Assessment of the alien marine intertidal invertebrates in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, South Africa

Malherbe, Hanlie (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-12)

Thesis (MScConEcol)--UnStellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The privilege of utilising resources from the globe's marine ecosystems is threatened. Adequate regional and global conservation efforts are vital. Understanding species' distributions and the environmental variables influencing community structures are important for instigating optimum conservation plans. A major threat facing marine ecosystems is the introduction and proliferation of alien invasive species. The distribution and geographical expansion of marine alien invasive species, along with environmental variables driving their increase is also critical for drawing up conservation plans. In response to this point, this study addresses gaps in our knowledge regarding intertidal marine invertebrate species distributions particularly that of marine alien species in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve (KBR) and adjacent Betty's Bay Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Western Cape of South Africa, a prime area for south-coast marine conservation. Species identifications were done in September 2010. Two marine alien invertebrate species were identified along the coastline. These were the invasive mytilid Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the bryozoan Watersipora subtorquata. A quantitative systematic survey of the intertidal region, consisting of seven rocky shore sites was then undertaken from October 2010 to December 2010. The abundance of all focal marine invertebrate species, within six selected habitat types was assessed. Environmental variables were also recorded. Statistical tests were done to investigate for significant interaction in mean abundance and mean species richness among intertidal zones and protection status (MPA and non-MPA), and among intertidal sampling units (SU‟s) and protection status. There was also investigated for significant difference in mean abundance and mean species richness across intertidal zones and habitat types where protection status was not taken into account, and to test for significant differences in mean abundance and mean species richness between the intertidal zones and habitat types. Correspondence analyses were used to illustrate relationships between species composition and the defined environmental variables. Tests were done to investigate for significant differences in mean abundance of the identified marine alien species between the MPA and non-MPA, study sites, SU's, and wave exposures. These results indicated that vertical and horizontal stress gradients along the shore mainly influence abundance and species richness. The significantly higher abundance of M. galloprovincialis outside the MPA is due to its preference for wave-exposed areas. The reason for the difference in the total abundance of W. subtorquata in the different habitats is not clear, although it appears that the higher abundance of this species in the MPA is because the sheltered nature of the MPA. M. galloprovincilais displaces indigenous species. W. subtorquata does not cause any significant harm along the coast of South Africa. This study indicates that the abundance of M. galloprovincialis and W. subtorquata in the MPA is relatively low. The MPA is therefore in good condition with regards to intertidal alien species. It is important that the MPA and adjacent KBR's coastline maintain its current pristine status.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die voorreg om mariene hulpbronne te benut, word bedreig. Voldoende nasionale en globale mariene bewaring is krities. 'n Deeglike kennis van spesies verspreiding en omgewingsveranderlikes wat gemeenskapstrukture beïnvloed is noodsaaklik vir optimale bewaringspogings. Mariene indringerspesies en verspreiding van indringerspesies bedreig mariene ekosisteme. Dit is belangrik om basiese kennis in te win oor die geografiese verspreiding van indringerspesies saam met die omgewingsveranderlikes wat hierdie verspreiding beïnvloed. Hierdie studie fokus dus daarop om die kennis met betrekking tot intergety ongewerwelde spesiesverspreiding, veral dié wat uitheems is langs die kus van die Kogelberg Biosfeer Reservaat (KBR) en aangrensende Bettys Baai Mariene Beskermde Gebied (MBG) in die Wes-Kaap in Suid-Afrika uit te brei. Hierdie streek word beskou as gesog vir mariene bewaring in Suid-Afrika. Identifikasie van spesies is in September 2010 gedoen. Twee intergety uitheemse ongewerwelde spesies is langs die kus geïdentifiseer; die indringer 'mytilid' Mediterreense mossel - Mytilus galloprovincialis en die 'bryozoa' Watersipora subtorquata. 'n Kwantitatiewe sistematiese oorsig van die intergety rotsagtige streek, bestaande uit sewe lokaliteite, is gedoen. Steekproefneming is vanaf Oktober 2010 tot Desember 2010 uitgevoer. Alle fokale intergety ongewerwelde spesies, in ses geselekteerde habitattipes is getel. Omgewingsveranderlikes is aangeteken. Daar is statisties getoets vir verskille in die talrykheid en spesiesrykheid tussen die intergety zones en beskermingsstatus (MBG en nie-MBG), en tussen die intergety habitattipes en beskermingsstatus. Daar is ook getoets vir verskille in talrykheid en spesiesrykheid tussen die intergety zones en habitattipes waar beskermingsstatus nie in ag geneem is nie. Ooreenstemmende analises is gedoen om die verhoudings tussen die spesiesamestelling en die gedefinieerde omgewingsveranderlikes te illustreer. Daar is statisties getoets vir verskille in die talrykheid van die geïdentifiseerde uitheemse spesies tussen die MBG en nie-MBG, die verskillende lokaliteite, die verskillende habitattipes en tussen die verskillende golf blootstellings. Hierdie studie dui aan dat vertikale en horisontale stresgradiënte die hoofoorsaak is wat talrykheid en spesiesrykheid beïnvloed. Die aansienlik hoër talrykheid van M. galloprovincialis buite die MBG is van die gebied se hoër golfblootstelling. Die beduidende verskil in talrykheid van W. subtorquata is onduidelik. Dit kan egter afgelei word dat die beskutte aard van die MBG 'n rol speel by die aansienlik hoër talrykheid van hierdie spesie binne die MBG. M. galloprovicialis verplaas inheemse spesies. Geen beskikbare bewys dui daarop dat W. subtorquata enige beduidende skade langs die kus van Suid-Afrika aanrig nie. Die lae talrykheid van beide hierdie spesies binne die MBG dui daarop dat hierdie unieke area steeds in goeie toestand ten opsigte van intergety uitheemse spesies is. Dit is noodsaaklik dat die huidige status van die MBG en aangrensende kuslyn gehandhaaf word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17981
This item appears in the following collections: