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Type: Journal article
Title: Landscape ecology of interactions between seagrass and mobile epifauna: The matrix matters
Author: Tanner, J.
Citation: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2006; 68(3-4):404-412
Publisher: Academic Press Ltd Elsevier Science Ltd
Issue Date: 2006
ISSN: 0272-7714
Abstract: There is increasing interest among ecologists about how the type of matrix surrounding a habitat patch influences the organisms living in that patch. This question is virtually unstudied in marine systems. In this paper I show that the mobile faunal assemblage in seagrass patches does depend on the surrounding matrix. Faunal assemblages in patches of Posidonia surrounded by sand are different than in those surrounded by Heterozostera, another seagrass, having more than double the abundance of both amphipods and polychaetes. However, the differences are not simply due to spillover from the matrix habitat, but rather are an emergent property of the patch context that cannot be predicted. Posidonia surrounded by sand actually has an assemblage that is intermediate between Heterozostera and Posidonia surrounded by Heterozostera. Differences in habitat structure do not account for this pattern, as seagrass biomass did not vary, and the same result was found in artificial seagrass. The faunal assemblage did not vary depending on the location within the patch (edge or centre) for Heterozostera, Posidonia or artificial seagrass. Patch size, however, did have an effect for Heterozostera, with smaller patches having 2-3 times as many isopods per sample as large, but less than half the number of some amphipod families. These results suggest that the landscape context is as important in marine systems as it is known to be in terrestrial systems. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2006.01.029
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 6
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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