Planned intervention: On Wednesday June 26th 05:30 UTC Zenodo will be unavailable for 10-20 minutes to perform a storage cluster upgrade.
Published November 4, 2019 | Version v1
Dataset Open

Data from: Overwintering tropical herbivores accelerate detritus production on temperate reefs

  • 1. University of Western Australia

Description

The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems can lead to increased herbivory rates, reducing the standing stock of seaweeds and potentially causing increases in detritus production. However, long-term studies analyzing these processes associated with the persistence of tropical herbivores in temperate reefs are lacking. We assessed the seasonal variation in abundances, macrophyte consumption, feeding modes and defecation rates of the range-extending tropical rabbitfish Siganus fuscescens and the temperate silver drummer Kyphosus sydneyanus and herring cale Olisthops cyanomelas on tropicalized reefs of Western Australia. Rabbitfish overwintered in temperate reefs, consumed more kelp and other macrophytes in all feeding modes and defecated more during both summer and winter than the temperate herbivores. Herbivory and defecation increased with rabbitfish abundance but this was dependent on temperature, with higher rates attained by big schools during summer and lower rates in winter. Still, rabbitfish surpassed temperate herbivores, leading to a five-fold acceleration in the transformation of macrophyte standing stock to detritus, a function usually attributed to sea urchins in kelp forests. Our results suggest that further warming and tropicalization will not only increase primary consumption and affect the habitat structure of temperate reefs but also increase detritus production, with the potential to modify energy pathways.

Notes

Funding provided by: Australian Research Council
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000923
Award Number: DP170100023

Funding provided by: Hermon Slade Foundation
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001109
Award Number: HSF13-13

Funding provided by: Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment
Crossref Funder Registry ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100008190
Award Number: RA/1/411/101

Files

Files (30.3 kB)

Name Size Download all
md5:f2a1c626195a6cc618c72446d488b66f
30.3 kB Download