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Abundance and local - scale processes contribute to multi-phyla gradients in global marine diversity

Edgar, Graham J. and Alexander, Timothy J. and Lefcheck, Jonathan S. and Bates, Amanda E. and Kininmonth, Stuart J. and Thomson, Russell J. and Duffy, Emmett and Costello, Mark J. and Stuart-Smith, Rick D. (2017) Abundance and local - scale processes contribute to multi-phyla gradients in global marine diversity. Science Advances, 3 (e17004). TBA. ISSN 2375-2548

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    Abstract

    Among themost enduring ecological challenges is an integrated theory explaining the latitudinal biodiversity gradient, including discrepancies observed at different spatial scales. Analysis of Reef Life Survey data for 4127 marine species at 2406 coral and rocky sites worldwide confirms that the total ecoregion richness peaks in low latitudes, near +15°N and −15°S. However, although richness at survey sites ismaximal near the equator for vertebrates, it peaks at high latitudes for large mobile invertebrates. Site richness for different groups is dependent on abundance, which is in turn correlated with temperature for fishes and nutrients for macroinvertebrates. We suggest that temperature-mediated fish predation and herbivory have on strained mobile macroinvertebrate diversity at the site scale across the tropics. Conversely, at the ecoregion scale, richness responds positively to coral reef area, highlighting potentially huge global biodiversity losses with coral decline. Improved conservation outcomes require management frameworks, informed by hierarchical monitoring, that cover differing site- and regional-scale processes across diverse taxa, including attention to invertebrate species, which appear disproportionately threatened by warming seas.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Marine Studies
    Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca
    Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2017 15:12
    Last Modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:26
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/10329
    UNSPECIFIED

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