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Relationship of eastern Gulf of Mexico reef-fish communities to the species equilibrium theory of insular biogeography
Smith, G.B. (1979). Relationship of eastern Gulf of Mexico reef-fish communities to the species equilibrium theory of insular biogeography. J. Biogeogr. 6(1): 49-61
In: Journal of Biogeography. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 0305-0270; e-ISSN 1365-2699, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Trefwoorden
    Ecological succession; Kolonisatie; Pisces [WoRMS]; Marien

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  • Smith, G.B.

Abstract
    A 1971 summer red tide (Gymnodinium breve) and associated stress conditions resulted in mass mortalities and near extirpation of reef biotas from at least 1536 km2 of central West Florida Shelf. An estimated 77% of the resident fish species perished at shallow-water (12-18 m depths) reefs. Reef-fish colonization was monitored irregularly (1-6 month intervals) at two reefs for 3 years after the red tide. In addition, species censuses were taken 4 years after defaunation at one reef and 5 years later at both reefs. Certain features of reef-fish colonization appeared consistent with the MacArthur-Wilson species equilibrium model. It is proposed that eastern Gulf reef-fish communities develop according to well-defined successional rather than chance colonization processes. The eventual stability in species richness and composition probably represents attainment of a 'climax' community rather than a dynamic equilibrium resulting from continual species turnover. Possible reasons for failure of these communities to conform to the species equilibrium theory are presented.

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