Chapter

Marine Biodiversity

Volume 183 of the series Developments in Hydrobiology pp 223-227

Using asymmetrical designs for environmental impact assessment of unplanned disturbances

  • Nuno C. QueirozAffiliated withCIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de VairãoDepartmento de Zoologia-Antropologia, Faculdade de Cêencias da Universidade do Porto
  • , Fernando P. LimaAffiliated withCIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de VairãoDepartmento de Zoologia-Antropologia, Faculdade de Cêencias da Universidade do Porto
  • , Pedro A. RibeiroAffiliated withCIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão
  • , Sílvia G. PereiraAffiliated withDepartmento de Zoologia-Antropologia, Faculdade de Cêencias da Universidade do Porto
  • , António M. SantosAffiliated withCIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de VairãoDepartmento de Zoologia-Antropologia, Faculdade de Cêencias da Universidade do Porto

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Abstract

Environmental impact assessment of unplanned disturbances is often difficult to accomplish due to the absence of ‘before’ data for the impacted sites. In an attempt to overcome this problem, a beyond BACI model is used in order to detect possible changes in the temporal patterns of variation when no previous data are available. The model attempted to detect changes in the abundance of macroinvertebrate species inhabiting the intertidal mussel matrix after an oil spill which occurred in northern Portugal. The detection of a significant impact failed, most probably due to low temporal replication. An extension of the analysis, including the hierarchical arrangement of temporal variability in periods, suggests that increasing the number of sampling times may result in a higher efficiency of the model.

Key words

beyond BACI impact assessment oil spill rocky shores macrobenthic fauna