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Authors Bell, SY; Fraser, MW; Statton, J; Kendrick, GA
Author Full Name Bell, Sahira Y.; Fraser, Matthew W.; Statton, John; Kendrick, Gary A.
Title Salinity stress drives herbivory rates and selective grazing in subtidal seagrass communities
Source PLOS ONE
Language English
Document Type Article
Keywords Plus TURTLEGRASS THALASSIA-TESTUDINUM; ANTARCTICA LABILL SONDER; SHARK BAY; FISH ASSEMBLAGES; WESTERN-AUSTRALIA; CONSUMPTION; TEMPERATE; PLANT; TROPICALIZATION; PHOSPHORUS
Abstract The role of environmental-stress gradients in driving trophic processes like grazing, has potential to shape ecosystem responses to environmental change. In subtidal seagrass systems, however, the variation in top-down processes along stress gradients are poorly understood. We deployed herbivory assays using the five most common seagrass species of Shark Bay, to determine whether herbivory pressure changed across a salinity-stress gradient from oceanic (38 PSU) to hyper-saline (51 PSU) conditions. Seagrass tissue removed from herbivory assays by fishes decreased as environmental stress increased, and herbivores consumed greater amounts of tropical seagrass species compared to the temperate species that dominate seagrass cover in Shark Bay. This heightened consumption was correlated with enriched seagrass nutrient concentrations. Our work suggests there's a fundamental relationship between trophic interactions and environmental conditions within complex marine settings. Abiotic stressors like salinity directly impact seagrass communities physiologically; however we show that salinity stressors also shift biotic interactions, indirectly influencing grazing rates and thus having a greater effect on seagrasses than physiological impacts alone. In Shark Bay where restoration efforts are being employed to address large scale loss of seagrasses, the relationship between herbivory pressure and salinity-stress could therefore prove crucial to restoration success.
Author Address [Bell, Sahira Y.; Fraser, Matthew W.; Statton, John; Kendrick, Gary A.] Univ Western Australia, Fac Sci, Sch Biol Sci, Crawley, WA, Australia; [Bell, Sahira Y.; Fraser, Matthew W.; Statton, John; Kendrick, Gary A.] Univ Western Australia, Fac Sci, UWA Oceans Inst, Crawley, WA, Australia; [Bell, Sahira Y.] Balu Blue Fdn, Port Lincoln, SA, Australia
Reprint Address Bell, SY (corresponding author), Univ Western Australia, Fac Sci, Sch Biol Sci, Crawley, WA, Australia.; Bell, SY (corresponding author), Univ Western Australia, Fac Sci, UWA Oceans Inst, Crawley, WA, Australia.; Bell, SY (corresponding author), Balu Blue Fdn, Port Lincoln, SA, Australia.
E-mail Address sahira.bell@research.uwa.edu.au
ORCID Number Fraser, Matthew/0000-0003-2309-8074; Bell, Sahira/0000-0001-9237-7507
Funding Agency and Grant Number NHT II Caring for Country Project [OC11-00643]; ARC Linkage GrantAustralian Research Council [LP130100155]; School of Biological Sciences, UWA
Funding Text A NHT II Caring for Country Project grant (OC11-00643) coordinated by the Western Australian Marine Science Institute (https://www.wamsi.org.au/) and awarded to G.A.K., and an ARC Linkage Grant (LP130100155) awarded to G.A.K. and J.S funded this research. Additional funding for M.W.F. was received through a Ph.D. grant from the School of Biological Sciences, UWA. S.Y.B. was supported by an Honours grant from the School of Biological Sciences, UWA. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Times Cited 2
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 2
Publisher PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Publisher City SAN FRANCISCO
Publisher Address 1160 BATTERY STREET, STE 100, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94111 USA
ISSN 1932-6203
29-Character Source Abbreviation PLOS ONE
ISO Source Abbreviation PLoS One
Publication Date MAR 21
Year Published 2019
Volume 14
Issue 3
Article Number e0214308
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1371/journal.pone.0214308
Page Count 13
Web of Science Category Multidisciplinary Sciences
Subject Category Science & Technology - Other Topics
Document Delivery Number HP7SO
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000461889700081
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