A bacterial community-based index to assess the ecological status of estuarine and coastal environments
KAUST DepartmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)
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AbstractBiotic indices for monitoring marine ecosystems are mostly based on the analysis of benthic macroinvertebrate communities. Due to their high sensitivity to pollution and fast response to environmental changes, bacterial assemblages could complement the information provided by benthic metazoan communities as indicators of human-induced impacts, but so far, this biological component has not been well explored for this purpose. Here we performed 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to analyze the bacterial assemblage composition of 51 estuarine and coastal stations characterized by different environmental conditions and human-derived pressures. Using the relative abundance of putative indicator bacterial taxa, we developed a biotic index that is significantly correlated with a sediment quality index calculated on the basis of organic and inorganic compound concentrations. This new index based on bacterial assemblage composition can be a sensitive tool for providing a fast environmental assessment and allow a more comprehensive integrative ecosystem approach for environmental management. © 2016.
CitationAylagas E, Borja Á, Tangherlini M, Dell’Anno A, Corinaldesi C, et al. (2016) A bacterial community-based index to assess the ecological status of estuarine and coastal environments. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.10.050.
SponsorsThis manuscript is a result of the DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status - http://www.devotes-project.eu) project funded by the European Union (7th Framework Program ‘The Ocean of Tomorrow’ Theme, grant agreement no. 308392) and the Basque Water Agency (URA) through a Convention with AZTI. Eva Aylagas is supported by the “Fundación Centros Tecnológicos” through an “Iñaki Goenaga” doctoral grant. We thank Iñaki Mendibil for technical assistance, Iñigo Muxika for discussions, Guillem Chust for statistical support and Laura Alonso for contribution to significantly improving the manuscript. This paper is contribution number 778 from AZTI (Marine Research Division).
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin