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dc.contributor.authorWatson, Stephen C. L.
dc.contributor.authorPaterson, David M.
dc.contributor.authorWiddicombe, Stephen
dc.contributor.authorBeaumont, Nicola J.
dc.identifier.citationWatson , S C L , Paterson , D M , Widdicombe , S & Beaumont , N J 2018 , ' Evaluation of estuarine biotic indices to assess macro-benthic structure and functioning following nutrient remediation actions : a case study on the Eden estuary Scotland ' , Regional Studies in Marine Science , vol. 24 , pp. 379-391 .
dc.identifier.otherRIS: urn:15FB877BB4D01912E165DC2B40F6CB74
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-1174-6476/work/49580171
dc.descriptionThis work was supported by the EU grant MAS3-CT97-0158 ‘BIOPTIS’ and was funded with support from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme [NERC Grant Ref: NE/K501244/1]. BESS is a six-year programme (2011–2017) funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the UK’s Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) programme. DMP also received funding from the MASTS pooling initiative (The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland) and their support is gratefully acknowledged. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions.en
dc.description.abstractDespite a wealth of methods currently proposed by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) to assess macro-benthic integrity, determining good ecological status (GES) and assessing ecosystem recovery following anthropogenic degradation is still one of the biggest challenges in marine ecology research. In this study, our aim was to test a number of commonly used structural (e.g. Shannon–Wiener, Average Taxonomic Diversity (Δ), M-AMBI) and functional indictors (e.g. BTA, BPc) currently used in benthic research and monitoring programmes on the Eden estuary (Scotland). Historically the estuary has a legacy of high nutrient conditions and was designated as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) in 2003, whence major management measures were implemented in order to ameliorate the risk of eutrophication symptoms. We therefore collected data on intertidal macro-benthic communities over a sixteen year interval, covering a pre-management (1999) and post-management (2015) period to assess the effectiveness of the intended restoration efforts. In the post-management period, the results suggested an improvement in the structure and functioning of the estuary as a whole, but macro-benthic assemblages responded to restoration variably along the estuarine gradient. The greatest improvements were noticed in the upper and central sites of the estuary with functional traits analysis suggesting an increased ability of these sites to provide ecosystem services associated with the benthic environment such as carbon and organic matter cycling. Generally, almost all of the structural and functional indicators detected the prevailing environmental conditions (with the exception of (Pielou’s index and Average Taxonomic Diversity (Δ)), highlighting the appropriateness of such methods to be used in monitoring the recovery of transitional systems. This research also provides a robust baseline to monitor further management actions in the Eden estuary and provides evidence that notable reductions in nitrate concentrations resulting from NVZ designations may result in significant improvements to benthic structure and functioning.
dc.relation.ispartofRegional Studies in Marine Scienceen
dc.subjectEcological indicatorsen
dc.subjectEstuarine recoveryen
dc.subjectEcological qualityen
dc.subjectBiological traits analysis (BTA)en
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.subjectSDG 14 - Life Below Wateren
dc.titleEvaluation of estuarine biotic indices to assess macro-benthic structure and functioning following nutrient remediation actions : a case study on the Eden estuary Scotlanden
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Sediment Ecology Research Groupen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Marine Alliance for Science & Technology Scotlanden
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Scottish Oceans Instituteen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. St Andrews Sustainability Instituteen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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