Assembly rules and functional groups at global biogeographical scales
Article first published online: 23 SEP 2002
Volume 16, Issue 5, pages 557–562, October 2002
How to Cite
Bellwood, D. R., Wainwright, P. C., Fulton, C. J. and Hoey, A. (2002), Assembly rules and functional groups at global biogeographical scales. Functional Ecology, 16: 557–562. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.2002.00655.x
- Issue published online: 23 SEP 2002
- Article first published online: 23 SEP 2002
- Received 23 January 2002; revised 6 March 2002; accepted 20 March 2002
- coral reef fishes;
- swimming performance
- 1The taxonomic and functional composition of reef fish assemblages are quantified in three biogeographical regions: Great Barrier Reef, French Polynesia and Caribbean. Assemblages are described in three habitats of differing wave exposure. Functional abilities are estimated based on published analyses linking fin morphology and swimming performance.
- 2Two questions were addressed: (1) To what extent are labrid assemblages similar among habitats and regions? (2) To what extent are functional characteristics of fish assemblages shaped by differences in biodiversity, evolutionary history and species composition?
- 3All three regions display highly congruent patterns of habitat use, in terms of assemblage structure and functional characteristics, despite a five-fold difference in species richness, limited or no species overlap, and a 3·2-Myear history of isolation. Exposed reef crest assemblages were dominated by fishes with fins reflecting lift-based high-speed locomotion. In contrast to abundance-based patterns, species presence/absence data were uninformative.
- 4The relationship between swimming ability and habitat use reveals underlying assembly rules at a functional level, emphasizing the utility of functional attributes as a metric for comparing system-level properties in taxonomically distinct faunas.