Abstract

Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) is an ordination technique which is often used for information visualization and exploring similarities or dissimilarities in ecological data. In principle, NMDS maximizes rank-order correlation between distance measures and distance in the ordination space. Ordination points are adjusted in a manner that minimizes stress, where stress is defined as a measure of the discordance between the two kinds of distances. Before and After Control Impact (BACI) is a classical analysis of variance method for measuring the potential influence of an environmental disturbance. Such effects can be assessed by comparing conditions before and after a planned activity. In certain ecological applications, the extent of the impact is also expressed relative to conditions in a control area, after a particular anthropogenic activity has occurred. In this paper, two statistical techniques are employed to investigate the effects of stream nutrient addition on a riverine benthic macroinvertebrate community. The clustering of sampling units, based on multiple macroinvertebrate metrics across pre-determined river zones, is explored using NMDS. BACI is subsequently used to test for the potential impact of nutrient addition on the specified macroinvertebrate response metrics. The combination of the two approaches provides a powerful and sensitive tool for detecting complex second-order effects in river food chains. Statistical techniques are demonstrated using eight years of benthic macroinvertebrate survey data collected on an ultra-oligotrophic reach of the Kootenai River in Northern Idaho and Western Montana downstream from a hydro-electric dam.

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Apr 28th, 10:00 AM

CHARACTERIZING BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO NUTRIENT ADDITION USING NMDS AND BACI ANALYSES

Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) is an ordination technique which is often used for information visualization and exploring similarities or dissimilarities in ecological data. In principle, NMDS maximizes rank-order correlation between distance measures and distance in the ordination space. Ordination points are adjusted in a manner that minimizes stress, where stress is defined as a measure of the discordance between the two kinds of distances. Before and After Control Impact (BACI) is a classical analysis of variance method for measuring the potential influence of an environmental disturbance. Such effects can be assessed by comparing conditions before and after a planned activity. In certain ecological applications, the extent of the impact is also expressed relative to conditions in a control area, after a particular anthropogenic activity has occurred. In this paper, two statistical techniques are employed to investigate the effects of stream nutrient addition on a riverine benthic macroinvertebrate community. The clustering of sampling units, based on multiple macroinvertebrate metrics across pre-determined river zones, is explored using NMDS. BACI is subsequently used to test for the potential impact of nutrient addition on the specified macroinvertebrate response metrics. The combination of the two approaches provides a powerful and sensitive tool for detecting complex second-order effects in river food chains. Statistical techniques are demonstrated using eight years of benthic macroinvertebrate survey data collected on an ultra-oligotrophic reach of the Kootenai River in Northern Idaho and Western Montana downstream from a hydro-electric dam.