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Presence-absence of marine macrozoobenthos does not generally predict abundance and biomass
Bijleveld, A.I.; Compton, T.J.; Klunder, L.; Holthuijsen, S.; ten Horn, J.; Koolhaas, A.; Dekinga, A.; Van der Meer, J.; van der Veer, H.W. (2018). Presence-absence of marine macrozoobenthos does not generally predict abundance and biomass. NPG Scientific Reports 8(1): 12.

Additional data:
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Bijleveld, A.I., more
  • Compton, T.J., more
  • Klunder, L., more
  • Holthuijsen, S., more
  • ten Horn, J., more
  • Koolhaas, A., more
  • Dekinga, A., more
  • Van der Meer, J., more
  • van der Veer, H.W., more

    Many monitoring programmes of species abundance and biomass increasingly face financial pressures. Occupancy is often easier and cheaper to measure than abundance or biomass. We, therefore, explored whether measuring occupancy is a viable alternative to measuring abundance and biomass. Abundance- or biomass-occupancy relationships were studied for sixteen macrozoobenthos species collected across the entire Dutch Wadden Sea in eight consecutive summers. Because the form and strength of these relationships are scale-dependent, the analysis was completed at different spatiotemporal scales. Large differences in intercept and slope of abundance- or biomass-occupancy relationships were found. Abundance, not biomass, was generally positively correlated with occupancy. Only at the largest scale, seven species showed reasonably strong abundance-occupancy relationships with large coefficients of determination and small differences in observed and predicted values (RMSE). Otherwise, and at all the other scales, intraspecific abundance and biomass relationships were poor. Our results showed that there is no generic relationship between a species’ abundance or biomass and its occupancy. We discuss how ecological differences between species could cause such large variation in these relationships. Future technologies might allow estimating a species’ abundance or biomass directly from eDNA sampling data, but for now, we need to rely on traditional sampling technology.

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