Diversity 2014, 6(1), 1-17; doi:10.3390/d6010001

Effect of Disturbance Regime on Alpha and Beta Diversity of Rock Pools

1,2email, 2email and 1,* email
Received: 5 September 2013; in revised form: 3 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 December 2013 / Published: 19 December 2013
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Measures of alpha diversity are more frequently used to detect environmental changes and subsequent impacts on biodiversity, while measures based on variability (beta diversity) are said to be more appropriate for detecting those impacts. Theory predicts that beta diversity should increase with disturbance frequency in patchy communities. Our objective in this study was to experimentally determine the effect of high and low disturbance regimes, frequency and intensity combined, on marine benthic alpha and beta diversity. The experiment was conducted in a rock pool system of the St. Lawrence estuary, Canada. Rock pools were disturbed by (1) nutrient enrichment and (2) draining according to three disturbance regimes (none, low, high). Disturbance regimes had little or no effect on alpha diversity of benthic algae and sessile animals. However, the low regime of nutrient enrichment induced greater within-group beta diversity than the reference rock pools, while the high disturbance regime induced equal or even smaller within-group beta diversity compared to the reference. Draining had an opposite effect on benthic beta diversity, with a greater variability of the community structure under the high regime of disturbance. Taking into account the effect of disturbance regimes on beta diversity could provide a useful diagnostic for disturbed benthic communities.
Keywords: disturbance frequency; alpha diversity; beta diversity; benthic organisms; intertidal; rock pool; nutrient enrichment; draining
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [929 KB, uploaded 19 December 2013 15:27 CET]

Export to BibTeX |

MDPI and ACS Style

Séguin, A.; Gravel, D.; Archambault, P. Effect of Disturbance Regime on Alpha and Beta Diversity of Rock Pools. Diversity 2014, 6, 1-17.

AMA Style

Séguin A, Gravel D, Archambault P. Effect of Disturbance Regime on Alpha and Beta Diversity of Rock Pools. Diversity. 2014; 6(1):1-17.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Séguin, Annie; Gravel, Dominique; Archambault, Philippe. 2014. "Effect of Disturbance Regime on Alpha and Beta Diversity of Rock Pools." Diversity 6, no. 1: 1-17.

Diversity EISSN 1424-2818 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert