Cryptofauna of the epilithic algal matrix on an inshore coral reef, Great Barrier Reef

Kramer, M.J., Bellwood, D.R., and Bellwood, O. (2012) Cryptofauna of the epilithic algal matrix on an inshore coral reef, Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs, 31 (4). pp. 1007-1015.

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Abstract

Composed of a collection of algae, detritus, sediment and invertebrates, the epilithic algal matrix (EAM) is an abundant and ubiquitous feature of coral reefs. Despite its prevalence, there is a paucity of information regarding its associated invertebrate fauna. The cryptofaunal invertebrate community of the EAM was quantitatively investigated in Pioneer Bay on Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef. Using a vacuum collection method, a diversity of organisms representing 10 different phyla were identified. Crustacea dominated the samples, with harpacticoid copepods being particularly abundant (2025 ± 132 100 cm⁻²; mean density ± SE). The volume of coarse particulate matter in the EAM was strongly correlated with the abundance of harpacticoid copepods. The estimated biomass of harpacticoid copepods (0.48 ± 0.05 g m⁻²; wet weight) suggests that this group is likely to be important for reef trophodynamics and nutrient cycling.

Item ID: 24635
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: crustacea, Harpacticoid copepods, trophodynamics, turf algae, benthic community
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2013 03:50
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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