: Despite considerable progress in understanding the transition from algal forests to coralline barrens, knowledge of coralline barren ecosystems in terms of community composition and functioning is still sparse and important gaps remain to be filled. Using a barren/forest patch system, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of coralline barren enhances the abundance and diversity of benthic mega-invertebrates. We also analysed trophic functional diversity through isotopic analyses of δ13C and δ15N. The distribution of benthic mega-invertebrates biomass differed markedly between coralline barren and algal forest, being more abundant and diverse in the barren state. Isotopic diversity metrics of the benthic mega-invertebrates assemblage indicated comparable trophic structure between the two states, although higher isotopic uniqueness in coralline barren was determined by sea urchins, especially A. lixula, and carnivorous starfish. We showed that in a patchy coralline barren/algal forest system, a more diversified benthic mega-invertebrates assemblage in the barren caused limited trophodynamic changes. This was possibly determined by the behaviour of some trophic groups such as filter feeders, deposit feeders and omnivores. Finally, our results evidence the close association between coralline barrens and benthic mega-invertebrates, contradicting the common view of coralline barrens as depauperate habitats with low diversity and productivity.

Agnetta D., Bonaviri C., Badalamenti F., Di Trapani F., Gianguzza P. (2024). Coralline barrens and benthic mega-invertebrates: An intimate connection. MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 199 [10.1016/j.marenvres.2024.106579].

Coralline barrens and benthic mega-invertebrates: An intimate connection

Agnetta D.
Methodology
;
Bonaviri C.
Data Curation
;
Gianguzza P.
2024-01-01

Abstract

: Despite considerable progress in understanding the transition from algal forests to coralline barrens, knowledge of coralline barren ecosystems in terms of community composition and functioning is still sparse and important gaps remain to be filled. Using a barren/forest patch system, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of coralline barren enhances the abundance and diversity of benthic mega-invertebrates. We also analysed trophic functional diversity through isotopic analyses of δ13C and δ15N. The distribution of benthic mega-invertebrates biomass differed markedly between coralline barren and algal forest, being more abundant and diverse in the barren state. Isotopic diversity metrics of the benthic mega-invertebrates assemblage indicated comparable trophic structure between the two states, although higher isotopic uniqueness in coralline barren was determined by sea urchins, especially A. lixula, and carnivorous starfish. We showed that in a patchy coralline barren/algal forest system, a more diversified benthic mega-invertebrates assemblage in the barren caused limited trophodynamic changes. This was possibly determined by the behaviour of some trophic groups such as filter feeders, deposit feeders and omnivores. Finally, our results evidence the close association between coralline barrens and benthic mega-invertebrates, contradicting the common view of coralline barrens as depauperate habitats with low diversity and productivity.
2024
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
Agnetta D., Bonaviri C., Badalamenti F., Di Trapani F., Gianguzza P. (2024). Coralline barrens and benthic mega-invertebrates: An intimate connection. MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 199 [10.1016/j.marenvres.2024.106579].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/641555
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