Biodiversity conservation in Mediterranean and Black Sea lagoons: A trait-oriented approach to benthic invertebrate guilds

TitleBiodiversity conservation in Mediterranean and Black Sea lagoons: A trait-oriented approach to benthic invertebrate guilds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBasset, A, Sabetta L, Sangiorgio F, Pinna M, Migoni D, Fanizzi F, Barbone E, Galuppo N, Fonda Umani S, Reizopoulou S, Nicolaidou A, Arvanitidis C, Moncheva S, Trajanova A, Georgescu L, Beqiraj S
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
KeywordsBiodiversity conservation, Body size patterns, lagoons, Macro-invertebrates, Species coexistence

1. The extent to which conservation of biodiversity enforces the protection of ecosystem functioning, goods and services is a key issue in conservation ecology. 2. In order to address this conservation issue, this work focused on community organization, linking community structure, as described both in taxonomic and functional terms, to community functioning and ecosystem processes. 3. Body size is an individual functional trait that is deterministically related to components of ecosystem functioning such as population dynamics and energy flow, and which determines components of community structure. Since body size is an individual trait that reflects numerous factors, it is also exposed to trait selection and the niche filtering underlying the community. 4. An analysis of the relevance of body size to community organization in transitional water ecosystems in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea regions is presented, based on field research conducted on a sample of 15 transitional water ecosystems. 5. 250 taxa were identified, clumped in five orders of magnitude of body size. All body size patterns showed triangular distributions with an optimal size range of 0.13 mg to 1.0 mg individual body mass. 6. Deterministic components of size structure were emphasized and a hierarchical organization with dominance of large sizes was demonstrated by the slopes of the body size-abundance distributions, consistently larger than the EER threshold (b = -0.75), and by the direct relationship of energy use to body size for most of the body size range. 7. Consistent variations of body size-related descriptors were observed on three main gradients of environmental stress: eutrophication, confinement and metal pollution. 8. The results support the relevance of constraints imposed by individual body size on community organization in transitional water ecosystems and the adequacy of size patterns as an indicator for ecological conservation of these fragile ecosystems. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

DOIDOI: 10.1002/aqc.979

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