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Fluctuations and variations in coastal marine environments
Boero, F. (1994). Fluctuations and variations in coastal marine environments. Mar. Ecol. (Berl.) 15(1): 3-25
In: Marine Ecology (Berlin). Blackwell: Berlin. ISSN 0173-9565, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    The manifold aspects of variability of coastal marine ecosystems are reviewed, with special reference to the response of species and communities. Fluctuations are defined as recurrent modifications in community structure, for instance due to seasonality, whereas variations are defined as changes permanently leading from a given community to a different one. Both patterns are described and linked to the interaction between life history traits and environmental factors. Resting stages are proposed to play a still underestimated role in the dynamics of coastal communities, especially for plankton. Rare species are considered as an essential constant of communities, being the source of potential variation and alternance in the contribution to the standing biomass.

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