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Environ Monit Assess. 2014 Mar;186(3):1431-51. doi: 10.1007/s10661-013-3465-z. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Revisiting the Chesapeake Bay phytoplankton index of biotic integrity.

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1
Vistronix Incorporated, Chesapeake Bay Program Office, 410 Severn Avenue, Suite 112, Annapolis, MD, 21403, USA, planktongirl@verizon.net.

Abstract

In 2006, a phytoplankton index of biotic integrity (PIBI) was published for Chesapeake Bay Lacouture et al. (Estuaries 29(4):598-616, 2006). The PIBI was developed from data collected during the first 18 years (1985-2002) of the Chesapeake Bay Program long-term phytoplankton and water quality monitoring programs. Combinations of up to nine phytoplankton metrics were selected to characterize bay habitat health according to plankton community condition in spring and summer seasons across four salinity zones. The independent data available at the time for index validation was not sufficient to test the PIBI because they lacked critical index parameters (pheophytin and dissolved organic carbon) and reference samples for some seasons and salinity zones. An additional 8 years of monitoring data (2003-2010) are now available to validate the original index, reassess index performance and re-examine long-term trends in PIBI conditions in the Bay. The PIBI remains sensitive to changes in nutrient and light conditions. Evaluation of the PIBI results over the entire 1985-2010 time period shows no discernible trends in the overall health of Bay habitat based on phytoplankton community conditions. This lack of overall PIBI trend appears to be a combined response to declines in water clarity and improvements in dissolved inorganic nitrogen and dissolved phosphorus conditions in the bay.

PMID:
24114279
DOI:
10.1007/s10661-013-3465-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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