Tataranni, Mariella and Maltagliati, Ferruccio and Floris, Antonello and Castelli, Alberto and Lardicci, Claudio (2009) Variance estimate and taxonomic resolution: an analysis of macrobenthic spatial patterns at different scales in a Western Mediterranean coastal lagoon. Marine Environmental Research, Vol. 67 (4-5), 219 -229. ISSN 0141-1136. Article.
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The effects of taxonomic resolution on the variance estimates of macrobenthic assemblages were studied at four spatial scales in a Mediterranean coastal lagoon. The assemblages exhibited significant differences at all the investigated scales; however, spatial variability was mainly associated with the smallest and the largest scales. The decrease of taxonomic resolution (from species to family) was not related to a decrease of the overall variability and similar estimates of variance components were obtained using species and family resolution levels. The ordination models derived from species and family abundances were very similar both in terms of location and dispersion effect, while further aggregation to the class level began to alter the observed spatial patterns. In future studies aimed at assessing changes in the lagoon, resources derived from the cost reductions achieved using family level could be employed to plan more frequent surveys and/or to adopt complex spatial sampling designs with a high number of replicates.
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