Succession in intertidal mussel bed assemblages on different shores: species mobility matters

Valdivia, N; Buschbaum C.; Thiel M.


Biogenic substrata such as epibenthic mussel aggregations are common in coastal regions worldwide and harbour diverse assemblages of sessile and mobile species. However, colonisation patterns on biogenic substrata are still not well understood. We tested whether succession develops as a linear sequence of temporal changes in the species richness and community structure of sessile and mobile assemblages associated with intertidal mussel beds of sedimentary and rocky shores in Germany and Chile, respectively. Because of their broad differences, these study sites were analysed separately to examine whether similar successional patterns occur under differing environmental conditions and species pools. At each study site, we conducted an experiment that separates the effects of successional age (deployment duration) and the time when settlement substrata are deployed (deployment timing). Colonisation dynamics differed between timings and between sessile and mobile species. In addition, timing effects were stronger at the sedimentary than at the rocky study site. For sessile organisms, for example, species richness increased steadily with successional age at both study sites, but at the sedimentary site, the magnitude of this increase varied between the different months of deployment. For mobile organisms, a high proportion of the total species pool colonised the settlement substrata within the first month of deployment at both sites. After this initial colonization peak, mobile species richness showed a minor but significant increase with successional age at both sites. We suggest that species dispersal ability at the local scale (mobility) mediates the response of species-rich assemblages to natural and anthropogenic disturbances.

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Título según WOS: Succession in intertidal mussel bed assemblages on different shores: species mobility matters
Volumen: 497
Fecha de publicación: 2014
Página de inicio: 131
Página final: +
Idioma: English


Notas: ISI