Benthic community structure and water column characteristics at two sites in the Kermadec Islands Marine Reserve, New Zealand
New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research
the Kermadec Islands Marine reserve (KIMR), which is located at 30°S, is New Zealand's largest marine reserve at 748 000 ha, and its biota is composed of a mix of warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical species. A depth-stratified ecological survey was conducted of the abundance and percentage cover of macrobenthic species and of the water column at two sites (Meyer Island and west Chanter Island) 2 km apart. Significant differences in benthic community structure and in water column turbidity
... er column turbidity and chlorophyll concentrations were observed between the two sites despite their proximity and physical similarity. Compared with other "snapshot" surveys of benthic community structure at sites within the KIMr there was a high degree of similarity among the species observed, but often a low degree of similarity in species abundance or percentage cover as a function of depth. we suggest that despite its isolation and the degree of difficulty of working at this location, a full-scale ecological survey of the coastal marine biota of the KIMr is warranted to better understand new Zealand's subtropical marine biota and its affinities with other marine biotas of the South Pacific.