- added lat/lon for site HH1
- added lat/lon for sites AC, HH, HL, MH, SC
- added conventional header with dataset name, PI name, version date
- renamed parameters to BCO-DMO standard
- added lab, lat, lon columns
Fish aggregations and biogeochemical hot spots across regional environmental gradients (Fish and biogeochem hot spots)
Description from NSF award abstract:
Consumers in marine ecosystems have long been acknowledged for their role in top-down regulation of ecosystems, but their influence through bottom-up pathways such as nutrient supply is often underappreciated and has not been integrated into models of coastal ecosystem dynamics. Yet, nutrient supply from consumers may be a regulating factor when consumers aggregate, such as fishes around structurally complex habitat. Examining this bottom-up mechanistic pathway is essential for a more holistic understanding of seagrass ecosystems, which are important and threatened globally. This study will address the following questions: (1) Does concentrated nutrient supply from consumers result in distinct biogeochemical hot spots in seagrass beds? and (2) How do consumer effects on ecosystem processes vary across regional environmental contexts where nutrient availability and fishing pressure vary? The PIs will conduct experiments at multiple sites within three biogeographic regions in the Caribbean (The Bahamas, Hispaniola, and Grenada/St.Vincent/Grenadines). The experiments will utilize artificial reefs that mimic natural patch reef habitats that concentrate animals at high densities. Response variables reflecting ecosystem processes (e.g., seagrass nutrient content, seagrass biomass, primary producer diversity) will be measured at reef sites and compared with control sites (seagrass sites without reefs). The spatial extent over which ecosystem processes may be affected, i.e., distance from artificial reef, will be quantified and used to detect ecological thresholds in ecosystem responses. Predictor variables, including measures of ambient nutrient availability, fish densities and fish grazing rates, will be used to contextualize the relative importance of consumer-mediated nutrient supply. The hierarchical experimental design and two-pronged analysis will characterize relationships across environmental gradients found among and within the biogeographic regions, facilitating a conceptual framework needed to predict when, where, and why consumer-mediated nutrient supply is an important control of ecosystems processes in seagrass beds.