Algal turf structure and composition vary with particulate loads on coral reefs

Arjunwadkar, Chaitanya, Tebbett, Sterling B., Bellwood, David, Bourne, David G., and Smith, Hillary A. (2022) Algal turf structure and composition vary with particulate loads on coral reefs. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 181. 113903.

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Algal turfs trap and retain particulates, however, little is known about the relationship between particulate accumulation and taxonomic composition of algal turfs. We investigated how particulate mass related to algal turf structure (length and density) and community composition (taxonomic and functional) on two disparate reefs. Particulate mass was positively related to algal turf length. By contrast, the relationship between particulate mass and turf density was more complex and followed a negative parabolic shape; density increased with particulate mass before stabilising and then declining. Community analyses showed taxonomic, but not functional group compositions differed significantly between reefs and with increasing particulate mass. Our results suggest high loads of particulates accumulated in algal turfs are related to a longer, lower density turf structure, typified by filamentous forms such as Cladophora. Changes in algal turf structure and composition could have a variety of bottom-up influences on coral reef ecosystems.

Item ID: 76111
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Turf algae, Community composition Diversity, Epilithic algal matrix, Functional group, Sediment
Copyright Information: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC CE140100020, ARC FL190100062
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2022 08:17
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
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