Differential impacts of alternate primary producers on carbon cycling

Khashiff Miranda, Brooke Weigel, Sophie McCoy & Catherine Pfister
Disturbance impacts the spatial distribution of primary producers, which can have cascading effects on ecosystem function. The lower-intertidal zone on the rocky shores of the Pacific Northwest is one such place where wave energy creates a mosaic-like distribution between two assemblages: surfgrass (Phyllospadix scouleri) meadows and macroalgal forests dominated by kelp. We simulated wave disturbance by experimentally removing patches of surfgrass monocultures, resulting in a macroalgal assemblage with increased diversity, biomass, and net primary productivity...
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