COS 6-6
Fish community reassembly after a coral mass mortality: Higher trophic groups are subject to increased rates of extinction

Monday, August 10, 2015: 3:20 PM
320, Baltimore Convention Center
David Alonso, Center for Advanced Studies (CEAB-CSIC), Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Blanes, Spain
Aleix Pinyol-Gallemi, CEAB-CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain
Teresa Alcoverro, CEAB-CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain
Rohan Arthur, Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, India

  Our understanding of community dynamics
  has been influenced by theories emphasizing either dispersal or
  niche assembly as central to community structuring. Determining the
  relative importance of these processes in structuring real-world
  communities remains a challenge. Here, we tracked reef fish community
  reassembly after a catastrophic coral mortality in a relatively
  unfished archipelago. We extend the stochastic model underlying
  MacArthur and Wilson's Island Biogeography Theory  to take into account for trophic identity. 


We calculated colonization and extinction rates calculated from decadal presence-absence data based
  on i. species neutrality, ii. trophic identity and iii. site-specificity. 

  Our results  indicate that species neutrality holds within trophic guilds, and
  trophic identity significantly increases overall model
  performance. Strikingly, extinction rates increased clearly with
  trophic position, indicating that fish communities may be inherently
  susceptible to trophic downgrading even without targeted fishing of
  top predators.