eCite Digital Repository

Congruence in demersal fish, macroinvertebrate, and macroalgal community turnover on shallow temperate reefs


Thomson, RJ and Hill, NA and Leaper, R and Ellis, N and Pitcher, CR and Barrett, NS and Edgar, GJ, Congruence in demersal fish, macroinvertebrate, and macroalgal community turnover on shallow temperate reefs, Ecological Applications, 24, (2) pp. 287-299. ISSN 1051-0761 (2014) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 the Ecological Society of America

DOI: doi:10.1890/12-1549.1


To support coastal planning through improved understanding of patterns of biotic and abiotic surrogacy at broad scales, we used Gradient Forest Modelling (GFM) to analyse and predict spatial patterns of compositional turnover of demersal fishes, macro invertebrates and macroalgae on shallow temperate Australian reefs. Predictive models were first developed using environmental surrogates with estimates of prediction uncertainty, and then the efficacy of the three assemblages as bio-surrogates for each other was assessed.

Data from underwater visual surveys of subtidal rocky reefs were collected from the south-eastern coastline of continental Australia (including South Australia and Victoria) and northern coastline of Tasmania. These data were combined with 0.01°-resolution gridded environmental variables to develop statistical models of compositional turnover (beta diversity) using GFM. GFM extends the machine learning, ensemble tree-based method of Random Forests (RF), to allow the simultaneous modelling of multiple taxa. The models were used to generate predictions of compositional turnover for each of the three assemblages within unsurveyed areas across the 6600 km of coastline in the region of interest.

The most important predictor for all three assemblages was variability (measured as standard deviation from measures taken interannually) in sea surface temperature. Spatial predictions of compositional turnover within unsurveyed areas across the region of interest were remarkably congruent across the three taxa. However, the greatest uncertainty in these predictions varied in location between the different assemblages. Pairwise congruency comparisons of observed and predicted turnover between the three assemblages showed that invertebrate and macroalgal biodiversity were most similar, followed by fishes and macroalgae, and lastly fishes and invertebrate biodiversity, suggesting that of the three assemblages, macroalgae would make the best bio-surrogate for both invertebrate and fish compositional turnover.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, biological surrogacy, coastal planning, marine biodiversity, prediction, gradient forest, random forest, species turnover
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Coastal and estuarine systems and management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Thomson, RJ (Dr Russell Thomson)
UTAS Author:Hill, NA (Dr Nicole Hill)
UTAS Author:Leaper, R (Dr Rebecca Leaper)
UTAS Author:Barrett, NS (Associate Professor Neville Barrett)
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
ID Code:85998
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2013-08-19
Last Modified:2017-11-03
Downloads:465 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page