Recent changes in abundance and herbivory of rabbit fish in southwestern Australia (Masters 2016)
My research is concerned with the tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems around the world due to climate change. In particular, it relates to the poleward expansion of the distribution of tropical fishes and the associated consequences for temperate marine ecosystems. Recently, Western Australia experienced a severe marine heatwave that facilitated the southward expansion of many tropical fish species including herbivores such as rabbit fish (Siganus fuscescens). I quantified the structure and abundance of current fish communities, herbivory rates and seaweed abundances on temperate reefs around Perth on the coast of Southwestern Australia and contrasted this information with historical data.
Zarco-Perello S, Wernberg T, Langlois T, Vanderklift MA (2017) Tropicalization strengthens consumer pressure on habitat-forming seaweeds. Scientific Reports, 7: 820.
Supervisors: Thomas Wernberg, Tim Langlois, Mat Vanderklift (CSIRO).