Between-habitat interactions in coastal ecosystems : current knowledge and future challenges for understanding community dynamics
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Ecological communities are rarely formed within a single habitat and tend to include multiple habitats characterized by the influx and efflux of nutrients, detritus, prey and consumers among these habitats. Understanding these between-habitat effects on the community structure and dynamics has become important because this recognition may disprove previous ecological theories based on the processes within a single habitat. This paper reviews current knowledge of between-habitat interactions and their importance for community regulation in coastal ecosystems. First, I reviewed briefly some current knowledge about between-habitat interactions in general. Second, I summarized my empirical demonstrations examining the effects of allochthonous resources from subtidal habitats on the rocky intertidal community. The food web structure of the rocky intertidal habitat revealed that allochthonous sea urchins from the subtidal habitat affected the recipient food web structure and dynamics through the recipient avian predators, although the effects were different between the avian species with different foraging responses (numerical or functional). Understanding the effects of between-habitat interactions is important for the clarification of the spatial extent of community structure and habitat connectivity in landscape level, and thus indispensable for promotion of better coastal conservation and management.
- Plankton and Benthos Research
Plankton and Benthos Research 3(2), 53-63, 2008-05-01
The Plankton Society of Japan, The Japanese Association of Benthology