A method for quantitative appraisal of disturbances of macrobenthic communities of soft substrata caused by anthropogenic pollution is proposed. This method is based on the establishment of the dependence of various parameters characterizing the abundance and structure of communities (biomass, population density, number of species, Shannon-Weaver and Pielou indices, etc.) on the level of total contamination of bottom sediments. Using the percentage of deviation of abundance parameters and ecological indices from the norm (the initial horizontal segment of model curves), as well as ERL q and ERM q values, which limit the area of progressive degradation of bottom communities (an almost linear drop in abundance and structure characters), is suggested as a numerical characteristic of such deformations. Mapping of aqueous areas on the basis of these characteristics enabled us to obtain a synoptic view of the extent and spatial scale of anthropogenic impacts. An example of the application of this method for assessment of the state of benthic communities in the Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan) is shown for the end of the 1980s. The method is verified on the basis of comparison with the results obtained by standard methods of appraisal of the ecological status of macrozoobenthic communities.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 31, 2008
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