Globally consistent reef size spectra integrating fishes and invertebrates

abstract:

The frequency distribution of individual body sizes in animal communities (i.e. the size spectrum) provides powerful insights for understanding the energy flux through food webs. However, studies of size spectra in rocky and coral reef communities typically focus only on fishes or invertebrates due to taxonomic and data constraints, and consequently ignore energy pathways involving the full range of macroscopic consumer taxa. We analyse size spectra with co‚Äźlocated fish and mobile macroinvertebrate data from 3369 reef sites worldwide, specifically focusing on how the addition of invertebrate data alters patterns. The inclusion of invertebrates steepens the size spectrum, more so in temperate regions, resulting in a consistent size spectrum slope across latitudes, and bringing slopes closer to theoretical expectations based on energy flow through the system. These results highlight the importance of understanding contributions of both invertebrates and fishes to reef food webs worldwide.

Publication type

Journal Article

Author(s):

Freddie. J. Heather, Julia L. Blanchard, Graham J.Edgar, Rowan Trebilco, Rick D. Stuart- Smith

Year:

2020

Journal:

Ecology Letters

volume:

pages:

8

STAY IN TOUCH

Subscribe to the RLS Newsletter to stay up to date on the latest RLS news, field activities & research.
Subscribe to Newsletter
Supported by The Ian Potter Foundation
The Minderoo Foundation
Website Design by Forte Web Design
website design by Forte Web Design
downloadlink linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram