Large‐scale spatial variation in epilithic algal matrix cryptofaunal assemblages on the Great Barrier Reef

Kramer, M.J., Bellwood, D.R., and Bellwood, O. (2014) Large‐scale spatial variation in epilithic algal matrix cryptofaunal assemblages on the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biology, 161 (9). pp. 2183-2190.

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Abstract

Spatial variation in the epilithic algal matrix (EAM) cryptofauna was investigated at three locations on the Great Barrier Reef: two inner shelf—Orpheus Island and the Turtle Island group—and a mid-shelf location, Lizard Island. Although the EAM appears to be a relatively simple and consistent habitat, significant differences in cryptofaunal assemblages were found between locations. EAM assemblages from Orpheus Island were markedly different. This appears to be a function of the sediment profile characteristics (grain size >60 μm) at Orpheus Island, as many cryptofaunal taxa displayed positive relationships with sediment volume. However, sediment volumes did not differ significantly between the three locations, highlighting the possibility of cyclonic activity affecting the sediment profile at Orpheus Island in the months preceding the study, in addition to the nutrient input from major terrigenous sources. The results of this study show that EAM cryptofaunal assemblages are not uniform across the Great Barrier Reef and suggest that dissolved nutrients, sediment loads and distance from river systems may be significant drivers of cryptobenthic faunal compositions.

Item ID: 37684
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2015 02:22
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 60%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 40%
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