|Detecting anthropogenic disturbance in an environment with multiple gradients of physical disturbance, Manukau Harbour, New Zealand|
Ellis, J.I.; Schneider, D.C.; Thrush, S.F. (2000). Detecting anthropogenic disturbance in an environment with multiple gradients of physical disturbance, Manukau Harbour, New Zealand. Hydrobiologia 440(1-3): 379-391
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158, more
|Also published as |
- Ellis, J.I.; Schneider, D.C.; Thrush, S.F. (2000). Detecting anthropogenic disturbance in an environment with multiple gradients of physical disturbance, Manukau Harbour, New Zealand, in: Jones, M.B. et al. (Ed.) Island, Ocean and Deep-Sea Biology: Proceedings of the 34th European Marine Biology Symposium, held in Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal, 13-17 September 1999. Developments in Hydrobiology, 152: pp. 379-391, more
|Authors|| || Top |
- Ellis, J.I.
- Schneider, D.C.
- Thrush, S.F.
Demonstrating spatial or temporal gradients of effects on macrobenthic communities can be a useful way of providing strong empirical evidence of natural or anthropogenic disturbance. Gradient designs for environmental assessment are sensitive to change for point source data, enabling the scale of the effects of a disturbance to be readily identified. If the spatial scale that is sampled from the point source is adequate, problems of selecting control sites can be avoided. However, sources of spatial variation in macrobenthic communities, which are not related to the impact, can confound the use of gradient designs. This can occur if the natural spatial structure overlaps that of the gradient and cannot be identified either as a location or environmental covariable. The ability to detect point source impacts using a gradient design against natural spatial variability was tested using benthic macrofaunal data collected from Manukau Harbour, New Zealand. Treated sewage wastewater is discharged into the north-west area of the Manukau Harbour. Sandflats in the vicinity of the outfall are also subject to physical disturbance from wind-waves and strong tides. Ordination techniques and the testing of a priori predictions were used to try and separate the relative effects of organic and physical disturbance on the benthic communities. While the occurrence of other environmental disturbances along a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance makes interpretation of community pattern more difficult, the use of a gradient sampling layout, ordination analysis and the testing of a priori predictions enabled impacts of the anthropogenic and natural environmental disturbances to be interpreted. Gradient designs, therefore, provide a method of assessing complex impacts that operate over broad spatial and temporal scales.