Advertisement

Landscape Ecology

, Volume 34, Issue 10, pp 2337–2352 | Cite as

Temperate zone coastal seascapes: seascape patterning and adjacent seagrass habitat shape the distribution of rocky reef fish assemblages

  • Daniel S. SwadlingEmail author
  • Nathan A. Knott
  • Matthew J. Rees
  • Andrew R. Davis
Research Article

Abstract

Context

Whilst the composition and arrangement of habitats within landscape mosaics are known to be important determinants of biodiversity patterns, the influence of seascape patterning and connectivity on temperate reef fish assemblages remains largely unknown.

Objectives

We examined how habitat patterns at multiple spatial scales (100–1000 m) explained the abundance and diversity of temperate reef fish in a reef-seagrass dominated seascape.

Methods

Fish assemblages were surveyed using remote underwater videos deployed on 22 reefs in Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia. Using full-subset GAMMs, we investigated if habitat area, edge, structural connectivity and a metric for habitat diversity (Shannon’s diversity index) of reef and seagrass can predict variations in a temperate reef fish assemblage.

Results

A key finding of the study was that temperate reefs close (< 55 m) to large (> 6.25 ha) seagrass meadows contained greater abundance and diversity of fish. A consistent negative correlation was also found between reef area (> 0.01 ha) and the fish assemblage. The influence of seascape metrics on the abundance of fishes varied with functional traits (trophic groups, mobility and habitat associations). Fish-seascape relationships occurred at a range of spatial scales with no single scale being solely important for structuring the fish assemblage.

Conclusions

We demonstrate that it is important not to view reef habitats in isolation, rather consider a reefs context to adjacent seagrass when predicting the distribution of temperate reef fish. This finding improves current understanding of the multi-scale factors structuring temperate reef fish assemblages and highlights the importance of reef-seagrass connectivty for the management of temperate marine ecosystems.

Keywords

Seascape ecology Connectivity Spatial scale Temperate reef fish Seagrass Full-subsets generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs) Remote underwater video (RUV) 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank E. Messer, P. Gordon, J. Lester, C. Virtue, C. Evans-Turner, K. Gilles and K. Swadling for fieldwork assistance. We would also like to thank H. Brown for assisting with the spatial analysis. We acknowledge support from the staff of Jervis Bay Marine Park and Booderee National Park. This research was conducted in accordance to the methods approved by the University of Wollongong’s animal ethics committee (AE 12/07r15), NSW DPI scientific collection permit P01/0059(A)-2.0 and Booderee National Park scientific research permit BDR16/00002.

Supplementary material

10980_2019_892_MOESM1_ESM.docx (633 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 633 kb)

References

  1. Acosta CA, Robertson DN (2002) Diversity in coral reef fish communities: the effects of habitat patchiness revisited. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 227(1):87–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrewartha HG, Birch LC (1954) The distribution and abundance of animals. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  3. Beets J, Muehlstein L, Haught K, Schmitges H (2003) Habitat connectivity in coastal environments: patterns and movements of Caribbean coral reef fishes with emphasis on bluestriped grunt, Haemulon sciurus. Gulf Carrib Res 14(2):29–42Google Scholar
  4. Bell JD, Westoby M (1986) Variation in seagrass height and density over a wide spatial scale: effects on common fish and decapods. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 104(1–3):275–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berkström C, Gullström M, Lindborg R, Mwandya AW, Yahya SA, Kautsky N, Nyström M (2012) Exploring ‘knowns’ and ‘unknowns’ in tropical seascape connectivity with insights from East African coral reefs. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 107:1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berkström C, Lindborg R, Thyresson M, Gullström M (2013) Assessing connectivity in a tropical embayment: fish migrations and seascape ecology. Biol Conserv 166:43–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bernard ATF, Götz A (2012) Bait increases the precision in count data from remote underwater video for most subtidal reef fish in the warm-temperate Agulhas bioregion. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 471:235–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. BjØrnstad ON, Falck W (2001) Nonparametric spatial covariance functions: estimation and testing. Environ Ecol Stat 8(1):53–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bloomfield A, Gillanders B (2005) Fish and invertebrate assemblages in seagrass, mangrove, saltmarsh, and nonvegetated habitats. Estuaries 28(1):63–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bologna PA, Heck KL (2002) Impact of habitat edges on density and secondary production of seagrass-associated fauna. Estuaries 25(5):1033–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bond T, Langlois TJ, Partridge J, Birt M, Malseed B, Smith L, McLean D (2018) Diel shifts and habitat associations of fish assemblages on a subsea pipeline. Fish Res 206:220–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boström C, Pittman SJ, Simenstad C, Kneib RT (2011) Seascape ecology of coastal biogenic habitats: advances, gaps, and challenges. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 427:191–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Breheny P, Burchett W (2013) Visualization of regression models using visreg. R package pp 1–5Google Scholar
  14. Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2004) Multimodel inference: understanding AIC and BIC in model selection. Soc Method Res 33(2):261–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Calabrese JM, Fagan WF (2004) A comparison-shopper’s guide to connectivity metrics. Front Ecol Environ 2(10):529–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Caldwell IR, Gergel SE (2013) Thresholds in seascape connectivity: influence of mobility, habitat distribution, and current strength on fish movement. Landscape Ecol 28(10):1937–1948CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Champion C, Suthers I, Smith J (2015) Zooplanktivory is a key process for fish production on a coastal artificial reef. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 541:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chittaro BM (2002) Species-area relationships for coral reef fish assemblages of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 233:251–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Creese R, Glasby T, West G, Gallen C (2009) Mapping the habitats of NSW estuaries. Port Stephens Fisheries Institute, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  20. Curley BG, Jordan AR, Figueira WF, Valenzuela VC (2013) A review of the biology and ecology of key fishes targeted by coastal fisheries in south-east Australia: identifying critical knowledge gaps required to improve spatial management. Rev Fish Biol Fish 23(4):435–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Davis JP, Pitt KA, Fry B, Olds AD, Connolly RM (2014) Seascape-scale trophic links for fish on inshore coral reefs. Coral Reefs 33(4):897–907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dorenbosch M, Grol MGG, Christianen MJA, Nagelkerken I, Van Der Velde G (2005) Indo-Pacific seagrass beds and mangroves contribute to fish density and diversity on adjacent coral reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 302:63–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dunning JB, Danielson BJ, Pulliam HR (1992) Ecological processes that affect populations in complex landscapes. Oikos 65:169–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Edgar GJ, Shaw C (1995) The production and trophic ecology of shallow-water fish assemblages in southern Australia I: Species richness, size-structure and production of fishes in Western Port, Victoria. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 194(1):53–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ferrell DJ, McNeill SE, Worthington DG, Bell JD (1993) Temporal and spatial variation in the abundance of fish associated with the seagrass Posidonia australis in south-eastern Australia. Mar Freshwater Res 44(6):881–899CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fisher R, Wilson SK, Sin TM, Lee AC, Langlois TJ (2018) A simple function for full-subsets multiple regression in ecology with R. Ecol Evol 8(12):6104–6113PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Forman RTT, Godron M (1986) Landscape ecology. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Fowler AM, Chick RC, Stewart J (2018) Patterns and drivers of movement for a coastal benthopelagic fish, Pseudocaranx georgianus, on Australia’s southeast coast. Sci Rep 8(1):16738PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Froese R, Pauly D (2010) FishBase. World Wide Web Electronic publication. www.fishbase.org
  30. Gillanders BM (2006) Seagrasses, Fish, and Fisheries. In: Larkum AWD, Orth RJ, Duarte CM (eds) Seagrasses: biology, ecology and conservation. Springer, Netherlands, pp 503–505Google Scholar
  31. Gillanders BM, Able KW, Brown JA, Eggleston DB, Sheridan PF (2003) Evidence of connectivity between juvenile and adult habitats for mobile marine fauna: an important component of nurseries. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 247:281–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Graham MH (2003) Confronting multicollinearity in ecological multiple regression. Ecology 84(11):2809–2815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gray CA, McElligott DJ, Chick RC (1996) Intra- and inter-estuary differences in assemblages of fishes associated with shallow seagrass and bare sand. Mar Freshwater Res 47(5):723–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Green AL, Maypa AP, Almany GR, Rhodes KL, Weeks R, Abesamis RA, Gleason MG, Mumby PJ, White AT (2015) Larval dispersal and movement patterns of coral reef fishes, and implications for marine reserve network design. Biol Rev 90(4):1215–1247PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Green BC, Smith DJ, Underwood GJ (2012) Habitat connectivity and spatial complexity differentially affect mangrove and salt marsh fish assemblages. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 466:177–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Grober-Dunsmore R, Frazer TK, Beets JP, Lindberg WJ, Zwick P, Funicelli NA (2008) Influence of landscape structure on reef fish assemblages. Landscape Ecol 23(S1):37–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Grober-Dunsmore R, Frazer TK, Lindberg WJ, Beets J (2007) Reef fish and habitat relationships in a Caribbean seascape: the importance of reef context. Coral Reefs 26(1):201–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Grober-Dunsmore R, Pittman SJ, Caldow C, Kendall MS, Frazer TK (2009) A landscape ecology approach for the study of ecological connectivity across tropical marine seascapes. In: Nagelkerken I (ed) Ecological connectivity among tropical coastal ecosystems. Springer, Dordrecht Heidelberg, pp 493–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Guisan A, Edwards TC, Hastie TJ (2002) Generalized linear and generalized additive models in studies of species distributions: setting the scene. Ecol Modell 157(2):89–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hannan JC, Williams RJ (1998) Recruitment of juvenile marine fishes to seagrass habitat in a temperature Australian estuary. Estuaries 21(1):29–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Harasti D, Malcom H, Gallen C, Coleman MA, Jordan A, Knott NA (2015) Appropriate set times to represent patterns of rocky reef fishes using baited video. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 463:173–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Harvey ES, Cappo M, Butler JJ, Hall N, Kendirck GA (2007) Bait attraction affects the performance of remote underwater video stations in assessment of demersal fish community structure. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 350:245–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hastie TJ (2017) Generalized additive models. Statistical models in S. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 249–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hastie TJ, Tibshirani R (1987) Generalized additive models: some applications. J Am Stat Assoc 82(398):371–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Heck Jnr K, Hays G, Orth RJ (2003) Critical evaluation of the nursery role hypothesis for seagrass meadows. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 253:123–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Heck Jnr K, Hays G, Orth RJ (2008) Trophic transfers from seagrass meadows subsidize diverse marine and terrestrial consumers. Ecosystems 253:1198–1210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hitt S, Pittman SJ, Nemeth RS (2011) Diel movements of fishes linked to benthic seascape structure in a Caribbean coral reef ecosystem. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 427:275–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Hixon MA, Beets JP (1989) Shelter characteristics and Caribbean fish assemblages: experiments with artificial reefs. Bull Mar Sci 44(2):666–680Google Scholar
  49. Hutchins B, Swainston R (1986) Sea fishes of southern Australia: complete field guide for anglers and divers. Swainston Publication, PerthGoogle Scholar
  50. Jackson EL, Attrill MJ, Rowden AA, Jones MB (2006) Seagrass complexity hierarchies: influence on fish groups around the coast of Jersey (English Channel). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 330(1):38–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Jelbart JE, Ross PM, Connolly RM (2007) Patterns of small fish distributions in seagrass beds in a temperate Australian estuary. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 87(5):1297–1307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Kendall MS (2005) A method for investigating seascape ecology of reef fish. Proc Gulf Carib Fish Inst 56:1–11Google Scholar
  53. Kendall MS, Miller TJ, Pittman SJ (2011) Patterns of scale-dependency and the influence of map resolution on the seascape ecology of reef fish. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 427:259–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kiggins RS, Knott NA, Davis AR (2018) Miniature baited remote underwater video (mini-BRUV) reveals the response of cryptic fishes to seagrass cover. Environ Biol Fishes 101(12):1717–1722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Kuiter RH (1993) Coastal fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  56. Lee KA, Huveneers C, Macdonald T, Harcourt RG (2015) Size isn’t everything: movements, home range, and habitat preferences of eastern blue gropers (Achoerodus viridis) demonstrate the efficacy of a small marine reserve. Aquat Conserv 25(2):174–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. MacArthur RH, Wilson EO (1967) The theory of island biogeography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  58. Martin TSH, Olds AD, Olalde ABH, Berkström C, Gilby BL, Schlacher TA, Butler IR, Yabsley NA, Zann M, Connolly RM (2018) Habitat proximity exerts opposing effects on key ecological functions. Landscape Ecol 33(8):1273–1286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. McGrouther MA (2001) The Australian Museum Fish Database. World Wide Web Electronic publication. https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/fishes/
  60. Moore CH, Van Niel K, Harvey ES (2011) The effect of landscape composition and configuration on the spatial distribution of temperate demersal fish. Ecography 34(3):425–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Nagelkerken I (2009) Evaluation of nursery function of mangroves and seagrass beds for tropical decapods and reef fishes: patterns and underlying mechanisms. Ecological connectivity among tropical coastal ecosystems. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 357–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Nagelkerken I, Huebert KB, Serafy JE, Grol MG, Dorenbosch M, Bradshaw CJ (2017) Highly localized replenishment of coral reef fish populations near nursery habitats. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 568:137–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Nagelkerken I, Sheaves M, Baker R, Connolly RM (2015) The seascape nursery: a novel spatial approach to identify and manage nurseries for coastal marine fauna. Fish Fish 16(2):362–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Nakamura Y (2010) Patterns in fish response to seagrass bed loss at the southern Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Mar Biol 157(11):2397–2406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Olds AD, Connolly RM, Pitt KA, Maxwell PS (2012) Primacy of seascape connectivity effects in structuring coral reef fish assemblages. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 462:191–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Ortodossi NL, Gilby BL, Schlacher TA, Connolly RM, Yabsley NA, Henderson CJ, Olds AD (2018) Effects of seascape connectivity on reserve performance along exposed coastlines. Conserv Biol 0:1–10Google Scholar
  67. Parrish JD (1989) Fish communities of interacting shallow-water habitats in tropical oceanic regions. Mar Ecol Prog Ser Oldendorf 58(1):143–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Parsons DF, Suthers IM, Cruz DO, Smith JA (2016) Effects of habitat on fish abundance and species composition on temperate rocky reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 561:155–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Perry D, Staveley TAB, Gullström M (2018) Habitat connectivity of fish in temperate shallow-water seascapes. Front Mar Sci 4:001–012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Pittman SJ (ed) (2017) Seascape ecology. Wiley Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  71. Pittman SJ, McAlpine CA (2003) Movements of marine fish and decapod crustaceans: process, theory and application. Adv Mar Biol 44(1):205–294PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. R Core Development Team (2018) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. https://www.R-project.org/
  73. Rees MJ, Jordan A, Price OF, Coleman MA, Davis AR (2014) Abiotic surrogates for temperate rocky reef biodiversity: implications for marine protected areas. Divers Distrib 20(3):284–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Rees MJ, Knott NA, Davis AR (2018) Habitat and seascape patterns drive spatial variability in temperate fish assemblages: implications for marine protected areas. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 607:171–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Ricart AM, Sanmartí N, Pérez M, Romero J (2018) Multilevel assessments reveal spatially scaled landscape patterns driving coastal fish assemblages. Mar Environ Res 140:210–220PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sale PF (1998) Appropriate spatial scales for studies of reef-fish ecology. Aust J Ecol 23(3):202–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Sale PF, Douglas WA (1984) Temporal variability in the community structure of fish on coral patch reefs and the relation of community structure to reef structure. Ecology 65(2):409–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sambrook K, Hoey AS, Andréfouët S, Cumming GS, Duce S, Bonin MC (2019) Beyond the reef: the widespread use of non-reef habitats by coral reef fishes. Fish Fish 00:1–18Google Scholar
  79. Schultz AL, Malcolm HA, Bucher DJ, Smith SDA (2012) Effects of reef proximity on the structure of fish assemblages of unconsolidated substrata. PLoS ONE 7(11):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Simberloff D (1976) Experimental zoogeography of islands: effects of island size. Ecology 57(4):629–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Smith TM, Hindell JS, Jenkins GP, Connolly RM (2008) Edge effects on fish associated with seagrass and sand patches. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 359(1):203–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Smith KA, Sinerchia M (2004) Timing of recruitment events, residence periods and post-settlement growth of juvenile fish in a seagrass Nursery Area, South-Eastern Australia. Environ Biol Fishes 71(1):73–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Staveley TAB, Perry D, Lindborg R, Gullström M (2016) Seascape structure and complexity influence temperate seagrass fish assemblage composition. Ecography 39:001–011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Taylor MD, Becker A, Lowry MB (2018) Investigating the functional role of an artificial reef within an estuarine seascape: a case study of yellowfin bream (Acanthopagrus australis). Estuaries Coasts 41(6):1782–1792CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Turner MG (2005) Landscape ecology: what is the state of the science? Ann Rev Ecol Evol Syst 36:319–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Tweedie MC (1984) An index which distinguishes between some important exponential families. Statistics 579:579–604Google Scholar
  87. Unsworth RK, Bell JJ, Smith DJ (2007) Tidal fish connectivity of reef and seagrass habitats in the Indo-Pacific. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 87(5):1287–1296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Valentine JF, Heck KL Jr, Blackmon D, Goecker ME, Christian J, Kroutil RM, Kirsch KD, Peterson BJ, Beck M, Vanderklift MA (2007) Food web interactions along seagrass–coral reef boundaries: effects of piscivore reductions on cross-habitat energy exchange. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 333:37–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. van Lier JR, Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Wenger LN, Fulton CJ (2018) Habitat connectivity and complexity underpin fish community structure across a seascape of tropical macroalgae meadows. Landscape Ecol 33(8):1287–1300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Waycott M, Duarte CM, Carruthers TJ, Orth RJ, Dennison WC, Olyarnik S, Calladine A, Fourqurean JW, Heck KL, Hughes AR, Kendrick GA (2009) Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems. PNAS 106(30):12377–12381PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Wedding LM, Christopher LA, Pittman SJ, Friedlander AM, Jorgensen S (2011) Quantifying seascape structure: extending terrestrial spatial pattern metrics to the marine realm. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 427:219–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wellington CM, Harvey ES, Wakefield CB, Langlois TJ, Williams A, White WT, Newman SJ (2018) Peak in biomass driven by larger-bodied meso-predators in demersal fish communities between shelf and slope habitats at the head of a submarine canyon in the south-eastern Indian Ocean. Cont Shelf Res 167:55–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Williams R, West G, Morrison D, Creese R (2007) Estuarine resources of NSW. The NSW comprehensive coastal assessment toolkit. CD ROM. ISBN: 0.7347:7Google Scholar
  94. Wood SN (2006) Generalized additive models: an introduction with R. Chapman and Hall/CRCGoogle Scholar
  95. Wood SN, Scheipl F (2014) gamm4: Generalized additive mixed models using mgcv and lme4. R package version 0.2–3Google Scholar
  96. Wood SN, Wood MS (2015) Package ‘mgcv’. R package version 1:29Google Scholar
  97. Wraith J, Lynch T, Minchinton TE, Broad A, Davis AR (2013) Bait type affects fish assemblages and feeding guilds observed at baited remote underwater video stations. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 477:189–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Wu J (2006) Landscape ecology, cross-disciplinarity, and sustainability science. Landscape Ecol 21:1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Young GC, Wise BS, Ayvazian SG (1999) A tagging study on tailor (Pomatomus saltatrix) in Western Australian waters: their movement, exploitation, growth and mortality. Mar Freshw Res 50(7):633–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Zuur A, Ieno E, Walker N, Saveliev A, Smith G (2009) Mixed effects models and extensions in ecology with R. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions and School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life SciencesUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.NSW Department of Primary IndustriesFisheries ResearchHuskissonAustralia

Personalised recommendations