The importance of a functional approach on benthic communities for aquaculture environmental assessment: Trophic groups – A polychaete view

Carlos Sanchis, Eulogio H. Soto, EDUARDO JOEL QUIROGA JAMETT

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Polychaetes were studied to assess the effect of aquaculture activity on the seafloor. Very high biodiversity of species was recorded associated with aquaculture centres with Cirratulidae, Spionidae and Paraonidae families being the most diverse and abundant families. The spatial distribution of polychaete trophic groups was the best descriptor for detecting changes on the benthos. Surface and subsurface deposit-feeding species dominated the sites closest to the rafts cages, highlighting Capitella capitata and Cirratulus cirratus as opportunistic species. While replacement and species succession were observed with increasing presence of carnivores and omnivores in sites further away from the salmon cages and experiencing less impact. Analyses based on the distance of feeding modes and ecological groups from the disturbance source were better indicators of the impact that the traditional community approach or sediment biogeochemistry. Therefore, functional traits studies should always be considered on environmental assessments of benthic systems impacted by aquaculture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112309
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume167
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aquaculture
  • Capitella capitata
  • Chilean Patagonia
  • Cirratulus cirratus
  • Feeding modes
  • Seabed pollution

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