Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 483520
Title Pattern formation at multiple spatial scales drives the resilience of mussel bed ecosystems
Author(s) Liu, Q.; Herman, P.M.J.; Mooij, W.M.; Huisman, J.; Scheffer, M.; Olff, H.; Koppel, J. van de
Source Nature Communications 5 (2014). - ISSN 2041-1723
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6234
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
Resource Ecology
PE&RC
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2014
Keyword(s) self-organization - trade-offs - dynamics - systems - model
Abstract Self-organized complexity at multiple spatial scales is a distinctive characteristic of biological systems. Yet, little is known about how different self-organizing processes operating at different spatial scales interact to determine ecosystem functioning. Here we show that the interplay between self-organizing processes at individual and ecosystem level is a key determinant of the functioning and resilience of mussel beds. In mussel beds, self-organization generates spatial patterns at two characteristic spatial scales: small-scale net-shaped patterns due to behavioural aggregation of individuals, and large-scale banded patterns due to the interplay of between-mussel facilitation and resource depletion. Model analysis reveals that the interaction between these behavioural and ecosystem-level mechanisms increases mussel bed resilience, enables persistence under deteriorating conditions and makes them less prone to catastrophic collapse. Our analysis highlights that interactions between different forms of self-organization at multiple spatial scales may enhance the intrinsic ability of ecosystems to withstand both natural and human-induced disturbances.
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