June 6 2018

12:00 LSB 2320

Deron Burkepile

Fishes as bottom-up drivers in coral reef communities Fishes as bottom-up drivers in coral reef communities


Deron Burkepile
UC Santa Barbara
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology

Nutrient input via consumers may be especially important in ecosystems, like coral reefs, that typically have low nutrient availability. In fact, our research on Caribbean coral reefs suggests that fishes are one of, if not the, most important sources of nitrogen and phosphorus to coral reefs. These consumer-derived nutrients can facilitate coral growth but they can also impact benthic reef dynamics, potentially facilitating the growth of harmful algae after disturbances remove corals. Yet, these fish-derived nutrients are heterogeneous in space and time and create hotspots within a reef landscape where fishes constantly aggregate. These nutrient hotspots have dramatic effects on interspecific interactions such as herbivory and competition with significant indirect effects on coral growth. Our ongoing work suggests that fish-derived nutrients act as important subsidies to reef systems from other more productive systems and may even help corals withstand coral bleaching events.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
2320 Life Sciences Building











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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