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A rapid biodiversity assessment methodology tested on intertidal rocky shores

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-07, 04:11 authored by TD O'hara, PFE Addison, R Gazzard, TL Costa, Jacqui PocklingtonJacqui Pocklington
Abstract Conservation managers require biodiversity assessment tools to estimate the impact of human activities on biodiversity and to prioritize resources for habitat protection or restoration. Large‐scale programs have been developed for freshwater ecosystems which grade sites by comparing measured versus expected species richness. These models have been applied successfully to habitats that suffer from systemic pressures, such as poor water quality. However, pressures in other habitats, such as rocky intertidal shores, are known to induce more subtle changes in community composition. This paper tests a biodiversity assessment methodology that uses the ANOSIM R statistic to quantify the biological dissimilarity between a site being assessed and a series of reference sites selected on the basis of their similar environmental profile. Sites with high R values for assemblage composition have an anomalous assemblage for their environmental profile and are potentially disturbed. This methodology successfully identified moderate to heavily perturbed sites in a pilot study on 65 rocky intertidal sites in south‐eastern Australia. In general, measures based on percentage cover (flora and sessile invertebrates) were more sensitive than abundance (fauna). Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

History

Journal

Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems

Volume

20

Pagination

452-463

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1052-7613

eISSN

1099-0755

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

4

Publisher

Wiley

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