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On the myths of indicator species: Issues and further consideration in the use of static concepts for ecological applications

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

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On the myths of indicator species : Issues and further consideration in the use of static concepts for ecological applications. / Zettler, Michael L.; Proffitt, C. Edward; Darr, Alexander; Degraer, Steven; Devriese, Lisa; Greathead, Clare; Kotta, Jone; Magni, Paolo; Martin, Georg; Reiss, Henning; Speybroeck, Jeroen; Tagliapietra, Davide; Van Hoey, Gert; Ysebaert, Tom.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 8, No. 10, 2013, p. e78219.

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Harvard

Zettler, ML, Proffitt, CE, Darr, A, Degraer, S, Devriese, L, Greathead, C, Kotta, J, Magni, P, Martin, G, Reiss, H, Speybroeck, J, Tagliapietra, D, Van Hoey, G & Ysebaert, T 2013, 'On the myths of indicator species: Issues and further consideration in the use of static concepts for ecological applications', PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 10, pp. e78219. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078219

APA

Zettler, M. L., Proffitt, C. E., Darr, A., Degraer, S., Devriese, L., Greathead, C., ... Ysebaert, T. (2013). On the myths of indicator species: Issues and further consideration in the use of static concepts for ecological applications. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e78219. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078219

Author

Zettler, Michael L. ; Proffitt, C. Edward ; Darr, Alexander ; Degraer, Steven ; Devriese, Lisa ; Greathead, Clare ; Kotta, Jone ; Magni, Paolo ; Martin, Georg ; Reiss, Henning ; Speybroeck, Jeroen ; Tagliapietra, Davide ; Van Hoey, Gert ; Ysebaert, Tom. / On the myths of indicator species : Issues and further consideration in the use of static concepts for ecological applications. In: PLoS ONE. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 10. pp. e78219.

Bibtex

@article{c263ee605f5a4a6e9dc0f8cd891c0399,
title = "On the myths of indicator species: Issues and further consideration in the use of static concepts for ecological applications",
abstract = "The use of static indicator species, in which species are expected to have a similar sensitivity or tolerance to either natural or human-induced stressors, does not account for possible shifts in tolerance along natural environmental gradients and between biogeographic regions. Their indicative value may therefore be considered at least questionable. In this paper we demonstrate how species responses (i.e. abundance) to changes in sediment grain size and organic matter (OM) alter along a salinity gradient and conclude with a plea for prudency when interpreting static indicator-based quality indices. Six model species (three polychaetes, one amphipod and two bivalves) from the North Sea, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea region were selected. Our study demonstrated that there were no generic relationships between environment and biota and half of the studied species showed different responses in different seas. Consequently, the following points have to be carefully considered when applying static indicator-based quality indices: (1) species tolerances and preferences may change along environmental gradients and between different biogeographic regions, (2) as environment modifies species autecology, there is a need to adjust indicator species lists along major environmental gradients and (3) there is a risk of including sibling or cryptic species in calculating the index value of a species.",
author = "Zettler, {Michael L.} and Proffitt, {C. Edward} and Alexander Darr and Steven Degraer and Lisa Devriese and Clare Greathead and Jone Kotta and Paolo Magni and Georg Martin and Henning Reiss and Jeroen Speybroeck and Davide Tagliapietra and {Van Hoey}, Gert and Tom Ysebaert",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0078219",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "e78219",
journal = "PLoS ONE",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "10",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - On the myths of indicator species

T2 - Issues and further consideration in the use of static concepts for ecological applications

AU - Zettler, Michael L.

AU - Proffitt, C. Edward

AU - Darr, Alexander

AU - Degraer, Steven

AU - Devriese, Lisa

AU - Greathead, Clare

AU - Kotta, Jone

AU - Magni, Paolo

AU - Martin, Georg

AU - Reiss, Henning

AU - Speybroeck, Jeroen

AU - Tagliapietra, Davide

AU - Van Hoey, Gert

AU - Ysebaert, Tom

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The use of static indicator species, in which species are expected to have a similar sensitivity or tolerance to either natural or human-induced stressors, does not account for possible shifts in tolerance along natural environmental gradients and between biogeographic regions. Their indicative value may therefore be considered at least questionable. In this paper we demonstrate how species responses (i.e. abundance) to changes in sediment grain size and organic matter (OM) alter along a salinity gradient and conclude with a plea for prudency when interpreting static indicator-based quality indices. Six model species (three polychaetes, one amphipod and two bivalves) from the North Sea, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea region were selected. Our study demonstrated that there were no generic relationships between environment and biota and half of the studied species showed different responses in different seas. Consequently, the following points have to be carefully considered when applying static indicator-based quality indices: (1) species tolerances and preferences may change along environmental gradients and between different biogeographic regions, (2) as environment modifies species autecology, there is a need to adjust indicator species lists along major environmental gradients and (3) there is a risk of including sibling or cryptic species in calculating the index value of a species.

AB - The use of static indicator species, in which species are expected to have a similar sensitivity or tolerance to either natural or human-induced stressors, does not account for possible shifts in tolerance along natural environmental gradients and between biogeographic regions. Their indicative value may therefore be considered at least questionable. In this paper we demonstrate how species responses (i.e. abundance) to changes in sediment grain size and organic matter (OM) alter along a salinity gradient and conclude with a plea for prudency when interpreting static indicator-based quality indices. Six model species (three polychaetes, one amphipod and two bivalves) from the North Sea, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea region were selected. Our study demonstrated that there were no generic relationships between environment and biota and half of the studied species showed different responses in different seas. Consequently, the following points have to be carefully considered when applying static indicator-based quality indices: (1) species tolerances and preferences may change along environmental gradients and between different biogeographic regions, (2) as environment modifies species autecology, there is a need to adjust indicator species lists along major environmental gradients and (3) there is a risk of including sibling or cryptic species in calculating the index value of a species.

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0078219

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0078219

M3 - A1: Web of Science-article

VL - 8

SP - e78219

JO - PLoS ONE

JF - PLoS ONE

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 10

ER -

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