Application of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis to flooding

Abstract

We examine literature on flooding as a disturbance on both sessile and mobile organisms. The limitations and assumptions of the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis (IDH) are identified and examined. We conclude that research on plants supports the IDH. In contrast, mobile invertebrates and vertebrates rarely support the hypothesis. Therefore, we strongly encourage investigators to consider explanations beyond the IDH when explaining community dynamics following floods.

Abbreviations

IDH:

Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis

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Acknowledgments

We express gratitude to Michael W. Palmer, Ronald J. Tyrl, Daniel C. Dauwalter, J. Nana Annan, Jason J. Schaffler and four anonymous reviewers for their careful examination of this paper. We also thank Gabriel B. Cosyleon for insightful suggestions.

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Crandall, R.M., Hayes, C.R. & Ackland, E.N. Application of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis to flooding. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 4, 225–232 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1556/ComEc.4.2003.2.9

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Key words

  • Disturbance
  • Diversity
  • Flooding
  • Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis
  • Invertebrates
  • Vegetation
  • Vertebrates