A multimetric approach to evaluate offshore mussel aquaculture effects on the taxonomical and functional diversity of macrobenthic communities.

A Z Lacson, D Piló, F Pereira, A N Carvalho, Joao Curdia, M Caetano, T Drago, M N Santos, M B Gaspar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A multimetric approach was used to detect structural, compositional, and functional shifts in the underlying macrobenthic communities of an offshore mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) farm in a Portuguese Aquaculture Production Area. Sampling stations distributed inside and outside this area were used to evaluate sediment descriptors and macrobenthic samples collected before (April and September 2010) and after (June and September 2014) the initiation of mussel farming. Sediment fine fraction, organic matter content, and trace element concentrations were found to increase with depth, independently from the mussel farm. Moreover, the structure and composition of the macrobenthic communities were likewise structured by depth. Turnover was the dominant temporal and spatial pattern of beta diversity for all communities. Furthermore, the functional diversity of these communities was unaffected by the mussel farm. These results suggested that an offshore profile allowed hydrodynamic conditions to weaken the impact of mussel farming and highlighted the importance of conducting an integrative multimetric analysis when studying aquaculture impacts on benthic communities.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104774
JournalMarine environmental research
StatePublished - Aug 19 2019

Cite this