The intertidal benthic community of mangrove dominated estuaries: the ecological implications of a decoupled habitat

Mattone, Carlo, and Sheaves, Marcus (2019) The intertidal benthic community of mangrove dominated estuaries: the ecological implications of a decoupled habitat. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 76 (7). pp. 2329-2337.

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Abstract

The benthic infauna of mangrove forests have received little research despite their importance in regulating ecological processes and nutrient cycling. The majority of studies of benthic community in mangrove systems have either focused on the adjacent tidal flats, or areas with high density of pneumatophores without entering within the forest, giving a misleading impression that mangrove infauna community is understood in detail. To fill the knowledge gap we investigated the composition and distribution of benthic taxa across a tidal gradient in two meso-tidal tropical estuarine mangrove forests in north Queensland, Australia. We used a 10-cm corer to sample inside the mangrove forest and on the adjacent tidal flat. Taxonomic composition was vastly different between the tidal flat and the mangrove forest. In fact, although peracarid (e.g. amphipods) characterized the community of tidal flats, they were never recorded within the forest. The contrasting community composition likely denotes contrasting ecological role of the two habitats. In particular, because peracarids are a key component of juvenile fish diets, their absence within the forest probably limits foraging opportunities for many juvenile fish within the forest, while their dominance on adjacent tidal flats suggests that these are likely to be the key feeding areas.

Item ID: 62719
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9289
Keywords: feeding ground, mangrove function, marine invertebrate, Rhyzophora stylosa, tidal flat
Copyright Information: © International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 2019. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2020 05:09
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 > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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