5 Works

Data from: Surviving in a marine desert: the sponge loop retains resources within coral reefs

Jasper M. De Goeij, Dick Van Oevelen, Mark J. A. Vermeij, Ronald Osinga, Jack J. Middelburg, Anton F. P. M. De Goeij & Wim Admiraal
Ever since Darwin’s early descriptions of coral reefs, scientists have debated how one of the world’s most productive and diverse ecosystems can thrive in the marine equivalent of a desert. It is an enigma how the flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM), the largest resource produced on reefs, is transferred to higher trophic levels. Here we show that sponges make DOM available to fauna by rapidly expelling filter cells as detritus that is subsequently consumed...

Data from: A novel integrative method for measuring body condition in ecological studies based on physiological dysregulation

Emmanuel Milot, Alan A. Cohen, François Vézina, Deborah M. Buehler, Kevin D. Matson, Theunis Piersman & Theunis Piersma
1. The body condition of free-ranging animals affects their response to stress, decisions, ability to fulfil vital needs and, ultimately, fitness. However, this key attribute in ecology remains difficult to assess, and there is a clear need for more integrative measures than the common univariate proxies. 2. We propose a systems biology approach that positions individuals along a gradient from a ‘normal/optimal’ to ‘abnormal/suboptimal’ physiological state based on Mahalanobis distance computed from physiological biomarkers. We...

Data from: Low-canopy seagrass beds still provide important coastal protection services

Marjolijn J. A. Christianen, Marieke M. Van Katwijk, Peter J. M. Van Leent, Jim Van Belzen, Peter M. J. Herman, Tjeerd J. Bouma & Leon P. M. Lamers
One of the most frequently quoted ecosystem services of seagrass meadows is their value for coastal protection. Many studies emphasize the role of above-ground shoots in attenuating waves, enhancing sedimentation and preventing erosion. This raises the question if short-leaved, low density (grazed) seagrass meadows with most of their biomass in belowground tissues can also stabilize sediments. We examined this by combining manipulative field experiments and wave measurements along a typical tropical reef flat where green...

Data from: Parasites affect food web structure primarily through increased diversity and complexity

Jennifer A. Dunne, Kevin D. Lafferty, Andrew P. Dobson, Ryan F. Hechinger, Armand M. Kuris, Neo D. Martinez, John P. McLaughlin, Kim N. Mouritsen, Robert Poulin, Karsten Reise, Daniel B. Stouffer, David W. Thieltges, Richard J. Williams & Claus Dieter Zander
Comparative research on food web structure has revealed generalities in trophic organization, produced simple models, and allowed assessment of robustness to species loss. These studies have mostly focused on free-living species. Recent research has suggested that inclusion of parasites alters structure. We assess whether such changes in network structure result from unique roles and traits of parasites or from changes to diversity and complexity. We analyzed seven highly resolved food webs that include metazoan parasite...

Data from: Habitat collapse due to overgrazing threatens turtle conservation in marine protected areas

Marjolijn J. A. Christianen, Peter M. J. Herman, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Leon P. M. Lamers, Marieke M. Van Katwijk, Tjisse Van Der Heide, Peter J. Mumby, Brian R. Silliman, Sarah L. Engelhard, Madelon Van De Kerk, Wawan Kiswara & Johan Van De Koppel
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are key tools for combatting the global overexploitation of endangered species. The prevailing paradigm is that MPAs are beneficial in helping to restore ecosystems to more ‘natural’ conditions. However, MPAs may have unintended negative effects when increasing densities of protected species exert destructive effects on their habitat. Here, we report on severe seagrass degradation in a decade-old MPA where hyper-abundant green turtles adopted a previously undescribed below-ground foraging strategy. By digging...

Registration Year

  • 2013

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Estación Biológica de Doñana
  • University of Hamburg
  • Princeton University
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • Duke University
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Groningen
  • Aarhus University