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Benthic macrofauna community bioirrigation potential (BIPc): regional map and utility validation for the south-western Baltic Sea
Gogina, M.; Renz, J.R.; Forster, S.; Zettler, M.L. (2022). Benthic macrofauna community bioirrigation potential (BIPc): regional map and utility validation for the south-western Baltic Sea. Biology-Basel 11(7): 1085. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology11071085
In: Biology-Basel. MDPI AG: Basel. e-ISSN 2079-7737, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    benthic organisms, ecosystem functioning, irrigation, trait-based index, solute transport, sediment-water interface, mapping, species distribution model

Authors  Top 
  • Gogina, M.
  • Renz, J.R.
  • Forster, S., more
  • Zettler, M.L., more

    Benthic community bioirrigation potential (BIPc), an index developed to quantify the anticipated capacity of macrofauna to influence the solute exchange at the sediment–water interface, was calculated for the south-western Baltic Sea. This index can be regarded as an effect trait that is useful for predicting ecosystem processes impacted by animal burrow ventilation. The special feature, and presumably an advantage, of BIPc, compared to alternative recently developed benthic macrofauna-based bioirrigation indices, lies in its ability to distinguish the taxa-specific score values between diffusion- and advection-dominated sediment systems. The usefulness of the BIPc index was compared against the estimates of the well-established community bioturbation potential index (BPc). The BIPc index displayed a moderately but significantly stronger correlation with estimates of irrigation rates derived from tracer experiments. Using a random forest machine learning approach and a number of available relevant environmental predictor layers, we have modelled and mapped the spatial differences in this ecosystem functioning expression. The key species contributing to bioirrigation potential in the study area were identified. The interannual variation in BIPc was assessed on a small exemplary dataset. The scores required to calculate the index, that were assigned to 120 taxa dominating abundance and biomass in the region, are provided for reuse. The utility, temporal variability and uncertainty of the distribution estimate are discussed.

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