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Spatial niche partioning in the Cellaria meadow epibiont association, northern Adriatic Sea
McKinney, F.K.; Jaklin, A. (2000). Spatial niche partioning in the Cellaria meadow epibiont association, northern Adriatic Sea. Cah. Biol. Mar. 41(1): 1-17
In: Cahiers de Biologie Marine. Station Biologique de Roscoff: Paris. ISSN 0007-9723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • McKinney, F.K.
  • Jaklin, A.

    A diverse assemblage of foraminiferans, rhodophytes, sponges, hydroids, bryozoans, polychaete annelids, and ascidians lives within the dense mat formed by branches of the erect bryozoan Cellaria salicornioides that carpets a 35 m deep 'meadow' west of Banjole Island offshore of Rovinj, Croatia. A variety of modular growth habits predominates among the epibionts, but almost all the most common species grow laterally by runner-like extensions. Although the depth distribution of each species within the mat has high variance, spatial niche partitioning is indicated because depth distributions of species can be discriminated statistically one from the other. Higher-level clade distribution within the mat generates three statistically defined zones: a shallow zone characterized by foraminiferans, rhodophytes and sponges; an intermediate zone characterized by hydroids, ctenostome bryozoans, annelids and ascidians; and a deep zone characterized by cheilostome and cyclostome bryozoans. The calcified bryozoans also show a pattern in the distribution of growth habits, with erect flexible colonies being on average shallowest, encrusting colonies being intermediate, and erect rigid colonies deepest.

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