Volatility in coral cover erodes niche structure, but not diversity, in reef fish assemblages

Cheng-Han Tsai, Hugh Sweatman, Löic Thibaut & Sean Connolly
Environmental fluctuations are becoming increasingly volatile in many ecosystems, highlighting the need to better understand how stochastic and deterministic processes shape patterns of commonness and rarity, particularly in high-diversity systems like coral reefs. We analyzed reef fish time-series across the Great Barrier Reef to show that approximately 75% of the variance in relative species abundance is attributable to deterministic, intrinsic species differences. Nevertheless, the relative importance of stochastic factors is markedly higher on reefs that...
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