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The Relationship of Fresh-Water Protozoan Communities to the MacArthur-Wilson Equilibrium Model

John Cairns, Jr., M. L. Dahlberg, Kenneth L. Dickson, Nancy Smith and William T. Waller
The American Naturalist
Vol. 103, No. 933 (Sep. - Oct., 1969), pp. 439-454
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2459407
Page Count: 16
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The Relationship of Fresh-Water Protozoan Communities to the MacArthur-Wilson Equilibrium Model
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Abstract

Two series of 10 artificial substrates each were placed in Douglas Lake, Michigan, and their colonization by species of fresh-water protozoans studied. Identifications were made to species whenever possible at intervals of approximately one week, and rough estimates of density were made as well. Although the aggregations of species colonizing each of the substrates were not identical, the colonization process itself was remarkably similar for the entire series. When the number of species was plotted against time in days, a simple exponential curve adequately described the relationship. Colonization rates and extinction rates were compared with the equilibrium model for island faunas proposed by MacArthur and Wilson. These results suggest that the formation and composition of protozoan communities on artificial substrates are the result of interactions comparable to those proposed by MacArthur and Wilson.

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