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Article: Land-to-sea connectivity: Linking human-derived terrestrial subsidies to subtidal habitat change on open rocky coasts

TitleLand-to-sea connectivity: Linking human-derived terrestrial subsidies to subtidal habitat change on open rocky coasts
Authors
KeywordsCoastal development
Habitat loss
Kelp
Regime shift
South Australia
Canopy-forming algae
Nutrients
Spatial subsidy
Terrestrial runoff
Turf-forming algae
Ulva australis
Issue Date2009
Citation
Ecological Applications, 2009, v. 19, n. 5, p. 1114-1126 How to Cite?
AbstractSpatial subsidies are considered strong where differences in resource availability between donor and recipient systems are greatest. We tested whether human activities on land can increase subsidies of terrigenous nitrogen to open rocky coasts and whether these differences can predict apparent deforestation of kelp forests. We first identified landscape-scale variation in the human-mediated transfer of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) from natural, agricultural, and urban catchments to temperate coasts after episodes of rainfall. Compared to natural catchments, subsidies of DIN were on average 8-407 times greater in urban catchments, and 1-63 times greater in agricultural catchments. Urban derived nitrogen was attributed to the release of sewage effluent, as delineated by δ15N isotopic values of transplanted algae. Having made this link, we then assessed whether this catchment-scale variation may account for variation in structure of subtidal habitats, particularly as related to theory of nutrient-driven shifts of habitat from perennial (i.e., canopy-forming algae) to opportunistic species (i.e., turf-forming algae). We not only detected patterns consistent with this theory, but also established that the size and total proportion of patches of turf-forming algae were greater where the ratio of donor: recipient nitrogen loads was greater (i.e., size of subsidy). An important realization was that deforestation may be more strongly related to variation in the size of subsidy rather than size of human populations, particularly among urban catchments. These data directly link the type of human activity within catchments to the modification of land-to-sea subsidies and indirectly support theory that predicts terrestrial inputs to have greater ecological effects where the disparity in resource availability between donor and recipient is exacerbated. Our evidence has been used by coastal managers to reconsider their management of coastal systems and has subsequently contributed to new water-recycling policy and initiatives. © 2009 by the Ecological Society of America.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/213052
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 4.252
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 2.781

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGorman, Daniel-
dc.contributor.authorRussell, Bayden D.-
dc.contributor.authorConnell, Sean D.-
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-28T04:05:58Z-
dc.date.available2015-07-28T04:05:58Z-
dc.date.issued2009-
dc.identifier.citationEcological Applications, 2009, v. 19, n. 5, p. 1114-1126-
dc.identifier.issn1051-0761-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/213052-
dc.description.abstractSpatial subsidies are considered strong where differences in resource availability between donor and recipient systems are greatest. We tested whether human activities on land can increase subsidies of terrigenous nitrogen to open rocky coasts and whether these differences can predict apparent deforestation of kelp forests. We first identified landscape-scale variation in the human-mediated transfer of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) from natural, agricultural, and urban catchments to temperate coasts after episodes of rainfall. Compared to natural catchments, subsidies of DIN were on average 8-407 times greater in urban catchments, and 1-63 times greater in agricultural catchments. Urban derived nitrogen was attributed to the release of sewage effluent, as delineated by δ15N isotopic values of transplanted algae. Having made this link, we then assessed whether this catchment-scale variation may account for variation in structure of subtidal habitats, particularly as related to theory of nutrient-driven shifts of habitat from perennial (i.e., canopy-forming algae) to opportunistic species (i.e., turf-forming algae). We not only detected patterns consistent with this theory, but also established that the size and total proportion of patches of turf-forming algae were greater where the ratio of donor: recipient nitrogen loads was greater (i.e., size of subsidy). An important realization was that deforestation may be more strongly related to variation in the size of subsidy rather than size of human populations, particularly among urban catchments. These data directly link the type of human activity within catchments to the modification of land-to-sea subsidies and indirectly support theory that predicts terrestrial inputs to have greater ecological effects where the disparity in resource availability between donor and recipient is exacerbated. Our evidence has been used by coastal managers to reconsider their management of coastal systems and has subsequently contributed to new water-recycling policy and initiatives. © 2009 by the Ecological Society of America.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofEcological Applications-
dc.subjectCoastal development-
dc.subjectHabitat loss-
dc.subjectKelp-
dc.subjectRegime shift-
dc.subjectSouth Australia-
dc.subjectCanopy-forming algae-
dc.subjectNutrients-
dc.subjectSpatial subsidy-
dc.subjectTerrestrial runoff-
dc.subjectTurf-forming algae-
dc.subjectUlva australis-
dc.titleLand-to-sea connectivity: Linking human-derived terrestrial subsidies to subtidal habitat change on open rocky coasts-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1890/08-0831.1-
dc.identifier.pmid19688920-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-68149141575-
dc.identifier.volume19-
dc.identifier.issue5-
dc.identifier.spage1114-
dc.identifier.epage1126-

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