Odd species out as predators reduce diversity of coral-reef fishes

Almany, Glenn R., and Webster, Michael S. (2004) Odd species out as predators reduce diversity of coral-reef fishes. Ecology, 85 (11). pp. 2933-2937.

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When predators differentiate among prey species, they commonly select the most abundant species. Surprisingly, on coral reefs in Australia and the Bahamas, we found evidence to the contrary: using null models, we observed that generalist predators had a greater impact on less-abundant species, thereby reducing local species richness. Disproportionate effects on these rare species were evident during a narrow window of time between settlement and 1–2 days later, highlighting how interactions during or immediately following settlement may influence subsequent community structure. Differences in species richness between treatments that were established during this narrow window of time eventually disappeared from reefs in Australia but persisted on reefs in the Bahamas. Our results highlight an unexpected and largely unexplored ecological interaction whereby predators reduce prey diversity.

Item ID: 935
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1939-9170
Keywords: Oddity effect, Predation, Rarefaction, Recruitment, Settlement
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Copyright by the Ecological Society of America Reproduced with permission from Ecological Society of America (ESA).

Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2006
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 > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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