Conrad A. Pilditch

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Anthropogenically-modulated reductions in pH, termed ocean acidification, could pose a major threat to the physiological performance, stocks, and biodiversity of calcifiers and may devalue their ecosystem services. Recent debate has focussed on the need to develop approaches to arrest the potential negative impacts of ocean acidification on ecosystems(More)
Seafloor integrity is threatened by disturbances owing to human activities. The capacity of the system to recover from disturbances, as well as maintain resilience and function, depends on dispersal. In soft-sediment systems, dispersal continues after larval settlement, but there are very few measurements of how far the post-settlers disperse in nature.(More)
The input of terrestrial silt and clay (hereafter mud) into coastal environments can alter sediment grain size distribution affecting the structure and functioning of benthic communities. The relationship between sediment mud content and macrofaunal community structure has been well documented, but not the effects on ecosystem function. In 143 plots from(More)
The suspension feeding bivalve Austrovenus stutchburyi is a key species on intertidal sandflats in New Zealand, affecting the appearance and functioning of these systems, but is susceptible to several environmental stressors including sedimentation. Previous studies into the effect of this species on ecosystem function have been restricted in space and(More)
Identifying the effects of stressors before they impact ecosystem functioning can be challenging in dynamic, heterogeneous 'real-world' ecosystems. In aquatic systems, for example, reductions in water clarity can limit the light available for photosynthesis, with knock-on consequences for secondary consumers, though in naturally turbid wave-swept estuaries,(More)
Accumulating evidence shows that increased biodiversity has a positive effect on ecosystem functioning, but the mechanisms that underpin this positive relationship are contentious. Complete extinctions of regional species pools are comparatively rare whereas compositional changes and reductions in abundance and biomass are common, although seldom the focus(More)
Detrital subsidies from marine macrophytes are prevalent in temperate estuaries, and their role in structuring benthic macrofaunal communities is well documented, but the resulting impact on ecosystem function is not understood. We conducted a field experiment to test the effects of detrital decay on soft-sediment primary production, community metabolism(More)
Seafloor biodiversity is a key mediator of ecosystem functioning, but its role is often excluded from global budgets or simplified to black boxes in models. New techniques allow quantification of the behavior of animals living below the sediment surface and assessment of the ecosystem consequences of complex interactions, yielding a better understanding of(More)