, Volume 81, Issue 1-3, pp 187-197

An Approach for Identifying the Causes of Benthic Degradation in Chesapeake Bay

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Abstract

We developed an index to differentiate between low dissolved oxygen effects and sediment contamination effects for sites classified as degraded by the Chesapeake Bay Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (B-IBI), using discriminant analysis. We tested 126 metrics for differences between sites with low dissolved oxygen and sites with contaminated sediments. A total of 16 benthic community metrics met the variable selection criteria and were used to develop a discriminant function that classified degraded sites into one of two stress groups. The resulting discriminant function correctly classified 77% of the low dissolved oxygen sites and 80% of the contaminated sites in the validation data.