|The relative roles of multiple drivers on benthic ciliate communities in an intertidal zone
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X; e-ISSN 1879-3363, meer
Eutrophication; Functional diversity; Microbenthos; Phylogenetic diversity; Biotic interactions
- Zhang, J.
- Chen, X.
- Soetaert, K., meer
- Xu, Y.
Intertidal biodiversity is being severely disrupted as a result of increased anthropogenic activity. However, our knowledge about how natural gradients, human induced disturbance and biotic interactions affect biodiversity is limited. So, we investigated how three facets of alpha diversity and community composition of benthic ciliates responded to environmental and biological gradients in the intertidal zone of Zhejiang, China. The key determinants and their relative effects on ciliate communities were identified using structural equation modeling, distance-based redundancy analysis and variation partitioning analysis. Our results revealed that sediment grain size was the most important factor affecting alpha diversity and community composition. Human induced eutrophication had significant effects on phylogenetic alpha diversity and community composition. However, the effects of biotic interactions on ciliate communities were relatively small. Moreover, we found community composition was more sensitive to human disturbance than alpha diversity, thus, more suitable for indicating human-induced eutrophication.