Trophic indices

Trophic indices were first used in California on soft-bottom and also, tentatively, in Mediterranean on hard-bottom as pollution indices. The Californian Word's Infaunal Trophic Index was designed for use in coastal waters with organic contamination and involves allocating species into one of the four feeding groups: the percentages obtained are combined in a formula. One of the major problems encountered with the trophic indices results from the large diversity of the trophic requirements of animals, even for a single genus and the difficulty to determine exactly what they are for a particular species. By example, many families of polychae-tous annelids present several categories of diet: carnivorous, suspension feeders, detritus feeders, and this could appear inside a single genus. Information is scarce and too general on that topic.

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