Ecology of Marine Sediments

Overview

Marine sediments provide the largest habitat on planet earth, yet knowledge of the structure and function of their flora and fauna continues to be poorly described in current textbooks. This concise, readable introduction to benthic ecology builds upon the strengths of the previous edition but has been thoroughly revised throughout to incorporate the new technologies and methods that have allowed a rapid and ongoing development of the field. It explores the relationship between community structure and function, ...
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Overview

Marine sediments provide the largest habitat on planet earth, yet knowledge of the structure and function of their flora and fauna continues to be poorly described in current textbooks. This concise, readable introduction to benthic ecology builds upon the strengths of the previous edition but has been thoroughly revised throughout to incorporate the new technologies and methods that have allowed a rapid and ongoing development of the field. It explores the relationship between community structure and function, and the selection of global examples ensures an international appeal and relevance. The economic value of marine sediments increases daily, reflected in the text with a new emphasis on the effects of pollution and fisheries and the management of marine sediments.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A valuable contribution to the biological literature. The reader is quickly pointed in the right direction on a myriad of topics ranging from sampling bias and spacing, to methods of field-data acquisition, and its statistical treatment."—Palaios

"This volume will be a useful and quick introduction for graduate students and advanced undergraduates of the analysis of benthic sampling for use in monitoring programs and integrative studies that seek to extract general features of communities from large sampling schemes."—The Quarterly Review of Biology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198569015
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/25/2009
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,081,520
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 2.60 (d)

Table of Contents

A tribute to John Stuart Gray (1941-2007) ix

Introduction 1

1 Sampling sediments 11

1.1 Sampling design 11

1.2 Sampling the fauna 17

2 The sediment and related environmental factors 22

2.1 Grain size and related variables 22

2.2 Other important environmental variables 25

2.3 The fauna and environmental variables 30

3 Describing assemblages of sediment-living organisms 34

3.1 Abundance models 34

3.2 Species occurrences 38

3.3 Size and biomass spectra 40

3.4 Describing faunal patterns 41

3.5 Describing assemblages 44

4 Diversity 52

4.1 Measuring diversity 52

4.2 Scale and biodiversity 56

4.3 Turnover (beta) diversity 57

4.4 Patterns of diversity in benthic assemblages 59

4.5 Latitudinal and longitudinal gradients of diversity 65

4.6 The link between species richness and system function 67

5 Functional diversity of benthic assemblages 70

5.1 Ecological functioning 70

5.2 Secondary production in benthic macrofauna 71

5.3 Production estimates in meiofauna 76

5.4 Energy budgets for single species 77

5.5 Elemental budgets 79

5.6 Production: biomass ratios 79

5.7 Community metabolism 82

6 Spatial variations in sediment systems 89

6.1 The importance of scale 89

6.2 Measuring scale effects on sediment systems 93

6.3 Biological interactions causing disturbances 97

6.4 The settlement process 103

6.5 Causes of change in dominance patterns 105

6.6 Generalizing effects of disturbance 106

7 Temporal variations in benthic assemblages 109

7.1 Seasonal patterns 110

7.2 Long-term patterns 112

7.3 The stability of benthic communities 116

8 Human impacts on soft-sediment systems-trawling and fisheries 122

8.1 Ecologicaleffects of trawling 122

8.2 Common types of trawls and dredges 126

8.3 Effects of gear on different sediment types 126

8.4 General effects of trawling on benthic systems 130

9 Human impacts on soft-sediment systems-pollution 133

9.1 Effects of increased organic matter on numbers and biomass 133

9.2 Effects of organic enrichment on diversity 134

9.3 Effects of discharges from the oil industry 136

9.4 Effects of heavy metals and xenobiotic chemicals on benthic fauna 141

9.5 Adaptive strategies to pollution/disturbance 144

9.6 Sediment quality standards 149

9.7 Integrative benthic assessments 152

9.8 Recovery of the benthic community after stress 154

10 The soft-sediment benthos in the ecosystem 157

10.1 Food webs, and feeding and functional groups 157

10.2 Ecosystem models 160

10.3 Network analysis: cycling index and average path length 160

10.4 The European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM) 164

11 The benthos in the management of marine sediments 171

11.1 The use and analysis of benthic data 171

11.2 The DPSIR approach-indicators and objectives 174

11.3 Benthic monitoring 180

11.4 The role of the benthos in a priori assessments 182

11.5 The role of benthos in quality assessments 186

11.6 Predictive models and marine benthic management 188

11.7 Benthic analytical quality control and quality assurance (AQC/QA) and data reliability 189

Concluding remarks 190

References and Further Reading 194

Index 215

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