Latitudinal and environmental patterns in abundance and composition of epilithic microphytobenthos

Jackson, A. C., Underwood, A. J., Murphy, R. J. and Skilleter, G. A. (2010) Latitudinal and environmental patterns in abundance and composition of epilithic microphytobenthos. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 417 27-38. doi:10.3354/meps08722

Author Jackson, A. C.
Underwood, A. J.
Murphy, R. J.
Skilleter, G. A.
Title Latitudinal and environmental patterns in abundance and composition of epilithic microphytobenthos
Journal name Marine Ecology Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1616-1599
Publication date 2010-11-04
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps08722
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 417
Start page 27
End page 38
Total pages 12
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research Science Centre
Language eng
Abstract Epilithic microphytobenthos (EMPB) is of core importance in intertidal assemblages and responds to a variety of environmental variables, including season, light, temperature and exposure to waves. To help understand responses by EMPB to these variables and their interactions, EMPB was compared at 2 different latitudes in eastern Australia. In subtropical Brisbane and temperate Sydney, EMPB was sampled at 4 different heights on shores exposed to, or sheltered from, waves during the austral winters and summers of 2006 to 2008. Trends of increasing biomass with decreasing height on shore supported previous studies. In particular, the interaction between season and height was similar to results of previous studies in Australia. There were no differences in biomass of standing stock between Sydney and Brisbane. Differences in timing of sampling occasions confounded some comparisons, and some observed patterns may be due to differences in rates of recolonisation among treatments. Spectrometric assessment of the composition of pigments in EMPB differed with latitude. Spectral samples were more similar to those from assemblages of cyanobacteria than to assemblages of green algae, and this was more marked in Sydney than in Brisbane. Amounts of chlorophyll a were greater on sheltered shores than on those exposed to waves. These patterns are not easily explained, but serve to illustrate the difficulties of extrapolating patterns and processes from one area to another. Variations in pattern at different heights on the shore and in different years emphasise the need for spatially and temporally extensive data in order to make reliable predictions about EMPB. Improved capacity to make reliable predictions will help us understand how EMPB may respond to our changing climate, which is forecast to be hotter with more frequent storms. © Inter-Research 2010.
Keyword Geographic distribution
Climatic change
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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Created: Sat, 27 Nov 2010, 02:24:38 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences