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Habitat connectivity and complexity underpin fish community structure across a seascape of tropical macroalgae meadows

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dc.contributor University Of Western Australia
dc.contributor Univ Western Australia
dc.contributor Marine Sci Program
dc.contributor Dept Biodivers Conservat & Attract
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Oceans Inst
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Res Sch Biol
dc.contributor Australian National University
dc.contributor Australian Natl Univ WENGER, LUCY N. WILSON, SHAUN K. DEPCZYNSKI, MARTIAL FULTON, CHRISTOPHER J. VAN LIER, JOSHUA R. 2018-08-05T18:47:30Z 2018-08-05T18:47:30Z 2018-11-01T03:24:27Z 2018-08-05T18:47:30Z 2018-08-05T18:47:30Z 2018-11-01T03:24:27Z 2018-08-01
dc.identifier.citation van Lier JR, Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Wenger LN, Fulton CJ (2018) Habitat connectivity and complexity underpin fish community structure across a seascape of tropical macroalgae meadows. Landscape Ecology 33: 1287-1300
dc.identifier.issn 0921-2973
dc.description.abstract In heterogeneous landscapes, local patterns of community structure are a product of the habitat size and condition within a patch interacting with adjacent habitat patches of varying composition and quantity. While evidence for local versus landscape factors have been found in terrestrial biomes, support for such multi-scale effects shaping marine ecological communities is equivocal. We investigated whether within-patch habitat condition can override seascape context to explain the community structure of macroalgae-associated reef fishes across a tropical seascape. We mapped the distribution and abundance of a diverse family of reef fishes (Labridae) occupying macroalgae meadows within a tropical reef ecosystem, and using best-subsets model selection, investigated the potential for habitat structural connectivity and/or local habitat quality for predicting variations in fish community structure across the seascape. Local habitat quality (canopy structure, hard habitat complexity) and area of coral-dominated habitat within 500 m of a macroalgal meadow provided the best predictors of fish community structure. However, the specific importance of a given predictor varied with fish life history stage and functional trophic group. Interestingly, macroalgae meadow area was among the least important predictors. Given the complex interplay between local habitat quality and spatial context effects on fish biodiversity, our study reveals the multi-scale predictors that should be used in spatial conservation and management approaches for tropical fish diversity. Moreover, our findings question the ubiquity of habitat area effects in patchy landscapes, and cautions against a sole reliance on habitat quantity in spatial management.
dc.description.sponsorship This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship, as well as with funding provided by the Linnean Society of New South Wales. We also wish to thank Kelsey Sanborn for assistance in the field.
dc.language English
dc.subject Seaweed Beds
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Habitat Quality
dc.subject Physical Geography
dc.subject Diversity
dc.subject Spatial Context
dc.subject Juvenile Fish
dc.subject Labridae
dc.subject Canopy Cover
dc.subject Species-area Relationship
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Spatial-patterns
dc.subject Coral-reef Fishes
dc.subject Nursery Habitat
dc.subject Amount Hypothesis
dc.subject Assemblages
dc.subject Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
dc.subject Geography, Physical
dc.subject Geology
dc.subject Small Mammals
dc.title Habitat connectivity and complexity underpin fish community structure across a seascape of tropical macroalgae meadows
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s10980-018-0682-4
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000439347700005

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