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

Abundance and local-scale processes contribute to multi-phyla gradients in global marine diversity
Abundance and local-scale processes contribute to multi-phyla gradients in global marine diversity
Among the most 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 is maximal 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 constrained 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.
2375-2548
Edgar, Graham J.
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Alexander, Timothy J.
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Lefcheck, Jonathan S.
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Bates, Amanda E.
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Kininmonth, Stuart J.
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Thomson, Russell J.
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Duffy, J. Emmett
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Costello, Mark J.
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Stuart-Smith, Rick D.
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Edgar, Graham J.
7269051b-fbec-4753-be8c-1bef22e7d4ec
Alexander, Timothy J.
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Lefcheck, Jonathan S.
ad04f6a4-674b-4b6b-b05b-0b15ffd4c07e
Bates, Amanda E.
a96e267d-6d22-4232-b7ed-ce4e448a2a34
Kininmonth, Stuart J.
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Thomson, Russell J.
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Duffy, J. Emmett
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Costello, Mark J.
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Stuart-Smith, Rick D.
0c540bfd-5366-4a45-9cef-b3b2afa9ac44

Edgar, Graham J., Alexander, Timothy J., Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Bates, Amanda E., Kininmonth, Stuart J., Thomson, Russell J., Duffy, J. Emmett, 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 (10), [e1700419]. (doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700419).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Among the most 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 is maximal 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 constrained 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.

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e1700419.full - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 20 September 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 October 2017
Published date: October 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417599
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417599
ISSN: 2375-2548
PURE UUID: 67ccfa43-3ada-4e29-8fef-c860867bd961

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Date deposited: 07 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 12:23

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Contributors

Author: Graham J. Edgar
Author: Timothy J. Alexander
Author: Jonathan S. Lefcheck
Author: Amanda E. Bates
Author: Stuart J. Kininmonth
Author: Russell J. Thomson
Author: J. Emmett Duffy
Author: Mark J. Costello
Author: Rick D. Stuart-Smith

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