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|Title:||Spatio-temporal structure of diatom assemblages in a temperate estuary. A STATICO analysis|
Fernandez-Gomez, M. J.
Pereira, M. J.
Galindo-Villardon, M. P.
Azeiteiro, U. M.
|Abstract:||This study examines the spatio-temporal structure of diatom assemblages in a temperate estuary (Ria de Aveiro, Western Portugal). Eighteen monthly surveys were conducted, from January 2002 to June 2003, at three sampling sites (at both high and low tide) along the estuarine salinity gradient. The relationship of diatom assemblages and environmental variables was analysed using the STATICO method, which has been designed for the simultaneous analysis of paired ecological tables. This method allowed examination of the stable part of the environment-diatom relationship, and also the variations of this relationship through time. The interstructure factor map showed that the relationship between the 11 environmental variables and the abundance of the 231 diatom species considered was strongest in the months May and September 2002 and January, February and May 2003. The stable part of the species–environment relationships mainly consisted of a combined phosphate, chlorophyll a and salinity gradient linked to a freshwater-marine species gradient. A more pronounced gradient was observed in January, February and May 2003. Diatom assemblages showed clear longitudinal patterns due to the presence of both marine and freshwater components. May and September 2002 had the least structured gradients with marine-estuarine species appearing in the freshwater side of the gradient. The most complete gradient in February 2003 could be considered, in terms of bio-ecological categories, as the most structured period of the year, with a combination of strong marine influence in the lower zone and freshwater influence in the upper. The best-structured gradients were during periods of a diatom bloom. Stable diatom assemblages (with a strong structure and a good fit between the diatoms and environment) are described and characterized. This study shows the efficiency of the STATICO analysis. The inclusion of space-time data analysis tools in ecological studies may therefore improve the knowledge of the dynamics of species–environmental assemblages.|
|Appears in Collections:||PT Mar - Artigos|
Ria de Aveiro - Artigos
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