Ecological incumbency impedes stochastic community assembly in Holocene foraminifera from the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea

Reymond, Claire E., Bode, Michael, Renema, Willem and Pandolfi, John (2011) Ecological incumbency impedes stochastic community assembly in Holocene foraminifera from the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. Paleobiology, 37 4: 670-685. doi:10.1666/09087.1

Author Reymond, Claire E.
Bode, Michael
Renema, Willem
Pandolfi, John
Title Ecological incumbency impedes stochastic community assembly in Holocene foraminifera from the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea
Journal name Paleobiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0094-8373
Publication date 2011-09-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1666/09087.1
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 37
Issue 4
Start page 670
End page 685
Total pages 16
Place of publication United States
Publisher Paleontological Society
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
2303 Ecology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
1911 Palaeontology
Abstract Persistence in the structure of ecological communities can be predicted both by deterministic and by stochastic theory. Evaluating ecological patterns against the neutral theory of biodiversity provides an appropriate methodology for differentiating between these alternatives. We traced the history of benthic foraminiferal communities from the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. From the well-preserved uplifted reef terrace at Bonah River we reconstructed the benthic foraminiferal communities during a 2200-year period (9000-6800 yr B.P.) of reef building during the Holocene transgressive sea-level rise. We found that the similarity of foraminiferal communities was consistently above 60%, even when comparing communities on either side of a massive volcanic eruption that smothered the existing reef system with ash. Similarly, species diversity and rank dominance were unchanged through time. However, similarity dropped dramatically in the final stages of reef growth, when accommodation space was reduced as sea-level rise slowed. We compared the community inertia index (CII) computed from the observed species abundances with that predicted from neutral theory. Despite the differences in foraminiferal community composition in the younger part of the reef sequence, we found an overall greater degree of community inertia with less variance in observed communities than was predicted from neutral theory, regardless of foraminiferal community size or species migration rate. Thus, persistent species assemblages could not be ascribed to neutral predictions. Ecological incumbency of established foraminiferal species likely prevented stochastic increases in both migrant and rare taxa at the Bonah River site. Regardless of the structuring mechanisms, our reconstruction of Holocene foraminiferal assemblages provides historical context for the management and potential restoration of degraded species assemblages.
Keyword Biodiversity Conservation
Evolutionary Biology
Biodiversity & Conservation
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID EAR-0105543
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Mon, 12 Sep 2011, 22:57:21 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences