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Length–mass relationships for transitional water benthic macroinvertebrates in Mediterranean and Black Sea ecosystems
Rosati, I.; Barbone, E.; Basset, A. (2012). Length–mass relationships for transitional water benthic macroinvertebrates in Mediterranean and Black Sea ecosystems. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 113: 231-239.
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714; e-ISSN 1096-0015, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    length–mass relationships; benthic macroinvertebrates; biomass estimate; Mediterranean Sea; Black Sea; transitional waters

Authors  Top 
  • Rosati, I.
  • Barbone, E.
  • Basset, A.

    Length–mass relationships are potentially useful tools to estimate individual biomass, assuming a relative invariance within and among populations and, sometimes, among species pertaining to a same family or order. Here, we present a field test of these assumptions in guilds of benthic macroinvertebrates colonising transitional water ecosystems. To this aim, we are analysing length–mass relationships of benthic macroinvertebrates of transitional water ecosystems and assessing their variability among populations of a same species and among species of a same family and/or order. Data are from synoptic studies carried out at four oligohaline transitional water ecosystems, from the Southern Italy and the Danube delta ecoregions; they refer to 40 macroinvertebrate taxa selected from the overall species pool according to absolute and relative density requirements. Species composition differed widely among ecoregions while length–mass relationships of the species occurring in both ecoregions did not; the variability of length–mass parameters of these species among ecosystems was lower than 10%. Length–mass regressions were relatively conservative also with respect to taxonomic resolution; significant differences were observed among species within 5 out of the 7 orders tested but differences in slopes and intercepts were on average lower than 15%. Therefore, our results, representing one of the first efforts to catalogue length–mass relationships for benthic macroinvertebrates in transitional waters, support the assumption of relative invariance of length–mass relationships and their use in studies where gross estimates of population biomasses are required.

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