Contrasting spatial heterogeneity of sessile organisms within mussel (Perna perna L.) beds in relation to topographic variability

Erlandsson, J. and McQuaid, C.D. and Kostylev, V.E. (2005) Contrasting spatial heterogeneity of sessile organisms within mussel (Perna perna L.) beds in relation to topographic variability. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 314 (1). pp. 79-97. ISSN 0022-0981



Official URL:


We examined the spatial heterogeneity in three sessile rocky shore organisms, the mussel Perna perna, the barnacle Octomeris angulosa (Sowerby) and the red alga Gelidium pristoides (Turn.) at a range of continuous local scales along horizontal transects within mid- and upper mussel beds of South African shores. We also examined the relationships between variability of organisms and topographic features (rock depressions, slope, aspect), and between mussel, barnacle and algal variability over the same scales. To estimate spatial heterogeneity, we analyzed scaling properties of semivariograms using a fractal approach. Relationships between different variables at the different scales were examined by cross-semivariograms. Spatial dependence of P. perna variability increased with spatial dependence of topographic variability, so that scaling regions of mussel and topographic distributions corresponded well. This relationship often improved with larger local scales (mussel cover increased with depressions, steeper slope and aspect towards waves), while at smaller spatial scales, variability in mussel cover was less well explained by variability in topography. The variability of the barnacle O. angulosa exhibited spatial dependence, even on topographically unstructured shores. In contrast, the distribution of the alga G. pristoides revealed high fractal dimensions, showing spatial independence on topographically unstructured shores. Algae also showed a very strong negative relationship with mussels at most local scales, and a negative relationship with barnacles in upper zones, especially at larger local scales. Barnacles may show clear spatial dependence because of hydrodynamics (at larger local scales) and the need to find a future mate in close proximity (at smaller local scales), while algae may show a strong negative relationship with mussels because of competition for space.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:algae; barnacles; fractal dimension; intertidal distribution; mussels; rocky shore; rocky shores; spatial dependence; heterogeneity; sessile species; spatial distribution; community structure; topographic effect; Gelidium pristoides; Octomeris angulosa; Perna perna; Rhodophyta; Thoracica
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:770
Deposited On:13 Aug 2007
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
281 full-text download(s) since 13 Aug 2007
64 full-text download(s) in the past 12 months
More statistics...

Repository Staff Only: item control page