Marine Biology

, Volume 145, Issue 2, pp 361–372 | Cite as

Variability of competition at scales of 101, 103, 105, and 106 m: encrusting arctic community patterns

Research Article

Abstract

Variability in interference competition was studied in benthic marine communities of the arctic and subarctic Atlantic intertidal and shallow subtidal zones. We sampled multiple square-metre quadrats at distances of 101, 103, and 105 m apart around the high polar island of Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago). We also took some similar samples in Iceland and in the Faeroe Islands (106 m apart from Spitsbergen samples). Encrusting fauna were present on high arctic intertidal rocks but we only found competitive interactions on subtidal substrata. On subarctic Icelandic and Faeroese shores, in contrast, spatial competition was common even in the intertidal zone. Analysis of variance of competition intensity data (numbers of interactions per area) revealed multiple factors to be significant influences explaining variability. Amongst the 101-, 103-, and 105-m spatial scales, only the largest emerged as a significant term. Whether intra- or interspecific competition dominated the types of interactions varied greatly between sites: 21–97% of competition was intraspecific. The proportion of competitive encounters resulting in a decided outcome (i.e. a win for one competitor and a loss for the other, rather than a tie or standoff between them) showed little variability at any scale. All the values of competition transitivity (how hierarchical a pecking order is) were very high compared to values reported in the literature from any other (polar or non-polar) locality. Variability in this measure was generally <10% across scales. We conclude from our data that great care must be taken in interpreting patterns of competition between similar taxa in large-scale space or time. Not only did most aspects of competition in our study communities vary significantly at the 105-m scale but different aspects of competition varied at different scales and by hugely different amounts.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank all the scientific staff and crew of the Polish Academy of Sciences research ship “Oceania”. We are also very grateful to Marcin Weslawski for the invitation to David K.A. Barnes to join the 2002 East Spitsbergen cruise of “Oceania”. Finally we thank Prof. Lloyd Peck and two anonymous referees for comments leading to a significantly improved manuscript.

References

  1. Arntz WE, Brey T, Gallardo VA (1994) Antarctic zoobenthos. Oceanogr Mar Biol Annu Rev 32:251–303Google Scholar
  2. Barnes DKA (2000) Diversity, recruitment and competition on island shores at polar locations compared with lower latitudes: encrusting community examples. Hydrobiologia 440:37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barnes DKA (2002) Polarization of competition increases with latitude. Proc R Soc Lond B 269:2061–2069CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnes DKA (2003) Competition asymmetry with taxon divergence. Proc R Soc Lond B 270:557–562CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnes DKA, Clarke A (1998) The ecology of an assemblage dominant: the encrusting bryozoan Fenestrulina rugula. Invert Biol 117:331–340Google Scholar
  6. Barnes DKA, Dick MA (2000) Overgrowth competition between clades: implications for interpretation of the fossil record and overgrowth indices. Biol Bull 199:85–94PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown JH, Davidson DW (1977) Competition between seed-eating rodents and ants in desert ecosystems. Science 196:880–882Google Scholar
  8. Buss LW, Jackson JBC (1979) Competitive networks: nontransitive competitive relationships in cryptic coral reef environments. Am Nat 113:223–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chornesky EA (1989) Repeated reversals during spatial competition between corals. Ecology 70:843–855Google Scholar
  10. Clarke A (1992) Is there a latitudinal diversity cline in the sea? Trends Ecol Evol 7:286–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clarke A, Lidgard S (2000) Spatial patterns of diversity in the sea: bryozoan species richness in the North Atlantic. J Anim Ecol 69:799–814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clutton-Brock TH, Albon SD, Gibson RM, Guiness FE (1979) The logical stag: adaptive aspects of fighting in red dear (Cervus elaphus L.). Anim Behav 27:211–225Google Scholar
  13. Conlan KE, Lenihan HS, Kvitek RG, Oliver JS (1998) Ice scour disturbance to benthic communities in the Canadian high Arctic. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 166:1–16Google Scholar
  14. Connell JH (1961) The influence of interspecific competition and other factors on the distribution of the barnacles Chthamalus stellatus. Ecology 42:710–723Google Scholar
  15. Connell JH (1978) Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science 199:1302–1310Google Scholar
  16. Connell JH (1983) On the prevalence and relative importance of interspecific competition: evidence from field experiments. Am Nat 122:661–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Crame JA (2000) Evolution of taxonomic diversity gradients in the marine realm: evidence from the composition of recent bivalve faunas. Paleobiology 26:188–214Google Scholar
  18. Darwin C (1859) On the origin of species. Murray, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Dayton PK (1971) Competition, disturbance and community organisation: the provision and subsequent utilisation of space in a rocky intertidal community. Ecol Monogr 41:351–389Google Scholar
  20. Dayton PK (1989) Interdecadal variation in an Antarctic sponge and its predators from oceanographic climate shifts. Science 245:1484–1486Google Scholar
  21. Dayton PK (1990) Polar benthos. In: Smith WO (ed) Polar oceanography. Academic Press, London, pp 631–685Google Scholar
  22. Dayton PK, Robilliard GA, Paine RT, Dayton, LB (1974) Biological accommodation in the benthic community at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Ecol Monogr 44:105–128Google Scholar
  23. De Vries H (1995) An improved test of linearity in dominance hierarchies containing unknown or tied relationships. Anim Behav 50:1375–1389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Diamond JM (1987) Competition among different taxa. Nature 326:241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dick MA, Ross J (1988) Intertidal cheilostome bryozoans in rock-pile habitat at Narrow Strait, Kodiak, Alaska. In: Nielsen C, Larwood GP (eds) Bryozoa: Ordovician to recent. Olsen and Olsen, Fredensborg, pp 87–93Google Scholar
  26. Gause GF (1935) Experimental demonstration of Volterra’s periodic oscillation in the numbers of animals. J Exp Biol 12:44–48Google Scholar
  27. Gould SJ, Calloway CB (1980) Clams and brachiopods—ships that pass in the night. Paleobiology 6:383–396Google Scholar
  28. Gray JS (2001) Marine diversity: the paradigms in patterns of species richness examined. Sci Mar 65:41–56Google Scholar
  29. Grosberg RK (1981) Competitive ability influences habitat choice in marine invertebrates. Nature 290:700–702Google Scholar
  30. Gutt J (2001) On the direct impact of ice on marine benthic communities, a review. Polar Biol 24:553–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gutt J, Piepenburg D (2003) Scale dependent impact on diversity of Antarctic benthos caused by iceberg impact. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 253:77–83Google Scholar
  32. Gutt J, Starmans A, Dieckmann G (1996) Impact of iceberg scouring on polar benthic habitats. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 137:311–316Google Scholar
  33. Hairston NG (1980) The exponential test of an analysis of field distributions: competition in terrestrial salamanders. Ecology 61:817–826Google Scholar
  34. Huston M (1979) A general hypothesis of species diversity. Am Nat 113:81–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jackson JBC (1979) Morphological strategies of sessile animals. In: Larwood G, Rosen GR (eds) Biology and systematics of colonial organisms. Academic Press, London, pp 499–555Google Scholar
  36. Karlson RH (1999) Dynamics of coral communities. Kluwer Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  37. Karlson RH, Cornell HV (1998) Scale-dependent variation in local vs. regional effects on coral species richness. Ecol Monogr 68:259–274Google Scholar
  38. Kuklinski P (2001) Bryozoa of the high arctic fjord—a preliminary study. In: Wyse JP, Buttler C, Spencer Jones M (eds) Bryozoan studies 2001. Balkema, Abingdon, pp 175–182Google Scholar
  39. Lewontin RC, Levins R (1989) On the characterization of density and resource availability. Am Nat 134:513–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Maughan B, Barnes DKA (2000) A ‘minimum stress inflexion’ in relation to environmental and biological influences on the dynamics of subtidal encrusting communities. Hydrobiologia 440:101–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. McCook LJ, Chapman ARO (1997) Patterns and variations in natural succession following massive ice-scour of a rocky intertidal seashore. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 214:121–147Google Scholar
  42. McGuiness K (1990) Physical variability, diversity gradients and the ecology of temperate and tropical reefs. Aust J Ecol 15:465–476Google Scholar
  43. McKinney FK (1995) One hundred million years of competitive interactions between bryozoan clades: asymmetrical but not escalating. Biol J Linn Soc 56: 465–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McKinney FK, Lidgard S, Sepkoski JJ, Taylor PD (1998) Decoupled temporal patterns of evolution and ecology in two post-Paleozoic clades. Science 281:807–809CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. McKinney FK, Lidgard S, Taylor PD (2001) Macroevolutionary trends: perception depends on the measure used. In: Jackson JBC, Lidgard S, McKinney FK (Eds) Evolutionary patterns: growth, form and tempo in the fossil record in honor of Alan Cheetham. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 348–385Google Scholar
  46. Menge BA, Sutherland JP (1987) Community regulation: variation in disturbance, competition and predation in relation to environmental stress and recruitment. Am Nat 130:730–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Orensanz JM, Parma AM, Hall MA (1998) The analysis of concentration and crowding in shellfish research. Can Spec Publ Fish Aquat Sci 125:143–157Google Scholar
  48. Paine RT (1974) Intertidal community structure: experimental studies on the relationship between a dominant competitor and its principal predator. Oecologia 15:710–719Google Scholar
  49. Rhodes MC, Vermeij GJ (1993) Symposium on comparative biology and its bearing on Phanerozoic patterns of evolution: an introduction. Paleobiology 19:1–287Google Scholar
  50. Roy K, Jablonski D, Valentine JW, Rosenberg G (1998) Marine latitudinal diversity gradients: tests of causal hypotheses. Proc Nat Acad Sci U S A 95:3699–3702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rubin JA (1982) The degree of intransitivity and its measurement in an assemblage of encrusting cheilostome Bryozoa. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 60:119–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Russ GR (1982) Overgrowth in a marine epifaunal community: competitive hierarchies and competitive networks. Oecologia 53:12–19Google Scholar
  53. Schmidt GH, Warner GF (1986) Spatial competition between colonial ascidians: the importance of stand-off. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 31:101–104Google Scholar
  54. Sebens KP (1986) Spatial relationships among encrusting marine organisms in the New England subtidal zone. Ecol Monogr 56:73–96Google Scholar
  55. Sousa ME (1979) Experimental investigation of disturbance and ecological succession in a rocky intertidal algal community. Ecol Monogr 49:227–254Google Scholar
  56. Stehli FG, Wells JW (1971) Diversity and age patterns in hermatypic corals. Syst Zool 20:115–126Google Scholar
  57. Stehli FG, McAlester AL, Helsey CE (1967) Taxonomic diversity of recent bivalves and some implications for geology. Geol Soc Am Bull 78:455–466Google Scholar
  58. Swerpel S (1985) The Horsund Fiord: water masses. Pol Polar Res 6:475–496Google Scholar
  59. Tanaka M, Nandakumar K (1994) Measurement of the degree of intransitivity in a community of sessile organisms. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 182:85–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Thayer CW (1985) Brachiopods versus mussels: competition, predation and palatability. Science 228:1527–1528Google Scholar
  61. Tilman D, Mattson M, Langer S (1981) Competition and nutrient kinetics along a temperature gradient: an experimental test of a mechanistic approach to niche theory. Limnol Oceanogr 26:1020–1033Google Scholar
  62. Todd CD, Turner SJ (1988) Ecology of sublittoral cryptic epifaunal assemblages II. Non-lethal overgrowth of encrusting bryozoans by colonial ascidians. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 74:113–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Tufto J, Solberg EJ, Ringsby T-H (1998) Statistical models of transitive and intransitive dominance structures. Anim Behav 55:1489–1498Google Scholar
  64. Underwood AJ, Fairweather PG (1986) Intertidal communities: do they have different ecologies or different ecologists? Proc Ecol Soc Aust 14:7–16Google Scholar
  65. Vermeij GJ (1976) Interoceanic differences in vulnerability of shelled prey to crab predation. Nature 260:135–136Google Scholar
  66. Wagnon KA, Loy RG, Rollins WC, Carrol FD (1966) Social dominance in a herd of Angus, Hereford and shorthorn cows. Anim Behav 14:474–479PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Wall R, Begon M (1985) Competition and fitness. Oikos 44:356–360Google Scholar
  68. Węsławski JM, Zajączkowski M, Kwaśniewski S, Jezierski J, Moskal W (1988) Seasonality in an Arctic fjord ecosystem: Horsund, Spitsbergen. Polar Res 6:185–189Google Scholar
  69. Węsławski JM, Wiktor J, Zajączkowski M, Swerpel S (1993) Intertidal zone of Svalbard 1. Macroorganism distribution and biomass. Polar Biol 13:73–79Google Scholar
  70. Wulff JL (1995) Effects of a hurricane on survival and orientation of large erect coral reef sponges. Coral Reefs 14:55–61Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.British Antarctic SurveyN.E.R.C.CambridgeUK
  2. 2.University Courses at Svalbard (UNIS)SpitsbergenNorway
  3. 3.Institute of Oceanology, Marine Ecology DepartmentPolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland

Personalised recommendations