Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Chapter or Section
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4770
Type of Book: Technical
Section or Chapter Title: Density dependence and independence in coral reef fishes
Book Title: Coral Reef Fishes
Edition: 3rd
Author: N. Tolimieri
Publication Year: 2015
City: San Diego, CA
Publisher: Academic Press
Keywords: Density dependence,density-independence,coral reef fish

Ecologists who study coral reef fishes have spent significant amounts of time on determining the relative importance of density dependent and independent factors to the population dynamics of these fishes.  They have sought to determine whether populations are limited by low levels of larval supply and settlement, or whether post-settlement processes like competition and predation determine abundance. Recent advances have integrated density dependent and independent factors into more complete population models, uncovered mechanisms of density dependence and the demonstration of temporal density dependence.  For example, competition for shelter from predators is an important mechanism for density dependent mortality, while agonistic interactions affect growth, fecundity and larval quality.  We currently understand that both types of factors are important, but that density dependence must occur at some place and time if a population is to be regulated and persist for many generations neither going extinct nor increasing to infinity.


Book chapter covering the relative importance of density dependent and independent processes on coral reefs

Theme: Ecosystem Approach to Management for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem
Foci: Characterize ecological interactions (e.g. predation, competition, parasitism, disease, etc.) within and among species to support ecosystem approach to management.