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.