The study performed by Smith et al. executed three validation modes. The first entailed testing whether the index reproduced established spatial gradients of benthic conditions close to an ocean outfall in southern California. The second dealt with the reproducing of established temporal gradients at a set of sites that have been historically monitored. The third involved the testing of the correlation between chemical exposure and the BRI.
Benthic conditions across the spatial and temporal gradients were correctly characterized by the index. The predictive capability of the index was tested by the first two validation efforts when physical habitat, chiefly depth, was held relatively constant. The third test investigated response in relation to chemical exposure across a vast range of depth, substrate, and latitudinal gradients. A comparatively elevated differentiation was discovered between index values for reference sites and samples from sites with known chemical exposure.
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