From the individual to the community and beyond: water quality, stress indicators and key species in coastal waters

Hawkins, S.J. and Proud, S.V. and Spence, S.K. and Southward, A.J. (1994) From the individual to the community and beyond: water quality, stress indicators and key species in coastal waters. In: Sutcliffe, D.W. (ed.) Water quality & stress indicators in marine and freshwater systems: linking levels of organisation. Ambleside, UK, Freshwater Biological Association, pp. 35-62. (FBA Special Publications,4)

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Abstract

This review examines water quality and stress indicators at levels of organisation from the individual to the community and beyond by means of three case studies concentrating on rocky shores within the north-east Atlantic. Responses of dogwhelks (Nucella) to tributyltin pollution from antifouling paints is examined as the main case study. There are effects at the individual level (development of male sexual characteristics in the female leading to effective sterility) and population level (reduction in juveniles, few females and eventual population disappearance of dogwhelks in badly contaminated areas) but information on community level effects of dogwhelk demise is sparse. Such effects were simulated by dogwhelk removal experiments on well studied, moderately exposed ledges on shores on the Isle of Man. The removal of dogwhelks reduced the size and longevity of newly established Fucus clumps that had escaped grazing. Removal of dogwhelks also increased the likelihood of algal escapes. In a factorial experiment dogwhelks were shown to be less important than limpets \{Patella) in structuring communities but still had a significant modifying effect by increasing the probability of algal escapes. Community level responses to stress on rocky shores are then explored by reference to catastrophic impacts such as oil spills, using the Torrey Canyon as a case study. Recovery of the system in response to this major perturbation took between 10-15 years through a series of damped oscillations. The final case study is that of indicators of ecosystem level change in response to climate fluctuations, using ratios of northern \{Semibalanus balanoides) and southern (Chthamalus spp.) barnacles. Indices derived from counts on the shore show good correlations with inshore sea-water temperatures after a 2-year lag phase. The use of barnacles to measure offshore changes is reviewed. The discussion considers the use of bioindicators at various levels of organisation.

Item Type: Book Section
Title: From the individual to the community and beyond: water quality, stress indicators and key species in coastal waters
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Hawkins, S.J.
Proud, S.V.
Spence, S.K.
Southward, A.J.
Title of Book: Water quality & stress indicators in marine and freshwater systems: linking levels of organisation
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Sutcliffe, D.W.
Refereed: No
Series Name: FBA Special Publications
Number: 4
Page Range: pp. 35-62
Date: 1994
Publisher: Freshwater Biological Association
Place of Publication: Ambleside, UK
ISBN: 0-900386-53-3
Issuing Agency: Freshwater Biological Association
Uncontrolled Keywords: Coastal zone; Water quality; Biological stress; Pesticides; Marine molluscs; Oil spills; Algae; England
Subjects: Ecology
Oceanography
Pollution
Item ID: 5304
Depositing User: Hardy B Schwamm
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 13:30
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 15:07
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/5304

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