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An ecological status indicator for all time: Are AMBI and M-AMBI effective indicators of change in deep time?

Caswell, Bryony A.; Frid, Chris L.J.; Borja, Angel

Abstract

Increasingly environmental management seeks to limit the impacts of human activities on ecosystems relative to some ‘reference’ condition, which is often the presumed pre-impacted state, however such information is limited. We explore how marine ecosystems in deep time (Late Jurassic) are characterised by AZTI's Marine Biotic Index (AMBI), and how the indices responded to natural perturbations. AMBI is widely used to detect the impacts of human disturbance and to establish management targets, and this study is the first application of these indices to a fossil fauna. Our results show AMBI detected changes in past seafloor communities (well-preserved fossil deposits) that underwent regional deoxygenation in a manner analogous to those experiencing two decades of organic pollution. These findings highlight the potential for palaeoecological data to contribute to reconstructions of pre-human marine ecosystems, and hence provide information to policy makers and regulators with greater temporal context on the nature of ‘pristine’ marine ecosystems.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2019-03
Journal Marine Pollution Bulletin
Print ISSN 0025-326X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 140
Pages 472-484
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.01.068
Keywords Aquatic Science; Pollution; Oceanography
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X19300888?via%3Dihub
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: An ecological status indicator for all time: Are AMBI and M-AMBI effective indicators of change in deep time?; Journal Title: Marine Pollution Bulletin; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.01.068; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.