Application of species distribution models to explain and predict the distribution, abundance and assemblage structure of nearshore temperate reef fishes

Young, Mary and Carr, Mark H. 2015, Application of species distribution models to explain and predict the distribution, abundance and assemblage structure of nearshore temperate reef fishes, Diversity and distributions, vol. 21, no. 12, pp. 1428-1440, doi: 10.1111/ddi.12378.

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Title Application of species distribution models to explain and predict the distribution, abundance and assemblage structure of nearshore temperate reef fishes
Author(s) Young, MaryORCID iD for Young, Mary orcid.org/0000-0001-7426-2343
Carr, Mark H.
Journal name Diversity and distributions
Volume number 21
Issue number 12
Start page 1428
End page 1440
Total pages 13
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Weinheim, Germany
Publication date 2015-01-01
ISSN 1366-9516
1472-4642
Keyword(s) generalized additive models
marine landscape ecology
marine protected areas
marine spatial management
species distribution models
temperate reef fishes
Summary  Aim: The purpose of this study was to create predictive species distribution models (SDMs) for temperate reef-associated fish species densities and fish assemblage diversity and richness to aid in marine conservation and spatial planning. Location: California, USA. Methods: Using generalized additive models, we associated fish species densities and assemblage characteristics with seafloor structure, giant kelp biomass and wave climate and used these associations to predict the distribution and assemblage structure across the study area. We tested the accuracy of these predicted extrapolations using an independent data set. The SDMs were also used to estimate larger scale abundances to compare with other estimates of species abundance (uniform density extrapolation over rocky reef and density extrapolations taking into account variations in geomorphic structure). Results: The SDMs successfully modelled the species-habitat relationships of seven rocky reef-associated fish species and showed that species' densities differed in their relationships with environmental variables. The predictive accuracy of the SDMs ranged from 0.26 to 0.60 (Pearson's r correlation between observed and predicted density values). The SDMs created for the fish assemblage-level variables had higher prediction accuracies with Pearson's r values of 0.61 for diversity and 0.71 for richness. The comparisons of the different methods for extrapolating species densities over a single marine protected area varied greatly in their abundance estimates with the uniform extrapolation (density values extrapolated evenly over the rocky reef) always estimating much greater abundances. The other two methods, which took into account variation in the geomorphic structure of the reef, provided much lower abundance estimates. Main conclusions: Species distribution models that combine geomorphic, oceanographic and biogenic habitat variables can reliably predict spatial patterns of species density and assemblage attributes of temperate reef fishes at spatial scales of 50 m. Thus, SDMs show great promise for informing spatial and ecosystem-based approaches to conservation and fisheries management. © 2015 John Wiley
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/ddi.12378
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30078920

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