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Title: Assessing the ecological quality status of macrobenthic communities in a marine terminal of liquefied natural gas in Peru
Authors: Chunga-Llauce, Juan A.; Benavides, Martin T.; Borja, Angel; Velez-Zuazo, Ximena; Vildoso, Bruno; Alonso, Alfonso; Pacheco, Aldo S.; Tasso, Vicente
Abstract: Macrobenthic organisms are useful bioindicators to assess ecological quality status. On the south-central coast of Peru (13 degrees 15.15 ` S, 76 degrees 18.5 ` W), a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) marine terminal has been operating since 2010. We investigated the macrobenthic communities and sediment parameters from 2011 to 2020 to evaluate the ecological quality status in the surrounding area of the marine terminal, using the AZTI Marine Biotic Index (AMBI) and its multivariate version (M-AMBI). We analyzed the diversity and community composition of macrobenthic invertebrates and the physico-chemical parameters of the sediment from 29 sampling sites, ranging from 0 to 15m depth. The sampling design considered: the direct influence zone (��DIZ��, surroundings of the marine terminal), and northern (NCZ) and southern (SCZ) control zones. Our results indicated that abundance was high at SCZ and decreased with depth. Species richness and diversity were high at DIZ and NCZ, respectively, and increased up to 10m but dropped at 15m. High sand content was recorded in shallow depths, while in deeper areas and DIZ, mud and organic matter increased and redox potential was negative. AMBI indicated a ``slightly disturbed�� status in general, while M-AMBI indicated ``good�� or ``moderate�� status at depths <= 12m, and ``poor�� status at 15m. Overall, the season/year factor was not important, and variables were mostly significantly different across depths. Redox potential and organic matter were correlated with M-AMBI at 15m. In general, our results indicate an acceptable ecological quality surrounding the marine terminal, likely because the study area is not influenced by an important input of an anthropogenic stressor. This study highlights the importance of monitoring benthic communities in the surroundings of human-made structures and the use of ecological quality indices for understanding potential impacts.
Issue Date: 2023
Type: Article; Early Access
DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2023.105879
ISSN: 0141-1136
E-ISSN: 1879-0291
Funder: PERU LNG
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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