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Incorporating traits in aquatic biomonitoring to enhance causal diagnosis and prediction

Culp, Joseph M.; Armanini, David G.; Dunbar, Michael J.; Orlofske, Jessica M.; Poff, N. LeRoy; Pollard, Amina I.; Yates, Adam G.; Hose, Grant C.. 2011 Incorporating traits in aquatic biomonitoring to enhance causal diagnosis and prediction. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 7 (2). 187-197. 10.1002/ieam.128

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Abstract/Summary

The linkage of trait responses to stressor gradients has potential to expand biomonitoring approaches beyond traditional taxonomically based assessments that identify ecological effect to provide a causal diagnosis. Traits-based information may have several advantages over taxonomically based methods. These include providing mechanistic linkages of biotic responses to environmental conditions, consistent descriptors or metrics across broad spatial scales, more seasonal stability compared with taxonomic measures, and seamless integration of traits-based analysis into assessment programs. Atraits-based biomonitoring approach does not require a new biomonitoring framework, because contemporary biomonitoring programs gather the basic site-by-species composition matrices required to link community data to the traits database. Impediments to the adoption of traits-based biomonitoring relate to the availability, consistency, and applicability of existing trait data. For example, traits generalizations among taxa across biogeographical regions are rare, and no consensus exists relative to the required taxonomic resolution and methodology for traits assessment. Similarly,we must determine if traits form suites that are related to particular stressor effects, and whether significant variation of traits occurs among allopatric populations. Finally, to realize the potentialof traits-based approaches in biomonitoring, a concerted effort to standardize terminology is required, along with the establishment of protocols to ease the sharing and merging of broad, geographical trait information.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/ieam.128
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.4 - Develop novel and improved methods to enable the sustainable management of freshwaters and wetlands
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes > WA - 2.3 - Assess the responses of river, lake and wetland ecosystems to ecohydrological drivers
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.2 - Quantify variability and departures from natural historical variability in water quality ...
CEH Sections: Acreman
ISSN: 1551-3777
Additional Keywords: traits, biomonitoring, bioassessment, causal diagnosis, prediction
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Zoology
Hydrology
Data and Information
Date made live: 30 Aug 2011 11:57
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/12478

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