bed” is benthic or benthonic .

Subdivisions of Benthos

The benthos includes both the fixed ( sessile ) organisms and the creeping, running or temporarily swimming ( vagile ) soil animals. The term was introduced by Ernst Haeckel in 1890 in order to differentiate the organisms living in the sea from those found in free water, the pelagic ( plankton and necton ). Today, the biocenoses (communities) of all types of water, both inland waters and the various depths of the sea , that can be found in the benthic area are called benthos.

According to the size of the living beings one differentiates:

A distinction is made according to the habitat:

  • Benthopelagial (adjective: Benthopelagic) or floor-related Nekton (immediately above the substrate in the open water alive or buoyant benthos)
  • Epibenthos (epibenth [on] isch - living on the substrate )
  • Semi-endobenthos (semi-endobenth [on] ish - living half in the substrate)
  • Endobenthos (endobenth [on] isch - living in the substrate)
Seagrass (here Syringodium isoetifolium off the coast of Réunion ) belongs to both sessile epibenthos and phytobenthos and is at home on sedimentary soils.

According to the mobility one differentiates:

  • vagile benthos (mobile)
  • sessile benthos (immobile or pinned)

Depending on the nature of the substrate, one differentiates:

  • Hard soils benthos,
    • the primary hard soils (uncovered rock and scree fields, mostly characterized by strong water movement),
    • the secondary hard soils (this includes solid biogenic substrates, such as pieces of mussel shells or corals, but also anthropogenic, for example underwater structures),
  • Benthos of the sedimentary soils (→  Psammon ), the most important characteristic of which is their grain size distribution .

Importance of benthos

Benthic organisms are important as food for fish and other larger animals of the free water, the necton, but also as destructors . Animal benthos ( zoobenthos ) such as crustaceans , flatfish or mussels are also a valuable source of protein for human nutrition . Plant benthos is dependent on the incidence of light due to photosynthesis and is therefore only photic, i.e. H. The littoral zone (maximum depth 100–200 m) accessible from sunlight . When plant benthos ( phytobenthos ) is Tang commercially important. It can form forests more than 60 m high on flat stretches of coast and is used in the production of various food and industrial products.

Typical benthic creatures are z. B.

The stromatolites are the oldest known benthic form of life .

Ecotoxicology and Benthos

In recent years, benthic organisms have been increasingly used to deal with ecotoxicological questions, as they are of considerable importance as components of the food chain. Chromatographic and mass spectrometric methods are used to identify and quantify the pollutants .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Benthos  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Ulrich Sommer : Biological Oceanography . Springer, 2016, 7 marine communities II: the benthos of hard substrates, 8 marine communities III: the benthos of sediments, doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-662-50407-9 .
  2. A. Berlioz-Barbier, A. Buleté, J. Faburé, J. Garric, C. Cren-Olivé, E. Vulliet: Multi-residue analysis of emerging pollutants in benthic invertebrates by modified micro-Quick-Easy-Cheap-Efficient -Rugged-Safe extraction and nanoliquid chromatography-nanospray-tandem mass spectrometry analysis. In: J Chromatogr A. 1367, Nov 7, 2014, pp. 16-32. doi: 10.1016 / j.chroma.2014.09.044 . PMID 25287267
  3. G. Zhang, Z. Pan, A. Bai, J. Li, X. Li: Distribution and bioaccumulation of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in food web of Nansi Lake, China. In: Environ Monit Assess. 186 (4), Apr 2014, pp. 2039-2051. PMID 24213638
  4. BS Anderson, BM Phillips, JW Hunt, SL Clark, JP Voorhees, RS Tjeerdema, J. Casteline, M. Stewart, D. Crane, A. Mekebri: Evaluation of methods to determine causes of sediment toxicity in San Diego Bay, California , UNITED STATES. In: Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 73 (4), May 2010, pp. 534-540. PMID 20138362
  5. ^ MA Khairy, M. Kolb, AR Mostafa, A. El-Fiky, M. Bahadir: Risk posed by chlorinated organic compounds in Abu Qir Bay, East Alexandria, Egypt. In: Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 19 (3), Mar 2012, pp. 794-811. PMID 21948127
  6. JW Kim, T. Isobe, BR Ramaswamy, KH Chang, A. Amano, TM Miller, FP Siringan, S. Tanabe: Contamination and bioaccumulation of benzotriazole ultraviolet stabilizers in fish from Manila Bay, the Philippines using an ultra-fast liquid chromatography -tandem mass spectrometry. In: Chemosphere. 85 (5), Oct 2011, pp. 751-758. PMID 21741069