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Marine reserve site selection along the Abel Tasman National Park coast New Zealand Consideration of subtidal rocky communities.

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AQUATIC CONSERVATION: FRESHWATER AND MARINE ECOSYSTEMS, VOL. 4, 153-167 (1994)
Marine reserve site selection along the Abel Tasman National
Park coast, New Zealand: consideration of subtidal rocky
communities
ROBERT J. DAVIDSON and W. LINDSAY CHADDERTONt
Department of Conservation, Private Bag 5, Nelson, New Zealand
ABSTRACT
1. At present, marine reserves do not represent the full range of community types throughout
New Zealand.
2. To assist with the placement of a marine reserve along the Abel Tasman National Park coast
(northern South Island), dominant subtidal laminarian and fucoid algae, echinoids and herbivorous
molluscs were quantitatively investigated. Results from 100 quadrats collected from 19 random
transects at six selected sites showed that algae and grazer assemblages varied between granite and
limestone substrata.
3. Granite had a high percentage cover of crustose coralline algae (mean 82%-9O%), a sublittoral
fringe of brown macroalgae and no Ecklonia radiata or red foliose algae. Limestone sites were
distinguished by a relatively low percentage cover of coralline algae (mean 13%) and high cover of
foliose red algae and E. radiata (2%-36% cover and 0.2-13.9 stipes m-2, respectively).
4. On limestone, molluscs Turbo smaragdus and Cookia sulcata, and the echinoid Evechinus
chloroticus were larger than those on granite. On limestone sites with little macroalgae, herbivore
size was intermediate. Grazers were more abundant on granite than limestone (mean 34.6 m-2, and
10.8 m-2 respectively).
5. Differences in herbivore composition were recorded between granite substrata, while both algal
and herbivore composition varied between limestone sites.
6. We suggest that a variety of environmental factors including substratum influence algal and
herbivore assemblages along the Abel Tasman coast.
7. It is recommended that selection of a marine reserve site or sites along the coast of Abel Tasman
National Park recognizes differences in community structure both between and within limestone and
granite substrata.
INTRODUCTION
During a qualitative study to identify an area or areas warranting protection in a marine reserve along the
Abel Tasman National Park coastline, Davidson (1 992) described contrasting algal communities between
subtidal limestone and granite substrata. The author found that on granite, brown macroalgae were absent
or most often restricted to a narrow sublittoral fringe, whereas a more continuous algal cover was recorded
from localized areas of limestone. He also noted that many brown macroalgae, characteristic of other
?Present address: Department of Conservation, PO Box 3, Stewart Island, New Zealand
CCC 1052-7613/94/0201 53-15
01994 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Received 21 July 1993
Accepted 11 February 1994
154
R. J. DAVIDSON AND W. L. CHADDERTON
exposed and semi-exposed parts of New Zealand, were absent or rare from the Abel Tasman coast.
Furthermore, herbivores on limestone shores appeared larger and in some instances more common than
those on granite (Davidson, 1992). Based on these qualitative observations, the author suggested both
limestone and granite substrata be included in a marine reserve.
There is little literature about the principles for, and the outcomes of, the design of marine reserves
(Fairweather, 1990). Because marine reserves are open systems, the argument to include an area including
rich and diverse communities which would provide refuges and growth centres (Cairns and Elliot, 1987)
seems appropriate. In practice this may mean the inclusion of as many habitats and communities as practical
within any marine reserve. This present quantitative study aimed to test the null hypothesis that macroalgae
and dominant herbivore communities were not different on adjacent shallow reefs composed of different
substrata along the Abel Tasman coast.
Understanding ecology processes affecting populations is not possible until patterns of distribution
and abundance are well documented (Andrew and Mapstone 1987; Underwood et al., 1991). Until
habitat and associated community patterns are documented throughout New Zealand, a rationalization
of where marine reserves should be placed is difficult. Most descriptions of shallow subtidal rocky
communities in New Zealand are from northern locations (Gordon and Ballantine, 1976; Ayling,
1978; Ayling et al., 1981; Ballantine et al., 1973; Choat and Schiel, 1982; Grace, 1983; Schiel,
1984; Battershill, 1986; Berben and McCrone, 1988; Coffey and Grace, 1990; Hogan, 1991; Jones
and Garrick, 1991; Brook and Carlin, 1992; Grange et al., 1992). It has been recognized, however,
that these studies may have limited application throughout New Zealand. For example, Schiel (1990),
in a wide geographically ranging study, concluded that patterns and densities of Evechinus chloroticus
and associated barrens in subtidal rocky areas could not be applied to southern New Zealand.
These findings suggest that existing marine reserves do not represent the range of marine community
types present in New Zealand. There have been few quantitative subtidal rocky studies for southern
coasts, and consideration of marine community relationships is therefore hampered. A second
aim of the study was to compare results from rocky subtidal habitats and communities from northern
South Island localities with other northern and southern New Zealand shores and temperate overseas
examples.
Many biological and physical factors influence community composition on subtidal rocky reefs
in New Zealand (see Andrew, 1988; Creese, 1988; Schiel, 1988 for reviews) and overseas temperate
reefs (Lawrence, 1975; Steneck, 1982; Dayton, 1985; Himmelman, 1986; Deysher and Dean, 1986a;
Andrew and Underwood, 1989; Underwood and Kennelly, 1990; Underwood et al., 1991). Which
environmental factors are important is difficult to evaluate because they may never be entirely independent
of each other (Dayton, 1985). In addition, the influence of substratum has had little attention
in the literature. In intertidal studies, Harlin and Lindberg (1977) reported that surface relief
influenced colonization and species assemblages at Rhode Island, while Raimondi (1988) found substrate
influenced survival of barnacles in the northern Gulf of California. Nienhuis (1969) and Hartog
(1972) reported algal zones extended into higher elevations on surfaces with large grains (e.g. limestone).
The present study discusses the possible influence of substratum on subtidal biota from the sheltered
Abel Tasman coast.
STUDY AREA
The Abel Tasman National Park coastline is sheltered from large ocean swells within Tasman and Golden
Bays. Wave action quickly subsides with a drop or change in wind direction. Sediment input from catchments
outside the Abel Tasman coast, combined with regular sea breezes and large tides (4.7 m extreme high tide),
maintain water clarity at consistently low levels (2-8 m horizontal distance). Water temperatures ranged
between 10" and 22°C (Dix, 1970a). Rocky reefs may extend to a depth of 14 m and are bordered by gently
155
MARINE RESERVE SITE SELECTION, NEW ZEALAND
I
New Zealand
I
170'
A
*
I
Golden
173"
...
:
:
' . ;.;
.. .
Abel Tasman
175"
. ... ,.
......;
,:.
' '
"'
..:,..
. ..
.\"
National
Tasman Bay
Kaiteriteri
~
6
41'
.
0
500 m
I
Figure 1 . Location of sample sites along the Abel Tasman National Park coastline. 1, Taupo Point north-west (limestone); 2, Taupo
Point north (limestone);3, Taupo Stack (limestone);4, Taupo Hill (granite); 5, Separation Point (granite); and 6, Kaiteriteri (granite).
sloping soft sediment shores. These are composed primarily of broken shell and coarse sands. Rock substrata
along the Abel Tasman coast are dominated by granite with < 1070 of rocky shores comprising limestone
(Figure 1) (Davidson, 1992).
Five sites were selected to minimize environmental variables other than rock type, while the
sixth site (Kaiteriteri) (Figure 1) was selected to compare data on the echinoid E. chloroticus
collected by Dix (1970a) in 1968-69. Sample sites included three limestone shores, two with considerable
algal cover (Taupo Point north, Taupo Stack) and one largely devoid of macroalgae (Taupo Point northwest), and three granite shores, Taupo Hill, Kaiteriteri, and Separation Point (Figure 1). All limestone sites
were located within 500 m of a granite site at Taupo Hill but were not contiguous, being separated by soft
bottom shores (< 10 m depth) and beaches. All sites in the Taupo Hill area had an almost identical shore
aspect (northerly exposed), topography (80"-90" slope) and depth range (0-6.1 m), thereby minimizing
environmental variables. Kaiteriteri was located in a shallow, north facing semi-sheltered situation and
represented a moderate shore (30"-50°)slope comprised of large boulders on a bedrock base.
156
R. J. DAVIDSON AND W.L. CHADDERTON
METHODS
A total of 19 random transects were investigated from six selected sites. The location of each transect was
determined as the point directly below the diver’s point of entry. Each site was selected as being representative
straight coastline, thereby excluding headlands and embayments. At each site, two divers sampled 2-4
transects extending from 6.1 m deep up to extreme low tide. All samples were collected within this shallow
zone and no depth stratified sampling was attempted. Quadrats of 1 m2 were placed sequentially along each
transect starting at the base of rocky outcrops. A total of 100 quadrats were collected, with between 6-25
quadrats collected at each site. Numbers of Evechinus chloroticus, dominant herbivorous molluscs (Turbo
smaragdus, Cookia sulcata, Cellana spp., Cryptoconchus porosus, Trochus viridus, Eudoxochiton nobilis,
Maurea punctulata), Ecklonia radiata stipes and percentage cover of coralline spp., foliose red algae,
Carpophyllum maschalocarpum and other brown macroalgae within each quadrat were recorded. Prior
to sampling, practice measures were made to ensure that estimates of percentage cover were similar (within
a 15% target) for the two divers. The same two divers collected all data, from all six sites between 20-24
November 1991.
All E. chloroticus, T. smaragdus and C. sulcata were collected from quadrats and measured using callipers
immediately after each dive. Additional T. smaragdus and C. sulcata were collected using the same
methodology. Maximum test diameter was measured for E. chloroticus, whereas, maximum length from
the anterior shell edge to the most posterior part of the shell was measured for the two molluscs.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
To compare herbivore and algal assemblages among the six subtidal sites, all random transects were regarded
separately. No quadrat data were excluded from the analysis. Results from each quadrat were averaged
for each transect producing a matrix of 13 species x 19 transects. Average densities were classified using
the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity index of group average clustering strategy (Clifford and Stephenson, 1975).
This analysis progressively grouped transects with similar species composition and was graphically displayed.
Representative species from cluster groups were defined using a pseudo F test (Stephenson et al., 1974;
Stephenson and Dredge, 1976; Stephenson and Campbell, 1977). This test uses the mechanics of the F test
because the outcomes relate closely to those obtained by visual scanning of the data, however, because
the data are classified, the randomness and thus the legitimate use of the test is destroyed (Stephenson and
Campbell, 1977). Hence the term pseudo F test and the use of ‘noticeable’ differences not ‘significant’
ones. Transformed values of species recordings were tested using two combinations of site-groups. Species
were eliminated if the psuedo F value was less than the F value giving 0.01 probability; the species hence
conform more rigorously than the 0.05 probability value assigned to site-groups in terminology in Stephenson
et al. (1974).
Differences in herbivore size between sites were tested by ANOVA (Statistix 3.1).
RESULTS
A total of 50 limestone and 50 granite quadrats were sampled from 19 transects at six sites along the Abel
Tasman National Park (Figure 1). Classification of data (mean m-2) for each transect confirmed two
distinct groups separated at the 0.45 level (Figure 2). These groups showed a positive relationship to substrate
type labelled A (limestone) and B (granite) in Figure 2. Species conforming to these substrate types were
arranged into groups (Table 1). Limestone transects were characterized by foliose red algae, C. sulcata,
M . punctulata and other brown algae. All granite shores were characterized by a high percentage cover
of crustose coralline algae, an absence of macroalgae apart from a sublittoral fringe, and an abundance
of T. smaragdus, Cellana spp. and T. viridus (Table 2). Differences in species abundances between limestone
and granite sites were often dramatic. For example, 894 individual T. srnaragdus (mean = 17.9, SE = 2.5)
MARINE RESERVE SITE SELECTION. NEW ZEALAND
157
___
T5
0.
T3
T9
TS
0
J
05
Figure 2. Group average clusteringbased on five algal groups and eight herbivore species recorded from 100 quadrats along 19 random
transects from six selected sites along the Abel Tasman coastline. A, limestone; B, granite; I, Taupo Point (north-west); 11, Taupo
Stack; 111, Taupo Point (north); IV, other granite sites; and V, Separation Point.
were recorded from granite, whereas only 44 individuals (mean = 1.O, SE = 0.3) were found on limestone;
Celiuna spp. were common from granite transects but were rarely recorded on limestone shores; and foliose
red algae and E. rudiatu were recorded from all limestone sites but were not recorded from granite (Table 2).
Further classification of cluster analysis at a 0.2-0.3 level recognized five groups, labelled I-V on the
dendrogram (Figure 2). Four of the five groups corresponded to sample sites. Only granite transects from
Kaiteriteri and Taupo Hill were classified into a mixed group (Figure 2). This mixed group did not include
transect data from the Separation Point granite site. Pseudo F tests showed the Kaiteriteri and Taupo Hill
granite site were ‘notable’ for high densities of T. smarugdus and high percentage cover of crustose coralline
algae (Table 3). Separation Point was represented by high densities of T. viridus, Cellana spp. and crustose
coralline algae but was distinguished by the absence of T.smaragdus (Table 4). The Taupo Point (north-west)
limestone site had a paucity of macroalgal cover (barren) (Lawrence, 1975) and was ‘notable’ for high densities
of C. sulcata, while the Taupo Point (north) site had E. rudiutu which formed a canopy (Table 4). The
Taupo Stack limestone site was distinguished by a high percentage cover of foliose red algae, which was
also high at Taupo Point (north) (Tables 3,4). Although not distinguished in the results, all coralline algae
below the sublittoral fringe on granite were crustose, while most coralline on limestone was erect (geniculate).
Table I . Conforming species characterizing the major sample groups distinguished
by cluster analysis. Values represent mean number m-2.
Site groups
Species group
Species
Granite
Limestone
A
Cellana spp.
Coralline algae
Turbo smaragdus
Trochus viridus
8.7
82
17.9
2.5
0.3
13
1.o
0.3
B
Foliose red algae
Cookia sulcata
Mauria
punctulata
Other brown
algae
0
0.3
23
3.5
0.06
1.0
0
0.7
158
R. J. DAVIDSON AND W. L. CHADDERTON
Table 2. Density of animals and algae on granite and limestone sites along the Abel Tasman coastline. Total area for each group
was 5 h 2 .
~~
Limestone (n = 50)
Granite (n = 50)
Number of
individuals
Mean number
m-2
Number of
individuals
Mean number
m-*
247
894
15
438
3
125
6
3
4.94 4 0.58
17.88k2.44
0.30k0.07
8.76 k 0.70
0.06 k 0.03
2.50k0.58
0.12k0.07
0.06 k 0.03
263
44
173
14
10
12
3
25
5.10 t0.71
1.OOkO.28
3.48 kO.55
0.28k0.17
0.20 f0.08
0.24 2 0.07
0.06 f0.06
1.00 k0.12
1758
34.6 k 2.37
544
10.82 f0.96
Coralline algaea
Foliose red algaea
Ecklonia radiata
NA
0
0
82 5 2.4
NA
NA
13t1.3
23 k 3.5
3.62 k 0.99
Carpophyllum
maschalocarpuma
Other brown algaea
NA
4.6k 1.7
NA
3.3
NA
0.4 k 0.4
NA
0.7 k 0.3
Species
Evechinus chloroticus
Turbo smaragdus
Cookia sulcata
Cellana spp.
Cryptoconchus porosus
Trochus viridus
Eudoxochiton nobilis
Maurea punctulata
Total herbivores
0
0
178
t 1.3
aPercentage cover m-’.
Table 3. Conforming species characterizing the minor sample groups distinguished in cluster analysis. Values represent means m - 2 .
Site groups
Sample group
Species
Separation
Point
Other
granite
0.67
0
0
0
90
10.99
0.25
0
0
~~
I
I1
111
IV
V
Taupo
Stack
Taupo Point
(north)
2.43
0.17
0.66
6.30
13.82
0.50
2
2.66
16
0.38
0.72
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
~~
Cookia sulcata
Ecklonia radiata
Foliose red algae
Turbo smaragdus
Coralline algae
Trochus viridus
Cellana spp.
11.49
20.63
82
1.65
7.92
Taupo
Point (NW)
38
0.16
10
0.17
0.12
22
0.38
13
0.32
0
Bold characters show the highest values for each species group,
Overall species densities varied considerably between and within granite and limestone groups (Tables
2, 4). E. chloroticus, for example, was present at all sites with little difference in densities for combined
sites on limestone and granite (mean = 5.1, SE = 0.8; mean = 4.94, SE = 0.58 respectively). The highest
densities of E. chloroticus were recorded for transects at Separation Point (mean = 9.5, granite) and Taupo
Stack (mean= 8.4, limestone) (Table 4). Variability between sites was also recorded for T. smaragdus and
T. viridus on granite and C.sulcata, T. smaragdus, foliose red algae, and E. radiata on limestone (Table 4).
Total herbivore numbers recorded from granite were higher than on limestone (Tables 2, 4). Variation
in total herbivore numbers was also apparent between limestone sites with the lowest numbers of herbivores
associated with the highest percentage cover of E. radiata (Table 4).
Size comparison of E. chloroticus between limestone sites with macroalgal cover showed no significant
difference (F=1.47, p = 0.23). Individuals from these limestone sites were larger than those on granite
(F=30.5,p<O.OOl) and those from the limestone site with no macroalgae (Taupo Point north-west)
MARINE RESERVE SITE SELECTION, NEW ZEALAND
153
25Keitertterl
20.
-
Granite
15.
N
89
II = 57.3 mm
10.
5.
L
Separation Point
Granite
E
6
-
66.2 mm
4
20
Taupo Hill
Granite
N = 129
X = 57.6 mm
10
z
o
s91
Taupo Point (north-west1
Limestone
N = 113
I = 56.6 mm
15
10
20.
Taupo Point lnonhl
16.
Limestone
12
N = 128
X = 69.2 mm
8.
4.
30
Taupo Stack
'/&
Limestone
ii = 67.1 mm
10
5
00 20
30
40 Teat
50diameter
60 70
lmml80
90
100 110
Figure 3. Size-frequency distributionsof Evechinus chlorotim from sample sites along the Abel Tasman coastline. Entire distribution
in 5 mm intervals.
160
R . J. DAVIDSON AND W. L. CHADDERTON
30.
Kaiteriteri
rl
Granite
25.
N = 239
ii = 39.8mm
r-l
Taupo Hill
16.
14.
12.
12
10-
Granite
N = 140
8-
x = 29.6 mm
-
.!7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
14.
Taupo Point (north-west)
12-
g
Limestone
10.
C
J
8.
E
6.
U
Y
P
= 42Omm
.............
-
l4 Taupo Point (northr
2.
Limestone
a. -
x = 56.6mm
6.
4-
m
30.
Taupo Stack
25-
Limestone
20.
N = 220
15.
X
0
10
20
30
40
50
= 44.3 mm
60 70
80
90 100
Length lmml
Figure 4. Size-frequency distributions of Turbo smaragdus from sample sites along the Abel Tasman coastline. Entire distribution
in 1 mm intervals.
161
MARINE RESERVE SITE SELECTION, NEW ZEALAND
Table 4. Density of animals and algae for the minor sample groups along the Abel Tasman coastline. Values represent mean m-2.
Granite
Limestone
Separation Point
(n = 6)
Other granite
sites ( n = 44)
Taupo Stack
(n = 22)
Evechinus chloroticus
Turbo smaragdus
Cookia sulcata
Cellana spp.
Cryptoconchus porosus
Trochus viridus
Eudoxochiton nobilis
Maurea punctulata
9.50? 2.93
0
0.67 f0.33
11.50f2.33
0
11.OOk 1.73
0
0.33 f0.21
4.56k0.46
20.65f2.60
0.18 f0.07
8.3920.74
0.09f 0.04
0.8650.21
0.07 f0.04
0.05f0.05
8-39? 1.08
0.17?0.10
2.65 f0.74
0.13?0.09
0.17 k0.12
0.1720.10
0
0.43k0.19
3.00+0.98
0.25 f0.18
0.92f 0.53
0
0
0.17 f0.17
0
0.17 f0.17
2.19k0.67
2.69 f 0.71
6.38 f 0.91
0.6920.51
0.38f0.15
0.38 k0.13
0.19k0.19
0.56 ? 0.20
Total herbivores
33.00f 3.34
35.1922.69
12.13+ 1.47
4.83 f 1.46
13.43f 1.27
90k4
0
0
82f2
0
0
102 1.7
36k 5.4
0.17 2 0.08
14 k 2.8
2655.9
13.92f2.28
16 f 2.3
2 f0.8
0.63 f0.24
2.9+ 1.9
0.8 ? 0.4
1.721.7
1.1 k0.8
5f3
0.6 f 0.2
Species
Coralline algaea
Foliose red algaea
Ecklonia radiata
C. maschalocarpuma
Other brown algaea
0
3.3k3.3
4f 1.8
0
Taupo Point
Taupo Point
(north) ( n = 12) (north-west) (n = 6)
apercentage cover m-2.
(F=40.8,p<O.OOl). Less than 2% of E. chloroticus from Taupo Point (north-west) and granite sites
reached sizes >75mm diameter, whereas 30% of urchins from Taupo Point (north) and Taupo Stack
measured between 75-110mm diameter (Figure 3, Table 4). Comparison of Dix’s (1970,1972)size and density
data with data from the same site in the present study (Kaiteriteri) revealed no significant differences for
either his 1967 (F=1.06,p = 0.30)or 1968 data (F=0.74,p = 0.39).
The population size structure of T. smurugdus varied between all sites (Figure 4). The largest mean and
individual sizes were found from limestone sites (Figure 4,Table 4). The lowest mean sizes of T. smurugdus
were collected from Kaiteriteri. As the mean size of T. smarugdus decreased, a corresponding increase in
animal density was recorded. The highest densities were recorded from sites with the smallest individuals
(Figure 4, Table 4).
The highest densities and largest C. sulcutu were recorded from limestone although population structure
was extremely variable (Figure 5, Table 4). Insufficient numbers of C. sulcutu were available at Separation
Point to provide reliable information.
DISCUSSION
Differences in herbivore and algal assemblages between limestone and granite shores along the Abel Tasman
National Park coast were considerable. Granite shores had a barren appearance, with macroalgae most
often restricted to a narrow sublittoral fringe. Granite shores had a high percentage cover of crustose coralline
algae, high densities of herbivores and an absence of E. rudiutu. In contrast, limestone sites were characterized
by the presence of foliose red algae and E. rudiutu. Differences between substrata were supported by
qualitative information collected by Davidson (1992)who recorded more macroinvertebrate species from
limestone (mean = 43.5,SE = 0.5)than for granite (mean = 30.8,SE = 1 S ) , while Nelson et al. (1992)listed
1 1 species of algae recorded on granite and not limestone and 14 species from limestone but not granite. These
qualitative studies and the quantitative data presented in this study suggest that selection of a marine reserve
site with the goal of having a variety of community types should include both limestone and granite substrata.
Results suggested that although granite shores appeared uniformly barren, they did in fact differ in
herbivore composition. Similarly, differences in algal taxa and cover and herbivore composition between
162
R. J. DAVIDSON AND W. L. CHADDERTON
Kaiteriteri
Granite
N = 147
I = 21.2 mm
1
....................
Taupo Hill
Granite
N = 135
P
= 25.2 mm
E . . . r . . . . . ... . . . . . .<
25
>
Taupo Point (north-west)
20.
Limestone
15.
N = 99
U
3
?!
U
1
I = 29.5 mm
10.
5.
14. Taupo Point (north)
2 ' Limestone
8.
-
x = 34.7 mm
Taupo Stack
Limestone
n
n
111 111
Lengrh (mm)
Figure 5. Size-frequency distributionsof Cookiu sulcutu from sample sites along the Abel Tasman coastline. Entire distribution in
1 mm intervals.
MARINE RESERVE SITE SELECTION, NEW ZEALAND
163
limestone sites were considerable. Limestone at Taupo Point (north) was characterized by high numbers
of brown macroalgae (E. radiata) and an understorey of foliose red algae, while limestone at Taupo Point
(north-west) was distinguished by a virtual absence of macroalgae. Limestone at Taupo Stack was
intermediate, with moderate densities of brown macroalgae and high percentage cover of foliose red algae.
These differences were supported by cluster analysis. The variation in community composition within each
substrate type should also be considered in marine reserve site selection.
Reasons for differences in community structure between substrata is probably due to environmental
variables. Heterogeneityof substrate surface is known to affect algae (Nienhuis, 1969; Hartog, 1972; Harlin
and Lindberg, 1977; Schiel, 1980; Deysher and Norton, 1982; Dayton, 1985). Deysher and Norton (1982)
documented greater attachment success from Sargassum muticum when rock surfaces had
small grooves and pits, as opposed to smooth surfaces. Harlin and Lindberg (1977) reported that relief of
substrate surface could regulate the development of an intertidal algal community. Further, they concluded
that many macroalgae preferred to colonize surfaces with greater relief. Harlin and Lindberg (1977) suggested
several reasons for this phenomenon related to larger surface space for settlement, reduced predation due to
refugia, trapping of detritus, and surface chemistry. In California, Raimondi (1988) recorded greater postsettlement mortality of barnacles Chthamalusanisopoma on intertidal basalt than on granite near the upper
limit of its distribution resulting in a 25 cm difference in the vertical limit up the shore. The mechanism
responsible for this difference appeared related to the thermal properties of the two rock types. Unfortunately,
there is little published information on the influence of substrate on in situ subtidal algal communities.
Granite of the Abel Tasman coast represents a uniform and relatively featureless surface dominated by large
boulders and bedrock with few cracks or crevices, whereas limestone reefs exhibit variable relief with many
cracks, pits, crevices and fissures. Quantitative data from the present study suggest that surface heterogeneity
may be an important environmental factor contributing to differences in herbivore and algal composition.
The macroalgal floras of granite shores along the Abel Tasman were depauperate. C. maschalocarpum
was restricted to an occasional sublittoral band, while E. radiata and C. frexuosum were extremely patchy
or rare (Davidson, 1992). Instead granite was dominated by crustose coralline algae. Subtidal rocky barrens
have been reported in many regions (see reviews: Andrew, 1988; Schiel, 1988, Underwood et al., 1991).
Underwood et al. (1991) suggested that stability of barrens seemed more assured than habitats dominated
by foliose brown algae or geniculate corallines, while Johnson and Mann (1986) suggested that on subtidal
granite in Nova Scotia barrens stability contributed significantly to inhibition of algal settlement. Davidson
(1992) examined aerial photos from the Abel Tasman coast taken 25 years prior to the present study, and
reported no evidence of macroalgal beds where barrens existed in the present study. The results suggest
that granite barrens of the Abel Tasman are relatively stable.
Barrens stability may be further ensured by environmental factors which are unsuitable for macroalgae.
High turbidity, sedimentation, low light, high temperatures, low nutrients and low water motion do not
favour most macroalgal species (Charters et al., 1973; Jackson, 1977; Devinney and Volse, 1978; Kain,
1979; Norton et al., 1982; Kennelly, 1983; Reed and Foster, 1984; Dayton, 1985; Deysher and Dean 1986b)
and may explain the absence of many brown algae common in southern New Zealand (e.g. Macrocystis
pyrifera, Marginariella spp., Landsbergia quercifolia, Lessonia variegata, Durvillaea spp .). Unfavourable
environmental conditions for algae are compounded by the granite relief which appears to favour herbivores.
Many authors have attributed barrens establishment and maintenance to grazing herbivores, primarily
sea urchins, (Lawrence, 1975; Ayling, 1981; Choat and Schiel, 1982; Andrew and Choat, 1985; Himmelman
and Lavergne, 1985; Himmelman, 1986; Fletcher, 1987; Andrew, 1988; Schiel, 1988; Andrew and
Underwood, 1989; Jones and Andrew, 1990; Keats et al., 1990; Underwood and Kennelly, 1990; Underwood
et al., 1991). Subtidal studies on molluscan grazers suggest they may also influence algal community
composition (see review Creese, 1988). Fletcher (1987) reported that limpets were second only to urchins
in the maintenance of crustose coralline barrens. Other authors have recorded an increase in foliose algal
species with removal of limpets (Ayling, 1981; Moreno and Sutherland, 1982; Schiel, 1980) and a decline
164
R. J. DAVIDSON AND W. L. CHADDERTON
or smothering of crustose corallines (Paine, 1980; Steneck, 1982; Himmelman et ul., 1983). In the present
study, the highest combined densities of grazers were recorded for granite barrens. Densities of T. smurugdus
and Cellana spp., similar to values recorded by Ayling (1981), Moreno and Sutherland (1982) and Schiel
(1990), were present on barren granite reefs; suggesting these molluscs may also help to maintain crustose
coralline algae on the Abel Tasman coastline. The results suggest that for Abel Tasman granite, the presence
of large numbers of E. chloroticus and molluscan herbivores living on a low relief substrate, representing
an ideal grazing surface, is the most probable explanation for the maintenance of extensive barrens.
The selection of a marine reserve area should take account of biogeographic differences throughout New
Zealand as well as local community differences. Herbivore communities from the Abel Tasman, for example,
contrast with those reported from North Island studies. In northern New Zealand, T. smaragdus is usually
considered an intertidal species and is relatively rare below low water (Creese, 1988). T. smurugdus was
the dominant gastropod from granite sites on the Abel Tasman with counts up to 64 individuals m-2. Of
the common subtidal herbivorous molluscs of northern New Zealand (Cellana stellifera, Cantharidus
purpureus, Trochus viridus, Micrelenchus sanguineus, Cookiu sulcuta) only Cellana spp., with the exception
of one Abel Tasman site, were recorded in comparable numbers (Choat and Schiel, 1982). This evidence
suggests that although overall densities of herbivorous molluscs are comparable to values reported in northern
New Zealand studies, different species contribute to their relative abundance for sheltered waters of the
Abel Tasman.
In northern New Zealand, the highest densities of E. chloroticus are recorded from coralline flats, rather
than underneath macroalgal canopies (Ayling, 1978; Choat and Schiel, 1982; Andrew and Choat, 1985).
On the Abel Tasman coast, E. chloroticus abundances on crustose coralline dominated granite rock were
comparable to reported North Island densities. Similarly, lowest E. chloroticus densities on limestone were
recorded underneath algal canopies, however, in contrast with northern New Zealand studies, urchin numbers
on limestone with sparse E. rudiata but a high percentage cover of foliose red algae, were high.
There is growing circumstantial evidence indicating that herbivorous grazers benefit from the close
proximity to macroalgal beds. Himmelman and Nedelec (1990) recorded the largest urchins living adjacent
to the algal fringe in intensely grazed areas in eastern Canada. In California, Rowley (1990) found urchins
Strongylocentrotus purpuratus of > 1.2 mm diameter fed on foliose algae and as a consequence grew 6-7
times faster than urchins feeding on barrens. Dix (1969), at Kaikoura and McShane and Naylor (1991) in
Fiordland (south-west New Zealand), recorded dense aggregations of E. chloroticus in small patches devoid
of macroalgae, amongst beds of dense seaweeds. From tagging trials, Dix (1969, 1970b) concluded that
movement of urchins within these patches or aggregations at Kaikoura was small and individuals appeared
to form and occupy shallow depressions or bare spots. Size data for E. chloroticus, T. smurugdus and C.
sulcuta from the Abel Tasman support the suggestion that herbivores benefit from this association. The
largest individuals were recorded from limestone sites in the present study with a high percentage cover
of algae, while smaller sizes were recorded from limestone sites with a low percentage cover of macroalgae.
Further, preliminary results suggest that in some areas urchins move little, maintaining small patches of
rock grazed clean of macroalgae. This localized action eventually results in the formation of depressions
in the limestone.
On granite along the Abel Tasman, the sizes of E. chloroticus suggest that urchin growth is limited, as
considerably larger individuals were recorded from nearby limestone. This hypothesis needs testing for the
Abel Tasman coast. In a review, Andrew (1988) suggested that E. chloroticus could maintain high densities
in areas with low food availability through adjustments to growth and reproductive output. Dix (1970a,
1972) proposed that urchins on granite at Kaiteriteri may be limited by food availability. Dix (1970a, 1972)
compared E. chloroticus from granite shores at Kaiteriten with limestone sites of Kaikoura Peninsula (northeastern South Island). He suggested that the environmental conditions, particularly the impoverished
macroalgal flora on granite of the Abel Tasman were responsible for the observed differences. Our data,
collected from Abel Tasman shores with and without macroalgae, support this contention.
MARINE RESERVE SITE SELECTION, NEW ZEALAND
165
CONCLUSION
In recent years there has been an increased awareness of community complexities in subtidal rocky reefs.
Mechanisms responsible for structuring these communities have been discussed in many papers, however,
little attention has been focused on patterns of distribution and abundance. In New Zealand, most community
description has been from northern North Island, but Schiel(1990) reported that as collection of quantitative
data on algal and herbivore assemblages become more widespread, few generalizations remain appropriate.
From limited quantitative data available from South Island subtidal rocky shores, it appears that not all
patterns described for northern New Zealand are applicable. In addition, differences between sheltered shores
of the Abel Tasman and exposed or semi-exposed locations in southern New Zealand also appear
considerable. For marine reserves t o be representative (Ballantine, 1991), there must be greater emphasis
placed on studies describing patterns and species distributions and abundance. It is also important that
once biogeographic patterns have been identified, local variation in community composition be investigated
especially in the identification of sites appropriate for marine reserves.
Results in the present study suggest that subtidal communities recorded from the Abel Tasman coast
are different from subtidal shores described to date elsewhere in New Zealand. On the grounds of protecting
representative marine areas throughout New Zealand, the Abel Tasman coast therefore warrants protection
as part of a network of marine reserves. Further, to achieve a variety of community types, selection of
a marine reserve location along this coast should recognize the contrasting subtidal communities recorded
both between and within granite and limestone substrata.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We thank Peter Braggins, Bill Franklin, Helen McAllen, Brendon Clough and Charmayne Devine for assistance with
field work which was supported from the Nelson and Motueka Department of Conservation offices by Sheryl File
and Wendy King. Thanks to Len Edwards for committing staff time and equipment to the study. Statistical analyses
were implemented using a variety of computer programs designed or adapted by Dr J. D. Stark (Cawthron Institute,
Nelson). We gratefully acknowledge comments by Chris Battershill, Ken Grange, Islay Marsden, Wendy Nelson, Keith
Probert, Bob Rowley, K. Hiscock, Jacqui Davidson and anonymous referees. Maps and figures were prepared by Alan
Price and Carry Holz. The manuscript was typed by Charmayne Devine.
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