Prestes, A.C.L., Cacabelos, E., Neto, A.I. & Martins, G.M. (2017) Temporal stability in macroalgal assemblage standing stock despite high species turnover.Marine Ecology Progress Series, 567, 249–256. DOI:10.3354/meps12039 (IF2017 2,276; Q1 Marine & Freshwater Biology)
Species populations are variable in time and space as a response to biotic and/or environmental conditions. Yet, ecological stability is regarded as an important asset of diversity in natural communities. Here, we followed seasonal variation in a mid-shore rocky intertidal algal-dominated assemblage at two sites in São Miguel, Azores, for 1 year. The assemblage went through significant taxa turnover as a response to the seasonal loss of its dominant species. Yet, assemblage aggregate biomass (assemblage standing stock) remained remarkably stable through the study period. A diverse mixture of algae comprising 77 taxa, including species with contrasting life-histories, was found, although only a hand-full of species appeared to be responsible for ensuring assemblage stability. This study highlights the role of taxa diversity and their compensatory dynamics in maintaining temporal stability in these assemblages. Future direct tests should be done through manipulative experiments to understand the mechanisms underlying community stability in this system.