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Title: Assessing benthic health in stressed subtropical estuaries, eastern Florida, USA using AMBI and M-AMBI
Authors: Borja, A.; Tunberg, B. G.
Citation: ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, 2011, 11, 295-303
Abstract: The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and the St. Lucie Estuary (SLE), both located in Florida, USA, are affected by a variety of anthropogenic pressures. Benthic macroinvertebrates have been monitored quarterly since February 2005, at 15 stations, in order to assess benthic health. Since the SLE and IRL are situated in a subtropical area, it is affected by two major climatic seasons, dry (winter) and wet (summer). This contribution investigates the application of the AZTI's Marine Biotic Index (AMBI) and multivariate-AMBI (M-AMBI), to assess the ecological status of these estuaries. AMBI was firstly calculated after assigning most of the previously unassigned species to each of the five ecological groups (from sensitive to first order opportunistic species). Three main benthic assemblages, associated to oligohaline, meso-polyhaline and euhaline stretches, have been identified within the area. Reference conditions of richness, Shannon's diversity and AMBI have been derived for these assemblages; M-AMBI has then been calculated. Both methods show that the inner part of the SLE is affected by anthropogenic pressures (increased freshwater inflow, with elevated nutrient input, and sedimentation), whilst the IRL is less affected. We have demonstrated that AMBI and M-AMBI are insensitive to the dramatic seasonal changes occurring in the SLE/IRL. At some of the stations a significant positive trend in benthic quality has been identified, linked to the polluted freshwater discharges decrease. The use of both tools seems adequate in assessing benthic health in this subtropical area. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Benthic health; Quality assessment; Biotic indices; AMBI; M-AMBI; Subtropical lagoon; Eastern Florida; INDIAN RIVER LAGOON; MARINE-BIOTIC-INDEX; ST-LUCIE-ESTUARY; ECOLOGICAL STATUS ASSESSMENT; COUNTRY NORTHERN SPAIN; CHESAPEAKE BAY; SOUTH FLORIDA; MACROBENTHIC COMMUNITY; QUALITY ASSESSMENT; HABITAT QUALITY
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Type: Article
Language: English
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2010.05.007
URI: http://dspace.azti.es/handle/24689/679
ISSN: 1470-160X
Funder: South Florida Water Management District
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, St Petersburg, Florida
Smithsonian Institution
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos



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