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A continental scale evaluation of the role of limpet grazing on rocky shores

A continental scale evaluation of the role of limpet grazing on rocky shores
A continental scale evaluation of the role of limpet grazing on rocky shores
It is critical for our knowledge of biodiversity and ecosystem processes to understand how individual species contribute to ecosystem processes and how these contributions vary in space and time. We used a manipulative field experiment in five locations over 17 degrees of latitude [from southern Portugal to the Isle of Man (British Isles)] to determine the relative response of rocky intertidal algal assemblages released from control by the grazing of limpets. Response ratios showed that when limpets were removed there was a trend of effects from north to south. In the north, grazing had a strong effect on algal assemblages, but removing grazers reduced spatial variability in assemblages. In the south, the effect of limpet grazing was far weaker and removal of grazers had a much reduced impact on spatial variability. Here we show a clear trophic control of an ecosystem in that grazing by limpets not only determines macroalgal abundance overall but also modifies ecosystem stability via variability in cover of algae.
algae, herbivory, biodiversity, meta-analysis, community
0029-8549
556-564
Coleman, R.A.
8297ae7f-706b-4da0-bd9a-3326ce9e0e05
Underwood, A.J.
3d971359-d64e-4c1b-a3db-560572c416b6
Benedetti-Cecchi, L.F.
b3fc529c-1c08-4ed0-bfe6-1ab9d912bf3b
Aberg, P.
9daafca3-4fa8-4893-a0da-46ce50887488
Arenas, F.
d5198775-cd8e-4b01-afe2-39e20746eb4c
Arrontes, J.
e81b82e7-7583-464e-b582-101bb1913380
Castro, J.
7b4efc25-3334-4c07-8255-41be390b919b
Hartnoll, R.G.
350a79bb-86b5-4cac-ab51-13cbfeef826d
Jenkins, S.R.
f160f172-4162-4e5b-bf70-9048d9e7ec8d
Paula, J.
209b9480-0a12-4ad9-99fa-28a108f67ddb
Della Santina, P.
c07f4ca1-da2a-4c00-942a-42ff16728771
Hawkins, S.J.
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa
Coleman, R.A.
8297ae7f-706b-4da0-bd9a-3326ce9e0e05
Underwood, A.J.
3d971359-d64e-4c1b-a3db-560572c416b6
Benedetti-Cecchi, L.F.
b3fc529c-1c08-4ed0-bfe6-1ab9d912bf3b
Aberg, P.
9daafca3-4fa8-4893-a0da-46ce50887488
Arenas, F.
d5198775-cd8e-4b01-afe2-39e20746eb4c
Arrontes, J.
e81b82e7-7583-464e-b582-101bb1913380
Castro, J.
7b4efc25-3334-4c07-8255-41be390b919b
Hartnoll, R.G.
350a79bb-86b5-4cac-ab51-13cbfeef826d
Jenkins, S.R.
f160f172-4162-4e5b-bf70-9048d9e7ec8d
Paula, J.
209b9480-0a12-4ad9-99fa-28a108f67ddb
Della Santina, P.
c07f4ca1-da2a-4c00-942a-42ff16728771
Hawkins, S.J.
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa

Coleman, R.A., Underwood, A.J., Benedetti-Cecchi, L.F., Aberg, P., Arenas, F., Arrontes, J., Castro, J., Hartnoll, R.G., Jenkins, S.R., Paula, J., Della Santina, P. and Hawkins, S.J. (2006) A continental scale evaluation of the role of limpet grazing on rocky shores. Oecologia, 147 (3), 556-564. (doi:10.1007/s00442-005-0296-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It is critical for our knowledge of biodiversity and ecosystem processes to understand how individual species contribute to ecosystem processes and how these contributions vary in space and time. We used a manipulative field experiment in five locations over 17 degrees of latitude [from southern Portugal to the Isle of Man (British Isles)] to determine the relative response of rocky intertidal algal assemblages released from control by the grazing of limpets. Response ratios showed that when limpets were removed there was a trend of effects from north to south. In the north, grazing had a strong effect on algal assemblages, but removing grazers reduced spatial variability in assemblages. In the south, the effect of limpet grazing was far weaker and removal of grazers had a much reduced impact on spatial variability. Here we show a clear trophic control of an ecosystem in that grazing by limpets not only determines macroalgal abundance overall but also modifies ecosystem stability via variability in cover of algae.

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More information

Submitted date: 14 March 2005
Published date: March 2006
Keywords: algae, herbivory, biodiversity, meta-analysis, community

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 56845
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/56845
ISSN: 0029-8549
PURE UUID: fbe53e17-dc46-407f-95f6-d0047bff0dd0

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Date deposited: 06 Aug 2008
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:34

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