Low functional redundancy and high variability in Sargassum browsing fish populations in a subtropical reef system

Gilby, Ben L., Tibbetts, Ian R. and Stevens, Tim (2017) Low functional redundancy and high variability in Sargassum browsing fish populations in a subtropical reef system. Marine and Freshwater Research, 68 2: 331-341. doi:10.1071/MF15386


Author Gilby, Ben L.
Tibbetts, Ian R.
Stevens, Tim
Title Low functional redundancy and high variability in Sargassum browsing fish populations in a subtropical reef system
Formatted title
Low functional redundancy and high variability in Sargassum browsing fish populations in a subtropical reef system
Journal name Marine and Freshwater Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1323-1650
1448-6059
Publication date 2017-02-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/MF15386
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 68
Issue 2
Start page 331
End page 341
Total pages 11
Place of publication Clayton, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Establishing levels of functional redundancy in browsing fish populations among sampling periods and across spatial gradients is important in understanding coral reef functioning. We used baited video techniques to determine functional redundancy and variability in browsing herbivores within no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) and reference fished sites across two sampling periods and four reef types (scaling from high to low coral cover) in Moreton Bay, Australia (,278S, 1538E). We hypothesised higher herbivore abundance and browsing rates in MPAs due to protection from fishing, but lower functional redundancy in Moreton Bay generally than in tropical reefs. The function of Sargassum browsing in Moreton Bay is conducted by a single species (rabbitfish Siganus fuscescens), which is unlikely to browse at ecologically significant rates. Siganus fuscescens abundance was variable between reef types, sampling periods and individual sites, such that their abundance and browsing rates were not higher within MPAs. Similar spatial and temporal variability was found for fish community structure, indicating that other functional roles might not be influenced by MPA protection in Moreton Bay. We highlight the importance of accounting for variability in fish communities and ecosystem processes across spatial and temporal periods in considering the influence of no-take MPAs. 
Keyword Fish community
Functional redundancy
Herbivory
Moreton Bay
Range extensions
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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