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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Long-term variation of organochlorine residues and assemblages of epibenthic organisms in a shallow North Florida (USA) estuary

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  • R. J. Livingston 1
  • N. P. Thompson 2
  • D. A. Meeter 3
  • 1) Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
  • 2) Pesticide Research Laboratory, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  • 3) Department of Statistics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA

A 4-year study (1972–1976) determined long-term trends of organochlorine residues (DDT, DDE, DDD, PCB's, mirex) and trawl-susceptible organisms in a shallow, river-dominated estuary in North Florida (Apalachicola Bay, USA). Moderate levels of such compounds were found in various species prior to the restricted use of DDT in 1972. A subsequent precipitous decline in organochlorine besidues was attributed to decreased upland usage, major flushing of the river basin in early 1973, and various factors associated with estuarine function. No mirex was found in sediments or aquatic organisms. Apparently, the half-life of organochlorines is relatively short in this bay system. Various statistical methods were used to test the relationships of different physico-chemical and biological parameters. During the 4-year study period, seasonal river flow fluctuations dominated water color, turbidity, salinity, nutrients (NO3), chlorophyll a, and the temporal succession of fishes in the bay. Certain long-term trends of fish associations were noted; relative dominance of key fish species declined and stabilized while bay-wide species richness and diversity increased with time. Qualitative changes in species representation determined the long-term pattern of community variability. This was consonant with a distinctive fish fauna during the first year of sampling. The bay anchovy Anchoa mitchilli was dominant during 9 of the first 12 monts of the project; this influenced the time-related changes in community indices. Temporally clustered fish associations reflected the importance of river flow in the estuarine environment. Direct correlation of fish distribution with the rapid disappearance of organochlorine compounds was complicated by aperiodic natural phenomena such as storms and river fluctuations. Population and community trends appeared consistent with other studies showing similar patterns of dominance of stress-resistant fish populations and related changes in community parameters. In this case, the relatively predictable annual succession of fish associations allowed an appraisal of key forcing functions. Due to the high level of seasonal and annual biological variability in this estuary, there were some problems in the application of linear statistical models to the data base. Although the long-term trend of relative species representation is useful as an index of stress, new techniques are needed to analyze extensive field data so that functions such as trophic interactions are included in the estimation of causal relationships. There are indications that such effects could be related to the impact of organochlorine compounds on estuarine systems.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - biology
  • 3 - marine biology & hydrobiology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - marine & freshwater biology
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Marine Biology

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