Main content area

A multivariate approach to analyzing functional redundancy of marine periphytic ciliates during the colonization process for bioassessment in coastal ecosystems

Xu, Guangjian, Zhong, Xiaoxiao, Warren, Alan, Xu, Henglong
Marine pollution bulletin 2017 v.117 no.1-2 pp. 406-413
Ciliophora, algivores, bacterivores, biological assessment, coastal water, data collection, logit analysis, marine ecosystems, monitoring, peeling, China, Yellow Sea
Functional redundancy is a useful tool for determining functional compensation and for reducing “signal to noise” ratios of full-species datasets in community-based monitoring programs. The functional redundancy of marine periphytic ciliate communities during the colonization process in coastal waters of the Yellow Sea, China, was analyzed using a peeling procedure (BVSTEP). Four response units (RUs) with trophic-functional equivalents were identified from the full 77-species dataset. These RUs, which comprised four, seven, six and six species respectively, represented a clear variation in trophic-functional structures across the levels of functional redundancy. RU1 was dominated by bacterivores, RU2 and RU3 first by bacterivores then by algivores, and RU4 first by non-selectives and bacterivores then by algivores. The colonization process and growth curve of each RU were significantly well-fitted to the MacArthur-Wilson and logistic models, respectively. These results suggest that RUs can be used as changeable trophic-functional equivalents for bioassessment in marine ecosystems.