View Full Document

MAPPING THE ASSEMBLY OF PROTIST COMMUNITIES



View the full content.
View Full Document
View Full Document

3 views

Unformatted text preview:

Ecology 84 4 2003 pp 1001 1011 q 2003 by the Ecological Society of America MAPPING THE ASSEMBLY OF PROTIST COMMUNITIES IN MICROCOSMS PHILIP H WARREN 1 3 RICHARD LAW 2 AND ANITA J WEATHERBY1 4 1 Department of Animal and Plant Sciences University of Sheffield Sheffield S10 2TN UK 2Biology Department York University P O Box 373 York YO10 5YW UK Abstract Theoretical models of community assembly predict a variety of possible assembly phenomena but evidence for them in natural systems is hard to obtain because of problems of temporal scale and replication We used laboratory experiments to investigate the potential assembly pathways in a small pool of protist species Mapping the paths of assembly involved two steps testing the ability of every possible species combination to persist and testing each persistent community for its capacity to be invaded and changed by every other species from the pool We then compared the properties of assembly in the experimental system with those predicted by theoretical models We found that the number of community states and assembly paths was much smaller than theoretically possible but that the system nonetheless had quite a complex range of assembly behaviors There were many alternative paths to most communities but overall the species pool had just one state to which the paths eventually led This absorbing state involved an oscillation between two communities driven in part by a catalytic species that could persist in neither of them Catalytic species have the property of invasion changing the resident community and then going extinct In the species pool used here only the predatory species acted as catalysts Several communities capable of long term persistence were unreachable by sequential assembly One community had the property that it could not be reassembled from the species it contained a Humpty Dumpty community These results are for the most part in keeping with those from numerical simulations of community assembly although



Access the best Study Guides, Lecture Notes and Practice Exams

Loading Unlocking...
Login

Join to view MAPPING THE ASSEMBLY OF PROTIST COMMUNITIES and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view MAPPING THE ASSEMBLY OF PROTIST COMMUNITIES and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?