The impact of density-independent mortality on species coexistence: An experimental test with zooplankton

G.G.a Mittelbach, T.L.a Darcy-Hall, N.J.c Dorn, Erica Garcia, C.F.d Steiner, J.M.a b Wojdak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Mortality (e.g. predation, disturbance) is often thought to lower the intensity of interspecific competition and thereby promote the coexistence of competing species. However, surprisingly few tests of this idea exist, especially for metazoans feeding on a self-renewing resource. Here we examined the effect of density-independent mortality on the coexistence of four species of pond zooplankton (microcrustacean grazers) in a series of laboratory microcosms. Across the experimental mortality gradient, consumer biomass decreased and resource abundance increased with an increase in mortality. Thus, the treatments resulted in an increase in resource availability per consumer (one measure of reduced competitive intensity). There was no significant effect of mortality treatment on species relative abundances or species evenness, and the zooplankter Diaphanosoma dominated community biomass at all mortality levels. Mortality rate did have a marginally significant effect on species richness (p <0.07), but richness did not increase monotonically with mortality level. Instead, richness tended to be highest in the low- and no-mortality treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalOIKOS
Volume107
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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coexistence
zooplankton
mortality
testing
test
species evenness
biomass
interspecific competition
resource availability
resource
microcosm
relative abundance
pond
predation
species richness
disturbance
species diversity
effect

Cite this

Mittelbach, G. G. A., Darcy-Hall, T. L. A., Dorn, N. J. C., Garcia, E., Steiner, C. F. D., & Wojdak, J. M. A. B. (2004). The impact of density-independent mortality on species coexistence: An experimental test with zooplankton. OIKOS, 107(2), 415-421. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.13182.x
Mittelbach, G.G.a ; Darcy-Hall, T.L.a ; Dorn, N.J.c ; Garcia, Erica ; Steiner, C.F.d ; Wojdak, J.M.a b. / The impact of density-independent mortality on species coexistence: An experimental test with zooplankton. In: OIKOS. 2004 ; Vol. 107, No. 2. pp. 415-421.
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abstract = "Mortality (e.g. predation, disturbance) is often thought to lower the intensity of interspecific competition and thereby promote the coexistence of competing species. However, surprisingly few tests of this idea exist, especially for metazoans feeding on a self-renewing resource. Here we examined the effect of density-independent mortality on the coexistence of four species of pond zooplankton (microcrustacean grazers) in a series of laboratory microcosms. Across the experimental mortality gradient, consumer biomass decreased and resource abundance increased with an increase in mortality. Thus, the treatments resulted in an increase in resource availability per consumer (one measure of reduced competitive intensity). There was no significant effect of mortality treatment on species relative abundances or species evenness, and the zooplankter Diaphanosoma dominated community biomass at all mortality levels. Mortality rate did have a marginally significant effect on species richness (p <0.07), but richness did not increase monotonically with mortality level. Instead, richness tended to be highest in the low- and no-mortality treatments.",
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Mittelbach, GGA, Darcy-Hall, TLA, Dorn, NJC, Garcia, E, Steiner, CFD & Wojdak, JMAB 2004, 'The impact of density-independent mortality on species coexistence: An experimental test with zooplankton', OIKOS, vol. 107, no. 2, pp. 415-421. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.13182.x

The impact of density-independent mortality on species coexistence: An experimental test with zooplankton. / Mittelbach, G.G.a; Darcy-Hall, T.L.a; Dorn, N.J.c; Garcia, Erica; Steiner, C.F.d; Wojdak, J.M.a b.

In: OIKOS, Vol. 107, No. 2, 2004, p. 415-421.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - The impact of density-independent mortality on species coexistence: An experimental test with zooplankton

AU - Mittelbach, G.G.a

AU - Darcy-Hall, T.L.a

AU - Dorn, N.J.c

AU - Garcia, Erica

AU - Steiner, C.F.d

AU - Wojdak, J.M.a b

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AB - Mortality (e.g. predation, disturbance) is often thought to lower the intensity of interspecific competition and thereby promote the coexistence of competing species. However, surprisingly few tests of this idea exist, especially for metazoans feeding on a self-renewing resource. Here we examined the effect of density-independent mortality on the coexistence of four species of pond zooplankton (microcrustacean grazers) in a series of laboratory microcosms. Across the experimental mortality gradient, consumer biomass decreased and resource abundance increased with an increase in mortality. Thus, the treatments resulted in an increase in resource availability per consumer (one measure of reduced competitive intensity). There was no significant effect of mortality treatment on species relative abundances or species evenness, and the zooplankter Diaphanosoma dominated community biomass at all mortality levels. Mortality rate did have a marginally significant effect on species richness (p <0.07), but richness did not increase monotonically with mortality level. Instead, richness tended to be highest in the low- and no-mortality treatments.

KW - coexistence

KW - density dependence

KW - experimental study

KW - interspecific competition

KW - mortality

KW - zooplankton, Cladocera

KW - Diaphanosoma

KW - Metazoa

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DO - 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.13182.x

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