Trait-based ecological classifications for benthic algae: review and perspectives

Kálmán Tapolczai, Agnès Bouchez, Csilla Stenger-Kovács, Judit Padisák, Frédéric Rimet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

39 Citations (Scopus)


A high number of species often represents a relevant redundancy in terms of ecological adaptation strategies. Collecting species to groups based on their functional adaptations can handle this redundancy and obtain the “real” functional complexity of ecosystems. Functional traits are proxies of adaptation strategies under particular environmental conditions, and a set of functional traits are interpreted as life-strategies. Organisms with life-strategies occupying a similar niche can be collected in ecological groups (functional group/guild). In this study, we review the latest trait-based approaches and existing attempts at functional classifications in phytobenthos studies. Advantages and shortcomings of these classifications are discussed with perspectives of their utility in ecological status assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Benthic algae
  • Diatoms
  • Ecological groups
  • Functional groups
  • Guilds
  • Life-forms
  • Traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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