Table of Contents
Dataset Papers in Ecology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 857470, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.7167/2013/857470
Dataset Paper

Detailed Food Web Networks of Three Greater Antillean Coral Reef Systems: The Cayman Islands, Cuba, and Jamaica

1Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
2Department of Geology, University of California Davis, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Received 11 April 2012; Accepted 3 May 2012

Academic Editors: J. T. Bayle, S. M. Fitzpatrick, and M. Roleda

Copyright © 2013 Peter D. Roopnarine and Rachel Hertog. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Food webs represent one of the most complex aspects of community biotic interactions. Complex food webs are represented as networks of interspecific interactions, where nodes represent species or groups of species, and links are predator-prey interactions. This paper presents reconstructions of coral reef food webs in three Greater Antillean regions of the Caribbean: the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and Jamaica. Though not taxonomically comprehensive, each food web nevertheless comprises producers and consumers, single-celled and multicellular organisms, and species foraging on reefs and adjacent seagrass beds. Species are grouped into trophic guilds if their prey and predator links are indistinguishable. The data list guilds, taxonomic composition, prey guilds/species, and predators. Primary producer and invertebrate richness are regionally uniform, but vertebrate richness varies on the basis of more detailed occurrence data. Each region comprises 169 primary producers, 513 protistan and invertebrate consumer species, and 159, 178, and 170 vertebrate species in the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and Jamaica, respectively. Caribbean coral reefs are among the world's most endangered by anthropogenic activities. The datasets presented here will facilitate comparisons of historical and regional variation, the assessment of impacts of species loss and invasion, and the application of food webs to ecosystem analyses.