Scales of mussel bed complexity: structure, associated biota and recruitment

Lawrie, S.M. and McQuaid, C.D. (2001) Scales of mussel bed complexity: structure, associated biota and recruitment. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 257 (2). pp. 135-161. ISSN 0022-0981



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Hierarchically scaled surveys were carried out on beds of the brown mussel Perna perna (Linnaeus) on the South coast of South Africa. The object was to assess spatial and temporal variations in the complexity of mussel beds and to investigate relationships between mussel bed complexity and mussel recruitment. Complexity was divided into three components: physical complexity; demographic complexity; associated biota. A series of variables within each component were recorded at two different scales (10 and 50 cm) within nested quadrats on three separate occasions. The nested ANOVA design explicitly incorporated spatial scale as levels of the ANOVA. These scales were: shores (areas 1 km in length separated by 25 km); transects (areas 20 m in length separated by 100s of meters); 50×50-cm quadrats separated by meters and 10×10-cm quadrats separated by cm) This approach was intended to generate hypotheses concerning direct associations between recruitment and complexity versus co-variation due external processes. Three main questions were addressed: (1) At what scale does each variable of complexity exhibit greatest significant variation? (2) At these scales is there similar ranking of variables of complexity and recruitment? (3) Within this/these scales, is there any significant relationship between the variables measured and mussel recruitment? On two occasions (Nov. 97 and Mar. 98) the majority of variables showed greatest significant variation at the transect-scale. On a third occasion (Oct. 97) most variables showed greatest significant variation at the quadrat-scale and the site-scale. On all occasions a markedly high percentage of the variation encountered also occurred at the smallest scale of the study, i.e., the residual scale of the ANOVA analyses. Some similarity in the ranking of variables occurred at the transect scale. Within the transect-scale, there was little indication of any relationship between variables of complexity and recruitment. Relationships were inconsistent either among transects or among sampling occasions. Overall, the results suggest that a high degree of variation in mussel bed complexity consistently occurs at very small scales. High components of variance generally also occur at one or more larger scales; however, these scales vary with season. Mussel recruitment does not appear to be directly affected by complexity of mussel beds. Instead it appears external factors may influence both complexity and recruitment independently. In addition recruitment may influence complexity rather than vice versa.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biota; demography; heterogeneity; mussel beds; Perna perna; recruitment; scale dependence; spatial scale; structural complexity; variance components; complexity; habitat structure; mollusc; population structure; cellular organisms; mussels; South Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:813
Deposited On:17 Sep 2007
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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