Montagna, P. A. University of Texas Marine Science Institute, paul@utmsi.utexas.edu
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USING BENTHIC INFAUNA DATA TO ASSESS RISK
 
A common feature of coastal risk assessment studies is to measure benthic infaunal community characteristics. However, it is known that simple indicators (e.g., abundance, biomass and diversity) yield inconsistent results. There is a need for a sensitive approach to analyze benthic data that yields consistent results with rigorous analysis. A benthic index of biotic integrity (BIBI) was calculated from benthic community structure data to assess the degree of impact to estuarine sediments associated with urban storm drain (nonpoint) runoff in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas. The BIBI approach was based primarily on succession theory and empirical observations. The BIBI was summed ranks of ten independent metrics: biomass, density, Shannon diversity, percent of pollution indicator species, percent of pollution sensitive species, percent of biomass in deeper sections, percent of density in deeper sections, percent of species in deeper sections percent of species that are carnivores or omnivores, and percent of species that are deep deposit feeders. Multivariate analyses were performed independently on bulk sediment chemistry (a measure of contamination), sediment toxicity tests (measures of bioavailability and biological effects), and BIBI data. The new variables were subject to regression analysis to derive risk assessment criteria.
 
Day: Friday, Feb. 5
Time: 11:00 - 11:15am
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
 
Code: SS11FR1100H