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Zubia, M., Depetris, M., Flores, O., Turquet, J., & Cuet, P. (2018). Macroalgae as a tool for assessing the ecological status of coral reefs under the Water Framework Directive: A case study on the reef flats of La Reunion (Indian Ocean). Mar. Pollut. Bull., 137, 339–351.
Résumé: The monitoring of macroalgae is required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) to achieve good ecological status for coastal waters and specific questions arise for tropical ecosystems belonging to the outermost European regions. To assess the suitability of macroalgae as a biological quality indicator for La Reunion reef flats (France), we performed multivariate analyses linking the abundance and composition of macroalgae to water physicochemistry. Three hydrological groups of stations were identified according to dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentrations and DIN/PO4 ratios. Some indicator species were found at the N-enriched stations (Bryopsis pennata, Caulerpa lamourowcii, Chaetomoropha vieillardii, Derbesia sp1, Blennothrix lyngbyacea, Sphacelaria tribubides), and others at the non-impacted stations (Anabaena sp1, Blennothrix glutinosa, Codium arabicum, Neomeris vanbosseae). Another key result was the significant increase in red algal cover at the most N-enriched station. Our findings are discussed in the context of the application of the WFD in the outermost French regions.