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The controlled assembly of microcosmic communities: the selective extinction hypothesis.

Authors
  • Dickerson, J E Jr1
  • Robinson, J V1
  • 1 Department of Biology, The University of Texas at Arlington, 76019, Arlington, TX, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Oecologia
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1986
Volume
71
Issue
1
Pages
12–17
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/BF00377313
PMID: 28312076
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Forty communities were assembled through the controlled inoculation of algae, protozoans and a rotifer according to either of 2 distinct introduction schedules. These introduction schedules were constructed such that species reinvaded on average either every 6 or 8 w. Ten of the 20 beakers experiencing each invasion schedule contained 300 ml of media; the remaining beakers in each invasion category contained 100 ml of media. Species richness consistently increased throughout the initial 4 w and 7 w of the experiment for the low and high invasion rate beakers, respectively. The numbers of species in the low rate beakers were uncorrelated with time during the last half of the experiment; however, species richness gradually declined during this period in the high rate beakers. The extinction rate is shown to be disproportionately higher for large organisms in the small microcosms. Such "selective extinction" is consistent with the MacArthur-Wilson equilibrium model.

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