Bottom-up factors for algal productivity outweigh no-fishing marine protected area effects in a marginal coral reef system

Gilby, Ben L., Maxwell, Paul S., Tibbetts, Ian R. and Stevens, Tim (2015) Bottom-up factors for algal productivity outweigh no-fishing marine protected area effects in a marginal coral reef system. Ecosystems, 18 6: 1056-1069. doi:10.1007/s10021-015-9883-8


Author Gilby, Ben L.
Maxwell, Paul S.
Tibbetts, Ian R.
Stevens, Tim
Title Bottom-up factors for algal productivity outweigh no-fishing marine protected area effects in a marginal coral reef system
Journal name Ecosystems   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1435-0629
1432-9840
Publication date 2015-05-22
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10021-015-9883-8
Volume 18
Issue 6
Start page 1056
End page 1069
Total pages 14
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Herbivory, together with seasonal variations in temperature, light and nutrient concentration regulate macroalgal populations on coral reefs. Individual management interventions can influence this balance by altering some, but not all of these potential drivers. For example, no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) on coral reefs can increase herbivorous fish abundance, thereby decreasing macroalgal coverage, but have limited influence on water quality and other vagile drivers. We compared the relative influence of seven abiotic water quality variables to that of MPA status on macroalgal coverage in 14 sites (5 of which are within no-take MPAs) over four consecutive seasons (summer through to spring) within the marginal coral reef habitats of Moreton Bay, Australia. Algal cover was quantified by taking 100 photo quadrats per site per sampling with the relative importance of our eight factors determined statistically by generalised additive models. Overall, temporal variations in total macroalgal cover and four out of five important macroalgal genera correlated with factors other than marine protection, especially water temperature, salinity, water clarity (Secchi disc) and nutrient concentration (nitrogen and phosphorus). However, seasonal variations in cover of individual macroalgal genera did not follow strong temporal trends and were not consistent with total macroalgal cover, meaning that different factors were significant for different algal genera. Consequently, we advocate for caution in determining the influence of impact gradients by exclusively measuring total macroalgal cover. This study highlights the importance of considering local impact gradients and habitat recovery processes in the design of protected area networks.
Keyword Bottom-up
Herbivory
Macroalgae
No-take MPAs
Nutrients
Salinity
Temperature
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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