Dynamics of Coral Communities

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Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 31, 2002 - Nature - 250 pages
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Coral communities are among the most fascinating of all biotic assemblages on earth. It is their rich diversity and the strong biological interactions which characterize these communities that provides the focus for this book. Here I describe patterns of diversity, species interactions, and community organization as well as the processes which influence these structural attributes. Although this treatment of the subject will to some degree blend evolutionary and ecological phenomena, I am primarily interested in the dynamic properties of living coral communities. Hence, such processes as succession, competition, predation, herbivory, and disturbances will be emphasized in ecological terms, but not to the exclusion of evolutionary considerations. The former influence the maintenance of diversity in coral communities and local distribution and abundance patterns. The latter deal primarily with the origins of diversity, adaptations to the local environment, biogeographic distributions, and longevity in the fossil record. With the recent resurgence of interest in historical and large-scale geographical effects on the local diversity of ecological communities, ecological and evolutionary perspectives are beginning to be integrated into our understanding of community organization and dynamics. Hence, a synthesis of these perspectives is attempted in the final chapter of this book. This effort emerges as a consequence of academic experiences, research interests, and the strong influence of several individuals. My first exposure to ecology occurred at Pomona College where three faculty members guided my early explorations into this subject.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
12 Taxonomic and trophic constraints
3
13 Scaledependent dynamics
4
14 Marine epibenthic communities
9
141 Rocky intertidal communities
10
142 Kelp communities
19
143 Encrusting communities
21
15 Overview
27
523 Territorial competition among fishes
111
53 Overview
117
Consumerresource interactions
118
an example
122
63 Plantherbivore interactions in coral communities
125
632 Algae energy flow and fisheries production
127
633 Algal chemical defenses and herbivory
131
64 Predatorprey interactions in coral communities
134

Diversity
29
22 Patterns of coral diversity
31
221 The Philippines Malaysia and Indonesia
32
222 The Great Barrier Reef
33
223 The Indian Ocean and Red Sea
35
224 The central Pacific Ocean
37
225 The eastern Pacific Ocean
38
226 The Caribbean Sea
39
227 Temperature coral communities
41
23 Diversity of noncoral taxa
43
24 Overview
50
Stability
51
32 Are stability and diversity related?
52
33 Keystone species
55
Diadema Antillarum
56
Damselfishes
61
Acanthaster planci
64
34 Transient dynamics of nonequilibrial systems
69
35 Overview
73
Succession
74
42 Succession in coral communities
76
421 Coral species replacements
77
422 Differential colonizing ability
85
423 Metamorphic induction
90
424 Influence of consumers
91
43 Overview
93
Interspecific competition
94
52 Interspecific competition in coral communities
97
522 Spatial competition among cryptic metazoans
106
65 Overview
139
Disturbance
140
a potpourri
147
721 General review
148
722 Hurricane Allen at Discovery Bay
150
723 Multiple disturbances at Heron Island
154
724 El Nino events in the tropical Pacific
156
73 Do disturbances promote species coexistence?
158
74 Overview
164
Largescale perspectives
165
811 Convergence or diversity anomalies among regions
167
812 Saturation or regional enrichment
169
82 Evidence from coral communities
172
821 Reef fishes
173
822 Decapod crustaceans
177
823 Corals
179
temporal constancy and limited membership
182
83 Middle ground
185
84 Overview
188
Integration across scales
189
911 Local richness of corals across depth and habitat gradients
191
92 The regional setting and crossscale linkage
193
a coral example
197
a coral example
200
93 A biogeographical context for coral community ecology
205
94 Closing comments
211
References
213
Subject Index
245
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