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Data from: Density-dependent and species-specific effects on self-organization modulate the resistance of mussel bed ecosystems to hydrodynamic stress

Citation

Nicastro, Katy; Zardi, Gerardo (2021), Data from: Density-dependent and species-specific effects on self-organization modulate the resistance of mussel bed ecosystems to hydrodynamic stress, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2z34tmpkp

Abstract

Mussels self-organize to form large regularly-patterned biogenic structures that modify the biotic and abiotic environment and provide numerous ecosystem functions and services. We used two mussel species which form mono-specific and mixed beds to investigate how species-specific behaviour affects self-organization and resistance to wave stress. 

For these results, the laboratory dataset was used. Perna perna has strong attachment, but low motility, while Mytilus galloprovincialis shows the reverse. At low density the less motile P. perna has limited spatial self-organization compared to M. galloprovincialis while when co-existing, the two species formed random spatial patterns. At high density, the two species self-organized in similar ways while, in coexistence, patterns were less strong. 

Spatial pattern formations significantly shaped resistance to hydrodynamic stress. For these results, the field dataset was used. At low density, P. perna beds with strong attachment and M. galloprovincialis beds with strong spatial organisation showed higher retention rates than mixed beds. At high density, the presence of strongly attached P. perna significantly increased retention in mixed and P. perna beds compared to M. galloprovincialis beds. Our study emphasises the importance of the interplay of species-specific behaviours to spatial self-organization and stress tolerance in natural communities.