Scaling metabolism from individuals to reef-fish communities at broad spatial scales

D. R. Barneche, M. Kulbicki, S. R. Floeter, A. M. Friedlander, J. Maina, A. P. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Fishes contribute substantially to energy and nutrient fluxes in reef ecosystems, but quantifying these roles is challenging. Here, we do so by synthesising a large compilation of fish metabolic-rate data with a comprehensive database on reef-fish community abundance and biomass. Individual-level analyses support predictions of Metabolic Theory after accounting for significant family-level variation, and indicate that some tropical reef fishes may already be experiencing thermal regimes at or near their temperature optima. Community-level analyses indicate that total estimated respiratory fluxes of reef-fish communities increase on average ~2-fold from 22 to 28 °C. Comparisons of estimated fluxes among trophic groups highlight striking differences in resource use by communities in different regions, perhaps partly reflecting distinct evolutionary histories, and support the hypothesis that piscivores receive substantial energy subsidies from outside reefs. Our study demonstrates one approach to synthesising individual- and community-level data to establish broad-scale trends in contributions of biota to ecosystem dynamics.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1067-1076
Number of pages10
JournalEcology Letters
Volume17
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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reefs
reef
metabolism
fish
piscivore
ecosystem dynamics
ecosystems
energy
thermal regime
subsidies
resource use
biota
fish communities
fold
heat
history
prediction
nutrient
ecosystem
biomass

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Barneche, D. R. ; Kulbicki, M. ; Floeter, S. R. ; Friedlander, A. M. ; Maina, J. ; Allen, A. P. / Scaling metabolism from individuals to reef-fish communities at broad spatial scales. In: Ecology Letters. 2014 ; Vol. 17, No. 9. pp. 1067-1076.
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Scaling metabolism from individuals to reef-fish communities at broad spatial scales. / Barneche, D. R.; Kulbicki, M.; Floeter, S. R.; Friedlander, A. M.; Maina, J.; Allen, A. P.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 17, No. 9, 2014, p. 1067-1076.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Barneche, D. R.

AU - Kulbicki, M.

AU - Floeter, S. R.

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AU - Allen, A. P.

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AB - Fishes contribute substantially to energy and nutrient fluxes in reef ecosystems, but quantifying these roles is challenging. Here, we do so by synthesising a large compilation of fish metabolic-rate data with a comprehensive database on reef-fish community abundance and biomass. Individual-level analyses support predictions of Metabolic Theory after accounting for significant family-level variation, and indicate that some tropical reef fishes may already be experiencing thermal regimes at or near their temperature optima. Community-level analyses indicate that total estimated respiratory fluxes of reef-fish communities increase on average ~2-fold from 22 to 28 °C. Comparisons of estimated fluxes among trophic groups highlight striking differences in resource use by communities in different regions, perhaps partly reflecting distinct evolutionary histories, and support the hypothesis that piscivores receive substantial energy subsidies from outside reefs. Our study demonstrates one approach to synthesising individual- and community-level data to establish broad-scale trends in contributions of biota to ecosystem dynamics.

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