PS 57-17 - Priority effects on a marine fouling community: Changes on the community structure due to the first colonizer

Thursday, August 11, 2011
Exhibit Hall 3, Austin Convention Center
Nelson Omar Bonilla, Ciencia y TecnologĂ­a, Universidad Metropolitana, San Juan, PR

We studied the marine fouling community of Spud Point Marina at Bodega Bay Harbor, California. We determined how the first colonizer of the substratum affects the biological structure of the community. For this, we choose the following species: Botrylloides violaceus, Diplosoma listerianum, Distaplia occidentalis, and Watersipora subtorquata. We deployed 4 experimental plates for each species and each plate was paired with an adjacent control plate. After two weeks we collected data from the plates and measured species richness, abundance, and diversity. We tested whether there was a priority effect of each species vs. its control and also among the species.


Our results showed that D. listerianum have a positive effect on abundance, and that D. occidentalis increases diversity. Comparisons among the species showed that D. occidentalis increased diversity more than the other 3 species. We observed that the initial colonizer of the marine fouling community at Spud Point Marina did affect on the community structure, and that D. occidentalis plays an important role on setting biodiversity in this community.

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