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Interactions among Foundation Species and Their Consequences for Community Organization, Biodiversity, and Conservation
Christine Angelini, Andrew H. Altieri, Brian R. Silliman and Mark D. Bertness
Vol. 61, No. 10 (October 2011), pp. 782-789
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/bio.2011.61.10.8
Page Count: 8
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Species, Habitat conservation, Community structure, Community associations, Livestock, Forest habitats, Marine ecosystems, Ecosystems, Plant interaction, Community organizing
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Foundation species create complex habitats in which associated organisms find refuge from biological and physical stress; these foundation species are thus fundamental to the structure and resilience of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. In the present article, we develop an approach to understanding foundation species' effects in communities that are maintained not by a single foundation species, as has been the focus of research to date, but by multiple, co-occurring foundation species. Using examples from diverse ecosystems, we illustrate the prevalence of multiple-foundation-species assemblages and hypothesize that the nature of foundation-species interactions has important consequences for community structure. We predict where positive and negative interactions among foundation species will occur and suggest that they organize communities hierarchically in nested or adjacent assemblages that underlie landscape-scale patterns in species distribution. Elucidating the predictable nature of foundation-species interactions may be key to understanding and managing the biodiversity and functioning of many ecosystems.
BioScience © 2011 American Institute of Biological Sciences