Stochastic density dependence in population size of a benthic clonal invertebrate: the regulating role of fission

Tanner, Jason E. (2000) Stochastic density dependence in population size of a benthic clonal invertebrate: the regulating role of fission. Oecologia, 122 (4). pp. 514-520.

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Abstract

The influence of environmental variation on the demography of clonal organisms has been poorly studied. I utilise a matrix model of the population dynamics of the intertidal zoanthid Palythoa caesia to examine how density dependence and temporal variation in demographic rates interact in regulating population size. The model produces realistic simulations of population size, with erratic fluctuations between soft lower and upper boundaries of approximately 55 and 90% cover. Cover never exceeds the maximum possible of 100%, and the population never goes to extinction. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the model’s behaviour is driven by density dependence in the fission of large colonies to produce intermediate sized colonies. Importantly, there is no density-dependent mortality in the model, and density dependence in recruitment, while present, is unimportant. Thus it appears that the main demographic processes which are considered to regulate population size in aclonal organisms may not be important for clonal species.

Item ID: 12976
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: clonal; demography; density dependence; environmental stochasticity; population dynamics
ISSN: 1432-1939
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2012 03:53
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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