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Taxonomic sufficiency in the detection of natural and human-induced changes in marine assemblages: A comparison of habitats and taxonomic groups
Bevilacqua, S.; Fraschetti, S.; Musco, L.; Terlizzi, A. (2009). Taxonomic sufficiency in the detection of natural and human-induced changes in marine assemblages: A comparison of habitats and taxonomic groups. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 58(12): 1850-1859
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Ecosystem disturbance; Environmental conditions; Man-induced effects; Marine invertebrates; Molluscs; Multivariate analysis; Pollution monitoring; Shellfish; Taxonomy; Mollusca [WoRMS]; MED, Western Mediterranean [Marine Regions]; Marine

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Abstract
    Taxonomic Sufficiency (TS) is a promising analysis technique, particularly in light of the current need for rapid and reliable procedures in marine impact assessment and monitoring. However, generalizations are still difficult and there are few studies comparing the effectiveness of TS under different environmental settings. The present study investigates whether reduced taxonomy can be used to detect natural and human-driven patterns of variation in mollusk and polychaete assemblages from subtidal soft and hard bottoms in the Mediterranean. Results showed that, unlike in polychaetes, mollusk families represent effective taxonomic surrogates across a range of environmental contexts. These findings suggest that the mechanisms behind TS in mollusks could act homogeneously across habitats and environmental conditions. In contrast, multiple factors could interact to determine the robustness of polychaetes to taxonomic aggregation. This study highlights the need to go beyond the current pragmatism in this field of work and focus on the reasons underlying TS effectiveness in order to provide a general framework on the application of taxonomic surrogates in marine systems.

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