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Temporal and spatial variability of mobile fauna on a submarine cliff and boulder scree complex: a community in flux

Bell, J. J. and Turner, J. R. (2003) Temporal and spatial variability of mobile fauna on a submarine cliff and boulder scree complex: a community in flux. Hydrobiologia, 503 (1-3). pp. 171-182. ISSN 0018-8158

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1023/B:HYDR.0000008497.66443.03

Abstract/Summary

The mobile component of a community inhabiting a submarine boulder scree/cliff was investigated at Lough Hyne, Ireland at dawn, midday, dusk and night over a 1-week period. Line transects (50 m) were placed in the infralittoral (6 m) and circumlittoral (18 m) zones and also the interface between these two zones (12 m). The dominant mobile fauna of this cliff consisted of echinoderms (6 species), crustaceans (10 species) and fish (23 species). A different component community was identified at each time/depth interval using Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) even though both species diversity (Shannon-Wiener indices) and richness (number of species) remained constant. These changes in community composition provided indirect evidence for migration by these mobile organisms. However, little evidence was found for migration between different zones with the exception of the several wrasse species. These species were observed to spend the daytime foraging in the deeper zone, but returned to the upper zone at night presumably for protection from predators. For the majority of species, migration was considered to occur to cryptic habitats such as holes and crevices. The number of organisms declined during the night, although crustacean numbers peaked, while fish and echinoderms were most abundant during day, possibly due to predator-prey interactions. This submarine community is in a state of flux, whereby, community characteristics, including trophic and energetic relationships, varied over small temporal (daily) and spatial (m) scales.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:10682
Uncontrolled Keywords:circumlittoral zone, infralittoral zone, Lough Hyne, macrofauna, migration, URCHIN PARACENTROTUS-LIVIDUS, TEMPERATE REEF FISH, ASTERIAS-RUBENS, FEEDING-BEHAVIOR, ACTIVITY RHYTHMS, ABUNDANCE, PATTERNS, SEA, PREDATION, MIGRATION

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