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Community structure and the effects of pollution in sea-grass meadows and adjacent habitats

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Differences in the structure of epibenthic invertebrate species assemblages were investigated in two estuarine areas in Apalachee Bay, Florida (USA), and related to the presence or absence of pulp-mill effluents. Invertebrate species associated with sea-grass beds, mud flats, and oyster reefs were included in the analyses. Surprisingly, several commonly used indicators of pollution stress were ineffective in differentiating the study areas, even though there were large differences in abundance and dominance relationships between them, and these differences were clearly related to the presence of the pulp-mill effluents. Recommendations for data analyses in similar types of studies are made, based on the results of this investigation and others in the same study areas.

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Communicated by M.R. Tripp, Newark

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Heck, K.L. Community structure and the effects of pollution in sea-grass meadows and adjacent habitats. Mar. Biol. 35, 345–357 (1976).

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  • Data Analysis
  • Community Structure
  • Similar Type
  • Species Assemblage
  • Invertebrate Species