Advertisement

Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1314–1326 | Cite as

Long-Term Trends in Intertidal and Subtidal Benthic Communities in Response to Water Quality Improvement Measures

  • Paula ChainhoEmail author
  • Gilda Silva
  • Michael F. Lane
  • José L. Costa
  • Tadeu Pereira
  • Carla Azeda
  • Pedro R. Almeida
  • Inês Metelo
  • Maria J. Costa
Article

Abstract

Long-term monitoring studies are needed to understand changes in ecosystem status when restoration measures are implemented. A long-term data series (1996–2007) of the Tagus estuary (Portugal) intertidal and subtidal benthic communities was collected in a degraded area where mitigation measures were implemented. Multivariate analysis was used to analyze spatial and temporal patterns in benthic community composition and trends in five benthic community metrics (i.e., taxonomic richness, density, biomass, Shannon–Wiener diversity and the AMBI index) were also examined. The results revealed a clear separation between intertidal and subtidal assemblages, although they had 50% of taxa in common, including the most abundant. Significant positive trends were found for all metrics showing that both intertidal and subtidal communities responded to the restoration measures implemented. Nevertheless, biotic indices need some adaptation before being universally applied to intertidal and subtidal habitats.

Keywords

Benthic quality assessment Long-term trends Spatial and temporal patterns Tagus estuary AMBI 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the institutions Parque EXPO, S. A. and Lisbon Municipality. This study was also supported by a Post Doc fellowship (SFRH/BPD/29579/2006) granted by FCT. We would like to thank our colleagues V. Amaral, M.J. Correia, M. Cunha, F. Jorge, J.P. Medeiros, M. Pardal, C. Pereira, C. Pestana, A.L. Rego, S. Rodrigues, J. Salgado, and C. Teixeira for assistance in different tasks.

References

  1. Alden, R.W., S.B. Weisberg, J.A. Ranasinghe, and D.M. Dauer. 1997. Optimizing temporal sampling strategies for benthic environmental monitoring programs. Marine Pollution Bulletin 34: 913–922.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bachelet, G., and J.C. Dauvin. 1993. Distribution quantitative de la macrofaune benthique des sables intertidaux du bassin d’Arcachon. Oceanologica Acta 16: 83–97.Google Scholar
  3. Beukema, J.J., and K. Essink. 1986. Common patterns in the fluctuations of macrozoobenthic species living at different places on tidal flats in the Wadden Sea. Hydrobiologia 142: 199–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bilyard, G. 1987. The value of benthic infauna in marine pollution monitoring studies. Marine Pollution Bulletin 18: 581–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blanchet, H., N. Lavesque, T. Ruellet, J.C. Dauvin, P.G. Sauriau, N. Desroy, C. Desclaux, M. Leconte, G. Bachelet, and A.L. Janson. 2008. Use of biotic indices in semi-enclosed coastal ecosystems and transitional waters habitats—implications for the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive. Ecological Indicators 8: 360–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boesch, D.F. 1977. A new look at the zonation of the benthos along the estuarine gradient. In Ecology of marine benthos, ed. B. Coull, 245–266. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  7. Borja, A., J. Franco, and V. Pérez. 2000. A marine biotic index to establish the ecological quality of soft bottom benthos within European estuarine and coastal environments. Marine Pollution Bulletin 40: 1100–1114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borja, A., I. Muxika, and J. Germán Rodríguez. 2009. Paradigmatic responses of marine benthic communities to different anthropogenic pressures, using M-AMBI, within the European Water Framework Directive. Marine Ecology 30: 214–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Buchanan, J.B., and J.J. Moore. 1986. Long-term studies at a benthic station off the coast of Northumberland. Hydrobiologia 142: 121–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cabrita, M.T., and M.T. Moita. 1995. Spatial and temporal variation of physico-chemical conditions and phytoplankton during a dry year in the Tagus estuary (Portugal). Netherlands Journal of Aquatic Ecology 29: 323–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Caçador, I., M. Caetano, B. Duarte, and C. Vale. 2009. Stock and losses of trace metals from salt marsh plants. Marine Environmental Research 67: 75–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chainho, P., J.L. Costa, M.L. Chaves, M.F. Lane, D.M. Dauer, and M.J. Costa. 2006. Seasonal and spatial patterns of distribution of subtidal benthic invertebrate communities in the Mondego River estuary, Portugal. Hydrobiologia 555: 59–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chainho, P., J.L. Costa, M.L. Chaves, D.M. Dauer, and M.J. Costa. 2007. Influence of seasonal variability in benthic invertebrate community structure on the use of biotic indices to assess the ecological status of a Portuguese estuary. Marine Pollution Bulletin 54: 1586–1597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chainho, P., J.L. Costa, M.L. Chaves, M.J. Costa, and D.M. Dauer. 2008. Use of multimetric indices to classify estuaries with different hydromorphological characteristics and different levels of human pressure. Marine Pollution Bulletin 56: 1128–1137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Clarke, K.R. 1993. Non-parametric multivariate analyses of changes in community structure. Australian Journal of Ecology 18: 117–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clarke, K.R., and N. Gorley. 2001. PRIMER v5: user manual/tutorial. Plymouth: PRIMER-E-Ltd., Plymouth Marine Laboratory.Google Scholar
  17. Clarke, K.R., and R.M. Warwick. 1994. Changes in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation. Plymouth: Plymouth Marine Laboratory.Google Scholar
  18. Costa, M.J., R. Vasconcelos, J.L. Costa, and H.N. Cabral. 2007. River flow influence on the fish community of the Tagus estuary (Portugal). Hydrobiologia 587: 113–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dauer, D.M., and R.W. Alden. 1995. Long-term trends in the macrobenthos and water quality of the lower Chesapeake Bay (1985–1991). Marine Pollution Bulletin 30: 840–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dauvin, J.C. 2000. The muddy fine sand Abra alba–Melinna palmata community of the Bay of Morlaix twenty years after the Amoco Cadiz oil spill. Marine Pollution Bulletin 40: 528–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dauvin, J.C., and F. Ibanez. 1986. Variations a long-terme (1977–1985) du peuplement des sables fins de la Pierre Noire (baie de Morlaix, Manche occidentale): analyse statistique de I'évolution structurale. Hydrobiologia 142: 171–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. de Paz, L., J. Patrício, J.C. Marques, A. Borja, and A.J. Laborda. 2008. Ecological status assessment in the lower Eo estuary (Spain). The challenge of habitat heterogeneity integration: a benthic perspective. Marine Pollution Bulletin 56: 1275–1283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dorjes, J., H. Michaelis, and B. Rhode. 1986. Long-term studies of macrozoobenthos in intertidal and shallow subtidal habitats near the island of Norderney (East Frisian coast, Germany). Hydrobiologia 142: 217–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ferreira, J.G., T. Simas, A. Nobre, M.C. Silva, K. Shifferegger, and J. Lencart-Silva. 2003. Identification of sensitive areas and vulnerable zones in transitional and coastal Portuguese systems. Application of the United States National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment to the Minho, Lima, Douro, Ria de Aveiro, Mondego, Tagus, Sado, Mira, Ria Formosa and Guadiana systems. INAG and IMAR. http://www.eutro.org/documents/NEEA%20Portugal.pdf.
  25. França, S., C. Vinagre, M.A. Pardal, and H.N. Cabral. 2009. Spatial and temporal patterns of benthic invertebrates in the Tagus estuary, Portugal: comparison between subtidal and an intertidal mudflat. Scientia Marina 73: 307–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Frid, C.L.J., P.R. Garwood, and L.A. Robinson. 2009. Observing change in a North Sea benthic system: a 33 year time series. Journal of Marine Systems 77: 227–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gaudêncio, M.J., and H.N. Cabral. 2007. Trophic structure of macrobenthos in the Tagus estuary and adjacent coastal shelf. Hydrobiologia 587: 241–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gilbert, R.O. 1987. Statistical methods for environmental pollution monitoring. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  29. Kendall, M.G. 1975. Rank correlation methods, 4th ed. London: Charles Griffin.Google Scholar
  30. Kress, N., B. Herut, and B.S. Galil. 2004. Sewage sludge impact on sediment quality and benthic assemblages off the Mediterranean coast of Israel—a long-term study. Marine Environmental Research 57: 213–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Legendre, L., and P. Legendre. 1976. Écologie numérique. I: Le traitement multiple des données écologiques. Paris: Masson.Google Scholar
  32. Mann, H.B. 1945. Non-parametric tests against trends. Econometrica 18: 163–171.Google Scholar
  33. Mannino, A., and P.A. Montagna. 1997. Small-scale spatial variation of macrobenthic community structure. Estuaries 20: 159–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McLusky, D.S., S.C. Hull, and M. Elliott. 1993. Variations in the intertidal and subtidal macrofauna and sediments along a salinity gradient in the upper Forth estuary. Netherlands Journal of Aquatic Ecology 27: 101–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Montagna, P.A., and R.D. Kalke. 1992. The effect of freshwater inflow on meiofaunal and macrofaunal populations in the Guadalupe and Nueces Estuaries, Texas. Estuaries 15: 266–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Moreira, M.H., H. Queiroga, M.M. Machado, and M.R. Cunha. 1993. Environmental gradients in a southern Europe estuarine system: Ria de Aveiro, Portugal: implications for soft bottom macrofauna colonization. Netherlands Journal of Aquatic Ecology 27: 465–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Morrisey, D.J., L. Howitt, A.J. Underwood, and J.S. Starks. 1992. Spatial variation in soft sediment benthos. Marine Ecology Progress Series 81: 197–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Muxika, I., A. Borja, and W. Bonne. 2005. The suitability of the marine biotic index (AMBI) to new impact sources along European coasts. Ecological Indicators 5: 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Patrício, J., J.M. Neto, H. Teixeira, F. Salas, and J.C. Marques. 2009. The robustness of ecological indicators to detect long-term changes in the macrobenthos of estuarine systems. Marine Environmental Research 68: 25–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pearson, T.H., G. Duncan, and J. Nuttall. 1986. Long term changes in the benthic communities of Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil (Scotland). Hydrobiologia 142: 113–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pereira, C.D., M.J. Gaudêncio, M.T. Guerra, and M.T. Lopes. 1997. Intertidal macrozoobenthos of the Tagus estuary (Portugal): the Expo’98 area. Publicaciones Especiales del Instituto Español de Oceanografía 23: 107–120.Google Scholar
  42. Rabaut, M., K. Guilini, G. van Hoey, M. Vincx, and S. Degraer. 2007. A bio-engineered soft-bottom environment: the impact of Lanice conchilega on the benthic species-specific densities and community structure. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 75: 525–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Reiss, H., and I. Kröncke. 2005. Seasonal variability of benthic indices: an approach to test the applicability of different indices for ecosystem quality assessment. Marine Pollution Bulletin 50: 1490–1499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rhoads, D.C., and J.D. Germano. 1986. Interpreting long-term changes in benthic community structure: a new protocol. Hydrobiologia 142: 291–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rodrigues, A.M., S. Meireles, T. Pereira, A. Gama, and V. Quintino. 2006. Spatial patterns of benthic invertebrates in intertidal areas of a southern European estuary: the Tagus, Portugal. Hydrobiologia 555: 99–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Salen-Picard, C., and D. Arlhac. 2002. Long-term changes in a Mediterranean benthic community: relationships between the Polychaete assemblages and hydrological variations of the Rhône River. Estuaries 25: 1121–1130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Salgado, J., H.N. Cabral, and M.J. Costa. 2007. Spatial and temporal distribution patterns of the macrozoobenthos assemblage in the salt marshes of Tejo estuary (Portugal). Hydrobiologia 587: 225–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sen, P.K. 1968. Estimates of the regression coefficient based on Kendall’s tau. Journal of the American Statistical Association 60: 134–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Silva, G., J.L. Costa, P.R. Almeida, and M.J. Costa. 2006. Structure and dynamics of a benthic invertebrate community in an intertidal area of the Tagus estuary, western Portugal: a six year data series. Hydrobiologia 555: 115–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Timsit, O., B. Sylvand, and J.C. Lefeuvre. 2004. Évolution du macrozoobenthos intertidal de la baie des Veys de 1985 à 2000. Comptes Rendus Biologies 327: 1–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. van Belle, G., and J.P. Hughes. 1984. Nonparametric tests for trend in water quality. Water Resources Research 20: 127–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Warwick, R.M., C.M. Ashman, A.R. Brown, K.R. Clarke, B. Dowell, B. Hart, R.E. Lewis, N. Shillabeer, P.J. Somerfield, and J.F. Tapp. 2002. Inter-annual changes in the biodiversity and community structure of the macrobenthos in Tees Bay and the Tees estuary, UK, associated with local and regional environmental events. Marine Ecology Progress Series 234: 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Weisberg, S.B., J.A. Ranasinghe, D.M. Dauer, L.C. Schaffner, R.J. Diaz, and J.B. Frithsen. 1997. An estuarine benthic index of biotic integrity (B-IBI) for Chesapeake Bay. Estuaries 20: 149–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ysebaert, T., and P.M.J. Herman. 2002. Spatial and temporal variation in benthic macrofauna and relationships with environmental variables in an estuarine, intertidal soft-sediment environment. Marine Ecology Progress Series 244: 105–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ysebaert, T., P.M.J. Herman, P. Meire, J. Craeymeersch, H. Verbeek, and C.H.R. Heip. 2003. Large-scale spatial patterns in estuaries: estuarine macrobenthic communities in the Schelde estuary, NW Europe. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 57: 335–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zettler, M.L., D. Schiedek, and B. Bobertz. 2007. Benthic biodiversity indices versus salinity gradient in the Southern Baltic Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin 55: 258–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Chainho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gilda Silva
    • 1
  • Michael F. Lane
    • 2
  • José L. Costa
    • 1
  • Tadeu Pereira
    • 1
  • Carla Azeda
    • 1
  • Pedro R. Almeida
    • 1
    • 3
  • Inês Metelo
    • 4
  • Maria J. Costa
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Centro de OceanografiaFaculdade de Ciências da Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  3. 3.Departamento de Biologia, Escola de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade de ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal
  4. 4.Direcção Municipal de Ambiente Urbano, Departamento do Ambiente e Espaços Verdes, Divisão de Controlo AmbientalCâmara Municipal de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  5. 5.Departamento de Biologia AnimalFaculdade de Ciências da Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations