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Potential effects of Lyngbya majuscula blooms on benthic invertebrate diversity and shorebird foraging ecology at Roebuck Bay, Western Australia: preliminary results
Estrella, S.M.; Storey, A.W.; Pearson, G.; Piersma, T. (2011). Potential effects of Lyngbya majuscula blooms on benthic invertebrate diversity and shorebird foraging ecology at Roebuck Bay, Western Australia: preliminary results. J. R. Soc. West Aust. 94: 171–179
In: Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. Royal Society of Western Australia: Perth. ISSN 0035-922X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
Author keywords
    Lyngbya majuscula blooms, benthic invertebrate, shorebirds, Roebuck Bay, Kimberley

Authors  Top 
  • Estrella, S.M.
  • Storey, A.W.
  • Pearson, G., more
  • Piersma, T., more

Abstract
    Nutrient enrichment can significantly alter biodiversity, producing shifts in assemblages of primary producers and favouring, for example, cyanobacterium blooms. These variations in the assemblage of primary producers consequently affect the primary consumers that depend on them. However, the consequences of these blooms for higher trophic levels are still unclear. Roebuck Bay,in the west Kimberley region is one of the main non-breeding areas for migratory shorebirds in Australia. The bay is characterised by an extremely high diversity and biomass of benthic invertebrates, which places this tropical intertidal area among the richest mudflats in the world, and it is likely that this rich benthic fauna supports the shorebird populations. Recent studies in Roebuck Bay have detected nutrient enrichment, with increasing frequency of cyanobacteria blooms. Here we present the preliminary results of the potential effects that Lyngbya majuscula (cyanobacterium) blooms have on the benthic invertebrate diversity and shorebird foraging ecology at Roebuck Bay. A site where Lyngbya majuscula was present showed a significant diminution in the diversity of benthic invertebrates relative to areas without a bloom. Also, although there wasno apparent Lyngbya-induced change in the main prey of Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica, there was a change in the foraging behaviour of godwits in the area affected by Lyngbya, which appears to relate to a shift in diet. Nevertheless, although we found a correlation between Lyngbya

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