Historical comparisons reveal multiple drivers of decadal change of an ecosystem engineer at the range edge
Louise B. Firth, Nova Mieszkowska, Lisa M. Grant, Laura E. Bush, Andrew J. Davies, Matthew T. Frost, Paula S. Moschella, Michael T. Burrows, Paul N. Cunningham, Stephen R. Dye and Stephen J. Hawkins
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1556
This study presents data from 49 locations that were surveyed using the same sampling protocols during three different surveys spanning a warming period between 1984 and 2012. It describes the changes in distribution of an important ecosystem engineer in relation to short-term extreme weather events, recent warming and the construction of a network of artificial coastal defence structures near its northern range edge in Britain. We present new information regarding the temporal stability of this important habitat that has not previously been recorded in the published literature and it is anticipated that this will be of significant use to those tasked with the management and protection of these habitats.