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On the relationship between the diversity and structure of benthic macroinvertebrate communities and sediment enrichment with heavy metals in Gabes Gulf, Tunisia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 October 2014

Lotfi Rabaoui
Affiliation:
Research Unit of Integrative Biology and Evolutionary and Functional Ecology of Aquatic Systems, Faculty of Science of Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar –University Campus, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia University of Gabes, Higher Institute of Applied Biology of Medenine, El Jorf Street Km 22.5–4119 Medenine, Tunisia Marine Studies Section, Center for Environment and Water, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31231, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
Radhouane El Zrelli
Affiliation:
Géosciences Environnement Toulouse (GET), Université Paul Sabatier, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie (INAT), Section Halieutique, 43 Avenue Charles Nicolle, 1082 Tunis-Mahrajène, Tunisia
Mohammed Ben Mansour
Affiliation:
University of Gabes, Higher Institute of Applied Biology of Medenine, El Jorf Street Km 22.5–4119 Medenine, Tunisia
Rafik Balti
Affiliation:
University of Gabes, Higher Institute of Applied Biology of Medenine, El Jorf Street Km 22.5–4119 Medenine, Tunisia
Lamjed Mansour
Affiliation:
Research Unit of Integrative Biology and Evolutionary and Functional Ecology of Aquatic Systems, Faculty of Science of Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar –University Campus, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Sabiha Tlig-Zouari
Affiliation:
Research Unit of Integrative Biology and Evolutionary and Functional Ecology of Aquatic Systems, Faculty of Science of Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar –University Campus, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia
Mokhtar Guerfel
Affiliation:
University of Gabes, Higher Institute of Applied Biology of Medenine, El Jorf Street Km 22.5–4119 Medenine, Tunisia
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

The variations in the composition and structure of macroinvertebrate benthic communities in relationship with the marine sediment enrichment with heavy metals were investigated in the Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia. Standard community parameters as well as the trophic and ecological structure were analysed in 18 stations sampled in six localities. Highest values of diversity descriptors (S, N and H′) were recorded in the less-polluted localities and vice versa. Besides, the results of AMBI and BENTIX indexes were also concordant with those obtained with the classical diversity parameters and matched with the sediment heavy metals distribution in the Gulf of Gabes. Compared with the northern and southern parts of the Gulf, the central area was found to be the most polluted and to host the most-affected benthic community. In addition, biotic indexes were found to be very useful tools to monitor the ecological quality status of benthic assemblages.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2014 

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