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Exploring the marine biotic index (AMBI): variations on a theme by Ángel Borja

Warwick, R.M., Clarke, K.R. and Somerfield, P.J. (2010) Exploring the marine biotic index (AMBI): variations on a theme by Ángel Borja. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60 (4). pp. 554-559.

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The results of manipulating the input data to AMBI are explored using various transformations of numerical species abundance (NAMBI), biomass (BAMBI) and production (PAMBI) from a variety of stations on the NE Atlantic shelf at which the pollution/disturbance status is known. There is a close agreement between the proportions of species in the five AMBI ecological groups and a phylum level meta-analysis axis of increasing environmental impact. All AMBI measures provide a better monotonic relationship with the impact axis than do traditional species diversity measures, which show higher diversity at intermediate levels of disturbance. A marginally better relationship with the impact axis of the meta-analysis is achieved by a moderate (square root) transformation of the data. 'Production' data (an appropriate combination of abundance and biomass information) provide only a marginal improvement on abundance data, but are ecologically and functionally much more relevant. Severe transformation of the data, culminating in presence/absence, degrades the relationship with the impact axis, but if only simple species lists are available then these may still be useable in making an environmental assessment.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
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