Functional changes in benthic macrofaunal communities along a natural gradient of hypoxia in an upwelling system

Melanie Bon, Jacques Grall, Joao B. Gusmao, Maritza Fajardo, Chris Harrod, Aldo S. Pacheco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increasing global concern has been raised about the expansion of hypoxia in coastal waters and its potential to impact benthic ecosystems. Upwelling areas offer opportunities to study the effects of hypoxia on benthic communities under natural conditions. We used a biological trait-based approach and estimated functional diversity indices to assess macrobenthic community functioning along a depth gradient associated with naturally increasing hypoxia and concentrations of organic matter in the upwelling zone of northern Chile (South-East Pacific) over two years. Our results highlighted the increasing dominance of opportunistic biological traits associated with hypoxia and high organic matter content. Habitat filtering was the main process affecting the studied communities. Functional diversity patterns were persistent overtime despite the occurrence of a pulse of oxygenation. This study contributes to our understanding of how natural hypoxia impacts macrobenthic communities, providing useful information in the context of increasing eutrophication due to human influence on coastal areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112056
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume164
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico Tecnológico (Chile) through the project 1150042 “Effects of seasonal and monthly hypoxic oscillations on seabed biota: evaluating relationships between taxonomical and functional diversity and changes on trophic structure of macrobenthic assemblages” granted to Aldo S. Pacheco. Melanie Bon PhD studies are funded by CONICYT -PFCHA/Doctorado Nacional/ 2019-21190740 and was partially funded by “Beca Doctorado en Ciencias Aplicadas Mención Sistemas Marinos Costeros”, Universidad de Antofagasta . Chris Harrod is supported by Nucleo Milenio INVASAL funded by Chile's government program, Iniciativa Cientifica Milenio from the Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología, Conocimiento e Innovación .

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Cient?fico Tecnol?gico (Chile) through the project 1150042 ?Effects of seasonal and monthly hypoxic oscillations on seabed biota: evaluating relationships between taxonomical and functional diversity and changes on trophic structure of macrobenthic assemblages? granted to Aldo S. Pacheco. Melanie Bon PhD studies are funded by CONICYT-PFCHA/Doctorado Nacional/2019-21190740 and was partially funded by ?Beca Doctorado en Ciencias Aplicadas Menci?n Sistemas Marinos Costeros?, Universidad de Antofagasta. Chris Harrod is supported by Nucleo Milenio INVASAL funded by Chile's government program, Iniciativa Cientifica Milenio from the Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnolog?a, Conocimiento e Innovaci?n.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Biological traits analysis
  • Environmental threshold
  • Functional diversity
  • Humboldt current system
  • Marine eutrophication
  • Temporal variation

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