Offspring size in a resident species affects community assembly

Davis, Kurt and Marshall, Dustin J. (2014) Offspring size in a resident species affects community assembly. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83 2: 322-331. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12136

Author Davis, Kurt
Marshall, Dustin J.
Title Offspring size in a resident species affects community assembly
Journal name Journal of Animal Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8790
Publication date 2014-03-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1365-2656.12136
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 83
Issue 2
Start page 322
End page 331
Total pages 10
Place of publication West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
1. Offspring size is a trait of fundamental importance that affects the ecology and evolution of a range of organisms. Despite the pervasive impact of offspring size for those offspring, the influence of offspring size on other species in the broader community remains unexplored. Such community-wide effects of offspring size are likely, but they have not been anticipated by theory or explored empirically.
2. For a marine invertebrate community, we manipulated the size and density of offspring of a resident species (Watersipora subtorquata) in the field and examined subsequent community assembly around that resident species.
3. Communities that assembled around larger offspring were denser and less diverse than communities that assembled around smaller offspring. Differences in niche usage by colonies from smaller and larger offspring may be driving these community-level effects.
4. Our results suggest that offspring size is an important but unexplored source of ecological variation and that life-history theory must accommodate the effects of offspring size on community assembly. Life-history theory often assumes that environmental variation drives intraspecific variation in offspring size, and our results show that the converse can also occur.
Keyword Egg size
Life-history theory
Maternal effect
Phenotypic plasticity
Seed size
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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