Understanding salt-tolerance and biota-stressor interactions in freshwater invertebrate communities

Ben J. Kefford, Jon P. Bray, Susan J. Nichols, Jollene Reich, Ralph Mac Nally, Andrew O'Reilly-Nugent, Guillaume Kon Kam King, Ross Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Salinity is increasing in many naturally fresh waters because of human activities, and there are concerns about the ecological effects of these increases. Salinity, as with any stressor, can affect organisms both directly and indirectly. In a previous study (Bray et al. 2019), we evaluated the relative importance of direct and indirect effects of increased salinity on stream invertebrates.Chessman (2021)criticised that study, claiming that the biotic treatments were confounded and did not directly test the hypotheses.Chessman (2021)also conducted a reanalysis of the data. We show through the analysis of new data that our biotic treatments were not confounded and that the conclusions made byChessman (2021)were probably a consequence of the low statistical power of his analysis. Consequently, we argue thatChessman's (2021)comments do not substantively alter the conclusions of our study, and we provide more evidence to support the conclusions of our previous publication. The study of biota-stressor interactions is increasingly relevant to a wide range of global ecosystems. There is a need to develop tractable experimental and survey designs that address these problems, and we identify further avenues for study of these complex issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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