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Molluscan indicator species and their potential use in ecological status assessment using species distribution modeling
Moraitis, M.L.; Tsikopoulou, I.; Geropoulos, A.; Dimitriou, P.D.; Papageorgiou, N.; Giannoulaki, M.; Valavanis, V.D.; Karakassis, I. (2018). Molluscan indicator species and their potential use in ecological status assessment using species distribution modeling. Mar. Environ. Res. 140: 10-17. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2018.05.020
In: Marine Environmental Research. Applied Science Publishers: Barking. ISSN 0141-1136; e-ISSN 1879-0291, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Corbula gibba (Olivi, 1792) [WoRMS]; Flexopecten hyalinus (Poli, 1795) [WoRMS]; Mollusca [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    Benthos; Ecological status; Mollusks; Ensemble models; Indicator species; Habitat; Species distribution modeling

Authors  Top 
  • Moraitis, M.L.
  • Tsikopoulou, I.
  • Geropoulos, A.
  • Dimitriou, P.D.
  • Papageorgiou, N.
  • Giannoulaki, M.
  • Valavanis, V.D.
  • Karakassis, I., more

Abstract
    Marine habitat assessment using indicator species through Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) was investigated. The bivalves: Corbula gibba and Flexopecten hyalinus were the indicator species characterizing disturbed and undisturbed areas respectively in terms of chlorophyll a concentration in Greece. The habitat suitability maps of these species reflected the overall ecological status of the area. The C. gibba model successfully predicted the occurrence of this species in areas with increased physical disturbance driven by chlorophyll a concentration, whereas the habitat map for F. hyalinus showed an increased probability of occurrence in chlorophyll-poor areas, affected mainly by salinity. We advocate the use of C. gibba as a proxy for eutrophication and the incorporation of this species in monitoring studies through SDM methods. For the Mediterranean Sea we suggest the use of F. hyalinus in SDM as an indicator of environmental stability and a possible forecasting tool for salinity fluctuations.

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