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Sarah A Pearson

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Benthic invertebrate communities are monitored because the composition of those communities can affect and be affected by the water quality of an aquatic system. Benthic communities use and sometimes regulate the cycling of essential elements (for example, carbon). Benthic invertebrate taxa may also indicate acute and chronic stressors in an environment because they accumulate contaminants and can respond – sometimes dramatically - to oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions. Benthic communities affect water quality by grazing pelagic food resources and increasing the rate of nutrient regeneration through feeding and bioturbating sediments. South San Francisco Bay is a system dependent on phytoplankton as the base...
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