SWS Benthic Indicator Workshop: Benthic Macrobenthic Organisms as Indicators of Estuarine Health
Saturday, November 5 8:00 -- 11:45 AM Hilton Pensacola Beach This interactive workshop will consider the use of benthic indicators based on macrobenthic organisms in determining estuarine health. Starting with traditional approaches based on biodiversity, it will progress to recent novel approaches that consider responses based on ecological function, and physiological mechanisms connecting responses by individual organisms to the population level as a means of tailoring indicators to specific environmental stressors, like hypoxia. Powerpoint presentations of background and new information will alternate with interactive exercises designed to enhance learning from both the presenter and workshop participants. Refreshments and coffee will be provided.
Agenda 8:00 Welcome
Introductions (presenter and participants)
Statement of workshop objectives and approach
Estuarine macrobenthic organisms
What are they?
Why are they important?
What can they tell us about estuarine condition?
What kinds of information can they provide?
How can we quantify them?
Activity: Examine and discuss benthic organisms and samples
8:45 break 9:00 Review of existing macrobenthic indicators based on biodiversity
How are they branded?
How do they work?
What metrics are required?
How can they be related to the environment?
What are their drawbacks?
Activity: Example calculations of traditional indices
9:45 Advantages of macrobenthic indicators based on ecological function
Trait based metrics
Functional group based metrics
Process based metrics
What advantages do they offer?
Activity: Example calculations of functional metrics
10:30 break 10:45 Linking individuals to populations as indicators of specific stressors
Taking an ecophysiological approach
Linking individual responses to population responses
Using environmental information to forecast expected indicator
What advantages would customized indicators promise?
Activity: Demonstration of a nascent customized indicator