Benthic invertebrate community in Khur-e-Mussa creeks in northwest of Persian Gulf and the application of the AMBI (AZTI's Marine Biotic Index)



 Benthic invertebrates are a
well-established target in environmental quality status evaluations. The AMBI
(AZTI's Marine Biotic Index) was developed to determine the impacts and the
quality status of soft-bottom marine benthic communities. The aim of this study was investigating multivariate
pattern of benthic invertebrate community and application of AMBI (AZTI's
Marine Biotic Index) for determining quality of health status in Khuzestan
coastal waters. Seasonal samplings
were collected from eight creeks over one year study by Peterson grab sampler,
beginning from October 2005. All
creeks are characterized by muddy bottom. According
to sensitivity to environmental stress, macrobenthic
animals classified into 5 ecological
groups. Among 28
identified faunal groups the most abundant groups were polychaets, molluscs, crustaceans and nematodes, respectively. Two way ANOVAs showed
only seasonal significant differences in mean abundance (P < 0.05) and Margalef
richness index values (P < 0.05), while all of studied creeks shows similar
biological characters based on benthic communities. According
to annual mean of AMBI value all creeks were in ecological group III with
slightly polluted condition, except for Darvish that was in unpolluted category. In the present study, although the number of
species initially increased, but due to appearance of dominant species such as Capitella
sp. and nematods (as opportunist species), diversity values reduced.
In general, according to AMBI and Biotic index values, the most creeks are
classified into unpolluted and slightly polluted categories except for Zangy,
Doragh and Patil in summer and also Zangy and Bihad in winter which was in
moderate to heavily polluted category. Different types of exploitation, industrial and shipping activities in this area could result in unbalanced
to polluted status in benthic animals (as the best indicators in sediment
quality assessment) so these results can be