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- A framework for investigating general patterns of benthic β-diversity along estuaries
- The description of major patterns in beta (. β) diversity is important in order to understand changes in community composition and/or richness at different spatial and temporal scales, and can interrogate processes driving species distribution and community dynamics. Human impacts have pushed many estuarine systems far from their historical baseline of rich, diverse, and productive ecosystems. Despite the ecological and social importance of estuaries, there has not yet been an attempt to investigate patterns of β-diversity and its partitioning along estuarine systems of different continents. We aimed to evaluate if benthic assemblages would show higher turnover than nestedness in tropical than in temperate systems, if well-known impacted estuaries would show greater nestedness than less polluted systems, and to propose a conceptual framework for studying benthic macrofauna beta diversity along estuaries. We analyzed subtidal benthic macrofaunal data from estuaries in Brazil, USA and France. We estimated alpha (. α), beta (. β) and gamma (. γ) diversity for each sampling time in each system, investigated patterns of β -diversity as multivariate dispersion and the partitioning (nestedness and replacement) of β-diversity along each estuary. There was a decrease in the α-diversity along marine to freshwater conditions at most of the estuaries and sampling dates. Beta diversity as multivariate dispersion showed high variability. Most of the estuaries showed a greater proportion of the β-diversity driven by replacement than nestedness. We suggest a conceptual framework for estuaries where relatively pristine estuaries would have their β-diversity mostly driven by replacement while impacted estuaries subjected to several anthropogenic stressors would show total nestedness or total replacement, depending on the stress.
- Barros, Blanchet, Hammerstrom, Sauriau, Oliver
- High species density patterns in macrofaunal invertebrate communities in the marine benthos,
- Species density of macrofaunal invertebrates living in marine soft sediments was highest at the shelf-slope break (100-150m) in Monterey Bay (449 m-2). There were 337 species m-2 in the mid-shelf mud zone (80 m). There were fewer species along the slope: 205 m-2 from the lower slope (950-2000 m) and 335 m-2 on the upper slope (250-750 m). Species density was highest inside the bay (328-446 m-2) compared to outside (336-339 m-2), when examining samples at selected water depths (60-1000 m). There was little difference in local species density from 1 km of shoreline compared to regional species density along 1000 km of shoreline at both shelf and slope depths. The highest species densities worldwide in the literature are recorded along the Carolina slope in the Atlantic Ocean, where peak species density (436/0.81 m2) at 800 m and values at the largest sample areas are similar to those on the Monterey Bay shelf. We speculate that the highest species densities occur where ocean water exchanges energy with shoaling topography at the continental margin, bringing more food to the benthos -- areas such as the very productive waters in the upwelling system of Monterey Bay., Cited By (since 1996):1, ,
- Oliver, Hammerstrom, McPhee-Shaw, Slattery, Oakden, Kim, Hartwell