Competitive Interactions and the Species Diversity of Corals

  • J. H. Connell


The species diversity of a coral reef community is affected by many factors. If we consider only sessile organisms, for example plants or aquatic animals such as sponges, corals, etc., competition for space is obviously an important factor. On a small area of hard substrate with very little spatial variation in local physical conditions, one might expect that a single species would be superior to all others in competition and would eliminate them and eventually cover the surface.


Coral Reef External Disturbance Reef Flat Coral Species Hard Substrate 
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References Cited

  1. Connell, J.H. 1973. Population ecology of reef-building corals. In: Biology and geology of coral reefs. Vol. II, Biology 1. Ed. by O. Jones and R. Endean. Academic Press, N.Y. pp. 205–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Connell, J.H. 1975. Some mechanisms producing structure in natural communities: a model and evidence from field experiments. In.: Ecology and evolution of communities, ed. by M. Cody and J. Diamond. Belknap Press, Cambridge, Mass. pp. 460–490.Google Scholar
  3. Darwin, C. 1859. The origin of species. John Murray, London.Google Scholar
  4. Jackson, J.B.C. and L. Buss. 1975. Allelopathy and spatial competition among coral reef invertebrates. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 72: 5160–5163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lang, J. 1973. Interspecific aggression by scleractinian corals. 2. Why the race is not only to the swift. Bull. Mar. Sci. 23: 260–279.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. Connell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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