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The partitioning of secondary production among species in benthic communities

Warwick, R.M. (1982) The partitioning of secondary production among species in benthic communities. Netherlands Journal of Sea Research, 16 . pp. 1-17.

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The way in which total secondary production is partitioned amongst species in various macrofauna communities (Amphiura, Venus, Abra, Modiolus) around the British Isles is discussed. When the proportion of total production is plotted for each species, ranked in order of productive importance, curves are produced which are characteristic of particular physical conditions. The shapes of the curves are independent of the actual species involved, but depend on the proportion of individuals in the community which adopt a particular feeding behaviour, and the scope for diversification within trophic groups. The form of these curves correlates closely with bottom currents and associated bed-stresses, since these affect both the nature of the food supply to bottom animals and the nature of the substrate. These observations have important implications for the structure and functioning of benthic communities.

Comparison of production partitioning in the meiofauna of mud and sand substrates indicates a remarkable similarity within trophic groups although the partitioning of production between trophic groups is very different. The shapes of production-rank curves again appear to depend on the scope for diversification within trophic groups. In the meiofauna resources are partitioned more equitably than in the macrofauna. There is a marked discontinuity in the lognormal distribution of body sizes within integrated benthic communities at the meiofauna-macrofauna size boundary.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Copyright: © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
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