Author(s): Underwood AJ
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Abstract Experimental analyses of causes of patterns of distribution and abundance of intertidal animals and plants on rocky shores have been a major activity for many years. In this review, some of the themes and topics that have emerged from such analyses are briefly discussed to provide an up-date for practitioners and ecologists working in other habitats. Conceptual issues include the widespread occurrence of transphyletic use of the same resources (space and food), theories and experimental analyses of intermediate disturbance in relation to numbers of species, the complex but pervasive nature of indirect interactions among species, relative importance of 'top-down' versus 'bottom-up' control of assemblages and the importance to rocky intertidal species of 'supply-side' influences on densities and interactions. Methodological advances include experimental designs for complex and patchy, interacting sets of species, the importance of controls in experimental manipulations and methods for analyses of hierarchical scales of patterns and processes. Finally, some contributions to social issues (pollution, biodiversity) and some scenarios for future directions are briefly considered.
This article was published in J Exp Mar Bio Ecol
and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography