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Three-dimensional species distribution modeling reveals the realized spatial niche for coral recruitment on contemporary Caribbean reefs
  • Ángela Martínez Quintana,
  • Howard Lasker,
  • Adam Wilson
Ángela Martínez Quintana
University at Buffalo

Corresponding Author:am298@buffalo.edu

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Howard Lasker
University at Buffalo
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Adam Wilson
University at Buffalo
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The 3-dimensional structure of habitats is a critical component of species' niches driving coexistence in species-rich ecosystems. However, its influence on structuring and partitioning recruitment niches has not been widely addressed. We developed a new method to combine Species Distribution Modeling and Structure from Motion and characterized three-dimensional recruitment niches of two ecosystem engineers on Caribbean coral reefs, scleractinian corals and gorgonians. Fine-scale roughness was the most important predictor of suitable habitat for both taxa, and their niches largely overlapped, primarily due to scleractinians broader niche breadth. Crevices and holes at mm-scales on calcareous rock with low coral cover were more suitable for octocorals than for scleractinian recruits, suggesting the decline of scleractinian corals is facilitating the recruitment of octocorals on contemporary Caribbean reefs. However, the relative abundances of the taxa were independent of the amount of suitable habitat on the reef, emphasizing niche-processes solely do not predict recruitment rates.
19 Oct 2022Submitted to Ecology Letters
21 Oct 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Oct 2022Submission Checks Completed
21 Oct 2022Assigned to Editor
31 Oct 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 Dec 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
17 Jan 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
17 Jan 20231st Revision Received
18 Jan 2023Submission Checks Completed
18 Jan 2023Assigned to Editor
20 Jan 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major
13 Feb 20232nd Revision Received
13 Feb 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
14 Feb 2023Submission Checks Completed
14 Feb 2023Assigned to Editor
16 Feb 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 Mar 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor