Aspects of sea-bed structure and benthic-macroinvertebrate species composition, distribution, richness and diversity in coastal waters off eastern Waiheke Island, Hauraki Gulf, are reported. In contrast to the sole historical account of sea-bed community structure from this same region, no widely distributed assemblages of species are recognised throughout it; no two sites share the exact same complement of species; and almost all sites are less than 80% similar in their taxonomic composition, most considerably so. Species richness and diversity are reported to vary with substratumtype and depth, and spatially; species occurring within muds are the least diverse and species rich, followed by those of muddy gravels, and then gravels; many taxa prove common to the three substratum types; and dominance of taxa is recognised to decrease with an increase in substratum complexity, from muds to gravels, and species richness. With the exception of invasive marine species, apparent changes in the composition of assemblages throughout this region over the eight-decade period that data span are considered artefacts of the way in which such assemblages were historically defined. We recommend historical accounts of sea-bed community distributions throughout Hauraki Gulf be interpreted with caution, especially when attempting to use such schematic depictions to determine whether changes have occurred in assemblage composition.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2010|
- Sea-bed communities
- Waiheke island