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Olenin, S., Daunys, D.. Coastal typology based on benthic biotope and community data: The Lithuanian case study. In: Schernewski, G., Wielgat, M. (eds.). Baltic Sea Typology. Coastline Reports (4), pp. 65-83. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2004.


The proposed typology is based on the analysis of the abiotic conditions, benthic biotope and community data obtained in the Lithuanian part of the south-eastern Baltic coastal zone and in the Curonian Lagoon. The classification approach is hierarchical, comprising three main levels: coastal type, benthic biotope and benthic macrofauna community. The core of the classification system is a benthic biotope, which is defined as a distinctive sea bottom area with conventionally uniform physical-chemical environment (salinity, substrate, hydrodynamics, light climate, temperature regime, etc.) and matching biological features. A coastal type is characterized as a biotope complex, i.e. a part of the coastal zone comprising several neighbouring interrelated biotopes. Various coastal types may include identical biotopes, however the combination and spatial distribution of the biotopes in each coastal type is different. Qualitative and quantitative data on benthic communities are used for characterization of relevant benthic biotopes. Possibility to use the existing biotope classification systems (e.g. HELCOM 1998; EUNIS 2004) for coastal typology is discussed.

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