Shifts in trait-based and taxonomic macrofauna community structure along a 27-year time-series in the south-eastern North Sea

Autoři: Julia Meyer aff001;  Ingrid Kröncke aff001
Působiště autorů: Marine Research, Senckenberg am Meer, Wilhelmshaven, Germany aff001;  Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, Benthic Ecology, Oldenburg, Germany aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article


Current research revealed distinct changes in ecosystem functions, and thus in ecosystem stability and resilience, caused by changes in community structure and diversity loss. Benthic species play an important role in benthic-pelagic coupling, such as through the remineralization of deposited organic material, and changes to benthic community structure and diversity have associated with changes in ecosystem functioning, ecosystem stability and resilience. However, the long-term variability of traits and functions in benthic communities is largely unknown. By using abundance and bioturbation potential of macrofauna samples, taken along a transect from the German Bight towards the Dogger Bank in May 1990 and annually from 1995 to 2017, we analysed the taxonomic and trait-based macrofauna long-term community variability and diversity. Taxonomic and trait-based diversity remained stable over time, while three different regimes were found, characterised by changes in taxonomic and trait-based community structure. Min/max autocorrelation factor analysis revealed the climatic variables sea surface temperature (SST) and North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI), nitrite, and epibenthic abundance as most important environmental drivers for taxonomic and trait-based community changes.

Klíčová slova:

Biodiversity – Community structure – Ecosystem functioning – Marine ecosystems – Nitrites – Sediment – Surface temperature – Taxonomy


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