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Determining how functionally diverse intertidal sediment species preserve mudflat ecosystem properties after abrupt biodiversity loss

Determining how functionally diverse intertidal sediment species preserve mudflat ecosystem properties after abrupt biodiversity loss
Determining how functionally diverse intertidal sediment species preserve mudflat ecosystem properties after abrupt biodiversity loss
As a result of anthropogenic climate change, extreme climatic events have increased in frequency, severity, and longevity. The consequences for community structure after a catastrophic event have been well studied. However, changes in ecosystem functioning that occur after such an event, including ecosystem recovery, are still uncertain. A catastrophic event was simulated in an intertidal sedimentary habitat. Postevent sediment replicates were assigned to one of four recovery scenarios: (1) no recovery, (2) migration recovery, and recovery by differential opportunistic colonisation by (3) the polychaete worm Hediste diversicolor and (4) the mud snail Peringia ulvae, two locally dominant infauna species. These are compared with a control scenario not subjected to the event. The simulated extreme event caused a shift in habitat state due to a reduction in mobile macrofauna abundance and an increase in microphytobenthos biomass. Migratory recovery of species and the simulated opportunistic expansion of a single species ameliorated this shift and, for some metrics, functional compensation for the loss of other species and the preservation of certain ecosystem functions was observed. The dominant species identity during postevent habitat recovery can have considerable effects on important ecosystem processes and functions with consequences that may result in functional regime shifts in a habitat and alter coastal stability.
0749-0208
389-396
Hale, Rachel
e5dfde12-523c-4000-ad0e-3431ffeafac1
Jacques, Richard
6ef5c2de-a0ad-429a-8f8a-7b1e6e408daa
Tolhurst, Trevor
5bbe03a6-643c-4a7e-901b-9960640ed84a
Hale, Rachel
e5dfde12-523c-4000-ad0e-3431ffeafac1
Jacques, Richard
6ef5c2de-a0ad-429a-8f8a-7b1e6e408daa
Tolhurst, Trevor
5bbe03a6-643c-4a7e-901b-9960640ed84a

Hale, Rachel, Jacques, Richard and Tolhurst, Trevor (2019) Determining how functionally diverse intertidal sediment species preserve mudflat ecosystem properties after abrupt biodiversity loss. Journal of Coastal Research, 35 (2), 389-396. (doi:10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-17-00197.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

As a result of anthropogenic climate change, extreme climatic events have increased in frequency, severity, and longevity. The consequences for community structure after a catastrophic event have been well studied. However, changes in ecosystem functioning that occur after such an event, including ecosystem recovery, are still uncertain. A catastrophic event was simulated in an intertidal sedimentary habitat. Postevent sediment replicates were assigned to one of four recovery scenarios: (1) no recovery, (2) migration recovery, and recovery by differential opportunistic colonisation by (3) the polychaete worm Hediste diversicolor and (4) the mud snail Peringia ulvae, two locally dominant infauna species. These are compared with a control scenario not subjected to the event. The simulated extreme event caused a shift in habitat state due to a reduction in mobile macrofauna abundance and an increase in microphytobenthos biomass. Migratory recovery of species and the simulated opportunistic expansion of a single species ameliorated this shift and, for some metrics, functional compensation for the loss of other species and the preservation of certain ecosystem functions was observed. The dominant species identity during postevent habitat recovery can have considerable effects on important ecosystem processes and functions with consequences that may result in functional regime shifts in a habitat and alter coastal stability.

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Accepted/In Press date: 5 May 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 1 March 2019

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Local EPrints ID: 422300
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422300
ISSN: 0749-0208
PURE UUID: 887c96e9-764f-4564-9ccc-a9cb1da0c890
ORCID for Rachel Hale: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5079-5954

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Date deposited: 20 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 04 Apr 2019 00:31

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Author: Rachel Hale ORCID iD
Author: Richard Jacques
Author: Trevor Tolhurst

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