, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 59–66 | Cite as

Nematode species abundance patterns and their use in the detection of environmental perturbations

  • H. M. Platt
  • K. M. Shaw
  • P. J. D. Lambshead


If the concepts of biological indices and biomonitoring at the multi-species level are to prove viable, then meiofauna and marine nematodes in particular should be an ideal group with which to test the hypothesis. Many attempts to assess the structure of species assemblages, such as the use of diversity indices, nematode: copepod ratios and the graphical method of log normal plots, have been shown to be theoretically unsound and/or impractical, especially for routine use by extension workers. A method of assessing shifts in dominance patterns which involves all the proportional species abundances is suggested as a better means of comparing diversity. A modified method of rapidly assessing Simpson's dominance-weighted diversity index is also advocated as being of practical use. In combination, they should enable the diversity aspect of the multi-species approach to biomonitoring to be rigorously and exhaustively evaluated.


meiofauna diversity species abundance pollution biomonitoring marine benthos nematodes 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. M. Platt
    • 1
  • K. M. Shaw
    • 2
  • P. J. D. Lambshead
    • 1
  1. 1.Nematode SectionBritish Museum (Natural History)LondonU.K.
  2. 2.Biometrics and Computing SectionBritish Museum (Natural History)LondonU.K.

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