Distribution patterns of macrobenthic species in relation to organic enrichment within aquaculture earthen ponds

Susana Carvalho*, Marisa Barata, Fábio Pereira, Miguel B. Gaspar, Luís Cancela da Fonseca, Pedro Pousão-Ferreira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The relationship between organic enrichment and macrobenthic colonization patterns was investigated during an 8-month period in Diplodus sargus (white seabream) production ponds. A stratified sampling design was applied and each pond was divided into three zones: water entrance (WE); central (C); and automatic feeder zones (AF). Generally, the number of species and Shannon-Wiener diversity increased from the WE to the AF zone. Abundance did not present a clear trend. The recently developed marine biotic index (AMBI) was applied and showed to be sufficiently robust to discriminate, within a relatively small area, differences in macrobenthic communities due to organic enrichment. Nevertheless, caution is advised when applying this index or others based on ecological group's assignment, as the classification of a certain area may differ when allocating a certain species to an unsuitable group. This is particularly evident when common species are involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1573-1584
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would also like to thank to João Guerra and Pedro Silva for technical support during sampling surveys, as well as to the technicians from the fish farm for feeding and controlling fish production. The authors would also like to thank to Dr. Angel Borja for invaluable information regarding the procedure followed for the assignment of ecological groups to the species used in AMBI. The present investigation was financially supported by the MARE project “Novas Tecnologias de Produção Aquícola” and “DIVERAQUA” and also by a PhD grant from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/8521/2002).


  • AMBI
  • Aquaculture
  • Ecological groups
  • Macrobenthic communities
  • Organic enrichment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Distribution patterns of macrobenthic species in relation to organic enrichment within aquaculture earthen ponds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this