Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research

Benthic Diatoms, the basis of the food web

Mar 20, 2018

Bentic diatoms living on the tidal flats of the Wadden Sea form the basis of the food chain for many grazing benthic animals. With the help of sunlight, CO2 and nutrients from the mudflats and seawater, they multiply massively in spring. They produce sugars that form a sticky layer, the algae film, which ensures that the sludge does not wash away so quickly. This is why in spring you see whole pieces of mudflats colored brown from these siliceous algae.

‘Benthic diatoms’ is the first video of the 10-episode series NIOZ made in collaboration with the project: Tidal flat; how to survive on the boarder of water and land’ of Ruben Smit productions.