The interpretation of analyses and indices used to quantify how ecological communities respond to human-caused stress is hindered by the fact that we never know exactly how real communities have been altered. As a consequence, we have difficulty interpreting (and agreeing on) what specifically our methods assess and to what extent they are successful. We have used simulation as a way of evaluating how sampling effectiveness and known changes in community composition and structure affect different types of assessment endpoints (e.g., estimates of differences in taxa richness, multimetric and O/E index values, and multivariate descriptions of differences among communities). In our past work, we have focused on simulating differences in mortality among resident taxa in response to changes in generalized stress. We are currently extending that work to explore how communities differentially respond to specific types of stress. We have not yet incorporated into our simulations how stress might promote establishment of nonresident taxa that can invade systems following stress.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||North American Benthological Association, Annual Meeting; Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|State||Published - 2010|