The role of sampling effort, taxonomical resolution and abundance weight in multivariate comparison of stream dwelling caddisfly assemblages collected from riffle and pool habitats

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Abstract

We examined how the sample representativeness of asingle assemblage and the separation of two assemblages can be improved by finding appropriate combinations of sampling effort, taxonomical resolution and abundance weight for stream dwelling caddisflies as model organisms. We found that these parameters strongly influenced the outcome of multivariate analyses both individually and when considered jointly. This is the first study to show that sample representativeness of an assemblage can decrease with increasing sampling effort. We assume that the turnover rate of the assemblage and the rarity of the species are responsible for this phenomenon. We found that the separation of two assemblages can be improved by increasing sampling effort and applying abundance data. Further, we observed that the effect of taxonomical resolution on the separation of ecological assemblages was highly context dependent. Decreased taxonomical resolution, i.e. changing from species to genus or to family, did not decrease, or even more increased the separation of assemblages. In sum, this study demonstrates the importance of the careful selection of sampling, laboratory and data processing related factors (i.e. sampling effort, taxonomical resolution, abundance weight) in the multivariate comparison of assemblages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-239
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Indicators
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Macroinvertebrates
  • Mean similarity approach
  • Sample representativeness
  • Stream bioassessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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