Estimating intertidal seaweed biomass at larger scales from quadrat surveys.

Abstract:

:The amount of macroalgal biomass is an important ecosystem variable. Estimates can be made for a sampled area or values can be extrapolated to represent biomass over a larger region. Typically biomass is scaled-up using the area multiplied by the mean: a non-spatial method. Where algal biomass is patchy or shows gradients, non-spatial estimates for an area may be improved by spatial interpolation. A separate issue with scaling-up biomass estimates is that conventional confidence intervals based on the standard error (SE) of the sample may not be appropriate. The issues around interpolation and confidence intervals were examined for three fucoid species using data from 40 × 0.25 m-2 quadrats thrown in a 0.717 ha sampling plot on the shore of Galway Bay. Despite evidence of spatial autocorrelation, interpolation did not appear to improve estimates of the total plot biomass of Fucus serratus and F. vesiculosus. In contrast, interpolated estimates for Ascophyllum nodosum had less error than those based on the non-spatial method. Bootstrapped confidence intervals had several benefits over those based on the SE. These benefits include the avoidance of negative confidence limits at low sample sizes and no assumptions of normality in the data. If there is reason to expect strong patchiness or a gradient of biomass in the area of interest, interpolation is likely to produce more accurate estimates of biomass than non-spatial methods. Development of methodologies for biomass would benefit from more definition of local and regional gradients in biomass and their associated covariates.

journal_name

Mar Environ Res

authors

Johnson MP

doi

10.1016/j.marenvres.2020.104906

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2020-04-01 00:00:00

pages

104906

eissn

0141-1136

issn

1879-0291

pii

S0141-1136(19)30802-5

journal_volume

156

pub_type

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