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Salinity effects on the coexistence of cryptic species: a case study on marine nematodes
De Meester, N.; Derycke, S.; Bonte, D.; Moens, T. (2011). Salinity effects on the coexistence of cryptic species: a case study on marine nematodes. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(12): 2717-2726. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-011-1769-5
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee: Open Repository 244622 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Rhabditis (Pellioditis) marina (Bastian, 1865) Dougherty, 1955 [WoRMS]
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • De Meester, N.
  • Derycke, S.
  • Bonte, D.
  • Moens, T.

Abstract
    The coexistence of four cryptic species of Rhabditis (Pellioditis) marina (Nematoda: Rhabditidae) at small geographical scale challenges ecological competition theory and was therefore studied in the laboratory at two different salinities, where their performance in combined cultures was compared with that in monospecies cultures. We found that three of the four cryptic species were able to coexist, but that interspecific interactions (competition and facilitation) were common. Salinity had an effect on these interactions, with a shift from contest to scramble competition. This shift may result from an increased population development of two of the four species at the lower salinity in the monospecific cultures. This experiment demonstrates that abiotic conditions may play an important role in achieving coexistence between cryptic species and can alter the interspecific interactions between them.

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