Ecological Indicators for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Assessment: A User Guide
Joćo Carlos Marques
WIT Press, Jan 1, 2009 - Business & Economics - 183 pages
Ecological indicators address ecosystems structure and/or function and are commonly used to provide synoptic information about their state. Through quantitative representations of either the forces that steer ecosystems, responses to forcing functions, or of previous, current, or future states of an ecosystem, indicators are expected to reveal conditions and trends that will help in development planning and decision making processes. Ecological indicators combine numerous environmental factors in a single value, which may be useful in terms of management and in the development of ecological concepts, compliant with the general public's understanding. Nevertheless, their application is not exempt of criticisms, the first of which is that aggregation results in an oversimplification of the ecosystem under observation. Ecological indicators must therefore be handled following the right criteria and in situations that are consistent with its intended use and scope; otherwise they may drive to confusing interpretations of data. Despite the evident convergence of ideas between different authors, it is clear that what a good indicator should be does not gather unanimity of opinions. The present book provides an updated revision and examples of application of indicators available to assess the status of coastal and transitional ecosystems. Moreover, a decision tree to be used as guidance in selecting which indicators should be applied in any particular case involving benthic fauna is proposed. Finally, differences in performance of various indicators are illustrated through a series of case studies on marine and estuarine ecosystems.
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Decision tree for selecting ecological indicators based on benthic
Combining indicators to characterise a systems ecological quality status
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0aeonomic Di0tinctn00 Ab0ndance abundance algae AMBI Amphipoda APBI applied assessment available includes information B-IBI benthic benthic communities Benthic Response Index BENTIX Berger-Parker bioaccumulation biomass Biotic Index BOPA Borja Buarcos Buarcos Bay classification correlated data available includes developed disturbance diversity indices diversity measures dominance ecological indicators ecological quality ecological status ecosystems environment environmental Eutrophic Area eutrophication evaluate Exergy Figure fish freshwater gradient groups habitat impact indicator species indicators based Infaunal Infaunal Trophic Index integrity intertidal lagoon M-AMBI macroalgae macrofauna macroinvertebrates Mar Menor Margalef Index Marques metrics Mira estuary Modelling Mondego estuary Monitoring multimetric Muxika noltii number of individuals number of species nutrient organic enrichment organic pollution organic-matter content P-BAT parameters physicochemical Pielou Pollution Index polychaetes reference conditions Rosenberg scores sediment sensitive Simpson southern arm species richness subtidal Table taxa Taxonomic Distinctness measures total number Tubificidae type of data University of Coimbra Warwick water body