We investigated the long-term effects of sand extraction activities on the nematode communities from the Kwintebank. Although changes in nematode community composition cannot be completely uncoupled from natural processes, we suggest that the morphological changes in the sandbank and physical disturbance associated with the dredging activities indeed affected nematode community composition. Nematode diversity did not change since the start of the extraction activities but nematode community composition changed significantly. The SIMPER routine identified predatory nematodes to be important for the within group similarity at the start of the exploitation, while similarity in 1997 and 2001 was determined by the contribution of deposit feeding nematodes. In addition, long nematodes, vulnerable to physical disturbance became less important. These changes are attributed to long term changes in sediment characteristics in combination with additional short-term disturbances by the creation and filling of dredge furrows which are related to the extraction activities.