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Increasing intraspecific diversity enhances settling success in a marine invertebrate

Journal article
Authors Lars Gamfeldt
Johan Wallén
Per R. Jonsson
Kent M. Berntsson
Jonathan N. Havenhand
Published in Ecology
Volume 86
Issue 12
Pages 3219-3224
ISSN 0012-9658
Publication year 2005
Published at Department of Marine Ecology, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Department of Marine Ecology
Pages 3219-3224
Language en
Keywords Balanus improvisus, biodiversity, ecosystem function, facilitation, genetic, intraspecific diversity, marine, settling, ECOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS, BALANUS-IMPROVISUS, GENETIC DIVERSITY, ECOSYSTEM, COMMUNITY, BIODIVERSITY, LARVAE, PRODUCTIVITY, BEHAVIOR
Subject categories Ecology


Theoretical and empirical research during the last decade suggests that increasing species richness often enhances ecosystem processes Such as productivity, nutrient cycling. or resistance to disturbance. By analogous reasoning, it can be hypothesized that genetic diversity within species will have equivalent effects; however, this hypothesis has rarely been tested. We present experimental support for the positive effects of intraspecific diversity on a key trait: larval settlement in a marine invertebrate, the barnacle Balanus improvisus. Varying within-species diversity levels of an animal over nine experiments, We found increasing larval settlement with increasing diversity (one, two, or three parental broods). Possible mechanisms explaining this pattern include: (1) facilitation of gregarious response through the presence of founder genotypes, and (2) ensuring genetic complementarity to increase future reproductive potential. Our results indicate that changing intraspecific genetic diversity could have hitherto unrecognized community-scale implications for larval recruitment and space occupancy.

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