Effect of disturbance on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Natural and anthropogenic disturbance (in particular through bottom trawling and bivalve harvesting) have an effect on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. In this project we study how disturbance, ecosystem functioning and biodiversity interact in intertidal and subtidal ecosytems.

1) Vulnerability, ecosystem function and services of intertidal bivalve communities impacted by fishing . This project looks at the impact of harvesting of cockles and clams on bioturbation and biodiversity

2) Facilitation and biodiversity in marine benthos. The main aim of this project is to measure the strength of intra-specific competition and facilitation in intertidal soft-bottom sediments over a stress gradient, and to identify how and why species have positive or negative interactions.

3) Measuring benthic ecosystem functioning over a disturbance gradient using Sediment Profiling Imagery (SPI). The objective of this project is to quantify the relationship between species richness and ecosystem functioning in marine ecosystems over a natural disturbance gradient.

4) Extinction proneness and functionality in marine benthic ecosystems. This research aims to delineate the relationship between extinction proneness and functional importance in marine communities by taking an applied ecosystem based approach in a variety of coastal habitats.

Associated publications

Davies TW, Jenkins SR, Kingham R, Kenworthy J, Hawkins SJ, and Hiddink, JG 2011
Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28362

Davies, T. W., Jenkins, S. R., Kingham, R., Hawkins, S. J. and Hiddink, J. G. (2012)
Extinction resistant species do not always compensate for declines in ecosystem processes associated with biodiversity loss. Journal of Ecology, 100, 1475-1481.

Queirós, A. M., Hiddink, J. G., Johnson, G., Cabral, H. N. and Kaiser, M. J. (2011)
Context dependence of marine invasion impacts on benthic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Biological Invasions 13, 1059-1075.

Hiddink JG, Davies TW, Perkins M, Machairopoulou M, Neill SP (2009)
Context dependency of relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is different for multiple ecosystem functions. Oikos 118:1892-1900