Skip to main content
Dryad

Data from: Rapid shift in benthic assemblages following coral bleaching at an upper mesophotic habitat in Taiwan

Cite this dataset

Lin, Yuting Vicky et al. (2024). Data from: Rapid shift in benthic assemblages following coral bleaching at an upper mesophotic habitat in Taiwan [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d2547d89b

Abstract

Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; typically, 30–150 m depths) have traditionally been considered potential refuges for shallow-water organisms, but recent evidence suggests that this role is context-dependent. Here, we document a singular habitat at the upper mesophotic depth (- 30 m) in Xiaoliuqiu, Taiwan, and assess the changes in the benthic assemblage one year after a heatwave affected the reefs. In the habitat studied, abundant branching depth-specialist corals were found free-living and thriving on the sandy-rubble bottom amidst dense filamentous turf algae. In 2022, 63.6% of the corals were observed bleached, which was associated with severe heat stress affecting shallow reefs. The dominant coral at the time, Acropora tenella, suffered the most from the bleaching, with only 9.7% of its population remaining healthy. After one year, there was a noticeable shift in dominance from A. tenella to the previously cryptic Anacropora spp. without an obvious change in coral cover. We hypothesize that this rapid shift is driven by Anacropora spp., benefiting from the dense canopy provided by A. tenella. This suggests that the composition of understory organisms may play an important role in the resilience of some reefs affected by disturbance. The characteristics of this habitat, which consists mainly of deep-water specialists, and its susceptibility to stressors indicate that this habitat is unlikely to serve as a refuge for most shallow-water taxa. Our findings reinforce that the effectiveness of MCEs as refuges is not universal, and emphasize the importance of incorporating these unique habitats into conservation strategies and gaining a deeper understanding of their functions before they are lost.

README: Data from: Rapid shift in benthic assemblages following coral bleaching at an upper mesophotic habitat in Taiwan


This README.md was generated on 2024-06-13 by Yuting Vicky Lin (vicky.linyuting@gmail.com).

  1. Author Information
    • First author
      • Name: Dr. Yuting Vicky Lin
      • Institution: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
    • Second author
      • Name: Yanyu Leonie Chen
      • Institution: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
    • Third author
      • Name: Dr. Stéphane De Palmas
      • Institution: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
    • Fourth author
      • Name: Dr. Rodrigo Carballo-Bolaños
      • Institution: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
    • Fifth author
      • Name: Msc. Arnaud Guerbet
      • Institution: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
    • Sixth author
      • Name: Dr. Lauriane Ribas-Deulofeu
      • Institution: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan & Ocean Center, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Seventh author
      • Name: Chiajung Berrica Tsai
      • Institution: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
    • Eighth author
      • Name: Msc. Yi Wei
      • Institution: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
    • Nineth & corresponding author
      • Name: Dr Vianney Denis
      • Institution: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan & Ocean Center, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
      • Email: vianneydenis@ntu.edu.tw
  2. Date of data collection: 2022-2023
  3. Geographic location of data collection: Taiwan, West Pacific
  4. Funding sources that supported the collection of the data: National Science and Technology Council of Taiwan, Ocean Conservation Administration of Taiwan
  5. Recommended citation for this dataset Lin YV, Chen YL, De Palmas S, Carballo-Bolaños R, Guerbet A, Ribas-Deulofeu L, Tsai CB, Wei Y, Denis V (2024) Data from: Rapid shift in benthic assemblages following coral bleaching at an upper mesophotic habitat in Taiwan, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d2547d89b

[Data and R script are also available through the GitHub repository https://github.com/NTU-FRELab/bleaching-mesophotic in order to replicate our analyses]

DESCRIPTION OF THE DATA AND FILE STRUCTURE

DATA & FILE OVERVIEW

  1. Description of dataset

These data were used to analyze the shift in benthic assemblages following coral bleaching at an upper mesophotic habitat in Xiaoliuqiu, Taiwan
2. File List

File 1: Linetal_dataset_Benthic.csv: benthic and bleaching annotated points of the 6 sampling transects in 2022 and 2023, respectively
File 2: Linetal_dataset_dhw_5km_XLQ.nc: daily sea surface temperature, bleaching alert and degree heating week data in Venice, Xiaoliuqiu in 2022 and 2023, respectively
File 3: Linetal_dataset_TWN_adm0.shp, .cpg, .dbf, .prj, .shx: a shapefile of Taiwan map used to generate Figure 1b

METHODOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A detailed description of data acquisition and processing can be found in the published manuscript in Marine Biodiversity (https://doi.org/10.1007/s12526-024-01445-5)

DATA-SPECIFIC INFORMATION
Linetal_dataset_Benthic.csv
  1. Number of variables/columns: 10
  2. Number of cases/rows: 46
  3. Missing data codes None
  4. Variable List
    • Column A - Major_cate
    • Column B - Label
    • Column C - Bleached_status
    • Column D - 2022_T1
    • Column E – 2022_T2
    • Column F – 2022_T3
    • Column G – 2023_T1
    • Column H – 2023_T2
    • Column I – 2023_T3
  5. Descriptions This file has benthic and bleaching annotated points of the 6 transects sampled from 2022 and 2023, respectively. Only stony and soft corals have bleaching status. Abbreviations used for variables are as below: 1: Major_cate: Major category 2: Label: for corals, the label contains the information of species identity and its morphology; for the other major categories, the label contains the information of species identity
  6. CCA: crustose coralline algae
Linetal_dataset_dhw_5km_XLQ.nc
  1. Latitude: 22.325; Longitude: 120.375
  2. Time: 2022/1/1 - 2023/12/31
  3. Missing data codes None
  4. Variable: CRW_SST, CRW_DHW, CRW_BAA
  5. Descriptions This .nc file has the daily sea surface temperature, bleaching alert and degree heating week data in Venice, Xiaoliuqiu from 2022 to 2023, and was used to generate Figure 2. Abbreviations used for variables are as below: 1: CRW_SST: daily sea surface temperature 2: CRW_DHW: degree heating week
  6. CRW_BAA: bleaching alert
Linetal_dataset_TWN_adm0.shp, .cpg, .dbf, .prj, .shx
  1. Geometry type: MULTIPOLYGON
  2. Spatial boundary: latitude - 116.71 to 122.1085; longitude - 20.6975 to 25.63431
  3. Missing data codes None
  4. Spatial reference: WGS 84
  5. Descriptions This shapefile contains spatial polygons within the specified spatial boundary, which is used for generating the map of our sampling site, Xiaoliuqiu, Taiwan.

Usage notes

R and QGIS can be used to view Linetal_dataset_TWN_adm0.shp. Linetal_dataset_TWN_adm0.cpg, Linetal_dataset_TWN_adm0.dbf, Linetal_dataset_TWN_adm0.prj, and Linetal_dataset_TWN_adm0.shx are the companion files for Linetal_dataset_TWN_adm0.shp that can not be opened individually but are part of the shapefile data.

Microsoft Excel can be used to view Linetal_dataset_Benthic.csv.

Methods

Full details on sample collection and analyses are available in the published manuscript.

Funding

National Science and Technology Council, Award: 111-2628-M-002-007-MY3

Ocean Conservation Administration, Award: 112-P-40

National Taiwan University, Award: 112L4000-1

National Taiwan University, Award: 110L4000-1

National Science and Technology Council, Award: 112-2922-I-002-135