Modeling the beta diversity of coral reefs

Harborne, Alastair R., Mumby, Peter J., Zychaluk, Kamila, Hedley, John D. and Blackwell, Paul G. (2006) Modeling the beta diversity of coral reefs. Ecology, 87 11: 2871-2881. doi:10.1890/0012-9658(2006)87[2871:MTBDOC]2.0.CO;2

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Author Harborne, Alastair R.
Mumby, Peter J.
Zychaluk, Kamila
Hedley, John D.
Blackwell, Paul G.
Title Modeling the beta diversity of coral reefs
Journal name Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-9658
Publication date 2006-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/0012-9658(2006)87[2871:MTBDOC]2.0.CO;2
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 87
Issue 11
Start page 2871
End page 2881
Total pages 11
Place of publication Ithaca, NY, United States
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Quantifying the beta diversity (species replacement along spatiotemporal gradients) of ecosystems is important for understanding and conserving patterns of biodiversity. However, virtually all studies of beta diversity focus on one-dimensional transects orientated along a specific environmental gradient that is defined a priori. By ignoring a second spatial dimension and the associated changes in species composition and environmental gradients, this approach may provide limited insight into the full pattern of beta diversity. Here, we use remotely sensed imagery to quantify beta diversity continuously, in two dimensions, and at multiple scales across an entire tropical marine seascape. We then show that beta diversity can be modeled (0.852 ≥ r2 ≥ 0.590) at spatial scales between 0.5 and 5.0 km2, using the environmental variables of mean and variance of depth and wave exposure. Beta diversity, quantified within a “window” of a given size, is positively correlated to the range of environmental conditions within that window. For example, beta diversity increases with increasing variance of depth. By analyzing such relationships across seascapes, this study provides a framework for a range of disparate coral reef literature including studies of zonation, diversity, and disturbance. Using supporting evidence from soft-bottom communities, we hypothesize that depth will be an important variable for modeling beta diversity in a range of marine systems. We discuss the implications of our results for the design of marine reserves.
Keyword Beta diversity
Coral reefs
Landscape ecology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 63 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 64 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 24 Nov 2010, 00:34:09 EST