CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine & Freshwater Research   
Marine & Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the Aquatic Sciences
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Instructions to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review an Article
Referee Guidelines
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter youtube


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 61(9)

Consequences of realistic patterns of biodiversity loss: an experimental test from the intertidal zone

Meaghan K. Walker A B, Ross M. Thompson A B

A School of Biological Sciences and Australian Centre for Biodiversity, Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, Vic. 3800, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: mwalker@ecowsie.com.au or: ross.thompson@sci.monash.edu.au
PDF (263 KB) $25
 Export Citation


Studies of the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem function (BDEF) have largely found positive, saturating relationships. However, these studies have been criticised for generating species loss randomly when real extinctions are strongly biased toward rare species. We investigated BDEF relationships in the mollusc fauna of an intertidal rock platform at Griffiths Point, San Remo, south-east Victoria, Australia. Field surveys found that areas with the lowest function (mollusc biomass) were associated with lowest diversity. Excluding individual species from experimental enclosures affected function differentially depending on species’ initial abundance. Rectangular enclosures were attached to the rock platform enabling molluscs to be enclosed while allowing sea water to flow through. Removal of the most abundant species had a positive effect on mollusc biomass, suggesting an inhibition of the other species in the community. In the absence of the most common species, the less abundant species were more productive in combination than when present singly. Taken collectively, these results provide evidence for a relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function which is a product of both diversity per se and species identity.

Keywords: biodiversity, ecosystem function, extinction, marine, productivity, rare species, rarity.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2014