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Relating Benthic Infaunal Community Structure to Environmental Variables in Estuaries using Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling and Similarity Analysis

Authors
  • McRae, G.1
  • Camp, D.K.1
  • Lyons, W.G.1
  • Dix, T.L.1
  • 1 Florida Marine Research Institute, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 100 8th Ave. SE, St, Petersburg, FL, 33701, USA , Petersburg
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jun 01, 1998
Volume
51
Issue
1-2
Pages
233–246
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1023/A:1005943504335
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

In 1994, 19 stations were sampled (2 replicates/station) with Young grabs in association with the EMAP-Estuaries Carolian Province Base Monitoring in Florida. A total of 295 unique benthic infauna taxa and 9647 individuals were identified and enumerated. Environmental data (bottom-water quality, sediment grain size, sediment metals, and organics) and benthic community data were analyzed using hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis and ordination via nonmetric multidimensional scaling. Bray-Curtis similarities and Euclidean distance were used as the distance measures for biotic and abiotic data, respectively. Multivariate analyses were complemented by examining incremental contributions of benthic taxa to similarity values using a percentage similarity technique. A low-salinity site in a tributary to the St. Johns River had benthic communities uniquely different from those of moderate-to high-salinity sites. A diverse assemblage of polychaetes, gastropods, bivalves, amphipods, sipunculans, and phoronids was consistently associated with relatively unimpacted sites in the Indian River Lagoon. Infaunal community structure in the northern portion of the study area was influenced by the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Community shifts in association with latitudinal gradients and concentrations of sediment metals and organics were apparent. The nonparametric multivariate techniques used in this study were particularly effective at delineating and defining fine-scale community differences.

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