This dataset contains the data associated with the following publication: Tebbett SB, Morais RA, Goatley CHR, Bellwood DR (2021) Collapsing ecosystem functions on an inshore coral reef. Journal of Environmental Management 289: 112471 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112471
These data were used to examine changes in the functioning of the benthic algal turf community (in terms of its capacity to provide nutritional resources to herbivorous fishes) and herbivorous fish community (in terms of energy flow and productivity) across a >10 year timespan that was punctuated by a series of disturbances, namely a substantial increase in benthic sediment loads, at Orpheus Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The data underpinning our functional evaluation were based on underwater visual censuses (twelve 5-minute timed swims in 2018 as well as 2019) of the herbivorous fish community (all nominally herbivorous species in the families Acanthuridae, Siganidae and Labridae [Scarini]). In both 2018 and 2019 six algal turf particulate samples were taken at each of two sites per year (n = 12 samples per year). For each particulate sample algal turf length was recorded by measuring the length of 5 haphazardly selected algal turf filaments. These data were compared to equivalent data originally collected in 2013 and 2005/2006 (herbivorous fish data) as well as in 2013 and 2008 (benthic algal turf particulate data) and originally published in Goatley et al. (2016), Bonaldo and Bellwood (2011) and Fox and Bellwood (2007). This data publications contains: The raw herbivorous fish abundance data Algal turf length and accumulated sediment/particulate load data The functions for the benthic algal turfs The functions for the herbivorous fish community Details of the datasets including units of measure can be found in the 'read me' file.
For full methodological details, please see the published manuscript (referenced above).
Bonaldo RM, Bellwood DR (2011) Spatial variation in the effects of grazing on epilithic algal turfs on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Coral Reefs 30:381–390
Fox RJ, Bellwood DR (2007) Quantifying herbivory across a coral reef depth gradient. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 339:49–59
Goatley CHR, Bonaldo RM, Fox RJ, Bellwood DR (2016) Sediments and herbivory as sensitive indicators of coral reef degradation. Ecol. Soc. 21: 29