More severe disturbance regimes drive the shift of a kelp forest to a sea urchin barren in south-eastern Australia
Paul E Carnell, Michael J Keough
Scientific Reports | NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2020
Climate change is influencing the frequency and severity of extreme events. This means that systems are experiencing novel or altered disturbance regimes, making it difficult to predict and manage for this impact on ecosystems. While there is established theory regarding how the frequency of disturbance influences ecosystems, how this interacts with severity of disturbance is difficult to tease apart, as these two are inherently linked. Here we investigated a subtidal kelp (Ecklonia radiata) dominated community in southern Australia to assess how different disturbance regimes might drive changes to a different ecosystem state: sea urchin barrens. Specifically, we compared how the frequency o..View full abstract
We thank P. Crockett, P. Gilmour, C. Jung, R. Chisholm, C. Taylor and H. Wooton for their field assistance. We also thank K. Mossop for comments that greatly improved the manuscript. This study was funded by an Australian Research Council Grant to M.J.K, a Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment to P.E.C, the Jasper Loftus-Hills award to P.E.C and an Australian Postgraduate Award to P.E.C.