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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-151
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-151
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: data description paper 16 Sep 2019

Submitted as: data description paper | 16 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Multi-scale data on intertidal macrobenthic biodiversity and environmental features in three New Zealand harbours

Casper Kraan1,2, Barry L. Greenfield3, and Simon F. Thrush4 Casper Kraan et al.
  • 1Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstraße 231, 23129 Oldenburg, Germany
  • 2Department of Functional Ecology, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 3National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, PO Box 11-115, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
  • 4Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Abstract. Understanding how the plants and animals that live in the seafloor vary in their spatial patterns of diversity and abundance is fundamental to gaining insight in the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem functioning in coastal ecosystems, as well as advancing the modelling of species distributions under realistic assumptions. Yet, it is virtually unknown how the relationships between abundance patterns and different biotic and environmental processes change depending on spatial scales, which is mainly due to a lack of data. Within the project Spatial Organization of Species Distributions: Hierarchical and Scale-Dependent Patterns and Processes in Coastal Seascapes at the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand we collected multi-scale and high-resolution data on macrobenthic biodiversity. We found 146 species, i.e. bivalves, polychaetes and crustaceans (> 500 μm) that live hidden in marine sandflats, and collected point measurements of important environmental variables (sediment grain-size distributions, chlorophyll a concentration, and visible sandflat parameters) in three large intertidal Harbours (Kaipara, Tauranga and Manukau). In each Harbour we sampled 400 points for macrobenthic community composition and abundances, as well as the full set of environmental variables. Using an elaborate sampling design, we were able to cover scales from 30 centimetres to a maximal extent of 1 km. All data and extensive metadata are available from the data publisher PANGAEA via the persistent identifier https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.903448.

Casper Kraan et al.
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Short summary
Understanding how the plants and animals that live in the seafloor vary in their spatial patterns of diversity and abundance is fundamental to gaining insight in the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem functioning in coastal ecosystems.Yet, data are lacking. Therefore we collected multi-scale and high-resolution data on macrobenthic biodiversity in New Zealand marine sandflats. For 1200 sampling locations we provide data on benthic biodiversity and associated environmental variables.
Understanding how the plants and animals that live in the seafloor vary in their spatial...
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