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Benthic impact assessment of a dredge sediment disposal in a dynamic resilient environment

Abstract : The eastern part of the Bay of Seine (English Channel) is highly impacted by harbour activities and the dumping of dredged sediment by the port authorities of Le Havre (GPMH) and Rouen (GPMR). Sediment dredged by the GPMH (2–2.5 millions of m3 per year) has been disposed at the subtidal Octeville site since 1947. Since the 2000s, mainly fine sediment (80% of fine particles <63 μm) has been disposed using alternate mosaic boxes with limited thickness (0.2 to 0.6 m per box per year), preventing the accumulation of disposed sediment in some parts of the dumping site. During the period August 2016 to September 2017, an experimental study was set up to identify the spatio-temporal changes of the macrobenthos collected at ten stations on six dates: three stations where different volumes of sediments were dumped (from 41,000 to 186,000 m3), two stations located within the Octeville site but without dumping operations during the study and five stations outside the disposal site (northern and southern zones). The Taxonomic Richness, total abundance and abundances of the polychaete Owenia fusiformis show negative correlations with the volumes of deposited sediment, whereas use of the AMBI (AZTI's Marine Biotic Index) and B2OA (Benthic Opportunist Annelids Amphipods) indices does not allow us to distinguish the impacted zone. Our study shows that the impact of dumping remains local and the benthic habitats display a high degree of resilience with rapid recovery of the community after the cessation of disturbance. Recommendations on the future long-term strategy are proposed to improve assessment and minimise the impact of dumping sediment on this benthic habitat.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 25, 2022 - 4:28:17 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 3:41:12 AM

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Jean-Claude Dauvin, Noémie Baux, Sandric Lesourd. Benthic impact assessment of a dredge sediment disposal in a dynamic resilient environment. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Elsevier, 2022, 179, pp.113668. ⟨10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.113668⟩. ⟨hal-03651354⟩

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