The relative influence of abundance and priority effects on colonization success in a coral-reef fish

Geange, Shane W., Poulos, Davina E., Stier, Adrian C., and McCormick, Mark I. (2017) The relative influence of abundance and priority effects on colonization success in a coral-reef fish. Coral Reefs, 36. pp. 151-155.

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Abstract

The sequence of species colonization is increasingly recognized as an important determinant of community structure, yet the significance of sequence of arrival relative to colonizer abundance is seldom assessed. We manipulated the magnitude and timing of coral-reef fish settlement to investigate whether the competitive dominance of early-arriving Ambon damselfish (i.e., a priority effect) decreased in strength with increasing abundance of late-arriving lemon damselfish. Sequence of arrival had a stronger effect on survival than the number of competing individuals. Relative to when both species arrived simultaneously, lemon damselfish were less aggressive, avoided competitive interactions more frequently and experienced depressed survival when they arrived later than Ambon damselfish, with these effects occurring independently of lemon damselfish abundance. These results suggest priority effects are more important than colonizer abundance and should motivate the integration of priority effects into future studies of density dependence to determine their relative importance.

Item ID: 47762
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: competition, coral-reef fish, damselfish, density-dependence, Pomacentrus, settlement
ISSN: 1432-0975
Funders: Ian Potter Foundation (IPF), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 01:15
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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