Seasonality in coastal macrobenthic biomass and its implications for estimating secondary production using empirical models

Type Article
Date 2019-05
Language English
Author(s) Saulnier ErwanORCID1, 2, Brind'Amour AnikORCID1, Tableau Adrien3, Rufino MartaORCID1, 4, Dauvin Jean‐claude5, Luczak Christophe6, 7, Le Bris Hervé2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, EMH Nantes Cedex 03 ,France
2 : ESE, Ecology and Ecosystem Health, AGROCAMPUS‐OUEST, INRA Rennes ,France
3 : Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island Narrangansett Rhode Island, usa
4 : Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR), Universidade do Algarve Faro ,Portugal
5 : Normandie Univ., UNICAEN, UNIROUEN, Laboratoire Morphodynamique Continentale et Cotière, CNRS UMR 6143 M2C Caen ,France
6 : CNRS, Univ. Lille, Univ. Littoral Côte d'Opale, UMR 8187, LOG, Laboratoire d'Océanologie et de Géosciences Wimereux ,France
7 : Université d'Artois, ESPE, Centre de Gravelines Gravelines ,France
Source Limnology And Oceanography (0024-3590) (Wiley), 2019-05 , Vol. 64 , N. 3 , P. 935-949
DOI 10.1002/lno.11086
WOS© Times Cited 10

Macrobenthic secondary production is widely used to assess the trophic capacity, health, and functioning of marine and freshwater ecosystems. Annual production estimates are often calculated using empirical models and based on data collected during a single period of the year. Yet, many ecosystems show seasonal variations. Although ignoring seasonality may lead to biased and inaccurate estimates of annual secondary production, it has never been tested at the community level. Using time series of macrobenthic data collected seasonally at three temperate marine coastal soft‐bottom sites, we assessed seasonal variations in biomass of macrobenthic invertebrates at both population and community levels. We then investigated how these seasonal variations affect the accuracy of annual benthic production when assessed using an empirical model and data from a single sampling event. Significant and consistent seasonal variations in biomass at the three study sites were highlighted. Macrobenthic biomass was significantly lower in late winter and higher in summer/early fall for 18 of the 30 populations analyzed and for all three communities studied. Seasonality led to inaccurate and often biased estimates of annual secondary production at the community level when based on data from a single sampling event. Bias varied by site and sampling period, but reached ∼ 50% if biomass was sampled at its annual minimum or maximum. Since monthly sampling is rarely possible, we suggest that ecologists account for uncertainty in annual production estimates caused by seasonality.

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Morlaix Data 11 KB Open access
R code Brey model 9 KB Open access
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Saulnier Erwan, Brind'Amour Anik, Tableau Adrien, Rufino Marta, Dauvin Jean‐claude, Luczak Christophe, Le Bris Hervé (2019). Seasonality in coastal macrobenthic biomass and its implications for estimating secondary production using empirical models. Limnology And Oceanography, 64(3), 935-949. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :