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Community structure and palaeoecological implications of calcareous encrusters on artificial substrates across a Mexican Caribbean reef

Hepburn, LJ and Blanchon, P and Murphy, G and Cousins, L and Perry, CT (2015) 'Community structure and palaeoecological implications of calcareous encrusters on artificial substrates across a Mexican Caribbean reef.' Coral Reefs, 34 (1). 189 - 200. ISSN 0722-4028

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Abstract

© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Calcareous encrusters stabilize and bind reef framework and contribute significantly to reef function and biodiversity. Their calcareous skeletons have good preservation potential which, together with well-constrained habitat preferences, makes them useful indicators of past environmental conditions. However, our knowledge of environmental tolerances and spatial distribution trends of encrusters remains limited. Here, we determine the distributional trends and environmental tolerances of calcareous encrusters and delineate the relevance of particular species/genera for palaeoecological reconstructions. Artificial microhabitats were created to mimic exposed, partially cryptic, and cryptic habitats in various orientations for periods of 1 and 2 yr. Calcareous encruster coverage was high, especially in cryptic habitats (95 %), and clear successional trends were observed over time. Total encruster carbonate production was intermediate (range 72.8–476.3 g m−2 yr−1). Encruster species and growth morphology exhibited a defined zonation in response to reef sub-environment, microhabitat, and environmental factors such as light and wave exposure. Linear regression identified three coralline algae genera, as well as Homotrema rubrum, Planorbulina spp., and cemented bivalves as those most likely to occur in particular habitats. Therefore, the presence of these species may be used with greater confidence in distinguishing palaeomicroenvironments.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2015 12:03
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2019 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14062

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