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The underestimated effectiveness of family-level surrogates of rotifer assemblages due to incorrect taxonomy: A comment on Xiong et al. (2018)

Jiang, Xiaoming, Sun, Zhiwei, Wang, Baoqiang, Pan, Baozhu, Lu, Yan
Ecological indicators 2019 v.96 pp. 750-752
Rotifera, data collection, ecosystems, environmental indicators, models, rivers, taxonomy
Xiong et al. (Ecological Indicators, 85, 2018, 861–868) recently published a paper testing the application of taxonomic and numerical surrogacy of rotifers in a Chinese heavy polluted river ecosystem. Despite interesting and useful results being presented in the study, some errors and flaws can still be identified. A number of mistakes in taxonomic information have affected the accuracy of the results involving taxonomic surrogates. The second concern is the inappropriate statistical treatment applied in the redundancy analysis models in this study. Here we report that the accuracy of family-level surrogate was underestimated due to the undervalued family number of rotifer assemblages. The performance of the family-level dataset in reproducing patterns of species-level assemblage, although it remains poorer compare to the genus-level surrogate, might be better accepted, especially in the two more severely disturbed regions (zone II and zone III).