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Seascape configuration leads to spatially uneven delivery of parrotfish herbivory across a Western Indian Ocean seascape

Eggertsen, Linda and Goodell, Whitney and Cordeiro, César A. M. M. and Mendes, Thiago C. and Longo, Guilherme O. and Ferreira, Carlos E. L. and Berkström, Charlotte (2020). Seascape configuration leads to spatially uneven delivery of parrotfish herbivory across a Western Indian Ocean seascape. Diversity. 12 , 434
[Research article]

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Abstract

Spatial configuration of habitat types in multihabitat seascapes influence ecological function through links of biotic and abiotic processes. These connections, for example export of organic matter or fishes as mobile links, define ecosystem functionality across broader spatial scales. Herbivory is an important ecological process linked to ecosystem resilience, but it is not clear how herbivory relates to seascape configuration. We studied how herbivory and bioerosion by 3 species of parrotfish were distributed in a multi-habitat tropical seascape in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). We surveyed the abundance of three species with different life histories—Leptoscarus vaigiensis (seagrass species), Scarus ghobban (juvenile-seagrass/adults-reefs) and Scarus rubroviolaceus (reef species) —in seagrass meadows and on reefs and recorded their selectivity of feeding substrate in the two habitats. Herbivory rates for L. vaigiensis and S. ghobban and bioerosion for S. rubroviolaceus were then modelled using bite rates for different size classes and abundance and biomass data along seascape gradients (distance to alternative habitat types such as land, mangrove and seagrass). Bioerosion by S. rubroviolaceus was greatest on reefs far from seagrass meadows, while herbivory rates by S. ghobban on reefs displayed the opposite pattern. Herbivory in seagrass meadows was greatest in meadows close to shore, where L. vaigiensis targeted seagrass leaves and S. ghobban the epiphytes growing on them. Our study shows that ecological functions performed by fish are not equally distributed in the seascape and are influenced by fish life history and the spatial configuration of habitats in the seascape. This has implications for the resilience of the system, in terms of spatial heterogeneity of herbivory and bioerosion and should be considered in marine spatial planning and fisheries management.

Authors/Creators:Eggertsen, Linda and Goodell, Whitney and Cordeiro, César A. M. M. and Mendes, Thiago C. and Longo, Guilherme O. and Ferreira, Carlos E. L. and Berkström, Charlotte
Title:Seascape configuration leads to spatially uneven delivery of parrotfish herbivory across a Western Indian Ocean seascape
Series Name/Journal:Diversity
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:12
Article number:434
ISSN:1424-2818
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:herbivorous fish, coral reefs, seagrass, seascape ecology, ecosystem function, environmental gradients
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109034
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109034
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/d12110434
ID Code:19597
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:16 Dec 2020 12:45
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:20

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