Functional versatility supports coral reef biodiversity

Bellwood, D.R., Wainwright, P.C., Fulton, C.J., and Hoey, A.S. (2006) Functional versatility supports coral reef biodiversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: biological sciences, 273 (1582). pp. 101-107.

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We explore the role of specialization in supporting species coexistence in high-diversity ecosystems. Using a novel ordination-based method to quantify specialist and generalist feeding structures and diets we examined the relationship between morphology and diet in 120 wrasses and parrotfishes from the Great Barrier Reef. We find that wrasses, despite their morphological diversity, exhibit weak links between morphology and diet and that specialist morphologies do not necessarily equate to specialized diets. The dominant pattern shows extensive overlap in morphology (functional morphospace occupation) among trophic groups; fish with a given morphology may have a number of feeding modes. Such trophic versatility may lay the foundation for both the origins and maintenance of high biodiversity on coral reefs.

Item ID: 4139
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: coral reef fishes; specialist; generalist; functional morphology; trophic ecololgy
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2009 05:39
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960508 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Mining Environments @ 100%
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