Diversity and abundance of invertebrate epifaunal assemblages associated with gorgonians are driven by colony attributes

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/566101
Title:
Diversity and abundance of invertebrate epifaunal assemblages associated with gorgonians are driven by colony attributes
Authors:
Curdia, Joao; Carvalho, Susana ( 0000-0003-1300-1953 ) ; Pereira, Fábio R.; Guerra-García, José Manuel; Santos, Miguel Neves Dos; Cunha, Marina R.
Abstract:
The present study aimed to explicitly quantify the link between the attributes of shallow-water gorgonian colonies (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) and the ecological patterns of associated non-colonial epifaunal invertebrates. Based on multiple regression analysis, we tested the contribution of several attributes (colony height, width, and area, fractal dimension as a measure of colony complexity, lacunarity as a measure of the heterogeneity, and “colonial” epibiont cover) to abundance and taxonomic richness of associated assemblages. The results highlight the variation in the response of epifaunal assemblages to the gorgonian colony characteristics. The nature and intensity of the relationships were gorgonian species-dependent and varied from one taxonomic group to another. For both gorgonian species analyzed, the strongest predictor of species richness and abundance of the epifaunal assemblages was “colonial” epibiont cover, possibly due to a trophic effect (direct or indirect enhancement of food availability) combined with the surface available for colonization (species–area effect). Although structural complexity is usually indicated as the main driver for rich and abundant coral-associated assemblages, no significant relationship was observed between fractal dimension and the community descriptors; lacunarity, which reflects the sizes of the inter-branch spaces, was only linked to taxonomic richness in the assemblages associated with Leptogorgia lusitanica. The validity of the paradigm that structural complexity enhances biodiversity may be scale-dependent. In the case of gorgonians, the effect of complexity at the “garden” level may be more relevant than at the individual colony level. This reinforces the need for the conservation of gorgonian aggregation areas as a whole in order to preserve host diversity and size structure. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
KAUST Department:
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Journal:
Coral Reefs
Issue Date:
20-Mar-2015
DOI:
10.1007/s00338-015-1283-1
Type:
Article
ISSN:
07224028
Sponsors:
J. Curdia (SFRH/BD/29491/2006) and S. Carvalho (SFRH/BPD/26986/2006) benefit from Ph.D. and postdoctoral grants, respectively, awarded by "Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia" (FCT). The authors would like to acknowledge John Pearman for proofreading the manuscript and two anonymous reviewers for the invaluable comments that helped improving a previous version of the manuscript. This work was partially supported by European Funds through COMPETE and by National Funds through the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) within project PEst-C/MAR/LA0017/2013.
Appears in Collections:
Articles; Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorCurdia, Joaoen
dc.contributor.authorCarvalho, Susanaen
dc.contributor.authorPereira, Fábio R.en
dc.contributor.authorGuerra-García, José Manuelen
dc.contributor.authorSantos, Miguel Neves Dosen
dc.contributor.authorCunha, Marina R.en
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-12T09:28:17Zen
dc.date.available2015-08-12T09:28:17Zen
dc.date.issued2015-03-20en
dc.identifier.issn07224028en
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s00338-015-1283-1en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/566101en
dc.description.abstractThe present study aimed to explicitly quantify the link between the attributes of shallow-water gorgonian colonies (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) and the ecological patterns of associated non-colonial epifaunal invertebrates. Based on multiple regression analysis, we tested the contribution of several attributes (colony height, width, and area, fractal dimension as a measure of colony complexity, lacunarity as a measure of the heterogeneity, and “colonial” epibiont cover) to abundance and taxonomic richness of associated assemblages. The results highlight the variation in the response of epifaunal assemblages to the gorgonian colony characteristics. The nature and intensity of the relationships were gorgonian species-dependent and varied from one taxonomic group to another. For both gorgonian species analyzed, the strongest predictor of species richness and abundance of the epifaunal assemblages was “colonial” epibiont cover, possibly due to a trophic effect (direct or indirect enhancement of food availability) combined with the surface available for colonization (species–area effect). Although structural complexity is usually indicated as the main driver for rich and abundant coral-associated assemblages, no significant relationship was observed between fractal dimension and the community descriptors; lacunarity, which reflects the sizes of the inter-branch spaces, was only linked to taxonomic richness in the assemblages associated with Leptogorgia lusitanica. The validity of the paradigm that structural complexity enhances biodiversity may be scale-dependent. In the case of gorgonians, the effect of complexity at the “garden” level may be more relevant than at the individual colony level. This reinforces the need for the conservation of gorgonian aggregation areas as a whole in order to preserve host diversity and size structure. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelbergen
dc.description.sponsorshipJ. Curdia (SFRH/BD/29491/2006) and S. Carvalho (SFRH/BPD/26986/2006) benefit from Ph.D. and postdoctoral grants, respectively, awarded by "Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia" (FCT). The authors would like to acknowledge John Pearman for proofreading the manuscript and two anonymous reviewers for the invaluable comments that helped improving a previous version of the manuscript. This work was partially supported by European Funds through COMPETE and by National Funds through the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) within project PEst-C/MAR/LA0017/2013.en
dc.publisherSpringer Natureen
dc.subjectFractal dimensionen
dc.subjectGorgoniansen
dc.subjectInvertebrate biodiversityen
dc.subjectLacunarityen
dc.subjectMultiple regressionsen
dc.subjectStructural complexityen
dc.titleDiversity and abundance of invertebrate epifaunal assemblages associated with gorgonians are driven by colony attributesen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)en
dc.identifier.journalCoral Reefsen
dc.contributor.institutionIPMA, Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, Av. 5 de Outubro, s/nOlhão, Portugalen
dc.contributor.institutionDepartamento de Biologia and CESAM, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus de SantiagoAveiro, Portugalen
dc.contributor.institutionDepartamento de Zoología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Sevilla, Avda Reina Mercedes 6Seville, Spainen
kaust.authorCurdia, Joaoen
kaust.authorCarvalho, Susanaen
All Items in KAUST are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.