Different approaches to estimate benthic metazoan diversity associated with free-living macroalgae (Fucus vesiculosus) on shallow soft sediments

Roxana Preston, Markus Majaneva, Viivi Halonen, I.F. Rodil

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Habitat complexity can boost biodiversity by providing a wide range of niches allowing species co-existence. Baltic Sea benthic communities are characterised by low species diversity. Thus the occurrence of the habitat forming macroalga Fucus vesiculosus may influence benthic communities and promote diversity. Here we obtain biodiversity estimates through conventional and eDNA approaches for the benthic assemblages associated with free-living Fucus and the adjacent bare-sediment habitats at six sites from the Northern Baltic Proper and the Gulf of Finland. Free-living F. vesiculosus habitats are heterogeneous with biodiversity estimates varying considerably among sites. The additional habitat complexity provided by F. vesiculosus tends to improve taxa richness as a result of additional epifauna assemblages, although infaunal taxa richness and abundance is often reduced. Consequently the complex habitats provided by free-living F. vesiculosus often improves biodiversity, yet alters the composition of assemblages in soft sediment habitats and consequential ecosystem functioning. We emphasise the disparity in biodiversity estimates achieved when employing different biodiversity approaches. Biodiversity estimates were more similar within approaches compared to between habitat types, with each approach detecting exclusive taxa. We suggest that biodiversity estimates benefit from a multi-approach design where both conventional and eDNA approaches are employed in complement.
TidskriftEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Antal sidor10
StatusPublicerad - feb. 2023
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 1181 Ekologi, evolutionsbiologi

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