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Title: Is there a significant relationship between the benthic status of an area, determined by two broadly-used indices, and best professional judgment?
Authors: Borja, Angel; Marin, Sandra; Nunez, Rosa; Muxika, Inigo
Citation: ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, 2014, 45, 308-312
Abstract: Two benthic indices to assess the quality status (the AZTI's Marine Biotic Index (AMBI) and multivariate-AMBI (M-AMBI)) are being used extensively in different habitats worldwide. We try to interpret what is behind these indices making them suitable for different habitats. To demonstrate that, we used best professional judgment (BPJ), applying it to a dataset from southern Chile, to determine the criteria proposed by 12 experts in assessing the status. The experts were provided with raw species abundance data, from 12 stations within a gradient of disturbance, from unaffected to severely affected. There was a very good agreement among experts (kappa values 0.72-0.77), with highly significant (p<0.001) correlation between BPJ and AMBI and M-AMBI classifications, and an agreement of 76.4\% and 81.9\%, respectively. When comparing BPJ in Chile with other results in Europe, USA and northern Africa, similar patterns can be identified: (i) the number of criteria identified for classification is very high (range 7-12); (ii) the experts use several criteria together in the BPJ assessment; and (iii) the rank of the most important criteria is indicator species, richness, and diversity/dominance. These criteria are included in indices such as AMBI and M-AMBI. Hence, although experts are classifying samples subjectively when applying BPJ, they are corroborated in their opinions when using such indices. This fact can explain why these indices are so widely used. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Best professional judgment; Benthic macroinvertebrates; Human disturbance; Benthic quality assessment; Chile; MARINE BIOTIC INDEX; CHESAPEAKE BAY; COMMUNITY CONDITION; ESTUARINE QUALITY; HABITAT QUALITY; AGREEMENT; COASTAL; INTEGRITY; COEFFICIENT; INDICATORS
Issue Date: 2014
Type: Article
Language: English
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.04.015
ISSN: 1470-160X
E-ISSN: 1872-7034
Funder: Regional Government of Los Lagos (Chile), through the Regional Innovation and Competitiveness Fund [FIC-R 2012]
INNOVA from the Chilean Ministry of Economy
Subsecretaria de Pesca y Acuicultura (Chile Government)
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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