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Temporal variability of disturbances: Is this important for diversity and structure of marine fouling assemblages?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Heather SugdenORCiD, Rafael Panusch, Dr Jeremy Thomason


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Natural communities are constantly changing due to a variety of interacting external processes and the temporal occurrence and intensity of these processes can have important implications for the diversity and structure of marine sessile assemblages. In this study, we investigated the effects of temporal variation in a disturbance regime, as well as the specific timing of events within different regimes, on the composition and diversity of marine subtidal fouling assemblages. We did this in a multi-factorial experiment using artificial settlement tiles deployed at two sites on the North East coast of England. We found that although there were significant effects of disturbances on the composition of assemblages, there were no effects of either the variation in the disturbance regime or the specific timing of events on the diversity or assemblage composition at either site. In contrast to recent implications we conclude that in marine fouling assemblages, the variability in disturbance regimes (as a driving force) is unimportant, while disturbance itself is an important force for structuring robust ecosystems. © 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sugden H, Panusch R, Lenz M, Wahl M, Thomason JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Marine Ecology

Year: 2007

Volume: 28

Issue: 3

Pages: 368-376

ISSN (print): 0173-9565

ISSN (electronic): 1439-0485

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Verlag GmbH


DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0485.2007.00184.x


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