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Hydrodynamic Conditions Effects on Soft-Bottom Subtidal Nearshore Benthic Community Structure and Distribution

Hydrodynamic Conditions Effects on Soft-Bottom Subtidal Nearshore Benthic Community Structure and... Hindawi Journal of Marine Sciences Volume 2020, Article ID 4674580, 16 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/4674580 Research Article Hydrodynamic Conditions Effects on Soft-Bottom Subtidal Nearshore Benthic Community Structure and Distribution 1,2 1 1 2 3 Clémence Foulquier , Julien Baills, Alison Arraud, Frank D’Amico, Hugues Blanchet, 1 2 Didier Rihouey, and Noëlle Bru Casagec Ingenierie, 18 rue Maryse Bastié, 64600 Anglet, France CNRS/UNIV Pau & Pays Adour/E2S UPPA, Laboratoire de Mathématiques et de Leurs Applications de Pau, UMR 5142 64600, Anglet, France Université de Bordeaux, UMR 5805 EPOC, Station Marine d’Arcachon, 2 Rue du Professeur Jolyet, 33120 Arcachon, France Correspondence should be addressed to Clémence Foulquier; foulquier@casagec.fr Received 22 May 2019; Revised 30 August 2019; Accepted 15 October 2019; Published 30 January 2020 Academic Editor: Garth L. Fletcher Copyright © 2020 Clémence Foulquier et al. is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. is study assesses the impacts of wave action and freshwater outflow on so-bottom benthic macrofauna spatial distribution and temporal stability along the highly exposed French Basque coast. Sediment characteristics and macrofauna abundance have been seasonally investigated during two years for nine stations located at the same (6 m) depth and spread over three subtidal sites showing distinct exposure levels. Wave climate has been determined through an operational numerical model. A total of 121 taxa were recorded, gathered in three main faunal assemblages, as revealed by classification and ordination methods. Non- parametric multivariate multiple regression (distance-based linear model) showed that the variations in macrofaunal distribution can be explained by hydrodynamic conditions. Wave exposure strongly linked to estuarine inputs were the most relevant abiotic factors influencing distributional patterns and functional structure as described by biological traits analysis. Despite the influence of these abiotic variables affecting sedimentary dynamics, seasonal stability was observed in macrobenthic assemblages composition suggesting an ability to recover from natural disturbances such as (e.g.) winter storms. In this way, these results provide baseline knowledge for future ecosystem and resource management in shallow subtidal areas strongly exposed to swell and freshwater outflow where so-bottom macrozoobenthic communities are less frequently studied. intermediate trophic level positions, and close association with 1. Introduction the substrate, benthic macrofauna integrates effects of envi- With the European Directives (Water Framework and Marine ronmental variations and provides a relatively clear signal, Strategy) adoption, ambitious objectives for the conservation susceptible to detect a disturbance on the ecosystem [5–9]. and the restoration of the state of water bodies have been fixed. Assessing variability in biodiversity along environmental In order to establish the ecological quality of European coastal gradients and identifying factors responsible for spatial pat- and estuarine waters, the Water Framework Directive empha- terns in macrofaunal assemblages are a central theme in sizes the importance of biological indicators, such as phyto- marine benthic ecology [10, 11]. Since Petersen’s study [12], plankton, macroalgae, benthos and fishes [1, 2]. More studies conducted worldwide consider sediment characteris- particularly, macrobenthic fauna is an important component tics as a major explanatory factor of benthic macrofauna dis- of marine ecological systems being involved in nutrients tribution [13–18]. Moreover, at broader spatial scales, other cycling, pollutant metabolism and constituting a food source natural environmental factors such as the hydrodynamic con- for higher trophic levels [3, 4]. Macrobenthos are also known ditions (including freshwater outflow and wave action) seems to be an effective indicator. Due to their longevity, sedentary to directly or indirectly control the presence and abundance nature, different tolerances to environmental stress, of macrobenthos [19, 20]. Water movements through 2 Journal of Marine Sciences transport of sediment and organic material, strongly affect so-bottom community by smothering immobile forms or forcing mobile forms to migrate, altering grain size distribu- tion, impacting light penetration and primary productivity, alternating episodic erosion and deposition processes [21–23]. ese natural physical disturbances impact the structure of macrobenthic communities and also their functional responses to important ecosystem processes, such as resource usage (nutrients recycling), feeding interactions (trophic structure), habitat building organisms (ecosystem engineering, biogenic structures), bioaccumulation (body size, growth rate, longev- ity) and sediment properties (tube-building, burrowing activ- ities) [24–28]. erefore, hydrodynamic conditions, as natural physical disturbances, determine the colonization of a given habitat [22], they alter interactions between individuals [29] and consequently shape macrobenthic community [21, 23, 28, F 1:  Geographical location of the sampling sites along the 30, 31]. French Basque Coast. Acting within a different scale of time, from daily to sea- sonal variations, natural physical factors such as hydrody- namic conditions and their associated sedimentological in the current knowledge of natural patterns of variability of processes may cause both press and pulse types of disturbance their assemblages, which are intrinsically variable [20, 57, 58]. [32]. Press-disturbance process causes troubles by acting over Moreover, assessing the main natural environmental factors a prolonged period of time that is intolerable to benthos.e that shape spatial patterns of macrobenthic assemblages and intermediate frequency and persistence of the disturbance their temporal stability will help to discriminate between nat- pressure are higher than the endurance and rate of ecological ural and anthropogenic changes [11, 59] and to appreciate succession of the biota. On the other hand, pulse process their resilience in a context of applied ecological research causes a disturbance by exceeding a threshold above which expansion on the macrobenthic communities residing in benthos are unable to remain attached to the seabed or are coastal and estuarine areas [58, 60–62]. erefore, the aims of buried under rapidly deposited sediment. On the continental this study were to characterize the ecotonal macrobenthic shelf, press-type disturbances include the sustained period of nearshore so-bottom communities in an area strongly elevated turbidity that follows a storm or a flood event [33–35], exposed to wave and estuarine inputs, to determine natural and pulse-type processes include the mobilization of bottom environmental factors that shape spatial patterns and discuss sediments by storms [36, 37]. Ecosystems with strong physical their temporal stability. To achieve these aims, first spatial constraints (i.e. estuaries, shallow habitats) are characterized patterns of sediment features, wave climate, estuarine inputs by low diversity (e.g. species richness) and species with an and macrobenthic assemblages were described within three inherent ecological plasticity allowing them to sustain their sites located at the same depth and showing distinct hydrody- domain of stability when facing external disturbances [38–41]. namic conditions (exposed coast: Anglet coast, semi-enclosed us, they are also expected to recover quickly following a bay: Saint-Jean-de-Luz Bay, opened bay: Hendaye Bay). en disturbance than communities in more stable environments the relationship between spatial distribution patterns of mac- such as deep habitats [42]. robenthos and those of environmental factors were investi- e Basque country is exposed to strong swell because of gated using multivariate statistical approaches. is will allow its location in the innermost part of the Bay of Biscay and the identification of useful predictor variables and relating them small width of the continental shelf. is coast is additionally to biological traits along shallow strongly exposed sandy sub- bordered by the estuary of Adour in the North and many small tidal coasts, such as the French Basque coast. Finally, the tem- mountainous coastal rivers in the South contributing to a huge poral patterns of macrobenthic assemblages were evaluated proportion of the sediment fluxes into the Bay of Biscay [43]. through time for the whole nearshore area from 2014 to 2016. Numerous studies of so-bottom macrobenthic community have been conducted along the estuaries and the continental shelf of the Spanish coast [44–53]. ese communities have 2. Material and Methods been surveyed less frequently for coastal sandy beaches [54]. 2.1. Study Area. is study was conducted along the French In these nearshore areas, rocky substrates are indeed more Basque coast, located at the south western part of the French documented than so-substratum [55]. Regarding the high atlantic coast (Figure 1). In this area, tide is semi-diurnal and level of anthropogenic threats and disturbance within these mesotidal, ranging from 1.85 to 3.85 m. Waves predominantly ecotonal zones, and the requirements of EU directives, studies come from the West-North West direction with a 10-s peak such as the current one are essential to provide baseline knowl- period and a 2-m average significant wave height [63]. edge that can be enhanced for sustainable management of e studied area is subjected to the influence of three main these areas [56]. Indeed, the major constrains to implement rivers which are, from the north to the south: the Adour River, conservation strategies in marine ecosystems are the general the Nivelle River and the Bidassoa River. e Nivelle and lack of baseline data prior to impacts and the substantial gaps Journal of Marine Sciences 3 T 1: Distance between the sampling stations and the river mouth for each site. Anglet coast St Jean-de-Luz Bay Hendaye Bay Location A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 Distance to the river mouth (km) 1.8 3.0 4.4 0.8 0.5 0.8 1.4 0.9 0.4 Bidassoa Rivers, subjected to flash floods, are regarded as tor- e three-dimensional ECOMARS model [68, 69], as per- rential rivers considering their watershed slopes [43]. By con- formed by Dutertre et al. [11] at a larger scale, was not used trast the Adour river is characterized by a relatively flatter and in this study. Resolution grid (3 km) was not adapted to rep- larger watershed. In terms of sediment discharge, the Nivelle resent hydrological variations within the three sampled sites, and Bidassoa solid flow are ten times less important than where stations were spaced from 400 m in the Saint Jean de Adour sediment discharge [64, 65]. Luz Bay to 1.3 km along the Anglet coast. 2.3.2. Sediment Characterization. Data used for sediment 2.2. Sampling Procedure and Laboratory Analyses. To characterisation were treated as percentages for each assess how wave conditions impact subtidal so-bottom grain size categories determined using a sieve shaker. e macrozoobenthic communities, three sites (Anglet coast, following sedimentary fractions were considered based on Saint Jean de Luz Bay, Hendaye Bay, see Figure 1) subjected the classification of Wentworth [70] modified by Folk [71], to different estuarine inputs and wave exposure levels were Folk and Ward [72] and Folk [73]: “GR” gravel and pebble seasonally investigated between August 2014 and June 2016. (>2 mm), “VCS” very coarse sand (1–2 mm), “CS” coarse sand At each of the four seasons (August, December, March and (0.5–1 mm), “MS” medium sand (0.25–0.5 mm), “FS” fine sand June) the three locations were sampled for a total of eight (0.125–0.25 mm), “VFS” very fine sand (0.063–0.125 mm) and sampling campaigns per station during the two years studied “F” silt & clay (<0.063 mm). e diameter corresponding to the (sampling dates available in Supplementary materials Table average grain size of sediment particles (D50) and the sorting S1). e nine sampling stations (three per sites) were located index (So, [74]) were calculated using a MATLAB routine for at the same depth (−6 m chart datum). each station and each field campaign. D50 was expressed in To assess the macrobenthic assemblages, three sediment the phi (φ) scale originally developed by Krumbein [79] in samples were collected using a van Veen grab (0.1 m ). Grab con- order to simplify statistical analyses. Organic matter (“OM”) tents were sieved through a 1 mm mesh size. Material retained content was estimated by loss of ignition (450°C, 6H) and was on the sieve was directly fixed in ethanol (99.9%) for later iden- also treated as percentage of sediments weight. tification to the lowest taxonomic level (predominantly species) and enumeration in the laboratory. e World Register of Marine 2.3.3. Estuarine Inputs. e study area is influenced by three Species [66] was used to check and harmonize species names. main rivers which are, from the north to the south: the Adour For the sediment analysis, a very small sub-sample of each River, the Nivelle River and the Bidassoa River. To take into collected grab was used for the determination of both sediments account estuarine influence, mean and maximal river discharge organic matter content and sediments grain size analyses. (respectively “Q ” and “Q ”) were retrieved between mean max each field campaign from the French water information 2.3. Environmental Data system database (http://www.hydro.eaufrance.fr/) and from the Confederación Hidrográfica del Cantábrico (http://www. 2.3.1. Wave Climate. Wave climate was determined for each chcantabrico.es/). Distance between each sampling station and station and between each field campaign from a SWAN the river mouth (“DistMouth”) was also determined as a proxy operational model developed within the European project of salinity level and freshwater influence (with reference to Littoral, Ocean and Rivers of Euskadi-Aquitaine (LOREA). fresh water input; Table 1). Detailed model setup and validation results were further 2.4. Data Analysis described in Dugor et al. [67]. e model boundaries were forced by HOMERE sea-states hindcast database, based on 2.4.1. Environmental Variables. Analyses of variance WAVEWATCH III model. Wind data were provided by the (ANOVA) were performed using R Soware to test for ECMWF (European Center for Medium-Range Weather difference in environmental variables among localities. ese Forecasts). A nesting strategy allowed making the transition analyses were based on a one-way model, including locality as between offshore and coastal models over three successional fixed factor with three levels. Assumptions of data normality grids: a regional grid, an intermediate grid and finally three and homogeneity of variances were previously assessed local grids with a 20 m resolution around studied sites. Four using Shapiro-Wilk and Levene’ test, respectively. Whenever wave parameters were obtained in order to describe wave ANOVA’s assumptions were not met, a non-parametric one- climate: mean significant wave height (Hs ), maximum mean way analysis of variance was performed (Kruskal Wallis’ H significant wave height (Hs ), mean bottom orbital velocity test). Post-hoc pairwise multiple comparisons were performed max (Ubr ) and maximum bottom orbital velocity (Ubr ). e mean max using the Tukey test whenever ANOVA showed significant wave climate characterization was carried out for the period differences (푝 < 0.05 ) and the Nemenyi test was used following preceding each sampling campaign. nonparametric one-way analysis of variance. 4 Journal of Marine Sciences T 2:  List of macrobenthic functional traits evaluated in the 2.4.2. Macrobenthic Communities. present study exhibiting different modalities. (1) Spatial Distribution of So-bottom Communities. e structure of the macrobenthic community was investigated Functional traits Traits modalities Labels using multivariate techniques provided by PRIMER soware Carnivore (including [75]. Original data consisted of “stations × species” matrix scavengers and C which was obtained aer removing rare species. Species were predators) considered as rare when they only appear in a single station Sub-surface depos- SSDF and with a contribution to the station total abundance lower Trophic group it-feeder than 5%. Abundance data were log(푥 +1 )-transformed prior Surface deposit-feeder SDF to analysis. Suspension-feeder SF Similarity relationships between stations of all biotic data Herbivore H results (eight sampling dates) were determined using the Bray– Sessile SESSILE Curtis coefficient [76]. e objective was to assess the spatial Burrower BURROW distributions of so-bottom communities taking into account Motility Crawler CRAWL temporal variability of the macrobenthic community at each Walker WALK sampling station. erefore a similarity matrix was first com- Swimmer SWIM puted for all the stations-dates. is matrix was then used to Infauna SED compute the matrix of distance among sampling stations cen- Living habitat Demersal fauna DEMERSAL troids using the “distance among-centroids” routine in Free-living epifauna FREE PRIMER. is procedure allows for comparing the different sampling stations (the centroids) while integrating each sta- Species very sensitive GI to disturbance tions variability obtained through the different seasonal sam- pling campaigns (each data point that were used to determine Species indifferent to GII disturbance the centroids). e matrix of distance among centroids Species tolerant to obtained was used to perform a hierarchical cluster analysis AMBI ecological group GIII disturbance using group-average clustering (in accordance with Legendre Second-order oppor- and Legendre [77]) in order to identify groups of stations dis- GIV tunistic species playing similar fauna. A Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCO) First-order opportun- was also performed on the stations centroids to show the GV istic species defined groups in a two dimensional space [78]. Each benthic assemblage, resulting from the multivariate analyses, was then characterized by its species richness (S), density of individuals (N), Shannon’s diversity index (H’, log), and Pielou’s evenness specie in every samples for different dates and the  table index (J’). A similarity percentages (SIMPER) analysis was composed of biological trait data [27, 80, 82]. Information finally used to determine contributions of each specie to the about functional traits was compiled by gathering information Bray-Curtis similarity within each of the groups. from several literature sources: species identification guides, Relations between environmental variables and benthic research papers and web database. e main limitation of community distribution was assessed using distance-based Biological traits analysis (BTA) is the occurrence of gaps in linear models (DISTLM) which consists of partitioning vari- the knowledge of some species’ biology [27, 83]. To minimize ability in the dissimilarity matrix according to environmental this aspect, the list of species in the BTA analysis was reduced variables as predictors [78]. Ten environmental variables were without causing the loss of integrity in analysis. us, from a taken into account: wave climate through mean significant total number of 121 taxa, 101 species were considered which wave height, maximum significant wave height, mean bottom contributed to 95.5% of the total abundance observed. All orbital velocity and maximum bottom orbital velocity; estua- species characteristics of faunal assemblages determined by rine inputs through mean and maximal river discharges and SIMPER procedure showed biological traits description. Each distance to the river mouth and, finally, sediments variables trait was divided into a maximum of five modalities represent- as D50, sorting index and organic content. ese relations ing different categories of a trait displayed by the considered were assessed using the PERMANOVA + add-on [78] of the organisms (Table 2). e open source soware R and the Ade4 PRIMER soware. Prior to these analyses, a selection of var- package [84] were used to perform the RLQ analysis. iables was performed by selecting among the variables dis- (2) Temporal Stability of the Observed Faunal Patterns. In playing high level of Spearman rank correlation coefficient order to measure the temporal variation in faunal assemblages (≥0.9, disregarding the sign of the coefficient). at the scale of the whole nearshore area, the abundances of indi- RLQ analyses were performed to relate environmental vidual taxa were averaged across the sampling stations for each variables with a significant influence on macrofauna distribu- faunal assemblage at each sampling time (8 field campaigns). tion (coming from the DISTLM results) to biological traits For each assemblage, patterns of dissimilarity through time were [80, 81]. is method requires the generation of three different visualized using a Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCO) of the data tables: the R table gathering information of the significant assemblage × time centroids. e temporal variability (disper- environmental variables per site and sampling dates according sion) of each assemblage was quantified as the average to the DISTLM results, the  table with the abundance of each Journal of Marine Sciences 5 Hs (m) Hs (m) mean max 4.50 4.50 4.00 4.00 3.50 3.50 3.00 3.00 c 2.50 2.50 c 2.00 2.00 b 1.50 1.50 1.00 b 1.00 0.50 0.50 0.00 0.00 A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 Anglet coastSaint Jean De Luz Bay Hendaye Bay Anglet coast Saint Jean De Luz Bay Hendaye Bay –1 –1 Ubr (m.s ) Ubr (m.s ) mean max 1.60 1.60 1.40 1.40 a 1.20 1.20 1.00 1.00 0.80 0.80 a b 0.60 0.60 b a b 0.40 0.40 0.20 0.20 0.00 0.00 A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 Anglet coast Saint Jean De Luz Bay Hendaye Bay Anglet coast Saint Jean De Luz Bay Hendaye Bay F 2: Four wave variables in the three exposed sites. e error bars represent the standard deviation for each station during the eight sampling campaigns. Different letters indicate statistically significant differences (푃 < 0.01 ). Bray-Curtis dissimilarity among time points. ese dispersions and multiple comparisons tests for sediment parameters among were formally compared among the 3 assemblages using a per- the three localities are available in Supplementary material mutation test of dispersion with 9999 permutations (PERMDISP, (Tables S6a, b). Significant differences were observed for all see [85]). is approach directly compared temporal variation sedimentary parameters excepted for gravel content. Post hoc in the community structure of whole assemblages of the near- analyses indicated that grain size along the Anglet coast was shore area. In addition, to compare the station-level temporal significantly coarser and globally better sorted than in the variation among assemblages, the average and the standard error remaining localities. Additionally the Anglet coasts’ stations of temporal variation calculated from the stations were plotted showed a significantly lower concentration of OM in sediments. for each faunal assemblage. Along the Anglet coast, the northern station (A12) con- sisted of clean, medium to fine sands with gravels and coarse sands; whereas the two other stations (A13, A14) consisted of 3. Results clean, fine sands. e mean level of OM was lower than 1% at all stations in the Anglet coast (Table 3). In the Saint-Jean-de- 3.1. Environmental Variables Luz Bay, the eastern station sediments (N5) consisted in slightly 3.1.1. Wave Climate. Data on wave regime are compiled in muddy, heterogeneous sand, clearly coarser than the 2 other Figure 2. e one-way ANOVA and multiple comparisons stations which consisted of muddy, fine sands. Organic matter for the wave exposure level are available in Supplementary content was relatively high, with an average up to 5% (Table 3). material (Tables S2a, b). Significant differences among the 3 In the Hendaye Bay, the station located closer to the river localities were observed for the four wave parameters. Wave mouth (B11) showed the highest proportion of silt and clay exposure was higher along the exposed Anglet coast (range fraction (up to 10%) close to the one observed in the western 0.78–1.96 m), intermediate in the opened Hendaye Bay (range part of the Saint Jean de Luz Bay. is station contained also 0.47–1.33 m) and relatively low in the semi-enclosed Saint Jean the highest level of OM (Table 3) compared to the two others de Luz Bay (range 0.28–0.78 m). sampled in this site. ese differences among sedimentary fea- ere was no significant difference of wave climate among tures were significant within the Saint Jean de Luz and Hendaye the sampled stations within each of the three sites (Tables S3, sampled stations (Tables S7–S9 in Supplementary material). S4 and S5). 3.1.3. Estuarine Inputs. Heterogeneity appeared among the 3.1.2. Sediment Features. Data on sediment composition and three localities regarding freshwater influence (Supplementar y organic matter content (OM) were compiled for each station material: Table S10). e Adour river displayed a much more 3 −1 during the eight field campaigns (Table 3). e one-way ANOVA important mean daily river discharge of 311 m ·s compared 6 Journal of Marine Sciences T 3: Grain size (%), organic matter content (%) and the Sorting Index for each station during the different campaigns along the Anglet coast and within the Saint Jean de Luz and the Hendaye Bays. e standard deviation is calculated for each sedimentary parameter in each station during the eight sampling campaigns. Anglet coast Saint Jean de Luz Bay Hendaye Bay A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 1.9 ± 1.2 1.8 ± 1.5 2.5 ± 1.9 5.3 ± 4.5 29.2 ± 6.8 21.3 ± 13.4 6.7 ± 6.8 22.4 ± 12.9 6.5 ± 2.9 S&C (%) 2.4 ± 2.8 5.1 ± 5.0 4.7 ± 3.2 7.6 ± 17.4 53.7 ± 10.3 45.7 ± 9.2 22.4 ± 15.4 29.7 ± 6.0 43.7 ± 16.7 VFS (%) 40.5 ± 14.2 59.8 ± 13.5 65.8 ± 15.5 12.7 ± 7.1 12.6 ± 6.2 26.8 ± 11.2 49.4 ± 11.5 40.2 ± 12.1 39.2 ± 18.0 FS (%) 33.1 ± 14.3 29.2 ± 16.7 24.0 ± 16.8 41.1 ± 16.8 3.1 ± 4.0 2.5 ± 2.2 18.7 ± 11.4 6.0 ± 1.9 7.9 ± 4.6 MS (%) 6.8 ± 3.7 3.1 ± 2.2 2.1 ± 2.6 30.0 ± 14.7 0.9 ± 0.5 2.2 ± 3.4 2.4 ± 1.2 0.9 ± 0.4 1.2 ± 1.1 CS (%) 3.8 ± 5.8 0.6 ± 0.6 0.5 ± 0.8 3.1 ± 4.2 0.3 ± 0.2 1.0 ± 1.3 0.3 ± 0.2 0.2 ± 0.1 0.5 ± 0.3 VCS (%) 11.5 ± 20.9 0.6 ± 1.2 0.5 ± 0.9 0.2 ± 0.2 0.2 ± 0.2 0.5 ± 0.4 0.1 ± 0.2 0.6 ± 1.4 1.0 ± 1.0 G (%) 0.5 ± 0.1 0.7 ± 0.3 0.7 ± 0.3 2.3 ± 0.3 3.6 ± 0.6 2.5 ± 1.0 1.4 ± 0.4 3.4 ± 1.6 1.4 ± 0.4 OM (%) So (−) 2.0 ± 0.8 1.4 ± 0.1 1.3 ± 0.1 1.5 ± 0.1 1.6 ± 0.2 1.6 ± 0.2 1.4 ± 0.1 1.7 ± 0.3 1.4 ± 0.1 Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Adour Nivelle Bidassoa 3 −1 F 3: Mean monthly river discharge (m ·s ) for the three exposed sites: Adour, Nivelle and Bidassoa Rivers. e error bars represent the standard deviation for each month during the eight sampling campaigns. 3 −1 3 −1 to less than 120 m ·s for the Bidassoa and less than 30 m ·s e dendrogram produced by the hierarchical agglom- for the Nivelle (Figure 3). Stations located along the Anglet erative clustering distinguished three main groups of sta- coast are however farther from the river mouth (more than tions corresponding to three main different species 1.8 km) and located along an open coast compared to the assemblages (Figure 4): the first dichotomy of the dendro- stations of the St-Jean-de-Luz and Hendaye Bays which gram, separated species assemblage A from the other two are probably more directly impacted by fresh water inputs assemblages (B and C), which displayed a higher level of because they are closer to the river mouth and located in similarity (Figure 4). embayments. Species assemblage A included only samples from the exposed Anglet coast (northern part of the investigated area, 3.2. Macrobenthic Community Distribution. A total of 121 Figures 1 and 4). e top two contributive species (Polychaetes Scolelepis spp., Nephtys cirrosa) are typical species of exposed taxa were recorded at the nine sampling stations during the eight seasonal campaigns. Crustaceans and polychaetes sandy bottoms. is assemblage displayed the lowest average species number and density compared to the two other assem- were the most diverse groups with respectively, 45 (37%) and 40 species (33%). Molluscs included 26 species (22%) and blages identified (Table 4). Species assemblage B included stations located in the west- echinoderms eight species (7%). Other species (1%) belonged to Nemertea. e most frequently observed species were the ern part of the Saint Jean de Luz Bay and in the middle part of the Hendaye Bay (Figures 1 and 4). is muddy sand assem- crustacean Diogenes pugilator and the polychaete Nephtys cirrosa respectively found in 75% and 55% of the records. blage showed the highest species number and fauna density Journal of Marine Sciences 7 Samples A B C F 4: Dendrogram of each station centroid based on the species abundance data among sampling campaigns. ree groups of stations (arbitrarily named A, B and C) were identified. −2 with 25 ± 9 species and 162 ± 211 individuals 0.3 m (Table 4). parameter. It should be noticed that in this dataset, maximal is assemblage was mainly characterized by Diogenes pugi- significant wave height (Hs ) was positively correlated to the max lator together with the molluscs Fabulina fabula, Abra alba, three other hydrodynamic variables (Hs : 1.00, Ubr : 0.98, mean mean Tritia reticulata and Antalis novemcostata, the Polychaetes Ubr : 0.98) and the estuarine inputs parameters (DistMouth: max Nephtys hombergii and Sigalion mathildae, as well as the sea 0.87, Q : 0.97 and Q : 0.96). mean max urchin Echinocaridum cordatum. 3.4. Relation between Traits Modalities and Environmental Because it shared some contributive species with both previously described assemblages (Diogenes pugilator, E. cor- Variables with a Significant Influence on the Faunal datum, T. reticulata: from assemblage B; N. cirrosa: from Distribution. To relate significant environmental variables assemblage A), assemblage C composition can be considered explaining the faunal distribution to biological traits, a RLQ as intermediate between these previously described assem- analysis was performed. blages. e level of fauna density and number of species were is analysis identified the high hydrodynamic area. also intermediate between those measured in the previously Strong associations were observed between the positive part described assemblages. Regarding sediment type, this assem- of RLQ axis 1 and the maximal significant wave height blage was retrieved from slightly muddy sands (intermediate (Hs ) and between the negative part of RLQ axis 2 and the max between sands characterizing assemblage A and muddy sands maximal river discharge (Q ). e corresponding biolog- max characterizing assemblage B, see Table 4) and located at the ical traits associated with higher exposure were walking entrance of bays: the eastern and the western parts of the motility, demersal and free-living epifaunal species indiffer- Hendaye Bay (stations B12 and B10) as well as station N5 ent to sediments organic matter enrichment (AMBI group located at the eastern part of the Saint-Jean-de-Luz Bay II) (Figures 5–7). (Figures 1 and 4). In contrast, the negative part of the RLQ axis 1 and the positive part of the RLQ axis 2, associated with lower exposure 3.3. Environmental Drivers of Macrofaunal Distribution. Maximal level, depicted sessile motility, surface and sub-surface depos- significant wave height was, by far, the main variable explaining it-feeders and tolerance to opportunistic species. the highest amount of variance in macrofauna abundance (Table 5). Alone, this parameter explained 47% of the variance, 3.5. Temporal Stability of ese Faunal Assemblages. Individual followed by organic matter (12%), D50 (8%), and sorting index benthic assemblages were identifiable as clusters of (10%). e last three variables taken individually were not points having similar symbol and color on the PCO plot statistically significant (푝 > 0.05 ). e best model to explain the (Figure 8). e temporal variation of any individual assemblage macrofaunal distribution would include only the wave exposure is measured and can be seen in two ways in this figure: (i) Distance A12 A13 A14 B11 N6 N7 N5 B10 B12 8 Journal of Marine Sciences T 4: Biotic characteristics of the three main groups of stations identified by cluster analysis along the French Basque coast during the field campaigns. SIMPER character- Species Density Pielou’s Shannon’s Faunal Stations Similarity istic species (cut off richness (ind. evenness diversity Sediments assemblages number levels for low contributions: (species 0.3 m ) index (J′) index (H′) 70,00%) 0.3 m ) Scolelepis spp. (34%) Clean fine Nephtys cirrosa (29%) A 3 30% 6 ± 4 19 ± 15 0.5 ± 0.1 1.1 ± 0.6 sands (silt & Acrocnida brachiata clay <2%) (15%) Diogenes pugilator (12%) Fabulina fabula (8%) Tritia reticulata (8%) Echinocardium corda- tum (7%) Abra alba (6%) Nephtys hombergii (5%) Sigalion mathildae Muddy (4%) B 3 33% 25 ± 9 162 ± 211 0.8 ± 0.2 3.5 ± 0.7 sand (silt & Antalis novemcostata clay <30%) (4%) Ampelisca brevicornis (3%) Nemertea (3%) Owenia fusiformis (3%) Spisula sp. (3%) Mactra stultorum (3%) Onuphis eremita (2%) Diogenes pugilator (41%) Nephtys cirrosa (11%) Echinocardium corda- tum (5%) Slightly Tritia reticulata (4%) muddy sand C 3 23% 15 ± 8 53 ± 78 0.8 ± 0.1 3.0 ± 0.6 (silt & clay Urothoe brevicornis <5%) (3%) Urothoe pulchella (3%) Mactra stultorum (3%) Scoloplos armiger (3%) from the relative spread (dispersion) of time points for each T 5: Results of distance-based linear model (DISTLM) to assess assemblage in the PCO plot and (ii) from the bar graph the effect of environmental parameters on benthic community struc- showing the average Bray-Curtis (BC) dissimilarity among ture, considering forward selection of variables. %Var: percentage time points for each assemblage. of variance in species data explained by that variable; Cumul. (%): cumulative percentage of variance explained. e individual assemblages globally formed distinct clus- ters on the PCO plot (Figure 8). e first axis of the PCO Variables Pseudo-F -value %Var Cumul. (%) corresponds to a clear gradient of exposure among assem- Hs 6.26 0.001 47 47 max blages: the most wave exposed assemblage (assemblage A) was +OM 1.74 0.106 12 59 located on the positive part of axis 1 while samples corre- +D50 1.19 0.322 8 67 sponding to the more sheltered assemblage B were located on +So 1.66 0.174 10 77 the negative part of the axis. Journal of Marine Sciences 9 d = 0.05 Ubr mean Hs mean Hs max Ubr max Q mean Q max Dismouth F 5: RLQ diagram as defined by the two axes with the projection of different environmental variables with an influence on the faunal distribution (i.e. results of DISTLM). e  value in the upper right corner is the scale of the graph given by a grid. d = 2 F 6: RLQ diagram as defined by the first two axes with projection of the faunal assemblages. e  value in the upper right corner is the scale of the graph given by a grid. Despite an apparent greater degree of dissimilarity among indeed showed average BC dissimilarities through time samples collected on different dates for the assemblages around 35% (Figure 8, upper bar graph). located on wave exposed shallow-water and on opened bay (assemblages A and C, respectively) than for the most shel- 4. Discussion tered assemblage B, no significant difference in dispersion (temporal variability) was observed among faunal assemblages Responses of benthic organisms to environmental stressors are the integrated result of both direct and indirect processes (PERMDISP, 퐹 = 3.3 , 푃 = 0.14 ). Almost all of the assemblages 10 Journal of Marine Sciences d = 1 d = 1 Ambi.gp. Living.hab. GIV GIII SED GI GII DEMERSAL FREE d = 1 d = 1 Trophic.gp.Motility SESSILE SSDF BURROW SF SDF CRAWL SWIM WALK F 7: RLQ diagram as defined by the two axes with the projection of different trait categories. Different diagrams were created to simplify results visualization. e  value in the upper right corner is the scale of the graph given by a grid. See Table 2 for the corresponding trait modalities labels. which can be manifested as changes in abundance, diversity exposure and river discharge) and the lowest silt and clay and and fitness of individuals and communities [86]. Identifying organic matter contents. Distinctions appeared also within and integrating the effects of natural pressures is an essential localities within the two bays where sedimentary gradients challenge for understanding and managing coastal biotic from East to West were observed. resources [87, 88] particularly when they are subjected to Relationships between macrobenthic abundance and envi- anthropogenic threats. In shallow subtidal, previous studies ronmental factors are not easy to explain because they differ have focused on analysing patterns of macrobenthic assem- among areas [58, 90]. No single mechanism explains patterns blages along salinity or depth gradients [28, 60, 62, 89]. is observed across many different environments [29]. In this study is novel in that it characterizes the benthic macrofauna study, the differences in spatial distribution of the 121 taxa distribution patterns across three nearshore so-bottom sites, found among the whole nearshore area could be 47% explained located at the same depth (6 m) and exposed to different by wave climate. is correlation between spatial distribution hydrodynamic conditions, along the French Basque coast. e of macrobenthos and natural biotic factors is relatively high. results indicate that environmental variables (wave climate, Recent previous studies carried out along the Atlantic coast sediment parameters and estuarine inputs) vary significantly showed similar degree of variation explained by environmen- among localities which is common sense, with a clear distinc- tal variables. Along the subtidal coastal fringe of South tion arising from hydrodynamic conditions, which is a new Brittany, Dutertre et al. [11] found a 51% correlation with a finding. Anglet coast is indeed clearly distinct from the south- combination of 16 natural abiotic factors whereas Carvalho ern sites with the highest hydrodynamic conditions (e.g. wave et al. [28], Veiga et al. [58] and Martins et al. [17] showed Journal of Marine Sciences 11 Bray-Curtis dissimilarity, log(X + 1)–tranformed abundance data Average BC dissimilarity among eld campaigns for each assemblage centroid C2 C6 C3 C1 C5 C8 C3 30 C6 C4 C8 C1 C2 C3 C5 0 C2 C7 a b c C1 C6 Average BC dissimilarity among eld C5 –20 campaigns for stations within each assemblage C7 C4 45 –40 C7 –60 5 a b c –20 Assemblages –40 –20 0 40 PCO1 (34.9% of total variation) Assemblage F 8: PCO plot of assemblage centroids at each time point from August 2014 (“C1”) to June 2016 (“C8”). Labels indicate the time points of sampling (according to Table S1 in the Supplementary materials). significant correlations varying from 35% to 66% on the space may shed light on the consequences to the ecosystem Portuguese continental shelf. In addition to these published services resulting from single or multiple disturbance events results, this study provides therefore a consistent and thorough [27]. In shallow subtidal areas exposed to strong hydrody- understanding of the causes of macrofaunal spatial patterns namic conditions, physical erosion and suspension of so at the scale of shallow strongly exposed sandy subtidal coasts. sediment favour infauna and active burrowers, which are the One key finding in this study was that maximal significant dominant biological traits at the scale of the whole nearshore, wave height explains the largest part of the faunal spatial dis- as observed in the present study and by Allen and Moore tribution (47%). Highly linked to freshwater outflow and bot- [92] and Dutertre et al. [11]. Suspension feeding (SF) strategy tom orbital velocity, these hydrodynamic factors appeared as was also the main feeding guilds within the whole environ- key descriptors for the local distribution of so-bottom com- mentally-stressed areas. Suspension feeder communities are munities as well as determinant for the sedimentation pro- indeed generally associated to spaces with strong hydrody- cesses and, consequently sediment types. Indeed, the faunal namics acting on the seafloor [93–96]. is is related to their assemblages gathered the stations composed by similar sedi- dependence on higher oxygen concentrations and the need ment type. Different community structures were therefore for small re-suspended particles for feeding purposes [93, observed within each bay. e less exposed stations of the 95–97]. Within the study area, the RLQ analysis results high- semi-enclosed bay appeared more similar to the muddy sand lighted nonetheless a pattern of change in trait composition stations of the open bay (assemblage B). Conversely, the more from highly energetic zone to the more sheltered ones. e exposed station presented a community structure similar to macrobenthic communities of the highest exposed site the one observed within the sandy stations of the open bay (Anglet coast: assemblage A) presented the highest relative (assemblage C). Such correlation between macrofauna distri- densities of free-living fauna such as the swimming crab bution patterns and the hydrodynamic regime had previously Portumnus latipes. Within lower hydrodynamics areas, sur- been reported elsewhere, e.g. in Portuguese Continental shelf face deposit feeders (SDF), as Abra alba, were more abun- [17, 28] and in South Brittany [11]. Hydrodynamic conditions, dant. is trophic group is generally associated with areas broadly defined as the duration of wave-induced sediment with lower hydrodynamic action on the seafloor, as currents remobilization, were also the most relevant factor, explaining limit their feeding and locomotion abilities [94]. SDF were the highest percentage of spatial variation in the macrofauna distributed with higher density in the opened and semi-en- along the southeastern Portuguese coast [28]. closed bays (Hendaye and Saint Jean de Luz Bays) thanks to Interactions between benthic organisms and abiotic fac- lower wave exposure. Such findings are highly generalisable tors, influencing their environment, result in a wide variety as similar conclusions were made elsewhere [97, 98], species of functional adaptations [91]. erefore, assessing changes changing their trophic strategy in response to flow and food in the functional composition of benthic assemblages in flux conditions [29, 97, 98]. SDF feed directly on newly PCO2 (14.1% of total variation) 12 Journal of Marine Sciences deposited organic matter, while sub-surface deposit feeders 5. Conclusions (SSDF) primarily feed on older organic matter [93, 96, 99]. Congruent with other published studies, this contribution sup- Within the study area, this guild (SSDF), through for example ports a priori common sense hypothesis that benthic organisms the species Antalis novemcostata, was associated with the exhibit, as distinct responses to different levels of disturbance lowest wave exposure of the semi-enclosed bay (Saint Jean [27]. As expected, this study confirms that distinct hydrody- de Luz Bay). Similar patterns were depicted by Dolbeth et al. namic conditions do affect the spatial distribution and the func- [97] along the Atlantic Portuguese coast. An ecological shi tional structure of macrobenthic fauna as revealed from the toward “AMBI group II” to “AMBI group IV” was also extensive study of nine subtidal stations (three per site) season- observed with decreasing sediment grain size and wave expo- ally sampled during two years and located at the same depth. sure level. Second-order opportunistic species was repre- Environmental constraints represented by wave exposure level sented by the polychaetes Aphelochaeta sp. and Lagis koreni and estuarine inputs appear as the more determinant variables and the bivalve Corbula gibba which were exclusively sam- for the benthic fauna in narrow environment including these pled within the semi-enclosed bay of Saint Jean de Luz. is three nearshore so-bottom sites. Furthermore, the temporal result reflected that in naturally organically rich area such as stability observed at the whole nearshore area scale suggests an bays close to river mouth, communities generally included ability to recover from a natural disturbance. opportunistic species and taxa that can also be found in erefore, assessing changes in the distribution of benthic anthropogenically-organic rich areas [5, 100]. erefore, as assemblages and the functional diversity of these species in a general matter, this study added to other published so far space and time may shed light on the consequences from sin- indicate that the spatial pattern of functional composition gle or multiple disturbance events on the resulting ecosystems. of benthic species can be used to infer the influence from On an applied perspective, knowledges about these biological physical disturbance exerted on ecosystems [27]. processes are useful for coastal management topic, allowing Estuarine inputs, as a source of suspended particulate to distinguish between natural from anthropogenic variability matter, and wave exposure, by inducing sediment remobili- of macrobenthic compartment in response to disturbances. zation, influenced in opposite directions the grain-size dis- In shallow, strongly exposed sandy beaches where coastal ero- tribution and the organic matter contents of sediments [28]. sion is a central concern, such baseline information may be As confirmed by this study, this natural sediment mobility particularly determinant to sustainably manage dredged sand due to hydrodynamic conditions is a factor of importance dumping and shoreface nourishment. on nearshore so-bottom, controlling the spatial distribution of many species [21, 97, 101] by causing both press- and pulse- types of disturbance as defined by Harris [32]. e Data Availability effects of such physical disturbances may vary with intensity and duration, and give sometimes dramatic damage to ben- e data used to support the findings of this study are available thic communities, followed by recovery. Nonetheless, near- from the corresponding author upon request. shore area as a whole demonstrated a rather temporal stability in community structure. Similar results were observed in exposed shallow water worldwide [102–104]. Conflicts of Interest ese results could be explained by two non-mutually exclu- sive processes: (i) an increasing number of repeated pulse e authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. disturbances (e.g. ocean storms, extreme swell regimes) which can gradually move the system closer to a press Funding response with benthic assemblages being less sensitive [105]; or (ii) the resilience of an ecosystem depends on thresholds is work was partly funded by the Region of Nouvelle- of intensity and/or prevalence of the disturbance, but also Aquitaine and the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de on the characteristics of the species affected [106]. Highly Bayonne Pays Basque. motile or dispersing species will recover from disturbance faster than the ones with opposite traits [107]. erefore, it may be proposed, as a general pattern, that macrofaunal Acknowledgments communities in shallow exposed subtidal area are composed of species showing high affinities to high hydrodynamic con- e authors gratefully would like to thank the Department ditions. e most exposed species assemblage located along of Pyrenees Atlantiques and the Chambre de Commerce et the Anglet coast, especially illustrates this apparent resil- d’Industrie de Bayonne Pays Basque which lend their boats ience. Consequently, as demonstrated by Dutertre et al. [11] and made their staff available to carry the field campaigns. and in the present study, large-scale ecosystem-based approach (i.e. site to site comparisons) improves the under- standing of the relationship between species distribution and Supplementary Materials environment, and provides a consistent baseline compatible Table S1: Dates of sampling campaigns and their abbre- with management concerns and the detection of spatial and viations. Table S2a: Kruskal–Wallis (One-way analysis of temporal changes. Journal of Marine Sciences 13 [5] T. H. Pearson and R. Rosenberg, “Macrobenthic succession variance) for the mean significant wave height (Hs ) mean in relation to organic enrichment and pollution of the marine with post-hoc pairwise multiple comparisons (Nemenyi environment. Oceanography and Marine,” Biology—An test) among the three studied localities. Table S2b: One- Annual Review, vol. 16, pp. 229–311, 1978. way ANOVA with post-hoc pairwise multiple comparisons [6] M. 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Hydrodynamic Conditions Effects on Soft-Bottom Subtidal Nearshore Benthic Community Structure and Distribution

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Copyright © 2020 Clémence Foulquier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Hindawi Journal of Marine Sciences Volume 2020, Article ID 4674580, 16 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/4674580 Research Article Hydrodynamic Conditions Effects on Soft-Bottom Subtidal Nearshore Benthic Community Structure and Distribution 1,2 1 1 2 3 Clémence Foulquier , Julien Baills, Alison Arraud, Frank D’Amico, Hugues Blanchet, 1 2 Didier Rihouey, and Noëlle Bru Casagec Ingenierie, 18 rue Maryse Bastié, 64600 Anglet, France CNRS/UNIV Pau & Pays Adour/E2S UPPA, Laboratoire de Mathématiques et de Leurs Applications de Pau, UMR 5142 64600, Anglet, France Université de Bordeaux, UMR 5805 EPOC, Station Marine d’Arcachon, 2 Rue du Professeur Jolyet, 33120 Arcachon, France Correspondence should be addressed to Clémence Foulquier; foulquier@casagec.fr Received 22 May 2019; Revised 30 August 2019; Accepted 15 October 2019; Published 30 January 2020 Academic Editor: Garth L. Fletcher Copyright © 2020 Clémence Foulquier et al. is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. is study assesses the impacts of wave action and freshwater outflow on so-bottom benthic macrofauna spatial distribution and temporal stability along the highly exposed French Basque coast. Sediment characteristics and macrofauna abundance have been seasonally investigated during two years for nine stations located at the same (6 m) depth and spread over three subtidal sites showing distinct exposure levels. Wave climate has been determined through an operational numerical model. A total of 121 taxa were recorded, gathered in three main faunal assemblages, as revealed by classification and ordination methods. Non- parametric multivariate multiple regression (distance-based linear model) showed that the variations in macrofaunal distribution can be explained by hydrodynamic conditions. Wave exposure strongly linked to estuarine inputs were the most relevant abiotic factors influencing distributional patterns and functional structure as described by biological traits analysis. Despite the influence of these abiotic variables affecting sedimentary dynamics, seasonal stability was observed in macrobenthic assemblages composition suggesting an ability to recover from natural disturbances such as (e.g.) winter storms. In this way, these results provide baseline knowledge for future ecosystem and resource management in shallow subtidal areas strongly exposed to swell and freshwater outflow where so-bottom macrozoobenthic communities are less frequently studied. intermediate trophic level positions, and close association with 1. Introduction the substrate, benthic macrofauna integrates effects of envi- With the European Directives (Water Framework and Marine ronmental variations and provides a relatively clear signal, Strategy) adoption, ambitious objectives for the conservation susceptible to detect a disturbance on the ecosystem [5–9]. and the restoration of the state of water bodies have been fixed. Assessing variability in biodiversity along environmental In order to establish the ecological quality of European coastal gradients and identifying factors responsible for spatial pat- and estuarine waters, the Water Framework Directive empha- terns in macrofaunal assemblages are a central theme in sizes the importance of biological indicators, such as phyto- marine benthic ecology [10, 11]. Since Petersen’s study [12], plankton, macroalgae, benthos and fishes [1, 2]. More studies conducted worldwide consider sediment characteris- particularly, macrobenthic fauna is an important component tics as a major explanatory factor of benthic macrofauna dis- of marine ecological systems being involved in nutrients tribution [13–18]. Moreover, at broader spatial scales, other cycling, pollutant metabolism and constituting a food source natural environmental factors such as the hydrodynamic con- for higher trophic levels [3, 4]. Macrobenthos are also known ditions (including freshwater outflow and wave action) seems to be an effective indicator. Due to their longevity, sedentary to directly or indirectly control the presence and abundance nature, different tolerances to environmental stress, of macrobenthos [19, 20]. Water movements through 2 Journal of Marine Sciences transport of sediment and organic material, strongly affect so-bottom community by smothering immobile forms or forcing mobile forms to migrate, altering grain size distribu- tion, impacting light penetration and primary productivity, alternating episodic erosion and deposition processes [21–23]. ese natural physical disturbances impact the structure of macrobenthic communities and also their functional responses to important ecosystem processes, such as resource usage (nutrients recycling), feeding interactions (trophic structure), habitat building organisms (ecosystem engineering, biogenic structures), bioaccumulation (body size, growth rate, longev- ity) and sediment properties (tube-building, burrowing activ- ities) [24–28]. erefore, hydrodynamic conditions, as natural physical disturbances, determine the colonization of a given habitat [22], they alter interactions between individuals [29] and consequently shape macrobenthic community [21, 23, 28, F 1:  Geographical location of the sampling sites along the 30, 31]. French Basque Coast. Acting within a different scale of time, from daily to sea- sonal variations, natural physical factors such as hydrody- namic conditions and their associated sedimentological in the current knowledge of natural patterns of variability of processes may cause both press and pulse types of disturbance their assemblages, which are intrinsically variable [20, 57, 58]. [32]. Press-disturbance process causes troubles by acting over Moreover, assessing the main natural environmental factors a prolonged period of time that is intolerable to benthos.e that shape spatial patterns of macrobenthic assemblages and intermediate frequency and persistence of the disturbance their temporal stability will help to discriminate between nat- pressure are higher than the endurance and rate of ecological ural and anthropogenic changes [11, 59] and to appreciate succession of the biota. On the other hand, pulse process their resilience in a context of applied ecological research causes a disturbance by exceeding a threshold above which expansion on the macrobenthic communities residing in benthos are unable to remain attached to the seabed or are coastal and estuarine areas [58, 60–62]. erefore, the aims of buried under rapidly deposited sediment. On the continental this study were to characterize the ecotonal macrobenthic shelf, press-type disturbances include the sustained period of nearshore so-bottom communities in an area strongly elevated turbidity that follows a storm or a flood event [33–35], exposed to wave and estuarine inputs, to determine natural and pulse-type processes include the mobilization of bottom environmental factors that shape spatial patterns and discuss sediments by storms [36, 37]. Ecosystems with strong physical their temporal stability. To achieve these aims, first spatial constraints (i.e. estuaries, shallow habitats) are characterized patterns of sediment features, wave climate, estuarine inputs by low diversity (e.g. species richness) and species with an and macrobenthic assemblages were described within three inherent ecological plasticity allowing them to sustain their sites located at the same depth and showing distinct hydrody- domain of stability when facing external disturbances [38–41]. namic conditions (exposed coast: Anglet coast, semi-enclosed us, they are also expected to recover quickly following a bay: Saint-Jean-de-Luz Bay, opened bay: Hendaye Bay). en disturbance than communities in more stable environments the relationship between spatial distribution patterns of mac- such as deep habitats [42]. robenthos and those of environmental factors were investi- e Basque country is exposed to strong swell because of gated using multivariate statistical approaches. is will allow its location in the innermost part of the Bay of Biscay and the identification of useful predictor variables and relating them small width of the continental shelf. is coast is additionally to biological traits along shallow strongly exposed sandy sub- bordered by the estuary of Adour in the North and many small tidal coasts, such as the French Basque coast. Finally, the tem- mountainous coastal rivers in the South contributing to a huge poral patterns of macrobenthic assemblages were evaluated proportion of the sediment fluxes into the Bay of Biscay [43]. through time for the whole nearshore area from 2014 to 2016. Numerous studies of so-bottom macrobenthic community have been conducted along the estuaries and the continental shelf of the Spanish coast [44–53]. ese communities have 2. Material and Methods been surveyed less frequently for coastal sandy beaches [54]. 2.1. Study Area. is study was conducted along the French In these nearshore areas, rocky substrates are indeed more Basque coast, located at the south western part of the French documented than so-substratum [55]. Regarding the high atlantic coast (Figure 1). In this area, tide is semi-diurnal and level of anthropogenic threats and disturbance within these mesotidal, ranging from 1.85 to 3.85 m. Waves predominantly ecotonal zones, and the requirements of EU directives, studies come from the West-North West direction with a 10-s peak such as the current one are essential to provide baseline knowl- period and a 2-m average significant wave height [63]. edge that can be enhanced for sustainable management of e studied area is subjected to the influence of three main these areas [56]. Indeed, the major constrains to implement rivers which are, from the north to the south: the Adour River, conservation strategies in marine ecosystems are the general the Nivelle River and the Bidassoa River. e Nivelle and lack of baseline data prior to impacts and the substantial gaps Journal of Marine Sciences 3 T 1: Distance between the sampling stations and the river mouth for each site. Anglet coast St Jean-de-Luz Bay Hendaye Bay Location A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 Distance to the river mouth (km) 1.8 3.0 4.4 0.8 0.5 0.8 1.4 0.9 0.4 Bidassoa Rivers, subjected to flash floods, are regarded as tor- e three-dimensional ECOMARS model [68, 69], as per- rential rivers considering their watershed slopes [43]. By con- formed by Dutertre et al. [11] at a larger scale, was not used trast the Adour river is characterized by a relatively flatter and in this study. Resolution grid (3 km) was not adapted to rep- larger watershed. In terms of sediment discharge, the Nivelle resent hydrological variations within the three sampled sites, and Bidassoa solid flow are ten times less important than where stations were spaced from 400 m in the Saint Jean de Adour sediment discharge [64, 65]. Luz Bay to 1.3 km along the Anglet coast. 2.3.2. Sediment Characterization. Data used for sediment 2.2. Sampling Procedure and Laboratory Analyses. To characterisation were treated as percentages for each assess how wave conditions impact subtidal so-bottom grain size categories determined using a sieve shaker. e macrozoobenthic communities, three sites (Anglet coast, following sedimentary fractions were considered based on Saint Jean de Luz Bay, Hendaye Bay, see Figure 1) subjected the classification of Wentworth [70] modified by Folk [71], to different estuarine inputs and wave exposure levels were Folk and Ward [72] and Folk [73]: “GR” gravel and pebble seasonally investigated between August 2014 and June 2016. (>2 mm), “VCS” very coarse sand (1–2 mm), “CS” coarse sand At each of the four seasons (August, December, March and (0.5–1 mm), “MS” medium sand (0.25–0.5 mm), “FS” fine sand June) the three locations were sampled for a total of eight (0.125–0.25 mm), “VFS” very fine sand (0.063–0.125 mm) and sampling campaigns per station during the two years studied “F” silt & clay (<0.063 mm). e diameter corresponding to the (sampling dates available in Supplementary materials Table average grain size of sediment particles (D50) and the sorting S1). e nine sampling stations (three per sites) were located index (So, [74]) were calculated using a MATLAB routine for at the same depth (−6 m chart datum). each station and each field campaign. D50 was expressed in To assess the macrobenthic assemblages, three sediment the phi (φ) scale originally developed by Krumbein [79] in samples were collected using a van Veen grab (0.1 m ). Grab con- order to simplify statistical analyses. Organic matter (“OM”) tents were sieved through a 1 mm mesh size. Material retained content was estimated by loss of ignition (450°C, 6H) and was on the sieve was directly fixed in ethanol (99.9%) for later iden- also treated as percentage of sediments weight. tification to the lowest taxonomic level (predominantly species) and enumeration in the laboratory. e World Register of Marine 2.3.3. Estuarine Inputs. e study area is influenced by three Species [66] was used to check and harmonize species names. main rivers which are, from the north to the south: the Adour For the sediment analysis, a very small sub-sample of each River, the Nivelle River and the Bidassoa River. To take into collected grab was used for the determination of both sediments account estuarine influence, mean and maximal river discharge organic matter content and sediments grain size analyses. (respectively “Q ” and “Q ”) were retrieved between mean max each field campaign from the French water information 2.3. Environmental Data system database (http://www.hydro.eaufrance.fr/) and from the Confederación Hidrográfica del Cantábrico (http://www. 2.3.1. Wave Climate. Wave climate was determined for each chcantabrico.es/). Distance between each sampling station and station and between each field campaign from a SWAN the river mouth (“DistMouth”) was also determined as a proxy operational model developed within the European project of salinity level and freshwater influence (with reference to Littoral, Ocean and Rivers of Euskadi-Aquitaine (LOREA). fresh water input; Table 1). Detailed model setup and validation results were further 2.4. Data Analysis described in Dugor et al. [67]. e model boundaries were forced by HOMERE sea-states hindcast database, based on 2.4.1. Environmental Variables. Analyses of variance WAVEWATCH III model. Wind data were provided by the (ANOVA) were performed using R Soware to test for ECMWF (European Center for Medium-Range Weather difference in environmental variables among localities. ese Forecasts). A nesting strategy allowed making the transition analyses were based on a one-way model, including locality as between offshore and coastal models over three successional fixed factor with three levels. Assumptions of data normality grids: a regional grid, an intermediate grid and finally three and homogeneity of variances were previously assessed local grids with a 20 m resolution around studied sites. Four using Shapiro-Wilk and Levene’ test, respectively. Whenever wave parameters were obtained in order to describe wave ANOVA’s assumptions were not met, a non-parametric one- climate: mean significant wave height (Hs ), maximum mean way analysis of variance was performed (Kruskal Wallis’ H significant wave height (Hs ), mean bottom orbital velocity test). Post-hoc pairwise multiple comparisons were performed max (Ubr ) and maximum bottom orbital velocity (Ubr ). e mean max using the Tukey test whenever ANOVA showed significant wave climate characterization was carried out for the period differences (푝 < 0.05 ) and the Nemenyi test was used following preceding each sampling campaign. nonparametric one-way analysis of variance. 4 Journal of Marine Sciences T 2:  List of macrobenthic functional traits evaluated in the 2.4.2. Macrobenthic Communities. present study exhibiting different modalities. (1) Spatial Distribution of So-bottom Communities. e structure of the macrobenthic community was investigated Functional traits Traits modalities Labels using multivariate techniques provided by PRIMER soware Carnivore (including [75]. Original data consisted of “stations × species” matrix scavengers and C which was obtained aer removing rare species. Species were predators) considered as rare when they only appear in a single station Sub-surface depos- SSDF and with a contribution to the station total abundance lower Trophic group it-feeder than 5%. Abundance data were log(푥 +1 )-transformed prior Surface deposit-feeder SDF to analysis. Suspension-feeder SF Similarity relationships between stations of all biotic data Herbivore H results (eight sampling dates) were determined using the Bray– Sessile SESSILE Curtis coefficient [76]. e objective was to assess the spatial Burrower BURROW distributions of so-bottom communities taking into account Motility Crawler CRAWL temporal variability of the macrobenthic community at each Walker WALK sampling station. erefore a similarity matrix was first com- Swimmer SWIM puted for all the stations-dates. is matrix was then used to Infauna SED compute the matrix of distance among sampling stations cen- Living habitat Demersal fauna DEMERSAL troids using the “distance among-centroids” routine in Free-living epifauna FREE PRIMER. is procedure allows for comparing the different sampling stations (the centroids) while integrating each sta- Species very sensitive GI to disturbance tions variability obtained through the different seasonal sam- pling campaigns (each data point that were used to determine Species indifferent to GII disturbance the centroids). e matrix of distance among centroids Species tolerant to obtained was used to perform a hierarchical cluster analysis AMBI ecological group GIII disturbance using group-average clustering (in accordance with Legendre Second-order oppor- and Legendre [77]) in order to identify groups of stations dis- GIV tunistic species playing similar fauna. A Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCO) First-order opportun- was also performed on the stations centroids to show the GV istic species defined groups in a two dimensional space [78]. Each benthic assemblage, resulting from the multivariate analyses, was then characterized by its species richness (S), density of individuals (N), Shannon’s diversity index (H’, log), and Pielou’s evenness specie in every samples for different dates and the  table index (J’). A similarity percentages (SIMPER) analysis was composed of biological trait data [27, 80, 82]. Information finally used to determine contributions of each specie to the about functional traits was compiled by gathering information Bray-Curtis similarity within each of the groups. from several literature sources: species identification guides, Relations between environmental variables and benthic research papers and web database. e main limitation of community distribution was assessed using distance-based Biological traits analysis (BTA) is the occurrence of gaps in linear models (DISTLM) which consists of partitioning vari- the knowledge of some species’ biology [27, 83]. To minimize ability in the dissimilarity matrix according to environmental this aspect, the list of species in the BTA analysis was reduced variables as predictors [78]. Ten environmental variables were without causing the loss of integrity in analysis. us, from a taken into account: wave climate through mean significant total number of 121 taxa, 101 species were considered which wave height, maximum significant wave height, mean bottom contributed to 95.5% of the total abundance observed. All orbital velocity and maximum bottom orbital velocity; estua- species characteristics of faunal assemblages determined by rine inputs through mean and maximal river discharges and SIMPER procedure showed biological traits description. Each distance to the river mouth and, finally, sediments variables trait was divided into a maximum of five modalities represent- as D50, sorting index and organic content. ese relations ing different categories of a trait displayed by the considered were assessed using the PERMANOVA + add-on [78] of the organisms (Table 2). e open source soware R and the Ade4 PRIMER soware. Prior to these analyses, a selection of var- package [84] were used to perform the RLQ analysis. iables was performed by selecting among the variables dis- (2) Temporal Stability of the Observed Faunal Patterns. In playing high level of Spearman rank correlation coefficient order to measure the temporal variation in faunal assemblages (≥0.9, disregarding the sign of the coefficient). at the scale of the whole nearshore area, the abundances of indi- RLQ analyses were performed to relate environmental vidual taxa were averaged across the sampling stations for each variables with a significant influence on macrofauna distribu- faunal assemblage at each sampling time (8 field campaigns). tion (coming from the DISTLM results) to biological traits For each assemblage, patterns of dissimilarity through time were [80, 81]. is method requires the generation of three different visualized using a Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCO) of the data tables: the R table gathering information of the significant assemblage × time centroids. e temporal variability (disper- environmental variables per site and sampling dates according sion) of each assemblage was quantified as the average to the DISTLM results, the  table with the abundance of each Journal of Marine Sciences 5 Hs (m) Hs (m) mean max 4.50 4.50 4.00 4.00 3.50 3.50 3.00 3.00 c 2.50 2.50 c 2.00 2.00 b 1.50 1.50 1.00 b 1.00 0.50 0.50 0.00 0.00 A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 Anglet coastSaint Jean De Luz Bay Hendaye Bay Anglet coast Saint Jean De Luz Bay Hendaye Bay –1 –1 Ubr (m.s ) Ubr (m.s ) mean max 1.60 1.60 1.40 1.40 a 1.20 1.20 1.00 1.00 0.80 0.80 a b 0.60 0.60 b a b 0.40 0.40 0.20 0.20 0.00 0.00 A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 Anglet coast Saint Jean De Luz Bay Hendaye Bay Anglet coast Saint Jean De Luz Bay Hendaye Bay F 2: Four wave variables in the three exposed sites. e error bars represent the standard deviation for each station during the eight sampling campaigns. Different letters indicate statistically significant differences (푃 < 0.01 ). Bray-Curtis dissimilarity among time points. ese dispersions and multiple comparisons tests for sediment parameters among were formally compared among the 3 assemblages using a per- the three localities are available in Supplementary material mutation test of dispersion with 9999 permutations (PERMDISP, (Tables S6a, b). Significant differences were observed for all see [85]). is approach directly compared temporal variation sedimentary parameters excepted for gravel content. Post hoc in the community structure of whole assemblages of the near- analyses indicated that grain size along the Anglet coast was shore area. In addition, to compare the station-level temporal significantly coarser and globally better sorted than in the variation among assemblages, the average and the standard error remaining localities. Additionally the Anglet coasts’ stations of temporal variation calculated from the stations were plotted showed a significantly lower concentration of OM in sediments. for each faunal assemblage. Along the Anglet coast, the northern station (A12) con- sisted of clean, medium to fine sands with gravels and coarse sands; whereas the two other stations (A13, A14) consisted of 3. Results clean, fine sands. e mean level of OM was lower than 1% at all stations in the Anglet coast (Table 3). In the Saint-Jean-de- 3.1. Environmental Variables Luz Bay, the eastern station sediments (N5) consisted in slightly 3.1.1. Wave Climate. Data on wave regime are compiled in muddy, heterogeneous sand, clearly coarser than the 2 other Figure 2. e one-way ANOVA and multiple comparisons stations which consisted of muddy, fine sands. Organic matter for the wave exposure level are available in Supplementary content was relatively high, with an average up to 5% (Table 3). material (Tables S2a, b). Significant differences among the 3 In the Hendaye Bay, the station located closer to the river localities were observed for the four wave parameters. Wave mouth (B11) showed the highest proportion of silt and clay exposure was higher along the exposed Anglet coast (range fraction (up to 10%) close to the one observed in the western 0.78–1.96 m), intermediate in the opened Hendaye Bay (range part of the Saint Jean de Luz Bay. is station contained also 0.47–1.33 m) and relatively low in the semi-enclosed Saint Jean the highest level of OM (Table 3) compared to the two others de Luz Bay (range 0.28–0.78 m). sampled in this site. ese differences among sedimentary fea- ere was no significant difference of wave climate among tures were significant within the Saint Jean de Luz and Hendaye the sampled stations within each of the three sites (Tables S3, sampled stations (Tables S7–S9 in Supplementary material). S4 and S5). 3.1.3. Estuarine Inputs. Heterogeneity appeared among the 3.1.2. Sediment Features. Data on sediment composition and three localities regarding freshwater influence (Supplementar y organic matter content (OM) were compiled for each station material: Table S10). e Adour river displayed a much more 3 −1 during the eight field campaigns (Table 3). e one-way ANOVA important mean daily river discharge of 311 m ·s compared 6 Journal of Marine Sciences T 3: Grain size (%), organic matter content (%) and the Sorting Index for each station during the different campaigns along the Anglet coast and within the Saint Jean de Luz and the Hendaye Bays. e standard deviation is calculated for each sedimentary parameter in each station during the eight sampling campaigns. Anglet coast Saint Jean de Luz Bay Hendaye Bay A12 A13 A14 N5 N6 N7 B10 B11 B12 1.9 ± 1.2 1.8 ± 1.5 2.5 ± 1.9 5.3 ± 4.5 29.2 ± 6.8 21.3 ± 13.4 6.7 ± 6.8 22.4 ± 12.9 6.5 ± 2.9 S&C (%) 2.4 ± 2.8 5.1 ± 5.0 4.7 ± 3.2 7.6 ± 17.4 53.7 ± 10.3 45.7 ± 9.2 22.4 ± 15.4 29.7 ± 6.0 43.7 ± 16.7 VFS (%) 40.5 ± 14.2 59.8 ± 13.5 65.8 ± 15.5 12.7 ± 7.1 12.6 ± 6.2 26.8 ± 11.2 49.4 ± 11.5 40.2 ± 12.1 39.2 ± 18.0 FS (%) 33.1 ± 14.3 29.2 ± 16.7 24.0 ± 16.8 41.1 ± 16.8 3.1 ± 4.0 2.5 ± 2.2 18.7 ± 11.4 6.0 ± 1.9 7.9 ± 4.6 MS (%) 6.8 ± 3.7 3.1 ± 2.2 2.1 ± 2.6 30.0 ± 14.7 0.9 ± 0.5 2.2 ± 3.4 2.4 ± 1.2 0.9 ± 0.4 1.2 ± 1.1 CS (%) 3.8 ± 5.8 0.6 ± 0.6 0.5 ± 0.8 3.1 ± 4.2 0.3 ± 0.2 1.0 ± 1.3 0.3 ± 0.2 0.2 ± 0.1 0.5 ± 0.3 VCS (%) 11.5 ± 20.9 0.6 ± 1.2 0.5 ± 0.9 0.2 ± 0.2 0.2 ± 0.2 0.5 ± 0.4 0.1 ± 0.2 0.6 ± 1.4 1.0 ± 1.0 G (%) 0.5 ± 0.1 0.7 ± 0.3 0.7 ± 0.3 2.3 ± 0.3 3.6 ± 0.6 2.5 ± 1.0 1.4 ± 0.4 3.4 ± 1.6 1.4 ± 0.4 OM (%) So (−) 2.0 ± 0.8 1.4 ± 0.1 1.3 ± 0.1 1.5 ± 0.1 1.6 ± 0.2 1.6 ± 0.2 1.4 ± 0.1 1.7 ± 0.3 1.4 ± 0.1 Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Adour Nivelle Bidassoa 3 −1 F 3: Mean monthly river discharge (m ·s ) for the three exposed sites: Adour, Nivelle and Bidassoa Rivers. e error bars represent the standard deviation for each month during the eight sampling campaigns. 3 −1 3 −1 to less than 120 m ·s for the Bidassoa and less than 30 m ·s e dendrogram produced by the hierarchical agglom- for the Nivelle (Figure 3). Stations located along the Anglet erative clustering distinguished three main groups of sta- coast are however farther from the river mouth (more than tions corresponding to three main different species 1.8 km) and located along an open coast compared to the assemblages (Figure 4): the first dichotomy of the dendro- stations of the St-Jean-de-Luz and Hendaye Bays which gram, separated species assemblage A from the other two are probably more directly impacted by fresh water inputs assemblages (B and C), which displayed a higher level of because they are closer to the river mouth and located in similarity (Figure 4). embayments. Species assemblage A included only samples from the exposed Anglet coast (northern part of the investigated area, 3.2. Macrobenthic Community Distribution. A total of 121 Figures 1 and 4). e top two contributive species (Polychaetes Scolelepis spp., Nephtys cirrosa) are typical species of exposed taxa were recorded at the nine sampling stations during the eight seasonal campaigns. Crustaceans and polychaetes sandy bottoms. is assemblage displayed the lowest average species number and density compared to the two other assem- were the most diverse groups with respectively, 45 (37%) and 40 species (33%). Molluscs included 26 species (22%) and blages identified (Table 4). Species assemblage B included stations located in the west- echinoderms eight species (7%). Other species (1%) belonged to Nemertea. e most frequently observed species were the ern part of the Saint Jean de Luz Bay and in the middle part of the Hendaye Bay (Figures 1 and 4). is muddy sand assem- crustacean Diogenes pugilator and the polychaete Nephtys cirrosa respectively found in 75% and 55% of the records. blage showed the highest species number and fauna density Journal of Marine Sciences 7 Samples A B C F 4: Dendrogram of each station centroid based on the species abundance data among sampling campaigns. ree groups of stations (arbitrarily named A, B and C) were identified. −2 with 25 ± 9 species and 162 ± 211 individuals 0.3 m (Table 4). parameter. It should be noticed that in this dataset, maximal is assemblage was mainly characterized by Diogenes pugi- significant wave height (Hs ) was positively correlated to the max lator together with the molluscs Fabulina fabula, Abra alba, three other hydrodynamic variables (Hs : 1.00, Ubr : 0.98, mean mean Tritia reticulata and Antalis novemcostata, the Polychaetes Ubr : 0.98) and the estuarine inputs parameters (DistMouth: max Nephtys hombergii and Sigalion mathildae, as well as the sea 0.87, Q : 0.97 and Q : 0.96). mean max urchin Echinocaridum cordatum. 3.4. Relation between Traits Modalities and Environmental Because it shared some contributive species with both previously described assemblages (Diogenes pugilator, E. cor- Variables with a Significant Influence on the Faunal datum, T. reticulata: from assemblage B; N. cirrosa: from Distribution. To relate significant environmental variables assemblage A), assemblage C composition can be considered explaining the faunal distribution to biological traits, a RLQ as intermediate between these previously described assem- analysis was performed. blages. e level of fauna density and number of species were is analysis identified the high hydrodynamic area. also intermediate between those measured in the previously Strong associations were observed between the positive part described assemblages. Regarding sediment type, this assem- of RLQ axis 1 and the maximal significant wave height blage was retrieved from slightly muddy sands (intermediate (Hs ) and between the negative part of RLQ axis 2 and the max between sands characterizing assemblage A and muddy sands maximal river discharge (Q ). e corresponding biolog- max characterizing assemblage B, see Table 4) and located at the ical traits associated with higher exposure were walking entrance of bays: the eastern and the western parts of the motility, demersal and free-living epifaunal species indiffer- Hendaye Bay (stations B12 and B10) as well as station N5 ent to sediments organic matter enrichment (AMBI group located at the eastern part of the Saint-Jean-de-Luz Bay II) (Figures 5–7). (Figures 1 and 4). In contrast, the negative part of the RLQ axis 1 and the positive part of the RLQ axis 2, associated with lower exposure 3.3. Environmental Drivers of Macrofaunal Distribution. Maximal level, depicted sessile motility, surface and sub-surface depos- significant wave height was, by far, the main variable explaining it-feeders and tolerance to opportunistic species. the highest amount of variance in macrofauna abundance (Table 5). Alone, this parameter explained 47% of the variance, 3.5. Temporal Stability of ese Faunal Assemblages. Individual followed by organic matter (12%), D50 (8%), and sorting index benthic assemblages were identifiable as clusters of (10%). e last three variables taken individually were not points having similar symbol and color on the PCO plot statistically significant (푝 > 0.05 ). e best model to explain the (Figure 8). e temporal variation of any individual assemblage macrofaunal distribution would include only the wave exposure is measured and can be seen in two ways in this figure: (i) Distance A12 A13 A14 B11 N6 N7 N5 B10 B12 8 Journal of Marine Sciences T 4: Biotic characteristics of the three main groups of stations identified by cluster analysis along the French Basque coast during the field campaigns. SIMPER character- Species Density Pielou’s Shannon’s Faunal Stations Similarity istic species (cut off richness (ind. evenness diversity Sediments assemblages number levels for low contributions: (species 0.3 m ) index (J′) index (H′) 70,00%) 0.3 m ) Scolelepis spp. (34%) Clean fine Nephtys cirrosa (29%) A 3 30% 6 ± 4 19 ± 15 0.5 ± 0.1 1.1 ± 0.6 sands (silt & Acrocnida brachiata clay <2%) (15%) Diogenes pugilator (12%) Fabulina fabula (8%) Tritia reticulata (8%) Echinocardium corda- tum (7%) Abra alba (6%) Nephtys hombergii (5%) Sigalion mathildae Muddy (4%) B 3 33% 25 ± 9 162 ± 211 0.8 ± 0.2 3.5 ± 0.7 sand (silt & Antalis novemcostata clay <30%) (4%) Ampelisca brevicornis (3%) Nemertea (3%) Owenia fusiformis (3%) Spisula sp. (3%) Mactra stultorum (3%) Onuphis eremita (2%) Diogenes pugilator (41%) Nephtys cirrosa (11%) Echinocardium corda- tum (5%) Slightly Tritia reticulata (4%) muddy sand C 3 23% 15 ± 8 53 ± 78 0.8 ± 0.1 3.0 ± 0.6 (silt & clay Urothoe brevicornis <5%) (3%) Urothoe pulchella (3%) Mactra stultorum (3%) Scoloplos armiger (3%) from the relative spread (dispersion) of time points for each T 5: Results of distance-based linear model (DISTLM) to assess assemblage in the PCO plot and (ii) from the bar graph the effect of environmental parameters on benthic community struc- showing the average Bray-Curtis (BC) dissimilarity among ture, considering forward selection of variables. %Var: percentage time points for each assemblage. of variance in species data explained by that variable; Cumul. (%): cumulative percentage of variance explained. e individual assemblages globally formed distinct clus- ters on the PCO plot (Figure 8). e first axis of the PCO Variables Pseudo-F -value %Var Cumul. (%) corresponds to a clear gradient of exposure among assem- Hs 6.26 0.001 47 47 max blages: the most wave exposed assemblage (assemblage A) was +OM 1.74 0.106 12 59 located on the positive part of axis 1 while samples corre- +D50 1.19 0.322 8 67 sponding to the more sheltered assemblage B were located on +So 1.66 0.174 10 77 the negative part of the axis. Journal of Marine Sciences 9 d = 0.05 Ubr mean Hs mean Hs max Ubr max Q mean Q max Dismouth F 5: RLQ diagram as defined by the two axes with the projection of different environmental variables with an influence on the faunal distribution (i.e. results of DISTLM). e  value in the upper right corner is the scale of the graph given by a grid. d = 2 F 6: RLQ diagram as defined by the first two axes with projection of the faunal assemblages. e  value in the upper right corner is the scale of the graph given by a grid. Despite an apparent greater degree of dissimilarity among indeed showed average BC dissimilarities through time samples collected on different dates for the assemblages around 35% (Figure 8, upper bar graph). located on wave exposed shallow-water and on opened bay (assemblages A and C, respectively) than for the most shel- 4. Discussion tered assemblage B, no significant difference in dispersion (temporal variability) was observed among faunal assemblages Responses of benthic organisms to environmental stressors are the integrated result of both direct and indirect processes (PERMDISP, 퐹 = 3.3 , 푃 = 0.14 ). Almost all of the assemblages 10 Journal of Marine Sciences d = 1 d = 1 Ambi.gp. Living.hab. GIV GIII SED GI GII DEMERSAL FREE d = 1 d = 1 Trophic.gp.Motility SESSILE SSDF BURROW SF SDF CRAWL SWIM WALK F 7: RLQ diagram as defined by the two axes with the projection of different trait categories. Different diagrams were created to simplify results visualization. e  value in the upper right corner is the scale of the graph given by a grid. See Table 2 for the corresponding trait modalities labels. which can be manifested as changes in abundance, diversity exposure and river discharge) and the lowest silt and clay and and fitness of individuals and communities [86]. Identifying organic matter contents. Distinctions appeared also within and integrating the effects of natural pressures is an essential localities within the two bays where sedimentary gradients challenge for understanding and managing coastal biotic from East to West were observed. resources [87, 88] particularly when they are subjected to Relationships between macrobenthic abundance and envi- anthropogenic threats. In shallow subtidal, previous studies ronmental factors are not easy to explain because they differ have focused on analysing patterns of macrobenthic assem- among areas [58, 90]. No single mechanism explains patterns blages along salinity or depth gradients [28, 60, 62, 89]. is observed across many different environments [29]. In this study is novel in that it characterizes the benthic macrofauna study, the differences in spatial distribution of the 121 taxa distribution patterns across three nearshore so-bottom sites, found among the whole nearshore area could be 47% explained located at the same depth (6 m) and exposed to different by wave climate. is correlation between spatial distribution hydrodynamic conditions, along the French Basque coast. e of macrobenthos and natural biotic factors is relatively high. results indicate that environmental variables (wave climate, Recent previous studies carried out along the Atlantic coast sediment parameters and estuarine inputs) vary significantly showed similar degree of variation explained by environmen- among localities which is common sense, with a clear distinc- tal variables. Along the subtidal coastal fringe of South tion arising from hydrodynamic conditions, which is a new Brittany, Dutertre et al. [11] found a 51% correlation with a finding. Anglet coast is indeed clearly distinct from the south- combination of 16 natural abiotic factors whereas Carvalho ern sites with the highest hydrodynamic conditions (e.g. wave et al. [28], Veiga et al. [58] and Martins et al. [17] showed Journal of Marine Sciences 11 Bray-Curtis dissimilarity, log(X + 1)–tranformed abundance data Average BC dissimilarity among eld campaigns for each assemblage centroid C2 C6 C3 C1 C5 C8 C3 30 C6 C4 C8 C1 C2 C3 C5 0 C2 C7 a b c C1 C6 Average BC dissimilarity among eld C5 –20 campaigns for stations within each assemblage C7 C4 45 –40 C7 –60 5 a b c –20 Assemblages –40 –20 0 40 PCO1 (34.9% of total variation) Assemblage F 8: PCO plot of assemblage centroids at each time point from August 2014 (“C1”) to June 2016 (“C8”). Labels indicate the time points of sampling (according to Table S1 in the Supplementary materials). significant correlations varying from 35% to 66% on the space may shed light on the consequences to the ecosystem Portuguese continental shelf. In addition to these published services resulting from single or multiple disturbance events results, this study provides therefore a consistent and thorough [27]. In shallow subtidal areas exposed to strong hydrody- understanding of the causes of macrofaunal spatial patterns namic conditions, physical erosion and suspension of so at the scale of shallow strongly exposed sandy subtidal coasts. sediment favour infauna and active burrowers, which are the One key finding in this study was that maximal significant dominant biological traits at the scale of the whole nearshore, wave height explains the largest part of the faunal spatial dis- as observed in the present study and by Allen and Moore tribution (47%). Highly linked to freshwater outflow and bot- [92] and Dutertre et al. [11]. Suspension feeding (SF) strategy tom orbital velocity, these hydrodynamic factors appeared as was also the main feeding guilds within the whole environ- key descriptors for the local distribution of so-bottom com- mentally-stressed areas. Suspension feeder communities are munities as well as determinant for the sedimentation pro- indeed generally associated to spaces with strong hydrody- cesses and, consequently sediment types. Indeed, the faunal namics acting on the seafloor [93–96]. is is related to their assemblages gathered the stations composed by similar sedi- dependence on higher oxygen concentrations and the need ment type. Different community structures were therefore for small re-suspended particles for feeding purposes [93, observed within each bay. e less exposed stations of the 95–97]. Within the study area, the RLQ analysis results high- semi-enclosed bay appeared more similar to the muddy sand lighted nonetheless a pattern of change in trait composition stations of the open bay (assemblage B). Conversely, the more from highly energetic zone to the more sheltered ones. e exposed station presented a community structure similar to macrobenthic communities of the highest exposed site the one observed within the sandy stations of the open bay (Anglet coast: assemblage A) presented the highest relative (assemblage C). Such correlation between macrofauna distri- densities of free-living fauna such as the swimming crab bution patterns and the hydrodynamic regime had previously Portumnus latipes. Within lower hydrodynamics areas, sur- been reported elsewhere, e.g. in Portuguese Continental shelf face deposit feeders (SDF), as Abra alba, were more abun- [17, 28] and in South Brittany [11]. Hydrodynamic conditions, dant. is trophic group is generally associated with areas broadly defined as the duration of wave-induced sediment with lower hydrodynamic action on the seafloor, as currents remobilization, were also the most relevant factor, explaining limit their feeding and locomotion abilities [94]. SDF were the highest percentage of spatial variation in the macrofauna distributed with higher density in the opened and semi-en- along the southeastern Portuguese coast [28]. closed bays (Hendaye and Saint Jean de Luz Bays) thanks to Interactions between benthic organisms and abiotic fac- lower wave exposure. Such findings are highly generalisable tors, influencing their environment, result in a wide variety as similar conclusions were made elsewhere [97, 98], species of functional adaptations [91]. erefore, assessing changes changing their trophic strategy in response to flow and food in the functional composition of benthic assemblages in flux conditions [29, 97, 98]. SDF feed directly on newly PCO2 (14.1% of total variation) 12 Journal of Marine Sciences deposited organic matter, while sub-surface deposit feeders 5. Conclusions (SSDF) primarily feed on older organic matter [93, 96, 99]. Congruent with other published studies, this contribution sup- Within the study area, this guild (SSDF), through for example ports a priori common sense hypothesis that benthic organisms the species Antalis novemcostata, was associated with the exhibit, as distinct responses to different levels of disturbance lowest wave exposure of the semi-enclosed bay (Saint Jean [27]. As expected, this study confirms that distinct hydrody- de Luz Bay). Similar patterns were depicted by Dolbeth et al. namic conditions do affect the spatial distribution and the func- [97] along the Atlantic Portuguese coast. An ecological shi tional structure of macrobenthic fauna as revealed from the toward “AMBI group II” to “AMBI group IV” was also extensive study of nine subtidal stations (three per site) season- observed with decreasing sediment grain size and wave expo- ally sampled during two years and located at the same depth. sure level. Second-order opportunistic species was repre- Environmental constraints represented by wave exposure level sented by the polychaetes Aphelochaeta sp. and Lagis koreni and estuarine inputs appear as the more determinant variables and the bivalve Corbula gibba which were exclusively sam- for the benthic fauna in narrow environment including these pled within the semi-enclosed bay of Saint Jean de Luz. is three nearshore so-bottom sites. Furthermore, the temporal result reflected that in naturally organically rich area such as stability observed at the whole nearshore area scale suggests an bays close to river mouth, communities generally included ability to recover from a natural disturbance. opportunistic species and taxa that can also be found in erefore, assessing changes in the distribution of benthic anthropogenically-organic rich areas [5, 100]. erefore, as assemblages and the functional diversity of these species in a general matter, this study added to other published so far space and time may shed light on the consequences from sin- indicate that the spatial pattern of functional composition gle or multiple disturbance events on the resulting ecosystems. of benthic species can be used to infer the influence from On an applied perspective, knowledges about these biological physical disturbance exerted on ecosystems [27]. processes are useful for coastal management topic, allowing Estuarine inputs, as a source of suspended particulate to distinguish between natural from anthropogenic variability matter, and wave exposure, by inducing sediment remobili- of macrobenthic compartment in response to disturbances. zation, influenced in opposite directions the grain-size dis- In shallow, strongly exposed sandy beaches where coastal ero- tribution and the organic matter contents of sediments [28]. sion is a central concern, such baseline information may be As confirmed by this study, this natural sediment mobility particularly determinant to sustainably manage dredged sand due to hydrodynamic conditions is a factor of importance dumping and shoreface nourishment. on nearshore so-bottom, controlling the spatial distribution of many species [21, 97, 101] by causing both press- and pulse- types of disturbance as defined by Harris [32]. e Data Availability effects of such physical disturbances may vary with intensity and duration, and give sometimes dramatic damage to ben- e data used to support the findings of this study are available thic communities, followed by recovery. Nonetheless, near- from the corresponding author upon request. shore area as a whole demonstrated a rather temporal stability in community structure. Similar results were observed in exposed shallow water worldwide [102–104]. Conflicts of Interest ese results could be explained by two non-mutually exclu- sive processes: (i) an increasing number of repeated pulse e authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. disturbances (e.g. ocean storms, extreme swell regimes) which can gradually move the system closer to a press Funding response with benthic assemblages being less sensitive [105]; or (ii) the resilience of an ecosystem depends on thresholds is work was partly funded by the Region of Nouvelle- of intensity and/or prevalence of the disturbance, but also Aquitaine and the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de on the characteristics of the species affected [106]. Highly Bayonne Pays Basque. motile or dispersing species will recover from disturbance faster than the ones with opposite traits [107]. erefore, it may be proposed, as a general pattern, that macrofaunal Acknowledgments communities in shallow exposed subtidal area are composed of species showing high affinities to high hydrodynamic con- e authors gratefully would like to thank the Department ditions. e most exposed species assemblage located along of Pyrenees Atlantiques and the Chambre de Commerce et the Anglet coast, especially illustrates this apparent resil- d’Industrie de Bayonne Pays Basque which lend their boats ience. Consequently, as demonstrated by Dutertre et al. [11] and made their staff available to carry the field campaigns. and in the present study, large-scale ecosystem-based approach (i.e. site to site comparisons) improves the under- standing of the relationship between species distribution and Supplementary Materials environment, and provides a consistent baseline compatible Table S1: Dates of sampling campaigns and their abbre- with management concerns and the detection of spatial and viations. Table S2a: Kruskal–Wallis (One-way analysis of temporal changes. Journal of Marine Sciences 13 [5] T. H. Pearson and R. Rosenberg, “Macrobenthic succession variance) for the mean significant wave height (Hs ) mean in relation to organic enrichment and pollution of the marine with post-hoc pairwise multiple comparisons (Nemenyi environment. Oceanography and Marine,” Biology—An test) among the three studied localities. Table S2b: One- Annual Review, vol. 16, pp. 229–311, 1978. way ANOVA with post-hoc pairwise multiple comparisons [6] M. 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Journal of Marine BiologyHindawi Publishing Corporation

Published: Jan 30, 2020

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