Natural physical disturbance and predation: their importance in structuring a marine sessile community

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Abstract

Settling panels were used to determine the distribution of sessile organisms. Experimental and control cages were located at two study sites that were of different physical exposures. Twenty-nine species of sessile organisms were recorded for the two sites. Data on the presence or absence of each species, for each sample, were classified.

The resulting hierarchy showed natural physical disturbance to be the major structuring factor in the community.

Predation was of less importance in the physically stressed study site and had no effect on species distribution in the protected site.

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