Effects of physical environmental conditions on the patch dynamics of Dictyota pulchella and Lobophora variegata on Caribbean coral reefs

Renken, Henk, Mumby, Peter J., Matsikis, Iakovos and Edwards, Helen J. (2010) Effects of physical environmental conditions on the patch dynamics of Dictyota pulchella and Lobophora variegata on Caribbean coral reefs. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 403 63-74. doi:10.3354/meps08441


Author Renken, Henk
Mumby, Peter J.
Matsikis, Iakovos
Edwards, Helen J.
Title Effects of physical environmental conditions on the patch dynamics of Dictyota pulchella and Lobophora variegata on Caribbean coral reefs
Formatted title
Effects of physical environmental conditions on the patch dynamics of Dictyota pulchella and Lobophora variegata on Caribbean coral reefs
Journal name Marine Ecology-Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
1616-1599
Publication date 2010-03-22
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps08441
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 403
Start page 63
End page 74
Total pages 12
Editor Otto Kinne
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Trends in the percentage cover of macroalgae are generally used as an important indicator of the health of coral reefs. While considerable data exist on patterns of macroalgal cover, the underlying patch dynamics of macroalgae are poorly understood. It is important to appreciate the dynamical processes of algae because they determine the frequency and duration of competitive interaction with other taxa, such as corals, and thereby contribute to our understanding of competitive interactions. We used transition matrices to quantify and describe the patch dynamics of 2 common macroalgae in the Caribbean, Dictyota pulchella and Lobophora variegata, over a 9 mo period. Size-based matrices were constructed for both species from forereef habitats subjected to contrasting levels of wave exposure. The dynamics of D. pulchella are highly sensitive to the physical environment, whilst those of L. variegata are far less sensitive. The patch dynamics of D. pulchella showed a higher temporal variation than L. variegata, but only on the exposed forereef. D. pulchella virtually disappeared in January at both the exposed and sheltered sites, whereas L. variegata exhibited a continuing increase in patch size irrespective of exposure. D. pulchella formed larger, more dynamic patches under high exposure. This implies that contact interactions with coral colonies and space pre-emption for settling planulae will occur more frequently than in sheltered environments. Our results demonstrate the need to investigate patch dynamics of macroalgae at the individual species level, whilst taking into account environmental conditions.
© Inter-Research 2010.
Keyword Dictyota spp.
Lobophora variegata
Macroalgae
Patch dynamics
Transition matrices
Choosing category size
Florida-keys
Phase-shifts
Conch reef
Brown alga
Scleractinian corals
Diadema-antillarum
Matrix models
Hard coral
Competition
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 13 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 02 May 2010, 00:03:35 EST