The relative role of ecological interactions and environmental variables on the population dynamics of marine benthic polychaetes

The relative role of ecological interactions and environmental variables on the population... In order to elucidate how ecological interactions drive the abundances of marine benthic polychaete populations and the role that environmental variables play in their dynamics, we examined long-term dynamics of winter abundance in 13 polychaete species from benthic samples obtained over 15 years (1993 to 2007) at Punta Coloso, northern Chile on the Pacific coast of South America. We examined the relative importance of density dependence, winter sea surface temperature (SSTW) and Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) on polychaete dynamics. All species studied showed conspicuous abundance oscillations, consistent with negative density-dependent population feedbacks. Model selection across a suite of population dynamic models showed that for six species, the best model included the effect of environmental variables, SSTW in the previous year, while the SOI index was the relevant variable in two polychaete species. A pure density-dependent model best explained the population dynamics of the remaining five species. Our results contrast with traditional approaches, which focus on the importance of abiotic factors in structuring marine benthic systems, and demonstrate the importance of theoretical synthesis and analysis to understand long-term dynamics in these ecosystems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marine Biodiversity Springer Journals

The relative role of ecological interactions and environmental variables on the population dynamics of marine benthic polychaetes

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Subject
Life Sciences; Biodiversity; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Plant Systematics/Taxonomy/Biogeography; Animal Systematics/Taxonomy/Biogeography
ISSN
1867-1616
eISSN
1867-1624
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12526-016-0569-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In order to elucidate how ecological interactions drive the abundances of marine benthic polychaete populations and the role that environmental variables play in their dynamics, we examined long-term dynamics of winter abundance in 13 polychaete species from benthic samples obtained over 15 years (1993 to 2007) at Punta Coloso, northern Chile on the Pacific coast of South America. We examined the relative importance of density dependence, winter sea surface temperature (SSTW) and Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) on polychaete dynamics. All species studied showed conspicuous abundance oscillations, consistent with negative density-dependent population feedbacks. Model selection across a suite of population dynamic models showed that for six species, the best model included the effect of environmental variables, SSTW in the previous year, while the SOI index was the relevant variable in two polychaete species. A pure density-dependent model best explained the population dynamics of the remaining five species. Our results contrast with traditional approaches, which focus on the importance of abiotic factors in structuring marine benthic systems, and demonstrate the importance of theoretical synthesis and analysis to understand long-term dynamics in these ecosystems.

Journal

Marine BiodiversitySpringer Journals

Published: Sep 22, 2016

References

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