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Relationships between mobile macroinvertebrates and reef structure in a temperate marine reserve

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Alexander, TJ and Barrett, NS and Haddon, M and Edgar, GJ (2009) Relationships between mobile macroinvertebrates and reef structure in a temperate marine reserve. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 389. pp. 31-44. ISSN Print 0171-8630 Online 1616-1599

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Abstract

Relationships between different metrics of reef structure and the density of macroinver- tebrates were examined at 3 nested spatial scales inside and outside a long-established, ‘no-take’ marine protected area (MPA) at Maria Island, Tasmania, Australia. Generalized linear models were developed that best explained the contributions of rugosity, substratum composition (different-sized boulders, bedrock, sand) and refuge metrics to the spatial variability in invertebrate species richness, total abundance, and the abundances of major taxonomic classes and focal species. To distinguish responses associated with protection from fishing from those relating to natural geographic variation, relationships between reef structure and invertebrate density were also assessed using survey data from before the MPA came into effect. Models combining reef structure and MPA protection explained between 44 to 67% of spatial variability of total invertebrate abundance across all survey scales examined (1 ×5, 1 ×50 and 1 ×200 m). The number of refuge size categories provided the best predictor of invertebrate species richness at the 5 m scale; however, no reef structure metric investi- gated was significant at the largest (200 m) spatial scale for species richness. Amongst the explana- tory variables examined, MPA protection and density of small refuges generated significant responses for the majority of taxa. One commonly applied metric of reef structure, rugosity, was found to be a relatively poor predictor of invertebrate abundance and richness, generating few sig- nificant relationships. Comparisons with pre-MPA data indicated that protection from fishing greatly influenced most major components of the invertebrate community, while reef structure appears to have little interactive influence on these MPA effects at the scales tested here.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Rugosity · Spatial refuges · Marine protected area · Sea urchins · Crinoids · Generalized linear model · Species richness · Tasmania
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Ecology Progress Series
Page Range: pp. 31-44
ISSN: Print 0171-8630 Online 1616-1599
Identification Number - DOI: 10.3354/meps08210
Additional Information: © 2009 Inter Research
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2009 00:39
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:06
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/9352
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