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)
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)
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)
Little is known about protists at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. The vent sites at Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California are characterized by dense mats of filamentous pigmented or nonpigmented Beggiatoa that serve as markers of subsurface thermochemical gradients. We constructed 18S rRNA libraries to investigate ciliate assemblages in Beggiatoa mats 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)
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)
The degradation of ecosystems is often associated with losses of large organisms and the concomitant losses of the ecological functions they mediate. Conversely, the resilience of ecosystems to stress is strongly influenced by faunal communities and their impacts on processes. Denitrification in coastal sediments is a process that may provide ecosystem(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)