Advertisement

Coral Reefs

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 601–606 | Cite as

Biodiversity effects of the predation gauntlet

  • Adrian C. StierEmail author
  • Christopher D. Stallings
  • Jameal F. Samhouri
  • Mark A. Albins
  • Glenn R. Almany
Note

Abstract

The ubiquity of trophic downgrading has led to interest in the consequences of mesopredator release on prey communities and ecosystems. This issue is of particular concern for reef-fish communities, where predation is a key process driving ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Here, we synthesize existing experiments that have isolated the effects of mesopredators to quantify the role of predation in driving changes in the abundance and biodiversity of recently settled reef fishes. On average, predators reduced prey abundance through generalist foraging behavior, which, through a statistical sampling artifact, caused a reduction in alpha diversity and an increase in beta diversity. Thus, the synthesized experiments provide evidence that predation reduces overall abundance within prey communities, but—after accounting for sampling effects—does not cause disproportionate effects on biodiversity.

Keywords

Predator–prey Rarefaction Coral reef Reef fish Assembly Invasive predators 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are particularly grateful for Glenn Almany’s contributions to this project. Unfortunately, Glenn passed away before the manuscript could be completed; therefore, in addition to his intellectual contribution, we also dedicate this manuscript in memoriam to Glenn Almany, his friends, and his family. Many of the projects synthesized above were conducted on Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas and would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the employees there whose work ethic inspires us to this day. We thank Kalik, Kerleans, all of the station managers, chefs, mechanics, and field technicians that made this work possible.

Supplementary material

338_2017_1544_MOESM1_ESM.docx (51 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 51 kb)

References

  1. Albins MA (2013) Effects of invasive Pacific red lionfish Pterois volitans versus a native predator on Bahamian coral-reef fish communities. Biol Invasions 15:29–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Almany GR, Webster MS (2006) The predation gauntlet: early post-settlement mortality in reef fishes. Coral Reefs 25:19–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Almany GR, Peacock LF, Syms C, McCormick MI, Jones GP (2007) Predators target rare prey in coral reef fish assemblages. Oecologia 152:751–761CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson MJ, Ellingsen KE, McArdle BH (2006) Multivariate dispersion as a measure of beta diversity. Ecol Lett 9:683–693CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cardoso P, Borges PA, Veech JA (2009) Testing the performance of beta diversity measures based on incidence data: the robustness to undersampling. Divers Distrib 15:1081–1090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Casey JM, Baird AH, Brandl SJ, Hoogenboom MO, Rizzari JR, Frisch AJ, Mirbach CE, Connolly SR (2016) A test of trophic cascade theory: fish and benthic assemblages across a predator density gradient on coral reefs. Oecologia. doi: 10.1007/s00442-016-3753-8 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Côté IM, Green SJ, Hixon MA (2013) Predatory fish invaders: insights from Indo-Pacific lionfish in the western Atlantic and Caribbean. Biol Conserv 164:50–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crooks KR, Soulé ME (1999) Mesopredator release and avifaunal extinctions in a fragmented system. Nature 400:563–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. DeMartini EE, Smith JE (2015) Effects of fishing on the fishes and habitat of coral reefs. In: Mora C (ed.) Ecology of fishes on coral reefs. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp135Google Scholar
  10. Estes JA, Terborgh J, Brashares JS, Power ME, Berger J, Bond WJ, Carpenter SR, Essington TE, Holt RD, Jackson JBC, Marquis RJ, Oksanen L, Oksanen T, Paine RT, Pikitch EK, Ripple WJ, Sandin SA, Scheffer M, Schoener TW, Shurin JB, Sinclair ARE, Soulé ME, Virtanen R, Wardle DA (2011) Trophic downgrading of planet earth. Science 333:301–306CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Gamfeldt L, Lefcheck JS, Byrnes JE, Cardinale BJ, Duffy JE, Griffin JN (2015) Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: what’s known and what’s next? Oikos 124:252–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goatley CHR, Bellwood DR (2016) Body size and mortality rates in coral reef fishes: a three-phase relationship. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 283:20161858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gotelli NJ, Colwell RK (2001) Quantifying biodiversity: procedures and pitfalls in the measurement and comparison of species richness. Ecol Lett 4:379–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hedges LV, Gurevitch J, Curtis PS (1999) The meta-analysis of response ratios in experimental ecology. Ecology 80:1150–1156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hixon MA (1991) Predation as a process structuring coral reef fish communities. In: Sale PF (ed) The ecology of fishes on coral reefs. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 475–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hixon MA (2015) Predation: piscivory and the ecology of coral-reef fishes. In: Mora C (ed) Ecology and conservation of fishes on coral reefs: the functioning of an ecosystem in a changing world. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 41–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ingeman KE (2016) Lionfish cause increased mortality rates and drive local extirpation of native prey. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 558:235–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Meyer A, Dierking J (2011) Elevated size and body condition and altered feeding ecology of the grouper Cephalopholis argus in non-native habitats. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 439:203–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Osenberg CW, Sarnelle O, Cooper SD, Holt RD (1999) Resolving ecological questions through meta-analysis: goals, metrics, and models. Ecology 80:1105–1117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Prugh LR, Stoner CJ, Epps CW, Bean WT, Ripple WJ, Laliberte AS, Brashares JS (2009) The rise of the mesopredator. Bioscience 59:779–791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. R Development Core Team (2013) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  22. Ritchie EG, Johnson CN (2009) Predator interactions, mesopredator release and biodiversity conservation. Ecol Lett 12:982–998CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Rocha LA, Rocha CR, Baldwin CC, Weigt LA, McField M (2015) Invasive lionfish preying on critically endangered reef fish. Coral Reefs 34:803–806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sogard SM (1997) Size-selective mortality in the juvenile stage of teleost fishes: a review. Bull Mar Sci 60:1129–1157Google Scholar
  25. Stallings CD (2009) Fishery-independent data reveal negative effect of human population density on Caribbean predatory fish communities. PLoS One 4:e5333CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. Stier A, White JW (2014) Predator density and the functional responses of coral reef fish. Coral Reefs 33:235–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stier AC, Geange SW, Bolker BM (2013a) Predator density and competition modify the benefits of group formation in a shoaling reef fish. Oikos 122:171–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stier AC, Bolker BM, Osenberg CW (2016) Using rarefaction to isolate the effects of patch size and sampling effort on beta diversity. Ecosphere 7:e01612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stier AC, Geange SW, Hanson KM, Bolker BM (2013b) Predator density and timing of arrival affect reef fish community assembly. Ecology 94:1057–1068CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Stier AC, Hanson KM, Holbrook SJ, Schmitt RJ, Brooks AJ (2014) Predation and landscape characteristics independently affect reef fish community organization. Ecology 95:1294–1307CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Viechtbauer W (2010) Conducting meta-analyses in R with the metafor package. J Stat Softw 36:1–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. White JW, Samhouri JF, Stier AC, Wormald CL, Hamilton SL, Sandin SA (2010) Synthesizing mechanisms of density dependence in reef fishes: behavior, habitat configuration, and observational scale. Ecology 91:1949–1961CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian C. Stier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christopher D. Stallings
    • 2
  • Jameal F. Samhouri
    • 3
  • Mark A. Albins
    • 4
  • Glenn R. Almany
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.College of Marine ScienceUniversity of South FloridaSt. PetersburgUSA
  3. 3.Conservation Biology Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries ServiceNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Marine SciencesUniversity of South Alabama, Dauphin Island Sea LabDauphin IsUSA
  5. 5.EPHEPSL Research University, UPVD-CNRSPerpignanFrance
  6. 6.Laboratoire d’Excellence ‘CORAIL’PerpignanFrance

Personalised recommendations