Report

Trophic Control of Production in a Rocky Intertidal Community

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  26 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5568, pp. 736-739
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069811

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

In the low intertidal zone at Tatoosh Island, Washington, United States, minimal estimates of primary production can vary from 0 to an average of 86 kilograms of wet mass per square meter per year when the grazing assemblage is manipulated. Highly productive annual kelps (Laminariales) replace less productive perennial species when macroscopic grazers are reduced or absent, resulting in monodominant assemblages of Alaria marginata. Experiments were repeated in seven consecutive years. Increased species richness makes no significant additional contribution to annual production. Rather, a competitively superior species is favored when its enemies are reduced, suggesting that terrestrial perspectives on the role of biodiversity that are developed without considering consumers may not be general.

View Full Text