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Energetic increases lead to niche packing in deep-sea wood falls

Energetic increases lead to niche packing in deep-sea wood falls
Energetic increases lead to niche packing in deep-sea wood falls
Mechanisms leading to variation in diversity over energetic gradients continue to challenge ecologists. Changes in diversity may reflect the environmental capacity to support species’ coexistence through increased niche packing or niche space expansion. Current ecological theory predicts that increases in energy may lead to both scenarios but not their relative strengths. We use experimental deep-sea, wood-fall communities, where energy supply can be controlled, to test for the importance of niche expansion and packing in functional space over an energetic gradient. Invertebrate communities were identified and counted from 16 Acacia sp. logs ranging in size from 0.6 to 20.6 kg in mass (corresponding to energy availability) deployed at 3203 m in the Pacific Ocean for 5 years. We use four fundamental energetic species-level functional traits—food source, trophic category, motility and tiering— to characterize species niches. Increases in energy on wood falls lead to increases in species richness. This higher species richness resulted from a substantial increase in mean niche overlap, suggesting that increases in energy may afford reduced competition.
1744-9561
1-5
McClain, Craig
a6d45672-fa8d-400f-b52d-56d8fd669f90
Nunnally, Clifton
5ed20228-ec8d-48de-b1d4-1624b8aff7c8
Chapman, Abbie, Sarah Amy
5e63f909-bd6c-4bdd-a9e3-f81af0978a42
Barry, James
180f2f21-8a61-4b29-8498-92dcc9b300e2
McClain, Craig
a6d45672-fa8d-400f-b52d-56d8fd669f90
Nunnally, Clifton
5ed20228-ec8d-48de-b1d4-1624b8aff7c8
Chapman, Abbie, Sarah Amy
5e63f909-bd6c-4bdd-a9e3-f81af0978a42
Barry, James
180f2f21-8a61-4b29-8498-92dcc9b300e2

McClain, Craig, Nunnally, Clifton, Chapman, Abbie, Sarah Amy and Barry, James (2018) Energetic increases lead to niche packing in deep-sea wood falls. Biology Letters, 1 (9), 1-5. (doi:10.1098/rsbl.2018.0294).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Mechanisms leading to variation in diversity over energetic gradients continue to challenge ecologists. Changes in diversity may reflect the environmental capacity to support species’ coexistence through increased niche packing or niche space expansion. Current ecological theory predicts that increases in energy may lead to both scenarios but not their relative strengths. We use experimental deep-sea, wood-fall communities, where energy supply can be controlled, to test for the importance of niche expansion and packing in functional space over an energetic gradient. Invertebrate communities were identified and counted from 16 Acacia sp. logs ranging in size from 0.6 to 20.6 kg in mass (corresponding to energy availability) deployed at 3203 m in the Pacific Ocean for 5 years. We use four fundamental energetic species-level functional traits—food source, trophic category, motility and tiering— to characterize species niches. Increases in energy on wood falls lead to increases in species richness. This higher species richness resulted from a substantial increase in mean niche overlap, suggesting that increases in energy may afford reduced competition.

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Accepted/In Press date: 20 August 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 September 2018
Published date: September 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 423732
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/423732
ISSN: 1744-9561
PURE UUID: 983a25c7-1400-4ddc-aeba-4610a161560f
ORCID for Abbie, Sarah Amy Chapman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7812-2046

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Date deposited: 28 Sep 2018 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 05:12

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