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Article

Comparison of Four Foraminiferal Biotic Indices Assessing the Environmental Quality of Coastal Mediterranean Soft Bottoms

1
UMR CNRS 6112 LPG-BIAF, Université d’Angers, 2 Boulevard Lavoisier, CEDEX 01, 49045 Angers, France
2
Esaip La Salle, 18 rue du 8-mai-1945, 49180 St Barthélemy d’Anjou, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: Biosciences, Alfred Wegener Institute, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany.
Present address: Department of Geology, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, 22362 Lund, Sweden.
Academic Editors: Vincent Bouchet, Fabrizio Frontalini and Daniela Zeppilli
Water 2021, 13(22), 3193; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223193
Received: 9 September 2021 / Revised: 8 November 2021 / Accepted: 9 November 2021 / Published: 11 November 2021
Coastal environments are exposed to numerous pressures that potentially affect marine soft bottom faunas. Among these pressures, organic matter enrichment is very frequent. Several indices based on living (Rose Bengal-stained) foraminiferal communities have recently been developed to assess the induced impact and determine the environmental quality of these environments. Here, we use an open waters Mediterranean Sea data set to test the benefits and drawbacks of four foraminiferal indices: (1) the effective number of species (exp(H’bc)), (2) the Tolerant Species Index for the Mediterranean (TSI-Med), (3) the Foraminifera AMBI (Foram-AMBI), and (4) the Foram Stress Index (FSI). These indices all intend to measure the response of the foraminiferal communities to organic matter enrichment, and therefore, their results should be very similar. We found that the diversity-based index, exp(H’bc), was not suitable to evaluate the environmental quality of our Mediterranean coastal settings, as it had a non-monotonic relationship with the organic matter enrichment gradient. The three indices based on groups of indicator species (TSI-Med, Foram-AMBI, and FSI) yielded fairly similar results. For Foram-AMBI, using only assigned species to calculate proportions of indicator species partly avoided to misinterpret the results. In TSI-Med, a correction based on sediment grain size is applied to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic organic enrichment. Such a correction could also be added to Foram-AMBI and FSI. The limits between the Ecological Quality Status (EQS) classes used for macrofauna were not adapted for Foram-AMBI. Here, we propose new EQS class limits for the Foram-AMBI as follows: very good: 0 ≤ x < 1.4; good: 1.4 ≤ x < 2.4; moderate: 2.4 ≤ x < 3.4; poor: 3.4 ≤ x < 4.4; bad: 4.4 ≤ x ≤ 6. These limits could evolve in the future as new data become available, especially with a poor and bad environmental quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomonitoring; TSI-Med; Foram-AMBI; FSI; effective number of species; organic matter enrichment; Ecological Quality Status biomonitoring; TSI-Med; Foram-AMBI; FSI; effective number of species; organic matter enrichment; Ecological Quality Status
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MDPI and ACS Style

Parent, B.; Barras, C.; Bicchi, E.; Charrieau, L.M.; Choquel, C.; Bénéteau, É.; Maillet, G.M.; Jorissen, F.J. Comparison of Four Foraminiferal Biotic Indices Assessing the Environmental Quality of Coastal Mediterranean Soft Bottoms. Water 2021, 13, 3193. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223193

AMA Style

Parent B, Barras C, Bicchi E, Charrieau LM, Choquel C, Bénéteau É, Maillet GM, Jorissen FJ. Comparison of Four Foraminiferal Biotic Indices Assessing the Environmental Quality of Coastal Mediterranean Soft Bottoms. Water. 2021; 13(22):3193. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223193

Chicago/Turabian Style

Parent, Briz, Christine Barras, Erica Bicchi, Laurie M. Charrieau, Constance Choquel, Éric Bénéteau, Grégoire M. Maillet, and Frans J. Jorissen. 2021. "Comparison of Four Foraminiferal Biotic Indices Assessing the Environmental Quality of Coastal Mediterranean Soft Bottoms" Water 13, no. 22: 3193. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223193

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