Marine Biology

, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 193–200 | Cite as

Detection of pollution effects on marine macrobenthos: further evaluation of the species abundance/biomass method

  • R. M. Warwick
  • T. H. Pearson
  • Ruswahyuni


Further empirical data are presented to evaluate the method of detecting pollution-induced disturbance in marine benthic communities by a comparison of the distribution of numbers of individuals among species with the distribution of biomass among species. A suggested abbreviated name for the technique is the ABC method (abundance biomass comparison). Application of the technique to new data shows that it is a sensitive indicator of natural physical and biological disturbance as well as pollution-induced disturbance over both spatial and temporal scales. Changes in the configuration of ABC plots during ecological succession are the reverse of those resulting from increased pollution levels. The technique should also be applicable to intertidal sediments, where physical disturbance of the sediment by waves does not appear to preclude its utility.


Biomass Empirical Data Temporal Scale Benthic Community Pollution Level 
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Literature cited

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Warwick
    • 1
  • T. H. Pearson
    • 2
  • Ruswahyuni
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Marine Environmental ResearchNatural Environment Research CouncilPlymouthEngland
  2. 2.Dunstaffnage Marine Research LaboratoryScottish Marine Biological AssociationObanScotland
  3. 3.Department of FisheriesUniversitas DiponegoroSemarang, Jawa TengahIndonesia

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