Dataset: Spatial patterns in shallow-water crinoid communities in the central and northern Great Barrier Reef


Shallow-water crinoid communities of the Central Great Barrier Reef were investigated. 1114 crinoid specimens were collected from 46 sites (24 sites on 12 reefs, 2 sites per reef, and 22 sites at Davies Reef). 43 comatuloid crinoid species from 21 genera and 6 families were identified. 1689 symbionts from the 1114 crinoids were assigned to 46 taxa from 5 invertebrate classes (see separate record). \n \nSite locations were classified as nearshore (Green Island), mid-shelf reefs (Davies, Flora, John Brewer, Lodestone, Marx, Rib, Startle), and outer-shelf reefs (Michaelmas Cay, Noggin, Potter, Ribbon No.7, Wardle). Reefs were categorised as either previously infested by Acanthaster planci allowing or as unaffected reefs. \n \nHabitat features recorded were: substrate composition, surface complexity, current strength, amount of benthic sediment, and slope angle. R= reef front (windward), B=back reef (leeward), S=sides either northern or southern (flank aspects of the outer slope), L=lagoon (inside). \n \nLiving posture (Cryptic = less than 20% of the arms visible; Protected = at least the central disc of the animal hidden Free-sitting = centro-dorsal disc visible but animal protected from at least one side; Exposed = animal visible from all directions, generally perched on top of the substrate); minimum and maximum arm length (to nearest cm); and colour were recorded for each specimen. Crinoid nocturnicity was noted. \n \nSpecies abundance and species richness were recorded and Cramer values applied.\n To provide ecological information on crinoid communities of the Great Barrier Reef. \n \nFirst large-scale study of the structure and composition of crinoid communities on the central Great Barrier Reef.\n Crinoid species identified: Amphimetra laevipinna, Antedonid sp., Capillaster multiradiatus, Cenometra bella, Clarkcomanthus albinotus, Clarkcomanthus littoralis, Clarkcomanthus luteofuscum, Comanthina schlegeli, Comanthus alternans, Comanthus gisleni, Comanthus parvicirrus, Comanthus wahlbergi, Comaster brevicirrus, Comaster gracilis, Comaster multifidus, Comaster pulcher, Comatella maculate, Comatella nigra, Comatella sp., Comatella stelligera, Comatula pectinata, Comatula purpurea, Decametra laevipinna, Decametra sp.a, Dorometra nana, Euantedon polytes, Himerometra bartschi, Himerometra magnipinna, Himerometra robustipinna, Iconometra intermedia, Liparometra articulate, Oligometra serripinna, Oxycomanthus benetti, Oxycomanthus comanthipinna, Oxycomanthus exilis, Oxycomanthus mirus, Oxycomanthus perplexum, Petasometra clarae, Stephanometra indica, Stephanometra oxyacantha, Stephanometra spicata, Stephanometra spinipinna, Tropiometra afra.\n

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