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Constraints on body size distributions: An experimental test of the habitat architecture hypothesis


Leaper, R and Raffaelli, D and Emes, CE and Manly, B, Constraints on body size distributions: An experimental test of the habitat architecture hypothesis, Journal of Animal Ecology, 70, (2) pp. 248-259. ISSN 0021-8790 (2001) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1046/j.1365-2656.2001.00493.x


1.Holling (1992) has claimed that a range of mechanisms, including habitat architecture, may be responsible for discontinuities in body-size distributions across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. 2.We tested this proposition in the marine benthos by manipulating habitat architecture directly. Specifically, we constructed artificial sediments (using glass beads) of uniform large or small particles, to change interstitial pore diameters at two estuarine sites. 3.A combination of kernel estimation and smoothed bootstrap re-sampling showed that there was a high and varaible degree of modality in body-size (1–5 modes) in the experimental bead treatments and controls and no obvious evidence for a trough at organism size 0·5–1 mm ESD. 4.We propose that habitat architecture may not be as intimately related to body-size patterns as originally claimed, at least at smaller scales where experimental tests are tractable.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:body-size spectra, habitat discontinuity, kernel estimation, marine intertidal
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Leaper, R (Dr Rebecca Leaper)
ID Code:70562
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2011-06-28
Last Modified:2011-10-12

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