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Pollution signature for temperate reef biodiversity is short and simple


Ling, SD and Davey, A and Reeves, SE and Gaylard, S and Davies, PL and Stuart-Smith, RD and Edgar, GJ, Pollution signature for temperate reef biodiversity is short and simple, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 130 pp. 159-169. ISSN 0025-326X (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Crown Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.02.053


Pollution increasingly impacts healthy functioning of marine ecosystems globally. Here we quantify concentrations of major pollutant types (heavy metals/sewage/petrochemicals/plastics) as accumulated within marine sediments on and/or immediately adjacent to shallow reefs for 42 sites spanning coastal population centres across south-eastern Australia. Gradients in pollutants were revealed, but few pollutants co-varied, while increasing wave exposure ostensibly diluted concentrations of all pollutants except microplastics. Examination of reef biodiversity indicators revealed that maximum size of fauna and flora, a key life-history parameter summarised by the Community shortness index, plus declining functional and species richness, were the most sensitive bioindicators of pollutants for which heavy metals and nutrient-enrichment were most pervasive. Results indicate that assemblages of biogenic habitat formers and associated fauna collapse from "long and complicated" to "short and simplified" configurations in response to increasing pollution, and this community signature may form an effective bioindicator to track human-driven degradation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:bioindicators, heavy metal, eutrophication, habitat loss, habitat functional diversity, size-based indicators
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Coastal or estuarine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Ling, SD (Dr Scott Ling)
UTAS Author:Davey, A (Mr Adam Davey)
UTAS Author:Reeves, SE (Mr Simon Reeves)
UTAS Author:Stuart-Smith, RD (Dr Rick Stuart-Smith)
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
ID Code:124973
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2018-03-21
Last Modified:2018-11-14

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