Contaminants reduce the richness and evenness of marine communities: a review and meta-analysis

Johnston, Emma L., and Roberts, David A. (2009) Contaminants reduce the richness and evenness of marine communities: a review and meta-analysis. Environmental Pollution, 157 (6). pp. 1745-1752.

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Biodiversity of marine ecosystems is integral to their stability and function and is threatened by anthropogenic processes. We conducted a literature review and meta-analysis of 216 studies to understand the effects of common contaminants upon diversity in various marine communities. The most common diversity measures were species richness, the Shannon–Wiener index (H') and Pielou evenness (J). Largest effect sizes were observed for species richness, which tended to be the most sensitive index. Pollution was associated with marine communities containing fewer species or taxa than their pristine counterparts. Marine habitats did not vary in their susceptibility to contamination, rather a ~40% reduction in richness occurred across all habitats. No class of contaminant was associated with significantly greater impacts on diversity than any other. Survey studies identified larger effects than laboratory or field experiments. Anthropogenic contamination is strongly associated with reductions in the species richness and evenness of marine habitats.

Item ID: 27207
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6424
Keywords: pollution, marine, species richness, diversity, meta-analysis, contaminants, response ratios, diversity indices
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2013 05:34
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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