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A new approach to understanding community variation in marine soft-sediments

Funding: 2005: $65,000
2006: $60,000
2007: $60,000

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2005

Summary: Understanding causes of variation in community structure is essential for managing all ecosystems, from forests to oceans. This project will provide a mechanistic understanding of the complex changes taking place in diverse faunal communities from soft-sediments, the marine world s dominant benthic environment. Specifically, it will determine the scales over which complex changes in community structure occur and the role of bottom-up (detrital enrichment) and top-down forces (predation and grazing) in generating such changes. This work will greatly enhance our knowledge of soft-sediment ecosystems and demonstrate the impacts of human-induced changes in detrital resources on secondary production in a crucial marine environment.

Keywords: Soft sediments, Benthic macrofauna, Detrital enrichment, Mobile consumers, Secondary production, Variation,

FOR Codes: Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology), Living resources (flora and fauna), Integrated (ecosystem) assessment and management, Urban and Industrial Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity, Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments, Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity, Coastal or estuarine biodiversity, Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems, Terrestrial biodiversity