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Title: Functional group biodiversity in Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems questions the wasp-waist trophic structure
Authors: Fréon, Pierre
Aristegui, Javier 
Bertrand, Arnaud
Crawford, Robert J.M.
Field, John C.
Gibbons, Mark J.
Tam, Jorge
Hutchings, Larry
Masski, Hicham
Mullon, Christian
Ramdani, Mohamed
Seret, Bernard
Simier, Monique
UNESCO Clasification: 251001 Oceanografía biológica
Keywords: Humboldt Current Ecosystem
Anchovy Engraulis-Ringens
Southern Benguela
Cryptic Speciation
Pelagic Fishes, et al
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: 0079-6611
Journal: Progress in Oceanography 
Abstract: The species diversity of the four major Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems (EBUEs) is studied and compared with the aim of better understanding their functioning. Functional groups (FGs) of organisms were defined according to their taxonomy, body size and trophic level (TL), and span from plankton to top predators. Four large sub-divisions are defined in each system: two latitudinal sub-divisions (north and south) and two zonal sub-divisions (inshore and offshore), resulting in four sub-ecosystems per EBUE. A semi-quantitative approach is used in which only the dominant species (contributing 90% of overall biomass) are considered. EBUEs are compared in regard to their species composition, dominant species richness and evenness within FGs. The data are interpreted, focusing on latitudinal, zonal and depth gradients of diversity. Trophic flows (inflow and outflow) through the small pelagic fish FG are derived from different Ecopath models. This analysis of the four ecosystems and their sub-divisions does not provide support for the expected wasp-waist food web structure and functioning, with a single or several species of small pelagic fish primarily channelling the energy flow from lower to higher TL. Instead, similar low levels of richness were observed in many FGs of intermediate TL, allowing several energy transfer pathways. The gamma diversity is high due to the geographical distance between EBUEs and the presence or absence of rivers, but not to differences in their latitudinal position. The beta diversity is also high, due to the same factors plus the variation in shelf width and the contrast between inshore and offshore sub-divisions. The differences in richness and evenness among EBUEs are minor and do not explain the higher secondary and tertiary productivity of the Humboldt ecosystem.
ISSN: 0079-6611
DOI: 10.1016/j.pocean.2009.07.034
Source: Progress In Oceanography [ISSN 0079-6611], v. 83 (1-4), p. 97-106
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