Journal article

Resource distribution influences positive edge effects in a seagrass fish

Peter I Macreadie, Jeremy S Hindell, Michael J Keough, Gregory P Jenkins, Rod M Connolly

ECOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2010


According to conceptual models, the distribution of resources plays a critical role in determining how organisms distribute themselves near habitat edges. These models are frequently used to achieve a mechanistic understanding of edge effects, but because they are based predominantly on correlative studies, there is need for a demonstration of causality, which is best done through experimentation. Using artificial seagrass habitat as an experimental system, we determined a likely mechanism underpinning edge effects in a seagrass fish. To test for edge effects, we measured fish abundance at edges (0-0.5 m) and interiors (0.5-1 m) of two patch configurations: continuous (single, continuous 9-m..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We thank F. Warry, T. Smith, A. O'Brien,R. Watson, J. Smith, M. Palmer, M. Wright, A. Macreadie, and M. Bairstow for field assistance, and the people of Ability Works Australia for constructing ASUs. We are grateful for funding through an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (R. Connolly, J. Hindell, G. Jenkins), a CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarship (P. Macreadie with D. Smith), a Nancy Millis Postgraduate Research Award (P. Macreadie), a Holsworth Wildlife Foundation Grant (P. Macreadie), and a Norman Wettenhall Foundation Grant (P. Macreadie). Comments from two anonymous reviewers greatly improved this manuscript. All research was conducted under University of Melbourne Animal Ethics and DPI Fisheries permits. Research was conducted using the facilities of the Victorian Marine Science Consortium.