Poster Open Access

On the importance of spatial scales on coral alpha and beta diversity: a case study from venezuelan coral reefs

Miyazawa, Emy; Agudo-Adriani, Esteban; Mariño-Briceño, Gloria; Ascanio, Alfredo; Montilla, Luis Miguel; Croquer, Aldo

Ecological processes act at different temporal and spatial scale generating diferent distribution patterns. That is why the problem of scales has kept the interest of experimental ecologists for decades.
In recent years, beta diversity has been recognized as distinctive property that actually makes communities differ from one another. However, the use of beta diversity is surprisingly rare in coral reef studies. The Venezuelan coast is an excellent example: spatial variation across different spatial scales remains poorly understood and alpha diversity has dominated the literature for
decades despite reefs occur along strong environmental gradients. This is the first study in Venezuela to measure spatial variation of coral communities across hierarchical spatial scales and to estimate and decompose beta diversity (i.e., species turnover and nestedness) across these scales.

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