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Sea urchins, macroalgae and coral reef decline: a functional evaluation of an intact reef system, Ningaloo, Western Australia

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dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Sch Marine & Trop Biol
dc.contributor James Cook Univ
dc.contributor University Of Western Australia
dc.contributor James Cook University
dc.contributor Aims Jcu
dc.contributor Australian Res Council Ctr Excellence Coral Reef
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Uwa Oceans Inst
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science (aims) en
dc.contributor.author DEPCZYNSKI, M.
dc.contributor.author JOHANSSON, C. L.
dc.contributor.author BELLWOOD, D. R.
dc.date.accessioned 2013-02-28T06:49:11Z
dc.date.accessioned 2017-03-21T01:10:17Z
dc.date.accessioned 2017-03-21T01:10:17Z
dc.date.accessioned 2019-07-08T02:14:37Z
dc.date.available 2017-03-21T01:10:17Z
dc.date.available 2013-02-28T06:49:11Z
dc.date.available 2013-02-28T06:49:11Z
dc.date.available 2019-07-08T02:14:37Z
dc.date.issued 2010-01-01
dc.identifier 8592 en
dc.identifier.citation Johansson C, Bellwood DR and Depczynski M (2010) Sea urchins, macroalgae and coral reef decline: a functional evaluation of an intact reef system, Ningaloo, Western Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 414: 65-74. en
dc.identifier.issn 0171-8630
dc.identifier.uri http://epubs.aims.gov.au/11068/8592
dc.description Link to abstract/full text - http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08730 en
dc.description.abstract The number of relatively untouched coral reefs worldwide is rapidly decreasing. Nevertheless, one coral reef ecosystem remains relatively intact: the largest west-continental reef ecosystem in the world, Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. This study investigated the status of 2 potential bio-indicators for coral reef decline, macroalgae and sea urchin densities, on this reef. Surprisingly, both were abundant, with the presence of extensive macroalgal beds in the sandy lagoon and a sea urchin-dominated reef slope. The algal distribution on Ningaloo reflected marked cross-shelf variation in the composition of fish functional groups, with only the back reef and the reef slope exhibiting high grazing rates (completely scraped every 43 and 59 d, respectively). Estimated bioerosion rates by fishes ranged between 1 and 2.3 kg m(-2) yr(-1). Echinoids only played a significant role in bioerosion on the reef slopes owing to their high abundance in that habitat (> 12 individuals m-2). Here, estimated echinoid erosion equalled that of the most abundant excavating parrotfish, Chlorurus sordidus. High echinoid and macroalgal abundances on this relatively intact reef system highlight the need for caution when using these metrics for evaluating reef ecosystem condition.
dc.description.sponsorship We thank T. Mannering and C. Birrell for field assistance; the Australian Institute of Marine Science for logistical support; AIMS@JCU (C.L.J.) and the Australian Research Council (D.R.B.) for financial support; D. J. Crossman, colleagues in the Centre of Excellence, 2 anonymous reviewer, and C. Birkeland for valuable comments.
dc.description.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08730 en
dc.language English
dc.language en en
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.relation.ispartof Marine Ecology Progress Series - pages: 414: 65-74 en
dc.subject Great-barrier-reef
dc.subject Caribbean Reef
dc.subject Algae
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Community Structure
dc.subject Echinometra-mathaei
dc.subject Parrotfish
dc.subject Echinoid Bioerosion
dc.subject Water-quality
dc.subject Coral Reef
dc.subject Climate-change
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Herbivory
dc.subject Herbivorous Fishes
dc.subject Resilience
dc.subject Marine & Freshwater Biology
dc.subject Ningaloo
dc.subject Ecosystem Function
dc.subject Functional Groups
dc.subject Oceanography
dc.subject Echinoderms
dc.subject Phase-shifts
dc.title Sea urchins, macroalgae and coral reef decline: a functional evaluation of an intact reef system, Ningaloo, Western Australia
dc.type journal article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.3354/meps08730
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000281891100006


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