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Secondary production of sandy beach macrofauna: An evaluation of predictive models

Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2012.10.002
  • Benthos
  • Beaches
  • Biological Production
  • P/Bratio
  • Methodology
  • Biology
  • Ecology


Abstract During the last three decades, several predictive models have been developed to estimate the somatic production of macroinvertebrates. Although the models have been evaluated for their ability to assess the production of macrobenthos in different marine ecosystems, these approaches have not been applied specifically to sandy beach macrofauna and may not be directly applicable to this transitional environment. Hence, in this study, a broad literature review of sandy beach macrofauna production was conducted and estimates obtained with cohort-based and size-based methods were collected. The performance of nine models in estimating the production of individual populations from the sandy beach environment, evaluated for all taxonomic groups combined and for individual groups separately, was assessed, comparing the production predicted by the models to the estimates obtained from the literature (observed production). Most of the models overestimated population production compared to observed production estimates, whether for all populations combined or more specific taxonomic groups. However, estimates by two models developed by Cusson and Bourget provided best fits to measured production, and thus represent the best alternatives to the cohort-based and size-based methods in this habitat. The consistent performance of one of these Cusson and Bourget models, which was developed for the macrobenthos of sandy substrate habitats (C&BSS), shows that the performance of a model does not depend on whether it was developed for a specific taxonomic group. Moreover, since some widely used models (e.g., the Robertson model) show very different responses when applied to the macrofauna of different marine environments (e.g., sandy beaches and estuaries), prior evaluation of these models is essential.

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