A case for long-term monitoring of the Indian River Lagoon, Florida: Foraminiferal densities, 1977–1996
Abstract:Replicate observations on foraminiferal densities were made at a single station in the IRL near the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution's jetty at Link Port, Florida during the 20-yr span, 1977–1996. At each sampling time, the densities of living (stained) individuals were recorded for five taxa in four replicates. During the years 1993 through 1996 sampling was on a monthly basis. Analyses of these data indicate a significant difference in density among years with 1994 exhibiting the lowest density for most (4 of 5) taxa. Seasonal differences were also significant for most (4 of 5) taxa with maximum densities in summer. For all taxa the interaction hypothesis for years by season was significant. During the 1970s and 1980s mostly summer data are available. Thus, we tested summer data only for yearly differences during the period 1993 through 1996. For all taxa, 1994 was a time of low densities. With this assurance, we proceeded to analyze equivalent data for the years 1977 thru 1996. In general, the years 1979 and 1994 were times of low densities while 1984 and 1987 were high. For all taxa, the 1980s had higher densities than the 1970s and 1990s, and taxa maintained the same rank order of abundance with no trend for an overall increase or decrease of densities evident. The seasonal and yearly observations of the pattern of foraminiferal densities are similar to those of the seagrasses and fish. However, the lack of similarity of sample timing, location, replication, and methods of analysis makes comparisons equivocal at best. Long-term monitoring by a number of specialists in different groups of organisms at the same times and places is needed. Before such simultaneous observations are begun, the researchers must all agree on a suitable statistical experimental design allowing for comprehensive analysis of the data.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2000
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