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Application of Two Indices of Benthic Community Condition in Chesapeake Bay

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Abstract:The Chesapeake Bay Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (B-161) and the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program's Virginian Province Benthic Index (EMAP-VP BI) were applied to 294 sampling events in Chesapeake Bay and the results were compared. These benthic indices are intended to identify benthic invertebrate assemblages that have been degraded by low bottom dissolved oxygen concentrations or high concentrations of sediment chemical contaminants, that are the most common effects of pollution in estuaries. The B-IBI includes several benthic community measures and weights them equally using a simple
scoring system that compares them against values expected in undegraded habitats. It includes eleven measures of species diversity, productivity, indicator species, and trophic composition that vary from habitat to habitat. The EMAP-VP BI uses discriminant function coefficients to weight contributions of another measure of species diversity and the abundance of two indicator families. In our comparisons, the two indices agreed on degraded or undegraded classifications for benthos at 81.3% of the sites. This level of agreement is within the level of accuracy achieved during benthic index development and, therefore, may
approach the limits that can be achieved. The indices were strongly associated with Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients of 0.75 and 0.74, respectively.

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Citation:Ranasinghe, J. A., J. B. Frithsen, F. W. Kutz, J. F. Paul, D. E. Russell, R. Batiuk, J. L. Hyland, J. Scott, and D. M. Dauer. Application of Two Indices of Benthic Community Condition in Chesapeake Bay. ENVIRONMETRICS 13(5-6):499-511, (2002).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 09/22/2002
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Development of Landscape Indicators for Use in Regional Ecological Risk Assessments
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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