Benthic Crustacea from tropical and temperate reef locations: differences in assemblages and their relationship with habitat structure

Kramer, Michael J., Bellwood, David R., and Taylor, Richard B. (2017) Benthic Crustacea from tropical and temperate reef locations: differences in assemblages and their relationship with habitat structure. Coral Reefs, 36 (3). pp. 971-980.

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Abstract

Tropical and temperate marine habitats have long been recognised as fundamentally different system, yet comparative studies are rare, particularly for small organisms such as Crustacea. This study investigates the ecological attributes (abundance, biomass and estimated productivity) of benthic Crustacea in selected microhabitats from a tropical and a temperate location, revealing marked differences in the crustacean assemblages. In general, microhabitats from the tropical location (dead coral, the epilithic algal matrix [algal turfs] and sand) supported high abundances of small individuals (mean length = 0.53 mm vs. 0.96 mm in temperate microhabitats), while temperate microhabitats (the brown seaweed Carpophyllum sp., coralline turf and sand) had substantially greater biomasses of crustaceans and higher estimated productivity rates. In both locations, the most important microhabitats for crustaceans (per unit area) were complex structures: tropical dead coral and temperate Carpophyllum sp. It appears that the differences between microhabitats are largely driven by the size and relative abundance of key crustacean groups. Temperate micro habitats have a higher proportion of relatively large Peracarida (Amphipoda and Isopoda), whereas tropical microhabitats are dominated by small detrital- and microalgal-feeding crustaceans (harpacticoid copepods and ostracods). These differences highlight the vulnerability of tropical and temperate systems to the loss of complex benthic structures and their associated crustacean assemblages.

Item ID: 50714
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0722-4028
Keywords: tropical, temperate, crustacea, habitat structure, turf, sand
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 11:17
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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