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Title: Post larval, short-term, colonization patterns: The effect of substratum complexity across subtidal, adjacent, habitats
Authors: García-Sanz, Sara
Tuya, Fernando 
Navarro, Pablo G.
Angulo-Preckler, Carlos
Haroun, Ricardo J. 
UNESCO Clasification: 241705 Biología marina
250501 Biogeografía
Keywords: Colonization
Artificial collectors
Canary Islands
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: 0272-7714
Journal: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 
Abstract: Benthic habitats are colonized by organisms from the water column and adjacent habitats. There are, however, variations in the 'acceptability' of any habitat to potential colonists. We assessed whether the structural complexity of artificial substrata affected patterns of short-term colonization of post larval faunal assemblages across subtidal habitats within a coastal landscape. Specifically, we tested whether short-term colonization patterns on 3 types of artificial substrata encompassing a range of complexities, including a leaf-like unit, a cushion-shaped leaf-like unit and a cushion-shaped unit, were consistent across 4 adjacent habitats: macroalgal-dominated bottoms, urchin-grazed barrens, seagrass meadows and sandy patches, at Gran Canaria (eastern Atlantic). A total of 16,174 organisms were collected after 4 weeks and 4 taxonomic groups (Crustacea, Chordata, Echinodermata and Mollusca) dominated the assemblage. Despite considerable among-taxa variability being observed in response to habitat effects, the total abundance of colonizers, as well as the abundance of Arthropoda, Chordata and Echinodermata, was affected by the habitat where collectors were deployed, but did not differ among types of collectors. Similarly, the assemblage structure of colonizers was mainly affected by the habitat, but not by the type of collector; habitat contributed to explain most variation in the assemblage structure of the four dominant taxonomic groups (from ca. 5.44-19.23%), and obscured, in all cases, variation explained by the type of collector. As a result, the variation in short-term colonization patterns of faunal assemblages into artificial collectors was mostly affected by variation associated with habitats rather than by differences in the structural complexity of collectors. The largest abundances of colonizers, particularly Echinodermata, were found on sandy patches relative to other habitats, suggesting that the 'availability', rather than any particular attribute related to the 'acceptability' of artificial collectors, e.g. its structural complexity, was the main driver of patterns of faunal short-term colonization.
ISSN: 0272-7714
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2012.07.014
Source: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science [ISSN 0272-7714], v. 112, p. 183-191
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