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SIMBAA - Simulation Model of Benthic Antarctic Assemblages. A modelling approach towards Antarctic biodiversity

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Potthoff, M. , Gutt, J. and Johst, K. (2004): SIMBAA - Simulation Model of Benthic Antarctic Assemblages. A modelling approach towards Antarctic biodiversity , EASIZ, Final Fymposium Krocula, Croatia 27.09.-01.10.2004. .
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Abstract:

The numerous and highly diverse Antarctic benthos is subject to intense research. Much efforts were put into a comprehend picture of its composition and the distribution of species. Due to the logistic challenge experimental field work regarding the underlying forces that structure and shape these communities are rare. Here we demonstrate that computer models can help to gain insight into some of the relevant processes.Recent work has shown that iceberg scouring is the major natural disturbance mechanism for the deeper shelf benthos in Antarctica. We developed SIMBAA, a spatial explicit, individual based simulation model, to address the questions which species traits control the re-colonisation and succession patterns.From modelling results we conclude that typical succession pattern can emerge from longevity and dispersal strategy. Estimates of the regarding traits for representative members of different re-colonisation stages from field work and literature lead to a peaked diversity in the model when disturbance parameters are set analogue to natural disturbances. Other physical properties such as direction of flow and spatial intensity of disturbance are also important factors determining shape and composition of the model assemblages.

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