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Type: Journal article
Title: Local complexity in patterns of canopy-benthos associations produces regional patterns across temperate Australasia
Author: Irving, A.
Connell, S.
Gillanders, B.
Citation: Marine Biology, 2004; 144(2):361-368
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0025-3162
Statement of
A. D. Irving, S. D. Connell and B. M. Gillanders
Abstract: Across subtidal coasts of temperate Australasia, canopy–benthos associations are mostly understood from broadly defined studies of kelp forests within eastern Australia and north-eastern New Zealand. We tested the hypotheses that (1) benthic assemblages differ between monospecific stands of Ecklonia radiata and stands that comprise E. radiata mixed with other canopy-forming species, (2) patterns observed locally (i.e. within sites 1–10 km apart) match those observed among regions (>1,000 km apart) for which (3) eastern Australia and northern New Zealand are representative of other regions of temperate Australasia. Benthic assemblages almost always differed among monospecific, mixed, and open stands indicating that failure to distinguish between superficially similar habitats can lead to over-generalised conclusions about the ecology of kelp forests. Patterns of differences among stands did not change between western and southern Australia but differed from eastern Australia, and patterns from all regions were distinct from New Zealand (WA=SA≠EA≠NZ). Whilst local patterns were complex, the major morphological groups that often characterise benthos (i.e. encrusting coralline algae and turf-forming algae) revealed patterns that could be related across space from local to regional scales. These findings demonstrate that knowledge about the configuration of canopy-forming species will improve confidence about the representativeness of results and that any local complexity need not impede searches for generality when the spatial limits of patterns are also understood.
Description: The original publication can be found at
RMID: 0020040006
DOI: 10.1007/s00227-003-1202-9
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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