Modelling processes that generate and maintain coral community diversity
Author: van Woesik, R.
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 9, Number 9, September 2000 , pp. 1219-1233(15)
Abstract:This study addresses why adjacent sites on coral reefs are different, why some places support so few coral species, and how human impacts are affecting coral community dynamics and ultimately diversity. The paper includes a brief review outlining what theory tells us and how that theory relates to empirical data. A metapopulation and a metacommunity model are introduced. The metapopulation model can be used to predict a species' probability of site occupancy and the metacommunity model can be used to predict the number of species supported at any one site. The models identify the primary mechanisms that generate and maintain local (10s m^2–10s km^2) coral diversity based on a regional (100s km^2) perspective. Local diversity appears regulated by differential post-settlement mortality that in turn leads to local extinction of some species. Indeed, harsh local environments cause high levels of local extinction and these environments support few coral species.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan (firstname.lastname@example.org; fax: +81-98-8958552)
Publication date: September 1, 2000