Linking chemical and physical parameters of a coastal water ecosystem with macrobenthic assemblages to assess environmental disturbance
Keywords:Macrobenthic assemblages, Awerange Gulf, chemical and physical parameters, fish farm, and multivariate analysis
Environmental disturbance, whether natural or anthropogenic, may change the structure of macrobenthic assemblages (across various spatial and temporal scales) in terms of taxa richness, animal abundance, and animal biomass. Such changes may be used as an indicator and can provide a quantitative basis when assessing the levels of disturbance. This study is aimed to assess environmental disturbance caused by fish farming by linking chemical and physical parameters to differences in the structure of macrobenthic communities. The study sites comprised coastal water ecosystems in the Awerange Gulf, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The study compared macrobenthic communities associated with polyculture and monoculture farming against reference sites. The tendency of reduction in their abundance occurred at polyculture and monoculture sites, compared to the reference site, i.e. 5882 ind.m-2, 3531 ind.m-2, 2112.5 ind.m-2, respectively. The results from multivariate and graphical methods using NMDS plots, k-dominance curve, and ABC curves, tend to be in accordance with the results from index values, thus both methods may be used as a apart of rapid assessment of level of environmental disturbance in coastal water ecosystem. Carbon and nitrogen contents in sediment and dissolved oxygen (DO) were the most chemical and physical parameters influencing structure of macrobenthos (r=0.457; BIO-ENV).
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