Marine Biology

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 75–84 | Cite as

Dynamics of the epibenthic community on roots of the mangrove Rhizophora mangle, at Bahía de Buche, Venezuela

  • J. P. Sutherland


The community of epibenthic organisms growing on the roots of the red mangrove Rizophora mangle was studied from March 1976 to September 1977, at a site 100 km east of Caracas, Venezuela. Recruitment was relatively constant and low in intensity for most species. Asbestos panels submerged in March–April 1976 and November 1976 were similar in species composition by September 1977; species composition of panels submerged in March–April 1976 did not change greatly between November 1976 and September 1977. There was little change in the mean species composition on ca. 120 roots during the 18 month study period. The major feature of the community was the large differences in species composition among roots. Even species which were rare in the community as a whole were common on some roots. I ascribe these differences to chance resulting from the low recruitment rate of most species and the low rate of supply of new roots (≅8% yr-1). Once present on a given root, species seem to live for many years and resist the invasion of most other larvae. The initial differences in species composition among roots persists and the overall community does not change greatly with time. Predation had little effect on community development.


Species Composition Asbestos Community Development Venezuela Recruitment Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Sutherland
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke University Marine LaboratoryBeaufortUSA

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