SUCCESSIONAL PATTERNS ON FOULING PLATES IN THE BAY OF SANTA MARTA, COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN
Successional progress was followed in fouling communities, developing under tropical conditions. Primary succession was simulated by immersing asbestos plates. The plates represent small, discrete, isolated parts of habitat. According with expectations, a trend of increasing space dominancy by colonial forms was detected as succession progressed. High within-habitat diversity but global persistency was confirmed for this tropical system. Several mechanisms of succession were found to operate simultaneously. In this Caribbean fouling system thestrong self-replacement tendencies of solitary forms and the low recruitment and growth rates of the potential space dominants (colonial forms) were mostly responsible for the successional patterns observed
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