Publications

Andradi-Brown et al. 2017


scientific article | PeerJ | open access Open access small aa108fa7f478951c693af64a05bc4b46e6711dbb69a20809512a129d4d6b870f

Identifying zooplankton community changes between shallow and uppermesophotic reefs on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Caribbean

Andradi-Brown DA, Head CEI, Exton DA, Hunt CL, Hendrix A, Gress E, Rogers AD

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Abstract

Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs, reefs 30–150 m) are understudied, yet the limited research conducted has been biased towards large sessile taxa, such as scleractinian corals and sponges, or mobile taxa such as fishes. Here we investigate zooplankton communities on shallow reefs and MCEs around Utila on the southern Mesoamerican Barrier Reef using planktonic light traps. Zooplankton samples were sorted into broad taxonomic groups. Our results indicate similar taxonomic zooplankton richness and overall biomass between shallow reefs and MCEs. However, the abundance of larger bodied (>2 mm) zooplanktonic groups, including decapod crab zoea, mysid shrimps and peracarid crustaceans, was higher on MCEs than shallow reefs. Our findings highlight the importance of considering zooplankton when identifying broader reef community shifts across the shallow reef to MCE depth gradient.

Research sites

10.7717   peerj.2853
Keywords
Meta-data
Depth range
15- 40 m

Mesophotic “mentions”
50 x (total of 3200 words)

Fields
Biodiversity Ecology

Research focus
Crustacea Other invertebrates

Locations
Honduras - Bay Islands

Research platforms
Diving (unspecified)
Author profiles