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Assemblage structure, spatial patterns, recruitment, and post-settlement mortality of subtidal bivalve molluscs in a large harbour in north-eastern New Zealand

Abstract
Infaunal bivalve molluscs on the flood tidal delta of Tauranga Harbour, north-eastern New Zealand, were surveyed twice over a 6-month period, with the aim of assessing shellfish resources, assessing the magnitudes of temporal and spatial variability in abundances, and identifying potentially important processes. The surveys identified a total of 31 bivalve taxa from 27 sites. Species richness per site ranged between 0 and 9, and varied greatly in space and time, as did two other measures of diversity. Extremely high densities of bivalves (>20 000 m-²) were encountered at several sites. Densities of several abundant species varied greatly in time, as a result of recruitment pulses. The abundances of the three species that dominated the fauna (Paphies australis, Tawera spissa, and Ruditapes largillierti) had characteristic spatial scales on the order of 200 m. Comparisons of size frequency distributions for individual sites suggested that mortality or emigration in the first year of benthic life was high. Substantial populations of bivalves occur on Centre Bank, and the most abundant of these are greatly influenced by events early in their lives.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Cole, R.G., Hull, P.J. & Healy, T.R. (2000). Assemblage structure, spatial patterns, recruitment, and post-settlement mortality of subtidal bivalve molluscs in a large harbour in north-eastern New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 34(2), 317-329.
Date
2000
Publisher
The Royal Society of New Zealand
Degree
Supervisors
Rights