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    Bendtsen, Jørgen and Hansen, Jørgen L.S. 2013. A model of life cycle, connectivity and population stability of benthic macro-invertebrates in the North Sea/Baltic Sea transition zone. Ecological Modelling, Vol. 267, p. 54.

    Thuy, Ben Marty, Daniel and Comment, Gaël 2013. A remarkable example of a Late Jurassic shallow-water ophiuroid assemblage from the Swiss Jura Mountains. Swiss Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 106, Issue. 2, p. 409.

    Boos, Karin Gutow, Lars Mundry, Roger and Franke, Heinz-Dieter 2010. Sediment preference and burrowing behaviour in the sympatric brittlestars Ophiura albida Forbes, 1839 and Ophiura ophiura (Linnaeus, 1758) (Ophiuroidea, Echinodermata). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Vol. 393, Issue. 1-2, p. 176.

  • Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Volume 86, Issue 5
  • October 2006, pp. 1187-1197

Brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) in the German Bight (North Sea)—species diversity during the past 130 years

  • Karin Boos (a1) and Heinz-Dieter Franke (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 25 August 2006

In this study, an overview of the current species composition of ophiuroids off Helgoland, German Bight (North Sea) is given. In addition, abundance and distribution of ophiuroids on different types of soft bottom sediments taken by van Veen grab samples around Helgoland were recorded. The literature was reviewed in order to outline the diversity of ophiuroid species over the past 130 years in the inner German Bight. In the historical literature, quantitative references often apply to verbal descriptions and thus make comparisons to modern data and assessment of possible changes in abundance rather subjective.

In total, six ophiuroid species were identified off Helgoland: Acrocnida brachiata, Amphiura filiformis, Amphipholis squamata, Ophiothrix fragilis, Ophiura albida and Ophiura ophiura. The species found in this study had also been reported by previous investigators and are regarded as ‘common’ species in the German Bight. Occasional findings in this area refer to Amphiura chiajei, Ophiopholis aculeata, Ophiocten affinis and Ophiura sarsi, which are regarded here as ‘rare’ species. These findings, however, do not indicate sustainable changes in the species diversity over time.

Apart from Acrocnida brachiata, a newcomer in the 1970s, findings of the common species mentioned above can be dated back to 1875. Therefore, a fairly stable composition of brittle stars is represented in the inner German Bight during the past 130 years.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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