Community-wide scan identifies fish species associated with coral reef services across the Indo-Pacific

Maire, Eva, Villéger, Sébastien, Graham, Nicholas A.J., Hoey, Andrew S., Cinner, Joshua, Ferse, Sebastian C.A., Aliaume, Catherine, Booth, David J., Feary, David A., Kulbicki, Michel, Sandin, Stuart A., Vigliola, Laurent, and Mouillot, David (2018) Community-wide scan identifies fish species associated with coral reef services across the Indo-Pacific. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 285 (1883). 20181167.

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Abstract

Determining whether many functionally complementary species or only a subset of key species are necessary to maintain ecosystem functioning and services is a critical question in community ecology and biodiversity conservation. Identifying such key species remains challenging, especially in the tropics where many species co-occur and can potentially support the same or different processes. Here, we developed a new community-wide scan (CWS) approach, analogous to the genome-wide scan, to identify fish species that significantly contribute, beyond the socio-environmental and species richness effects, to the biomass and coral cover on Indo-Pacific reefs. We found that only a limited set of species (51 out of approx. 400, approx. 13%), belonging to various functional groups and evolutionary lineages, are strongly and positively associated with fish biomass and live coral cover. Many of these species have not previously been identified as functionally important, and thus may be involved in unknown, yet important, biological mechanisms that help sustain healthy and productive coral reefs. CWS has the potential to reveal species that are key to ecosystem functioning and services and to guide management strategies as well as new experiments to decipher underlying causal ecological processes.

Item ID: 55239
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: ecosystem functioning; biodiversity; fish community; key species; ecosystem services; coral reefs
Copyright Information: Copyright @ 2018 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
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Access: Articles in this journal become free 1 year after publication. They enter the subscription paywall again between 11 and 70 years, after which they enter the free digital archive. (http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/for-readers)

Funders: Total Foundation (TF), FUTURE-REEFS, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, US National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Moorea Coral Reef LTER site
Projects and Grants: NSF OCE 1637396, NSF OCE 1236905, NSF OCE 1026851, NSF OCE 0417412
Research Data: https://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.45dc7qj
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2018 07:10
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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