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Biodiversity, population regulation, and the stability of coral-reef fish communities
 

Summary: Biodiversity, population regulation, and the stability
of coral-reef fish communities
Mark H. Carr*
, Todd W. Anderson§
, and Mark A. Hixon¶
*Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064; §Department of Biology, San Diego State University,
San Diego, CA 92182-4614; and ¶Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-2914
Edited by Paul R. Ehrlich, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and approved June 10, 2002 (received for review December 6, 2001)
Unprecedented population declines and extinctions because of
human activities, combined with a growing recognition that such
losses affect the stability of ecosystems, underscore the need to
better understand how populations persist naturally. We provide
field experimental evidence that high biodiversity--in particular,
the combined effects of predators and competitors--acts in a way
that regulates the size of local fish populations within their
coral-reef community. These results indicate that complex interac-
tions among multiple species are necessary for the stability of a
highly diverse community, and so forewarn that overexploiting
such species may have cascading negative consequences for the
entire system.

  

Source: Anderson, Todd - Department of Biology, San Diego State University
California at Santa Cruz, University of - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Raimondi-Carr Lab

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology