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Burial and exhumation of temperate bedrock reefs as elucidated by repetitive high-resolution sea floor sonar surveys: Spatial patterns and impacts to species' richness and diversity

Continental Shelf Research

By:
, , , , , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2013.01.013

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Abstract

To understand how chronic sediment burial and scour contribute to variation in the structure of algal and invertebrate communities on temperate bedrock reefs, the dynamics of the substrate and communities were monitored at locations that experience sand inundation and adjacent areas that do not. Co-located benthic scuba-transect surveys and high-resolution swath-sonar surveys were completed on bedrock reefs on the inner shelf of northern Monterey Bay, CA, in early winter 2009, spring 2010, and summer 2010. Analysis of the sonar surveys demonstrates that during the 8 months over which the surveys were conducted, 19.6% of the study area was buried by sand while erosion resulted in the exposure of bedrock over 13.8% of the study area; the remainder underwent no change between the surveys. Substrate classifications from the benthic transect surveys correlated with classifications generated from the sonar surveys, demonstrating the capacity of high-resolution sonar surveys to detect burial of bedrock reefs by sediment. On bedrock habitat that underwent burial and exhumation, species' diversity and richness of rock-associated sessile and mobile organisms were 50–66% lower as compared to adjacent stable bedrock habitat. While intermediate levels of disturbance can increase the diversity and richness of communities, these findings demonstrate that burial and exhumation of bedrock habitat are sources of severe disturbance. We suggest that substrate dynamics must be considered when developing predictions of benthic community distributions based on sea floor imagery. These results highlight the need for predictive models of substrate dynamics and for a better understanding of how burial and exhumation shape benthic communities.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Burial and exhumation of temperate bedrock reefs as elucidated by repetitive high-resolution sea floor sonar surveys: Spatial patterns and impacts to species' richness and diversity
Series title:
Continental Shelf Research
DOI:
10.1016/j.csr.2013.01.013
Volume
55
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Contributing office(s):
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description:
12 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Continental Shelf Research
First page:
40
Last page:
51
Country:
United States
State:
California
Other Geospatial:
Monterey Bay