It has been shown in a number of studies that AvTD is not strongly affected by small variations in habitat type, but still retains sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbances. For example, in the UK's National Marine Monitoring Programme of macrobenthos around the British Isles, traditional species-richness indices were all much lower at estuarine sites compared with fully marine open coastal sites, whereas a+ did not differ between these habitat types. Nevertheless, a+ was the only diversity measure that showed a clear gradient of reduction with increasing heavy metal concentrations in the sediments.
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