Marine biological assemblages are typically naturally variable across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Disturbances caused by human activities have the potential to alter natural patterns, but such disturbances can be difficult to detect or measure because they must be differentiated from a background of natural spatial and temporal variation. Therefore, an unambiguous assessment of the effects of point-source impacts on marine communities remains the first requirement for 1) determining whether any management action is necessary, and 2) if so, planning management strategies

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