AB 16:229-239 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00449

Correlations between algal abundance, environmental variables and sponge distribution patterns on southern hemisphere temperate rocky reefs

César A. Cárdenas*, Simon K. Davy, James J. Bell

School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

ABSTRACT: Sponges are important components of temperate rocky reefs whose abundance and diversity are influenced by a range of biological and physical factors. In high light environments, sponges are generally less abundant and are often restricted to shaded microhabitats. However, this generalisation stems primarily from research conducted in the northern hemisphere, with comparatively little information from the southern hemisphere. The aim of the present study was to examine correlations between sponge abundance and assemblage composition and between algal abundance and environmental variables. We measured the distribution patterns of sponges relative to macroalgal abundance, physical factors (including depth, surface inclination, turbidity, rugosity and temperature) and the abundance of other phyletic groups at multiple sites in New Zealand. A negative correlation was found between sponge abundance and algal abundance, with surface inclination strongly correlating with the distribution patterns of both groups. Our results support the generalisation from previous studies in the northern hemisphere that sponge and algal abundance are negatively correlated.


KEY WORDS: Sponge · Macroalgae · Distribution patterns · Competition · Shallow water · Rocky reefs


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Cite this article as: Cárdenas CA, Davy SK, Bell JJ (2012) Correlations between algal abundance, environmental variables and sponge distribution patterns on southern hemisphere temperate rocky reefs. Aquat Biol 16:229-239. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00449

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