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Assessing benthic health under multiple human pressures in Bohai Bay (China), using density and biomass in calculating AMBI and M-AMBI

Authors

  • Wenqian Cai,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Estuary and Coastal Environment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China
    • Correspondence

      Lusan Liu, State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Estuary and Coastal Environment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Dayangfang 8, Beiyuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100012, China.

      E-mail: liuls@craes.org.cn

      E-mail: cwqpop0308@163.com

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  • Ángel Borja,

    1. Marine Research Division, AZTI-Tecnalia, Pasaia, Spain
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  • Lusan Liu,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Estuary and Coastal Environment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China
    • Correspondence

      Lusan Liu, State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Estuary and Coastal Environment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Dayangfang 8, Beiyuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100012, China.

      E-mail: liuls@craes.org.cn

      E-mail: cwqpop0308@163.com

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  • Wei Meng,

    1. State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Estuary and Coastal Environment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Iñigo Muxika,

    1. Marine Research Division, AZTI-Tecnalia, Pasaia, Spain
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  • José Germán Rodríguez

    1. Marine Research Division, AZTI-Tecnalia, Pasaia, Spain
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Abstract

In recent decades, China has undergone an impressive development, which has produced increasing human pressures including coastal degradation. Bohai Bay, located in the west of the Bohai Sea (north of China), has been affected by various human pressures, including waste water discharges, land reclamation and oil exploitation. To monitor the effects of these pressures on this ecosystem, benthic macroinvertebrates and environmental variables (dissolved oxygen, nutrients, metals, etc.) were sampled in 2009 and 2011. To assess the ecological status of the benthic communities, the AZTI Marine Biotic Index (AMBI) and multivariate-AMBI (M-AMBI) were used, including both density and biomass in the calculation. This is the first research in which M-AMBI based on biomass (M-bAMBI) is applied. Both methods showed that the nearshore areas, especially close to the Haihe and Jiyun estuaries, were affected by human pressures, with a clear gradient of decreasing impacts offshore. The ecological status as assessed using density and biomass was quite similar. Significant relationships were also found between both methods and environmental variables. The use of AMBI and M-AMBI, based upon density and biomass, in assessing the ecological status of water bodies in China seems to be promising.

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