The Common Mussel (Mytilus edulis) as Marine Bioindicator for the Environmental Specimen Bank of the Federal Republic of Germany

  • J. D. Schladot
  • F. W. Backhaus


The mud flats as part of the North Sea represent a particularly sensitive and ecologically valuable part of the Atlantic. This area takes on a key role in the ecosystem of the North Sea and is characterized by a rhythmic alternation between high and low tide. The mud flats are a large-scale biotope for various fish species, mussels, crustaceans, gastropods, etc. At the same time the mud flats also represent a residential and economic area for the human population. Because of this reason, serious problems affect the mud flats and the North Sea coast from different interferences which are not environmentally compatible. Environmental pollution due to anthropogenic influences is still on the rise and requires comprehensive controls and monitoring strategies. Within the Environmental Specimen Bank of the Federal Republic of Germany, mussels of various representative areas of the mud flats are periodically collected and analyzed. Time dependent trends require precisely described collection, sample preparation and analytical characterization. Therefore, Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) are prepared for the collection of mussels and other specimen. The selection of a representative collection area for mussels is based on a screening test. Some results of a screening test in the Sehleswig-Holstein mud flats are given in this report. The collection of mussels for the Environmental Specimen Bank is done in the “Königshafen List” a part of the Sylt-Römö-mud flats in a two month period.


Mytilus Edulis Standard Operation Procedure Mussel Watch Environmental Specimen Banking Environmental Specimen 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Schladot
  • F. W. Backhaus

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