High Resilience to Disturbance of an Estuarine Polychaete Community
Massive reductions in the population densities of the polychaetous annelids of an estuarine, intertidal habitat were quantified. Anaerobic conditions as a result of the deposition of large volumes of the green alga, Ulva lactuca L, resulted in an 89% decrease in the density of the 10 most common polychaete species, while only 2 of the 10 species became locally extinct. One month after the peak reduction in total density all 10 species were present, and the total polychaete community density reached the second highest value for the study. The high resilience of the polychaete community was explained by (1) the presence of numerous opportunistic species, (2) the possibility of adult immigration, (3) the spatial extent of the disturbance and (4) the intensity of the disturbance.
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Document Type: Short Communication
Publication date: 01 January 1984
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