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Supplementary material from "Artificial light at night and warming impact grazing rates and gonad index of the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii"

Version 3 2024-04-18, 11:34
Version 2 2024-04-02, 13:49
Version 1 2024-04-01, 17:36
Posted on 2024-04-18 - 11:34
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is a growing threat to coastal habitats, and is likely to exacerbate the impacts of other stressors. Kelp forests are dominant habitats on temperate reefs but are declining due to ocean warming and overgrazing. We tested the independent and interactive effects of ALAN (dark versus ALAN) and warming (ambient versus warm) on grazing rates and gonad index of the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii. Within these treatments, urchins were fed either ‘fresh’ kelp or ‘treated’ kelp. Treated kelp (Ecklonia radiata) was exposed to the same light and temperature combinations as urchins. We assessed photosynthetic yield, carbon and nitrogen content and C:N ratio of treated kelp to help identify potential drivers behind any effects on urchins. Grazing increased with warming and ALAN for urchins fed fresh kelp, and increased with warming for urchins fed treated kelp. Gonad index was higher in ALAN/ambient and dark/warm treatments compared to dark/ambient treatments for urchins fed fresh kelp. Kelp carbon content was higher in ALAN/ambient treatments than ALAN/warm treatments at one time point. This indicates ocean warming and ALAN may increase urchin grazing pressure on rocky reefs, an important finding for management strategies.

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