Maximum species richness at intermediate frequencies of disturbance: consistency among levels of productivity.

Svensson, J. R., Lindegarth, M., Siccha, M. , Lenz, Mark, Molis, M., Wahl, Martin and Pavia, H. (2007) Maximum species richness at intermediate frequencies of disturbance: consistency among levels of productivity. Ecology, 88 (4). pp. 830-838. DOI 10.1890/06-0976.

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Abstract

Development of a mechanistic understanding and predictions of patterns of biodiversity is a central theme in ecology. One of the most influential theories, the intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH), predicts maximum diversity at intermediate levels of disturbance frequency. The dynamic equilibrium model (DEM), an extension of the IDH, predicts that the level of productivity determines at what frequency of disturbance maximum diversity occurs. To test, and contrast, the predictions of these two models, a field experiment on marine hard-substratum assemblages was conducted with seven levels of disturbance frequency and three levels of nutrient availability. Consistent with the IDH, maximum diversity, measured as species richness, was observed at an intermediate frequency of disturbance. Despite documented effects on productivity, the relationship between disturbance and diversity was not altered by the nutrient treatments. Thus, in this system the DEM did not improve the understanding of patterns of diversity compared to the IDH. Furthermore, it is suggested that careful consideration of measurements and practical definitions of productivity in natural assemblages is necessary for a rigorous test of the DEM.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Ecology; competitive exclusion; disturbance; productivity; species richness
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1890/06-0976
ISSN: 1939-9170
Projects: GAME, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2009 10:25
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2017 10:02
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/2671

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