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The effects of suspended sediment on coral reef fish assemblages and feeding guilds of north-west Australia

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dc.contributor Marine Sci Program
dc.contributor Curtin University
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Curtin Univ
dc.contributor Sci & Conservat Div
dc.contributor Dept Biodivers Conservat & Attract
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Uwa Oceans Inst
dc.contributor Remote Sensing & Satellite Res Grp
dc.contributor University Of Western Australia
dc.contributor Univ Western Australia
dc.contributor Dept Imaging & Appl Phys MOUSTAKA, MOLLY LANGLOIS, TIM J. MCLEAN, DIANNE BOND, TODD FISHER, REBECCA FEARNS, PETER DORJI, PASSANG EVANS, RICHARD D. 2018-09-16T18:43:03Z 2018-09-16T18:43:03Z 2020-06-30T22:24:58Z 2018-09-16T18:43:03Z 2018-09-16T18:43:03Z 2020-06-30T22:24:58Z 2018-09-01
dc.identifier.citation Moustaka M, Langlois TJ, McLean D, Bond T, Fisher R, Fearns P, Dorji P, Evans RD (2018) The effects of suspended sediment on coral reef fish assemblages and feeding guilds of north-west Australia. Coral Reefs 37(3): 659-673
dc.identifier.issn 0722-4028
dc.description.abstract Understanding environmental drivers of fish assemblage composition is fundamental to designing useful management plans for anthropogenic activities. This study investigated the influence of suspended sediment on reef fish assemblages and habitat composition over a cross-shelf turbidity gradient in the nearshore Pilbara region of Western Australia. The responses of all feeding guilds were analysed to identify feeding guilds vulnerable to elevations in suspended sediment and sedimentation. This study is the first of its kind to utilise both remotely sensed and in situ turbidity data to characterise the general turbidity regime and magnitude of stochastic events. By using the coordinates from a principle coordinates analysis, we were able to capture both the general turbidity conditions and stochastic turbidity spikes at each site, whilst the use of in situ turbidity measurements allowed us to effectively 'groundtruth' the remotely sensed TSS data. Underwater visual census was used to sample the fish assemblage and quantify habitat across the turbidity gradient. Generalised additive mixed models were used to explore the relationships between environmental variables, habitat variables, and fish assemblage metrics. Species richness significantly declined with increasing levels of turbidity. This study identified two key functional groups of fish that are vulnerable to elevated suspended sediment loads. Planktivorous omnivores and herbivorous scrapers decreased in abundance at high turbidity sites. Total biomass of herbivorous scrapers was lower at turbid sites, whilst the biomass of planktivorous omnivores was not related to any of the predictor variables. Changes in the abundance, biomass, and behaviour of these functional groups can have severe consequences for the resilience and recovery of coral reefs. Anthropogenic activities that elevate suspended sediment in regions where coral reef communities exist should consider these implications when designing management plans.
dc.description.sponsorship This study was funded by the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project's State Environmental Offsets Program and administered by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. The Wheatstone Project is a joint venture between Australian subsidiaries of Chevron, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), Woodside Petroleum Limited and Kyushu Electric Power Company, together with PE Wheatstone Pty Ltd (part owned by TEPCO). Funding support was also received from the Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits Fund, which is administered by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. Thank you to Helen Chedzey and Mark Broomhall from the Remote Sensing and Satellite Research Group at Curtin University for generating and providing the remotely sensed total suspended solids data for this study.
dc.language English
dc.subject Great-barrier-reef
dc.subject Marine Reserves
dc.subject Herbivore
dc.subject Sediment
dc.subject Water-quality
dc.subject Climate-change
dc.subject Inshore
dc.subject Shelf Reefs
dc.subject Herbivory
dc.subject Marine & Freshwater Biology
dc.subject Planktivore
dc.subject Mid-shelf
dc.subject Depth Gradient
dc.subject Communities
dc.subject Coral Reef Fish
dc.subject Biomass
dc.subject Parrotfish Scarus-rivulatus
dc.subject Caribbean Coral
dc.subject Gamm
dc.subject Biodiversity
dc.subject Stereo-video
dc.title The effects of suspended sediment on coral reef fish assemblages and feeding guilds of north-west Australia
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s00338-018-1690-1
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000441845500005

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