Science.gov

Sample records for adjusted species richness

  1. Introduced Terrestrial Species Richness

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all introduced mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies in the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons. The data are species counts for each spatial unit. More information about these resources, including the variables used in this study, may be found here: https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/NERL/ReVA/ReVA_Data.zip.

  2. Tree species richness of upper Amazonian forests

    PubMed Central

    Gentry, Alwyn H.

    1988-01-01

    Upper Amazonian data for tree species richness in 1-hectare plots are reported. All plants ≥10 cm diameter were censused and identified in six plots in Amazonian Peru and one on the Venezuela-Brazil border. The two plots from the everwet forests near Iquitos, Peru, are the most species-rich in the world, with ≈300 species ≥10 cm diameter in single hectares; all of the Peruvian plots are among the most species-rich ever reported. Contrary to accepted opinion, upper Amazonian forest, and perhaps Central African ones, have as many or more tree species as comparable Asian forests. Very high tree species richness seems to be a general property of mature lowland evergreen forests on fertile to moderately infertile soils on all three continents. PMID:16578826

  3. Native Terrestrial Animal Species Richness

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies in the Middle-Atlantic region. The data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons and represent total species counts for each spatial unit. More information about these resources, including the variables used in this study, may be found here: https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/NERL/ReVA/ReVA_Data.zip.

  4. Weighted species richness outperforms species richness as predictor of biotic resistance.

    PubMed

    Henriksson, Anna; Yu, Jun; Wardle, David A; Trygg, Johan; Englund, Göran

    2016-01-01

    The species richness hypothesis, which predicts that species-rich communities should be better at resisting invasions than species-poor communities, has been empirically tested many times and is often poorly supported. In this study, we contrast the species richness hypothesis with four alternative hypotheses with the aim of finding better descriptors of invasion resistance. These alternative hypotheses state that resistance to invasions is determined by abiotic conditions, community saturation (i.e., the number of resident species relative to the maximum number of species that can be supported), presence/absence of key species, or weighted species richness. Weighted species richness is a weighted sum of the number of species, where each species' weight describes its contribution to resistance. We tested these hypotheses using data on the success of 571 introductions of four freshwater fish species into lakes throughout Sweden, i.e., Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), tench (Tinca tinca), zander (Sander lucioperca), and whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus). We found that weighted species richness best predicted invasion success. The weights describing the contribution of each resident species to community resistance varied considerably in both strength and sign. Positive resistance weights, which indicate that species repel invaders, were as common as negative resistance weights, which indicate facilitative interactions. This result can be contrasted with the implicit assumption of the original species richness hypothesis, that all resident species have negative effects on invader success. We argue that this assumption is unlikely to be true in natural communities, and thus that we expect that weighted species richness is a better predictor of invader success than the actual number of resident species.

  5. Does climate limit species richness by limiting individual species' ranges?

    PubMed

    Boucher-Lalonde, Véronique; Kerr, Jeremy T; Currie, David J

    2014-02-07

    Broad-scale geographical variation in species richness is strongly correlated with climate, yet the mechanisms underlying this correlation are still unclear. We test two broad classes of hypotheses to explain this pattern. Bottom-up hypotheses propose that the environment determines individual species' ranges. Ranges then sum up to yield species richness patterns. Top-down hypotheses propose that the environment limits the number of species that occur in a region, but not which ones. We test these two classes of hypotheses using a natural experiment: seasonal changes in environmental variables and seasonal range shifts of 625 migratory birds in the Americas. We show that richness seasonally tracks the environment. By contrast, individual species' geographical distributions do not. Rather, species occupy different sets of environmental conditions in two seasons. Our results are inconsistent with extant bottom-up hypotheses. Instead, a top-down mechanism appears to constrain the number of species that can occur in a given region.

  6. Global patterns of species richness and climate

    SciTech Connect

    Currie, D.J. )

    1994-06-01

    Why are there many species in some places and few in others Several studies have shown that the variation in the number of species over continent-sized areas is closely related to the variation in macroclimatic factors: heat and moisture for terrestrial plants, and heat for terrestrial vertebrates. Yet, most of these studies dealt primarily with temperature areas on single continents. If contemporary climate is the principle determinant of large-scale patterns of richness, then richness should be related to climate in similar ways on different continents, regardless of their evolutionary histories. To test the hypothesis, we have gathered published data on the distributions of birds and mammals in temperature and tropical areas. We found that richness varies as a function of potential evapotranspiration in very similar ways on different continents in temperate areas, although there is some significant variation among continents that is unrelated to climate. In tropical areas, richness is more closely related to precipitation and annual climatic variability. Re-analysis of published data on plant richness is consistent with these observations. We conclude that most of the variation in large-scale patterns of species richness can be accounted for by contemporary climate.

  7. Topography, energy and the global distribution of bird species richness.

    PubMed

    Davies, Richard G; Orme, C David L; Storch, David; Olson, Valerie A; Thomas, Gavin H; Ross, Simon G; Ding, Tzung-Su; Rasmussen, Pamela C; Bennett, Peter M; Owens, Ian P F; Blackburn, Tim M; Gaston, Kevin J

    2007-05-07

    A major goal of ecology is to determine the causes of the latitudinal gradient in global distribution of species richness. Current evidence points to either energy availability or habitat heterogeneity as the most likely environmental drivers in terrestrial systems, but their relative importance is controversial in the absence of analyses of global (rather than continental or regional) extent. Here we use data on the global distribution of extant continental and continental island bird species to test the explanatory power of energy availability and habitat heterogeneity while simultaneously addressing issues of spatial resolution, spatial autocorrelation, geometric constraints upon species' range dynamics, and the impact of human populations and historical glacial ice-cover. At the finest resolution (1 degree), topographical variability and temperature are identified as the most important global predictors of avian species richness in multi-predictor models. Topographical variability is most important in single-predictor models, followed by productive energy. Adjusting for null expectations based on geometric constraints on species richness improves overall model fit but has negligible impact on tests of environmental predictors. Conclusions concerning the relative importance of environmental predictors of species richness cannot be extrapolated from one biogeographic realm to others or the globe. Rather a global perspective confirms the primary importance of mountain ranges in high-energy areas.

  8. Spatial heterogeneity influences native and nonnative plant species richness.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sunil; Stohlgren, Thomas J; Chong, Geneva W

    2006-12-01

    Spatial heterogeneity may have differential effects on the distribution of native and nonnative plant species richness. We examined the effects of spatial heterogeneity on native and nonnative plant species richness distributions in the central part of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. Spatial heterogeneity around vegetation plots was characterized using landscape metrics, environmental/topographic variables (slope, aspect, elevation, and distance from stream or river), and soil variables (nitrogen, clay, and sand). The landscape metrics represented five components of landscape heterogeneity and were measured at four spatial extents (within varying radii of 120, 240, 480, and 960 m) using the FRAGSTATS landscape pattern analysis program. Akaike's Information Criterion adjusted for small sample size (AICc) was used to select the best models from a set of multiple linear regression models developed for native and nonnative plant species richness at four spatial extents and three levels of ecological hierarchy (i.e., landscape, land cover, and community). Both native and nonnative plant species richness were positively correlated with edge density, Simpson's diversity index and interspersion/juxtaposition index, and were negatively correlated with mean patch size. The amount of variation explained at four spatial extents and three hierarchical levels ranged from 30% to 70%. At the landscape level, the best models explained 43% of the variation in native plant species richness and 70% of the variation in nonnative plant species richness (240-m extent). In general, the amount of variation explained was always higher for nonnative plant species richness, and the inclusion of landscape metrics always significantly improved the models. The best models explained 66% of the variation in nonnative plant species richness for both the conifer land cover type and lodgepole pine community. The relative influence of the components of spatial heterogeneity differed for

  9. Would species richness estimators change the observed species area relationship?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borges, Paulo A. V.; Hortal, Joaquín; Gabriel, Rosalina; Homem, Nídia

    2009-01-01

    We evaluate whether the description of the species area relationship (SAR) can be improved by using richness estimates instead of observed richness values. To do this, we use three independent datasets gathered with standardized survey methods from the native laurisilva forest of the Azorean archipelago, encompassing different distributional extent and biological groups: soil epigean arthropods at eight forest fragments in Terceira Island, canopy arthropods inhabiting Juniperus brevifolia at 16 forest fragments of six different islands, and bryophytes of seven forest fragments from Terceira and Pico islands. Species richness values were estimated for each forest fragment using seven non-parametric estimators (ACE, ICE, Chao1, Chao2, Jackknife1, Jackknife2 and Bootstrap; five in the case of bryophytes). These estimates were fitted to classical log-log species-area curves and the intercept, slope and goodness of fit of these curves were compared with those obtained from the observed species richness values to determine if significant differences appear in these parameters. We hypothesized that the intercepts would be higher in the estimated data sets compared with the observed data, as estimated richness values are typically higher than observed values. We found partial support for the hypothesis - intercepts of the SAR obtained from estimated richness values were significantly higher in the case of epigean arthropods and bryophyte datasets. In contrast, the slope and goodness of fit obtained with estimated values were not significantly different from those obtained from observed species richness in all groups, although a few small differences appeared. We conclude that, although little is gained using these estimators if data come from standardized surveys, their estimations could be used to analyze macroecological relationships with non-standardized observed data, provided that survey incompleteness and/or unevenness are also taken into account.

  10. The decoupling of abundance and species richness in lizard communities.

    PubMed

    Nimmo, Dale G; James, Simon G; Kelly, Luke T; Watson, Simon J; Bennett, Andrew F

    2011-05-01

    1. Patterns of species richness often correlate strongly with measures of energy. The more individuals hypothesis (MIH) proposes that this relationship is facilitated by greater resources supporting larger populations, which are less likely to become extinct. Hence, the MIH predicts that community abundance and species richness will be positively related. 2. Recently, Buckley & Jetz (2010, Journal of Animal Ecology, 79, 358-365) documented a decoupling of community abundance and species richness in lizard communities in south-west United States, such that richer communities did not contain more individuals. They predicted, as a consequence of the mechanisms driving the decoupling, a more even distribution of species abundances in species-rich communities, evidenced by a positive relationship between species evenness and species richness. 3. We found a similar decoupling of the relationship between abundance and species richness for lizard communities in semi-arid south-eastern Australia. However, we note that a positive relationship between evenness and richness is expected because of the nature of the indices used. We illustrate this mathematically and empirically using data from both sets of lizard communities. When we used a measure of evenness, which is robust to species richness, there was no relationship between evenness and richness in either data set. 4. For lizard communities in both Australia and the United States, species dominance decreased as species richness increased. Further, with the iterative removal of the first, second and third most dominant species from each community, the relationship between abundance and species richness became increasingly more positive. 5. Our data support the contention that species richness in lizard communities is not directly related to the number of individuals an environment can support. We propose an alternative hypothesis regarding how the decoupling of abundance and richness is accommodated; namely, an inverse

  11. Correlates of species richness in the largest Neotropical amphibian radiation

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Padial, J M; Castroviejo-Fisher, S; De La Riva, I; Vilà, C

    2011-01-01

    Although tropical environments are often considered biodiversity hotspots, it is precisely in such environments where least is known about the factors that drive species richness. Here, we use phylogenetic comparative analyses to study correlates of species richness for the largest Neotropical amphibian radiation: New World direct-developing frogs. Clade-age and species richness were nonsignficantly, negatively correlated, suggesting that clade age alone does not explain among-clade variation in species richness. A combination of ecological and morphological traits explained 65% of the variance in species richness. A more vascularized ventral skin, the ability to colonize high-altitude ranges, encompassing a large variety of vegetation types, correlated significantly with species richness, whereas larger body size was marginally correlated with species richness. Hence, whereas high-altitude ranges play a role in shaping clade diversity in the Neotropics, intrinsic factors, such as skin structures and possibly body size, might ultimately determine which clades are more speciose than others. PMID:21401771

  12. Constancy in Functional Space across a Species Richness Anomaly.

    PubMed

    Swenson, Nathan G; Weiser, Michael D; Mao, Lingfeng; Normand, Signe; Rodríguez, Miguel Ángel; Lin, Luxiang; Cao, Min; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2016-04-01

    The relationship between large-scale gradients in species richness and functional diversity provides important information regarding the mechanisms driving patterns of biodiversity. A classic hypothesis in ecology is that strong interspecific interactions should result in an increase in the functional volume of assemblages as the species richness increases, whereas climatic constraints may result in no change in functional volume. Most research of this kind examines latitudinal gradients in species richness, but the results are likely confounded by underlying gradients in climate and phylogenetic composition. We take an alternative approach that examines functional richness across a tree species richness anomaly where species richness doubles from Europe to eastern North America. The results demonstrate that the functional richness on both continents saturates at a similar point as species richness increases and that the packing of functional space becomes tighter. Further, the species richness anomaly is driven primarily by genera unique to North America, but those genera contribute less than expected functional richness to the region, indicating a high level of redundancy with genera shared between the continents. Taken together, the results indicate that the species richness anomaly is associated with diversification within a climatically constrained trait space. More generally, the work demonstrates the power of utilizing species richness anomalies in biodiversity research, particularly when they are coupled with information regarding organismal function.

  13. Plant species richness belowground: higher richness and new patterns revealed by next-generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Hiiesalu, Inga; Opik, Maarja; Metsis, Madis; Lilje, Liisa; Davison, John; Vasar, Martti; Moora, Mari; Zobel, Martin; Wilson, Scott D; Pärtel, Meelis

    2012-04-01

    Variation in plant species richness has been described using only aboveground vegetation. The species richness of roots and rhizomes has never been compared with aboveground richness in natural plant communities. We made direct comparisons of grassland plant richness in identical volumes (0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 m) above and below the soil surface, using conventional species identification to measure aboveground richness and 454 sequencing of the chloroplast trnL(UAA) intron to measure belowground richness. We described above- and belowground richness at multiple spatial scales (from a neighbourhood scale of centimetres to a community scale of hundreds of metres), and related variation in richness to soil fertility. Tests using reference material indicated that 454 sequencing captured patterns of species composition and abundance with acceptable accuracy. At neighbourhood scales, belowground richness was up to two times greater than aboveground richness. The relationship between above- and belowground richness was significantly different from linear: beyond a certain level of belowground richness, aboveground richness did not increase further. Belowground richness also exceeded that of aboveground at the community scale, indicating that some species are temporarily dormant and absent aboveground. Similar to other grassland studies, aboveground richness declined with increasing soil fertility; in contrast, the number of species found only belowground increased significantly with fertility. These results indicate that conventional aboveground studies of plant richness may overlook many coexisting species, and that belowground richness becomes relatively more important in conditions where aboveground richness decreases. Measuring plant belowground richness can considerably alter perceptions of biodiversity and its responses to natural and anthropogenic factors.

  14. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating fine-scale species richness. The true relationship was thought to be hump-shaped, with richness peaking at intermediate levels of productivity, ...

  15. Species richness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: associations with grassland plant richness and biomass.

    PubMed

    Hiiesalu, Inga; Pärtel, Meelis; Davison, John; Gerhold, Pille; Metsis, Madis; Moora, Mari; Öpik, Maarja; Vasar, Martti; Zobel, Martin; Wilson, Scott D

    2014-07-01

    Although experiments show a positive association between vascular plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) species richness, evidence from natural ecosystems is scarce. Furthermore, there is little knowledge about how AMF richness varies with belowground plant richness and biomass. We examined relationships among AMF richness, above- and belowground plant richness, and plant root and shoot biomass in a native North American grassland. Root-colonizing AMF richness and belowground plant richness were detected from the same bulk root samples by 454-sequencing of the AMF SSU rRNA and plant trnL genes. In total we detected 63 AMF taxa. Plant richness was 1.5 times greater belowground than aboveground. AMF richness was significantly positively correlated with plant species richness, and more strongly with below- than aboveground plant richness. Belowground plant richness was positively correlated with belowground plant biomass and total plant biomass, whereas aboveground plant richness was positively correlated only with belowground plant biomass. By contrast, AMF richness was negatively correlated with belowground and total plant biomass. Our results indicate that AMF richness and plant belowground richness are more strongly related with each other and with plant community biomass than with the plant aboveground richness measures that have been almost exclusively considered to date.

  16. Downscaling the environmental associations and spatial patterns of species richness.

    PubMed

    Keil, Petr; Jetz, Walter

    2014-06-01

    We introduce a method that enables the estimation of species richness environment association and prediction of geographic patterns of species richness at grains finer than the original grain of observation. The method is based on a hierarchical model that uses coarse-grain values of species richness and fine-grain environmental data as input. In the model, the (unobserved) fine-grain species richness is linked to the observed fine-grain environment and upscaled using a simple species-area relationship (SAR). The upscaled values are then stochastically linked to the observed coarse-grain species richness. We tested the method on Southern African Bird Atlas data by downscaling richness from 2 degrees to 0.25 degrees (-250 km to -30 km) resolution. When prior knowledge of the SAR slope (average species turnover within coarse-grain cells) was available, the method predicted the fine-grain relationship between richness and environment and provided fine-grain predictions of richness that closely resembled results from native fine-grain models. Without the SAR knowledge the method still accurately quantified the richness-environment relationship, but accurately predicted only relative (rank) values of richness. The approach can be easily extended and it is a powerful path for cross-scale statistical modeling of richness-environment relationships, and for the provision of high-resolution maps for basic science and conservation.

  17. Estimating bird species richness from capture and count data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dawson, D.K.; Sauer, J.R.; Wood, P.A.; Berlanga, M.; Wilson, M.H.; Robbins, C.S.; North, P.M.; Nichols, J.D.

    1995-01-01

    We used capture-recapture methods to estimate bird species richness from mist-net and point-count data from a study area in Campeche, Mexico. We estimated species richness separately for each survey technique for two habitats, forest and pasture, in six sampling periods. We then estimated richness based on species' detections by either technique, and estimated the proportion of species detected by each technique that are not part of the population sampled by the other technique. No consistent differences existed between richness estimates from count data and from capture data in the two habitats. In some sampling periods, over 50% of the richness estimate from one survey technique may be species that are not sampled by the other technique, suggesting that one technique may not be adequate to estimate total species richness and that comparing estimates from areas sampled by different techniques may not be valid.

  18. Factors limiting the species richness of bees in Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Patiny, S; Michez, D; Kuhlmann, M; Pauly, A; Barbier, Y

    2009-08-01

    There is a severe shortage of knowledge of bee biogeography. Some former studies have highlighted a link between bee diversity and xeric ecosystems, but we know practically nothing of the macro-ecological factors driving bee diversity. The present study aims to analyse the main macro-ecological factors driving bee species-richness in the Saharan region. Our dataset includes 25,000+ records for localities in Africa, between 37 degrees and 10 degrees N. Maps and GIS were used to get a first overview of the distribution of the studied taxa. Partial least squares analysis (PLS) was used to study the impact of a set of ecological factors on the bee species richness (SR). The mapping highlighted the clustering of the highest bee SR values in some parts of the Saharan area (e.g. Maghreb, western Africa). In Central Sahara, there is an obvious topological coincidence of the high SR, the local mountain chains and the inland waters. The PLS helped to quantify the relationships between bee SR and a set of eco-climatic variables. It also highlighted a residual variance not explained by the considered descriptors. Our results recover the tight link between bee SR and xeric ecosystems. They also suggest that, within these ecosystems, bee SR is driven by an optimum of the energy-water balance (on which adjustment is allowed by the above gradients).

  19. The Global Distribution and Drivers of Alien Bird Species Richness

    PubMed Central

    Dyer, Ellie E.; Cassey, Phillip; Redding, David W.; Collen, Ben; Franks, Victoria; Gaston, Kevin J.; Jones, Kate E.; Kark, Salit; Orme, C. David L.; Blackburn, Tim M.

    2017-01-01

    Alien species are a major component of human-induced environmental change. Variation in the numbers of alien species found in different areas is likely to depend on a combination of anthropogenic and environmental factors, with anthropogenic factors affecting the number of species introduced to new locations, and when, and environmental factors influencing how many species are able to persist there. However, global spatial and temporal variation in the drivers of alien introduction and species richness remain poorly understood. Here, we analyse an extensive new database of alien birds to explore what determines the global distribution of alien species richness for an entire taxonomic class. We demonstrate that the locations of origin and introduction of alien birds, and their identities, were initially driven largely by European (mainly British) colonialism. However, recent introductions are a wider phenomenon, involving more species and countries, and driven in part by increasing economic activity. We find that, globally, alien bird species richness is currently highest at midlatitudes and is strongly determined by anthropogenic effects, most notably the number of species introduced (i.e., “colonisation pressure”). Nevertheless, environmental drivers are also important, with native and alien species richness being strongly and consistently positively associated. Our results demonstrate that colonisation pressure is key to understanding alien species richness, show that areas of high native species richness are not resistant to colonisation by alien species at the global scale, and emphasise the likely ongoing threats to global environments from introductions of species. PMID:28081142

  20. The Global Distribution and Drivers of Alien Bird Species Richness.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Ellie E; Cassey, Phillip; Redding, David W; Collen, Ben; Franks, Victoria; Gaston, Kevin J; Jones, Kate E; Kark, Salit; Orme, C David L; Blackburn, Tim M

    2017-01-01

    Alien species are a major component of human-induced environmental change. Variation in the numbers of alien species found in different areas is likely to depend on a combination of anthropogenic and environmental factors, with anthropogenic factors affecting the number of species introduced to new locations, and when, and environmental factors influencing how many species are able to persist there. However, global spatial and temporal variation in the drivers of alien introduction and species richness remain poorly understood. Here, we analyse an extensive new database of alien birds to explore what determines the global distribution of alien species richness for an entire taxonomic class. We demonstrate that the locations of origin and introduction of alien birds, and their identities, were initially driven largely by European (mainly British) colonialism. However, recent introductions are a wider phenomenon, involving more species and countries, and driven in part by increasing economic activity. We find that, globally, alien bird species richness is currently highest at midlatitudes and is strongly determined by anthropogenic effects, most notably the number of species introduced (i.e., "colonisation pressure"). Nevertheless, environmental drivers are also important, with native and alien species richness being strongly and consistently positively associated. Our results demonstrate that colonisation pressure is key to understanding alien species richness, show that areas of high native species richness are not resistant to colonisation by alien species at the global scale, and emphasise the likely ongoing threats to global environments from introductions of species.

  1. Species richness alone does not predict cultural ecosystem service value.

    PubMed

    Graves, Rose A; Pearson, Scott M; Turner, Monica G

    2017-04-04

    Many biodiversity-ecosystem services studies omit cultural ecosystem services (CES) or use species richness as a proxy and assume that more species confer greater CES value. We studied wildflower viewing, a key biodiversity-based CES in amenity-based landscapes, in Southern Appalachian Mountain forests and asked (i) How do aesthetic preferences for wildflower communities vary with components of biodiversity, including species richness?; (ii) How do aesthetic preferences for wildflower communities vary across psychographic groups?; and (iii) How well does species richness perform as an indicator of CES value compared with revealed social preferences for wildflower communities? Public forest visitors (n = 293) were surveyed during the summer of 2015 and asked to choose among images of wildflower communities in which flower species richness, flower abundance, species evenness, color diversity, and presence of charismatic species had been digitally manipulated. Aesthetic preferences among images were unrelated to species richness but increased with more abundant flowers, greater species evenness, and greater color diversity. Aesthetic preferences were consistent across psychographic groups and unaffected by knowledge of local flora or value placed on wildflower viewing. When actual wildflower communities (n = 54) were ranked based on empirically measured flower species richness or wildflower viewing utility based on multinomial logit models of revealed preferences, rankings were broadly similar. However, designation of hotspots (CES values above the median) based on species richness alone missed 27% of wildflower viewing utility hotspots. Thus, conservation priorities for sustaining CES should incorporate social preferences and consider multiple dimensions of biodiversity that underpin CES supply.

  2. Predicting spatial variations of tree species richness in tropical forests from high-resolution remote sensing.

    PubMed

    Fricker, Geoffrey A; Wolf, Jeffrey A; Saatchi, Sassan S; Gillespie, Thomas W

    2015-10-01

    There is an increasing interest in identifying theories, empirical data sets, and remote-sensing metrics that can quantify tropical forest alpha diversity at a landscape scale. Quantifying patterns of tree species richness in the field is time consuming, especially in regions with over 100 tree species/ha. We examine species richness in a 50-ha plot in Barro Colorado Island in Panama and test if biophysical measurements of canopy reflectance from high-resolution satellite imagery and detailed vertical forest structure and topography from light detection and ranging (lidar) are associated with species richness across four tree size classes (>1, 1-10, >10, and >20 cm dbh) and three spatial scales (1, 0.25, and 0.04 ha). We use the 2010 tree inventory, including 204,757 individuals belonging to 301 species of freestanding woody plants or 166 ± 1.5 species/ha (mean ± SE), to compare with remote-sensing data. All remote-sensing metrics became less correlated with species richness as spatial resolution decreased from 1.0 ha to 0.04 ha and tree size increased from 1 cm to 20 cm dbh. When all stems with dbh > 1 cm in 1-ha plots were compared to remote-sensing metrics, standard deviation in canopy reflectance explained 13% of the variance in species richness. The standard deviations of canopy height and the topographic wetness index (TWI) derived from lidar were the best metrics to explain the spatial variance in species richness (15% and 24%, respectively). Using multiple regression models, we made predictions of species richness across Barro Colorado Island (BCI) at the 1-ha spatial scale for different tree size classes. We predicted variation in tree species richness among all plants (adjusted r² = 0.35) and trees with dbh > 10 cm (adjusted r² = 0.25). However, the best model results were for understory trees and shrubs (dbh 1-10 cm) (adjusted r² = 0.52) that comprise the majority of species richness in tropical forests. Our results indicate that high

  3. How to assess species richness along single environmental gradients? Implications of potential versus realized species distributions.

    PubMed

    van Goethem, Thomas M W J; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Wamelink, G W Wieger; Schipper, Aafke M

    2015-05-01

    Quantifying relationships between species richness and single environmental factors is challenging as species richness typically depends on multiple environmental factors. Recently, various methods have been proposed to tackle this challenge. Using a dataset comprising field observations of grassland vegetation and measured pH values, we compared three methods for deriving species richness response curves. One of the methods estimates species richness close to the maximum species richness observed at the sites, whereas the other two provide estimates of the potential species richness along the environmental gradient. Our response curves suggest that potential species richness of grasslands is slightly more sensitive to acidification than realized plant species richness. However, differences in corresponding environmental quality standards (EQS) for acidification were small compared to intrinsic spatial differences in natural soil pH, indicating that natural background values are more important to consider in the derivation of EQS for pH than methodological differences between the three approaches.

  4. Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Carly J; Duprè, Cecilia; Dorland, Edu; Gaudnik, Cassandre; Gowing, David J G; Bleeker, Albert; Diekmann, Martin; Alard, Didier; Bobbink, Roland; Fowler, David; Corcket, Emmanuel; Mountford, J Owen; Vandvik, Vigdis; Aarrestad, Per Arild; Muller, Serge; Dise, Nancy B

    2010-09-01

    Evidence from an international survey in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is reducing plant species richness in acid grasslands. Across the deposition gradient in this region (2-44 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)) species richness showed a curvilinear response, with greatest reductions in species richness when deposition increased from low levels. This has important implications for conservation policies, suggesting that to protect the most sensitive grasslands resources should be focussed where deposition is currently low. Soil pH is also an important driver of species richness indicating that the acidifying effect of nitrogen deposition may be contributing to species richness reductions. The results of this survey suggest that the impacts of nitrogen deposition can be observed over a large geographical range.

  5. Detecting change in intertidal species richness on sandy beaches: calibrating across sampling designs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schooler, Nicholas K.; Dugan, Jenifer E.; Hubbard, David M.

    2014-10-01

    Detecting changes in the biodiversity of biotic communities is fundamental to evaluating ecological responses to anthropogenic and climatic drivers at multiple scales. Species richness, the simplest measure of biodiversity, can be strongly affected by sampling design, making comparisons among results of different studies challenging. We investigated the use of extrapolative species richness estimators to address these issues in comparing species richness results from two sampling designs that differed in area sampled for intertidal macroinvertebrates on exposed sandy beaches. The area sampled by the proportional area sampling design increased with beach width (0.4 m2-3.0 m2) across our sites. The area sampled by the fixed area sampling design (3.5 m2) was independent of intertidal width. To obtain datasets for comparisons, we simultaneously used these sampling designs on nested intertidal grids at seven sandy beaches in central and southern California, USA. Observed species richness differed significantly (p ≤ 0.05) between the two sampling designs and was consistently lower (3-10 species less) for the proportional area design compared to the fixed area design (8-35 vs. 12-38 species, respectively), except at the widest beach where sampling areas were most similar (3 m2 vs. 3.5 m2). All seven non-parametric species richness estimators provided higher estimates of richness for both designs (mean = 5.4 ± 3.8 species), but only four of the richness estimators reduced differences in richness obtained by the two designs to a non-significant level (p ≥ 0.05) across the sites. The ratio of richness values (proportional area/fixed area) obtained by the two designs was strongly correlated with sampling area for observed richness and four of the seven estimators, suggesting these estimators did not uniformly correct for sampling area. When we used an extrapolation of sample-based rarefaction to adjust for sampling area, differences in species richness between sampling

  6. Global patterns and predictors of fish species richness in estuaries.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Rita P; Henriques, Sofia; França, Susana; Pasquaud, Stéphanie; Cardoso, Inês; Laborde, Marina; Cabral, Henrique N

    2015-09-01

    1. Knowledge of global patterns of biodiversity and regulating variables is indispensable to develop predictive models. 2. The present study used predictive modelling approaches to investigate hypotheses that explain the variation in fish species richness between estuaries over a worldwide spatial extent. Ultimately, such models will allow assessment of future changes in ecosystem structure and function as a result of environmental changes. 3. A comprehensive worldwide data base was compiled of the fish assemblage composition and environmental characteristics of estuaries. Generalized Linear Models were used to quantify how variation in species richness among estuaries is related to historical events, energy dynamics and ecosystem characteristics, while controlling for sampling effects. 4. At the global extent, species richness differed among marine biogeographic realms and continents and increased with mean sea surface temperature, terrestrial net primary productivity and the stability of connectivity with a marine ecosystem (open vs. temporarily open estuaries). At a smaller extent (within a marine biogeographic realm or continent), other characteristics were also important in predicting variation in species richness, with species richness increasing with estuary area and continental shelf width. 5. The results suggest that species richness in an estuary is defined by predictors that are spatially hierarchical. Over the largest spatial extents, species richness is influenced by the broader distributions and habitat use patterns of marine and freshwater species that can colonize estuaries, which are in turn governed by history contingency, energy dynamics and productivity variables. Species richness is also influenced by more regional and local parameters that can further affect the process of community colonization in an estuary including the connectivity of the estuary with the adjacent marine habitat, and, over smaller spatial extents, the size of these

  7. Species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in disturbed landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, J.H.; Krzysik, A.J.; Kovacic, D.A.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D.C.; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Long, W.R.; Wallace, M.P.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Nutter, J.P.; Balbach, H.E.

    2009-01-01

    Ants are used as indicators of environmental change in disturbed landscapes, often without adequate understanding of their response to disturbance. Ant communities in the southeastern United States displayed a hump-backed species richness curve against an index of landscape disturbance. Forty sites at Fort Benning, in west-central Georgia, covered a spectrum of habitat disturbance (military training and fire) in upland forest. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and warmer, more compact soils with shallower A-horizons. We sampled ground-dwelling ants with pitfall traps, and measured 15 habitat variables related to vegetation and soil. Ant species richness was greatest with a relative disturbance of 43%, but equitability was greatest with no disturbance. Ant abundance was greatest with a relative disturbance of 85%. High species richness at intermediate disturbance was associated with greater within-site spatial heterogeneity. Species richness was also associated with intermediate values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a correlate of net primary productivity (NPP). Available NPP (the product of NDVI and the fraction of days that soil temperature exceeded 25 ??C), however, was positively correlated with species richness, though not with ant abundance. Species richness was unrelated to soil texture, total ground cover, and fire frequency. Ant species richness and equitability are potential state indicators of the soil arthropod community. Moreover, equitability can be used to monitor ecosystem change. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Human population, grasshopper and plant species richness in European countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steck, Claude E.; Pautasso, Marco

    2008-11-01

    Surprisingly, several studies over large scales have reported a positive spatial correlation of people and biodiversity. This pattern has important implications for conservation and has been documented for well studied taxa such as plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. However, it is unknown whether the pattern applies also to invertebrates other than butterflies and more work is needed to establish whether the species-people relationship is explained by both variables correlating with other environmental factors. We studied whether grasshopper species richness (Orthoptera, suborder Caelifera) is related to human population size in European countries. As expected, the number of Caelifera species increases significantly with increasing human population size. But this is not the case when controlling for country area, latitude and number of plant species. Variations in Caelifera species richness are primarily associated with variations in plant species richness. Caelifera species richness also increases with decreasing mean annual precipitation, Gross Domestic Product per capita (used as an indicator for economic development) and net fertility rate of the human population. Our analysis confirms the hypothesis that the broad-scale human population-biodiversity correlations can be explained by concurrent variations in factors other than human population size such as plant species richness, environmental productivity, or habitat heterogeneity. Nonetheless, more populated countries in Europe still have more Caelifera species than less populated countries and this poses a particular challenge for conservation.

  9. Geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness

    PubMed Central

    Bertuzzo, Enrico; Carrara, Francesco; Mari, Lorenzo; Altermatt, Florian; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Elevational gradients of biodiversity have been widely investigated, and yet a clear interpretation of the biotic and abiotic factors that determine how species richness varies with elevation is still elusive. In mountainous landscapes, habitats at different elevations are characterized by different areal extent and connectivity properties, key drivers of biodiversity, as predicted by metacommunity theory. However, most previous studies directly correlated species richness to elevational gradients of potential drivers, thus neglecting the interplay between such gradients and the environmental matrix. Here, we investigate the role of geomorphology in shaping patterns of species richness. We develop a spatially explicit zero-sum metacommunity model where species have an elevation-dependent fitness and otherwise neutral traits. Results show that ecological dynamics over complex terrains lead to the null expectation of a hump-shaped elevational gradient of species richness, a pattern widely observed empirically. Local species richness is found to be related to the landscape elevational connectivity, as quantified by a newly proposed metric that applies tools of complex network theory to measure the closeness of a site to others with similar habitat. Our theoretical results suggest clear geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness and support the use of the landscape elevational connectivity as a null model for the analysis of the distribution of biodiversity. PMID:26831107

  10. Geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness.

    PubMed

    Bertuzzo, Enrico; Carrara, Francesco; Mari, Lorenzo; Altermatt, Florian; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2016-02-16

    Elevational gradients of biodiversity have been widely investigated, and yet a clear interpretation of the biotic and abiotic factors that determine how species richness varies with elevation is still elusive. In mountainous landscapes, habitats at different elevations are characterized by different areal extent and connectivity properties, key drivers of biodiversity, as predicted by metacommunity theory. However, most previous studies directly correlated species richness to elevational gradients of potential drivers, thus neglecting the interplay between such gradients and the environmental matrix. Here, we investigate the role of geomorphology in shaping patterns of species richness. We develop a spatially explicit zero-sum metacommunity model where species have an elevation-dependent fitness and otherwise neutral traits. Results show that ecological dynamics over complex terrains lead to the null expectation of a hump-shaped elevational gradient of species richness, a pattern widely observed empirically. Local species richness is found to be related to the landscape elevational connectivity, as quantified by a newly proposed metric that applies tools of complex network theory to measure the closeness of a site to others with similar habitat. Our theoretical results suggest clear geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness and support the use of the landscape elevational connectivity as a null model for the analysis of the distribution of biodiversity.

  11. Integrative modelling reveals mechanisms linking productivity and plant species richness

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For 40 years ecologists have sought a canonical productivity-species richness relationship 48 (PRR) for ecosystems, despite continuing disagreements about expected form and 49 interpretation. Using a large global dataset of terrestrial grasslands, we consider how 50 productivity and richness relate ...

  12. Dynamics and species richness of tropical rain forests.

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, O L; Hall, P; Gentry, A H; Sawyer, S A; Vásquez, R

    1994-01-01

    We present a worldwide analysis of humid tropical forest dynamics and tree species richness. New tree mortality, recruitment, and species richness data include the most dynamic and diverse mature tropical forests known. Twenty-five sites show a strong tendency for the most species-rich forests to be dynamic and aseasonal. Mean annual tree mortality and recruitment-turnover-is the most predictive factor of species richness, implying that small-scale disturbance helps regulate tropical forest diversity. Turnover rates are also closely related to the amount of basal area turnover in mature tropical forests. Therefore the contribution of small-scale disturbance to maintaining tropical forest diversity may ultimately be driven by ecosystem productivity. PMID:11607468

  13. The relationship between community species richness and the richness of the parasite community in Fundulus heteroclitus.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Tavis K; Sukhdeo, Michael V K

    2013-06-01

    This study examined the relationship between the metazoan parasite community in a focal species, Fundulus heteroclitus , and the species richness of the free-living community. Four distinct salt marsh areas were selected in order to reflect a gradient in free-living species richness and time post-restoration (unrestored, 0, 10, and 20 yr post-restoration). A total of 960 fish was studied, with 30 collected per site in each of 8 consecutive seasons between 2005 and 2007. Species richness and abundance of birds, fish, and benthic macroinvertebrates varied significantly between sites. However, increasing richness in the free-living community was neither positively nor negatively correlated with richness in the parasite infracommunity in F. heteroclitus . These results demonstrate that the relationship between community species richness and parasite richness is not linear. The data suggest that the diversity of parasites may be more correlated with measures of community composition, such as the structure and cohesiveness of the food web, rather than with prevailing measures of biodiversity.

  14. Native Freshwater Fish and Mussel Species Richness

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all native freshwater fish and freshwater mussels in the Middle-Atlantic region. The data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons and represent total species counts for each spatial unit. More information about these resources, including the variables used in this study, may be found here: https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/NERL/ReVA/ReVA_Data.zip.

  15. Partitioning sources of variation in vertebrate species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, R.B.; Krohn, W.B.

    2000-01-01

    Aim: To explore biogeographic patterns of terrestrial vertebrates in Maine, USA using techniques that would describe local and spatial correlations with the environment. Location: Maine, USA. Methods: We delineated the ranges within Maine (86,156 km2) of 275 species using literature and expert review. Ranges were combined into species richness maps, and compared to geomorphology, climate, and woody plant distributions. Methods were adapted that compared richness of all vertebrate classes to each environmental correlate, rather than assessing a single explanatory theory. We partitioned variation in species richness into components using tree and multiple linear regression. Methods were used that allowed for useful comparisons between tree and linear regression results. For both methods we partitioned variation into broad-scale (spatially autocorrelated) and fine-scale (spatially uncorrelated) explained and unexplained components. By partitioning variance, and using both tree and linear regression in analyses, we explored the degree of variation in species richness for each vertebrate group that Could be explained by the relative contribution of each environmental variable. Results: In tree regression, climate variation explained richness better (92% of mean deviance explained for all species) than woody plant variation (87%) and geomorphology (86%). Reptiles were highly correlated with environmental variation (93%), followed by mammals, amphibians, and birds (each with 84-82% deviance explained). In multiple linear regression, climate was most closely associated with total vertebrate richness (78%), followed by woody plants (67%) and geomorphology (56%). Again, reptiles were closely correlated with the environment (95%), followed by mammals (73%), amphibians (63%) and birds (57%). Main conclusions: Comparing variation explained using tree and multiple linear regression quantified the importance of nonlinear relationships and local interactions between species

  16. Diversification rates and species richness across the Tree of Life.

    PubMed

    Scholl, Joshua P; Wiens, John J

    2016-09-14

    Species richness varies dramatically among clades across the Tree of Life, by over a million-fold in some cases (e.g. placozoans versus arthropods). Two major explanations for differences in richness among clades are the clade-age hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades are older) and the diversification-rate hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades diversify more rapidly, where diversification rate is the net balance of speciation and extinction over time). Here, we examine patterns of variation in diversification rates across the Tree of Life. We address how rates vary across higher taxa, whether rates within higher taxa are related to the subclades within them, and how diversification rates of clades are related to their species richness. We find substantial variation in diversification rates, with rates in plants nearly twice as high as in animals, and rates in some eukaryotes approximately 10-fold faster than prokaryotes. Rates for each kingdom-level clade are then significantly related to the subclades within them. Although caution is needed when interpreting relationships between diversification rates and richness, a positive relationship between the two is not inevitable. We find that variation in diversification rates seems to explain most variation in richness among clades across the Tree of Life, in contrast to the conclusions of previous studies.

  17. Functional identity versus species richness: herbivory resistance in plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Heimann, Juliane; Köhler, Günter; Mitschunas, Nadine; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2010-01-01

    The resistance of a plant community against herbivore attack may depend on plant species richness, with monocultures often much more severely affected than mixtures of plant species. Here, we used a plant–herbivore system to study the effects of selective herbivory on consumption resistance and recovery after herbivory in 81 experimental grassland plots. Communities were established from seed in 2002 and contained 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 or 60 plant species of 1, 2, 3 or 4 functional groups. In 2004, pairs of enclosure cages (1 m tall, 0.5 m diameter) were set up on all 81 plots. One randomly selected cage of each pair was stocked with 10 male and 10 female nymphs of the meadow grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus. The grasshoppers fed for 2 months, and the vegetation was monitored over 1 year. Consumption resistance and recovery of vegetation were calculated as proportional changes in vegetation biomass. Overall, grasshopper herbivory averaged 6.8%. Herbivory resistance and recovery were influenced by plant functional group identity, but independent of plant species richness and number of functional groups. However, herbivory induced shifts in vegetation composition that depended on plant species richness. Grasshopper herbivory led to increases in herb cover at the expense of grasses. Herb cover increased more strongly in species-rich mixtures. We conclude that selective herbivory changes the functional composition of plant communities and that compositional changes due to selective herbivory depend on plant species richness. PMID:20429014

  18. Testing the Relationships between Diversification, Species Richness, and Trait Evolution.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Kenneth H; Wiens, John J

    2016-11-01

    Understanding which traits drive species diversification is essential for macroevolutionary studies and to understand patterns of species richness among clades. An important tool for testing if traits influence diversification is to estimate rates of net diversification for each clade, and then test for a relationship between traits and diversification rates among clades. However, this general approach has become very controversial. Numerous papers have now stated that it is inappropriate to analyze net diversification rates in groups in which clade richness is not positively correlated with clade age. Similarly, some have stated that variation in net diversification rates does not explain variation in species richness patterns among clades across the Tree of Life. Some authors have also suggested that strong correlations between richness and diversification rates are a statistical artifact and effectively inevitable. If this latter point is true, then correlations between richness and diversification rates would be uninformative (or even misleading) for identifying how much variation in species richness among clades is explained by variation in net diversification rates. Here, we use simulations (based on empirical data for plethodontid salamanders) to address three main questions. First, how is variation in net diversification rates among clades related to the relationship between clade age and species richness? Second, how accurate are these net diversification rate estimators, and does the age-richness relationship have any relevance to their accuracy? Third, is a relationship between species richness and diversification rates an inevitable, statistical artifact? Our simulations show that strong, positive age-richness relationships arise when diversification rates are invariant among clades, whereas realistic variation in diversification rates among clades frequently disrupts this relationship. Thus, a significant age-richness relationship should not be a

  19. Evaluating species richness: biased ecological inference results from spatial heterogeneity in species detection probabilities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McNew, Lance B.; Handel, Colleen M.

    2015-01-01

    Accurate estimates of species richness are necessary to test predictions of ecological theory and evaluate biodiversity for conservation purposes. However, species richness is difficult to measure in the field because some species will almost always be overlooked due to their cryptic nature or the observer's failure to perceive their cues. Common measures of species richness that assume consistent observability across species are inviting because they may require only single counts of species at survey sites. Single-visit estimation methods ignore spatial and temporal variation in species detection probabilities related to survey or site conditions that may confound estimates of species richness. We used simulated and empirical data to evaluate the bias and precision of raw species counts, the limiting forms of jackknife and Chao estimators, and multi-species occupancy models when estimating species richness to evaluate whether the choice of estimator can affect inferences about the relationships between environmental conditions and community size under variable detection processes. Four simulated scenarios with realistic and variable detection processes were considered. Results of simulations indicated that (1) raw species counts were always biased low, (2) single-visit jackknife and Chao estimators were significantly biased regardless of detection process, (3) multispecies occupancy models were more precise and generally less biased than the jackknife and Chao estimators, and (4) spatial heterogeneity resulting from the effects of a site covariate on species detection probabilities had significant impacts on the inferred relationships between species richness and a spatially explicit environmental condition. For a real dataset of bird observations in northwestern Alaska, the four estimation methods produced different estimates of local species richness, which severely affected inferences about the effects of shrubs on local avian richness. Overall, our results

  20. Increased anthropogenic pressure decreases species richness in tropical intertidal reefs.

    PubMed

    Portugal, Adriana Brizon; Carvalho, Fabrício Lopes; de Macedo Carneiro, Pedro Bastos; Rossi, Sergio; de Oliveira Soares, Marcelo

    2016-09-01

    Multiple human stressors affect tropical intertidal sandstone reefs, but little is known about their biodiversity and the environmental impacts of these stressors. In the present study, multiple anthropogenic pressures were integrated using the relative environmental pressure index (REPI) and related to benthic community structure across an intertidal gradient in five sandstone reefs in the tropical South Atlantic coast. Greater species richness and diversity were noted in the low intertidal zones. There was a negative relationship between REPI and species richness, suggesting that increasing anthropogenic pressure has decreased benthic richness. The factors associated with the loss of richness were jetties built to control erosion, urban areas, beachfront kiosks and restaurants, fish markets, and storm sewers with illegal sewage connections. Our results highlight the need for better infrastructure planning and rigorous monitoring of coastal urban areas, since the large influence of multiple human pressures in these reefs leads to biodiversity losses.

  1. Multiscale assessment of patterns of avian species richness

    PubMed Central

    Rahbek, Carsten; Graves, Gary R.

    2001-01-01

    The search for a common cause of species richness gradients has spawned more than 100 explanatory hypotheses in just the past two decades. Despite recent conceptual advances, further refinement of the most plausible models has been stifled by the difficulty of compiling high-resolution databases at continental scales. We used a database of the geographic ranges of 2,869 species of birds breeding in South America (nearly a third of the world's living avian species) to explore the influence of climate, quadrat area, ecosystem diversity, and topography on species richness gradients at 10 spatial scales (quadrat area, ≈12,300 to ≈1,225,000 km2). Topography, precipitation, topography × latitude, ecosystem diversity, and cloud cover emerged as the most important predictors of regional variability of species richness in regression models incorporating 16 independent variables, although ranking of variables depended on spatial scale. Direct measures of ambient energy such as mean and maximum temperature were of ancillary importance. Species richness values for 1° × 1° latitude-longitude quadrats in the Andes (peaking at 845 species) were ≈30–250% greater than those recorded at equivalent latitudes in the central Amazon basin. These findings reflect the extraordinary abundance of species associated with humid montane regions at equatorial latitudes and the importance of orography in avian speciation. In a broader context, our data reinforce the hypothesis that terrestrial species richness from the equator to the poles is ultimately governed by a synergism between climate and coarse-scale topographic heterogeneity. PMID:11296292

  2. Abundance of common species, not species richness, drives delivery of a real-world ecosystem service.

    PubMed

    Winfree, Rachael; Fox, Jeremy W; Williams, Neal M; Reilly, James R; Cariveau, Daniel P

    2015-07-01

    Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have established that species richness and composition are both important determinants of ecosystem function in an experimental context. Determining whether this result holds for real-world ecosystem services has remained elusive, however, largely due to the lack of analytical methods appropriate for large-scale, associational data. Here, we use a novel analytical approach, the Price equation, to partition the contribution to ecosystem services made by species richness, composition and abundance in four large-scale data sets on crop pollination by native bees. We found that abundance fluctuations of dominant species drove ecosystem service delivery, whereas richness changes were relatively unimportant because they primarily involved rare species that contributed little to function. Thus, the mechanism behind our results was the skewed species-abundance distribution. Our finding that a few common species, not species richness, drive ecosystem service delivery could have broad generality given the ubiquity of skewed species-abundance distributions in nature.

  3. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands.

    PubMed

    Maestre, Fernando T; Quero, José L; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Escudero, Adrián; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; García-Gómez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceição, Abel A; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, McHich; Eldridge, David J; Espinosa, Carlos I; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Gatica, M Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gómez-González, Susana; Gutiérrez, Julio R; Hernández, Rosa M; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Aníbal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramírez-Collantes, David A; Romão, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, José P; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2012-01-13

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth's land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that the preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

  4. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, José L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adriá; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; García-Gómez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceição, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gómez-González, Susana; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Hernández, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Aníbal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramírez-Collantes, David A.; Romão, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, José P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2013-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report on the first global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth’s land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality, and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands. PMID:22246775

  5. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, Jose L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adrian; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Garcia-Gomez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceicao, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitan, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gomez-Gonzalez, Susana; Gutie, Julio R.; Hernandez, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Anibal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramirez-Collantes, David A.; Romao, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Diaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, Jose P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2012-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth's land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that the preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

  6. Bimodality of Latitudinal Gradients in Marine Species Richness.

    PubMed

    Chaudhary, Chhaya; Saeedi, Hanieh; Costello, Mark J

    2016-09-01

    The paradigm for the latitudinal gradient in species richness is that it is unimodal with a tropical peak. For 27 published studies, and global datasets of 65 000 recent and 50 000 fossil marine species, we found that almost all datasets were significantly bimodal with a dip in species richness near the equator. The locations of mid-latitude peaks varied between taxa and were higher in the northern hemisphere where the continental shelf is greatest. Our findings support hypotheses of tropical species evolving in response to temperature variation near the edges of the tropics and available high-productivity habitat. They suggest that the equator may already be too hot for some species and that the modes may move further apart due to climate warming.

  7. Estimating landscape-scale species richness: reconciling frequency- and turnover-based approaches.

    PubMed

    Jobe, R Todd

    2008-01-01

    One hypothesis for why estimators of species richness tend to underestimate total richness is that they do not explicitly account for increases in species richness due to spatial or environmental turnover in species composition (beta diversity). I analyze the similarity of a data set of native trees in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA, and assess the robustness of these estimators against recently developed ones that incorporate turnover explicitly: the total species accumulation method (T-S) and a method based on the distance decay of similarity. I show that the T-S estimator can give reliable estimates of species richness, given an appropriate grouping of sites. The estimator based on distance decay of similarity performed poorly. There are two main reasons for this: sample size effects and the assumption that distance decay of similarity exhibits a power law relationship. I show that estimators based on distance-decay relationships exhibit systematically lower rates of distance decay for samples with few individuals per site independent of environmental variation. Second, the data presented here and many other survey data sets exhibit exponential rather than power law distance-decay relationships. Richness estimators that explicitly incorporate beta diversity can be improved by beginning from an exponential distance-decay relationship and adjusting for the systematic errors introduced by small sample sizes.

  8. How to describe species richness patterns for bryophyte conservation?

    PubMed

    Hespanhol, Helena; Cezón, Katia; Felicísimo, Ángel M; Muñoz, Jesús; Mateo, Rubén G

    2015-12-01

    A large amount of data for inconspicuous taxa is stored in natural history collections; however, this information is often neglected for biodiversity patterns studies. Here, we evaluate the performance of direct interpolation of museum collections data, equivalent to the traditional approach used in bryophyte conservation planning, and stacked species distribution models (S-SDMs) to produce reliable reconstructions of species richness patterns, given that differences between these methods have been insufficiently evaluated for inconspicuous taxa. Our objective was to contrast if species distribution models produce better inferences of diversity richness than simply selecting areas with the higher species numbers. As model species, we selected Iberian species of the genus Grimmia (Bryophyta), and we used four well-collected areas to compare and validate the following models: 1) four Maxent richness models, each generated without the data from one of the four areas, and a reference model created using all of the data and 2) four richness models obtained through direct spatial interpolation, each generated without the data from one area, and a reference model created with all of the data. The correlations between the partial and reference Maxent models were higher in all cases (0.45 to 0.99), whereas the correlations between the spatial interpolation models were negative and weak (-0.3 to -0.06). Our results demonstrate for the first time that S-SDMs offer a useful tool for identifying detailed richness patterns for inconspicuous taxa such as bryophytes and improving incomplete distributions by assessing the potential richness of under-surveyed areas, filling major gaps in the available data. In addition, the proposed strategy would enhance the value of the vast number of specimens housed in biological collections.

  9. Predictability of Stemflow in a Species-Rich Tropical Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmermann, A.; Zimmermann, B.

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies investigated the influence of abiotic (meteorological conditions) and biotic factors (tree characteristics) on stemflow generation. Though these studies identified the variables that influence stemflow volumes in simply structured forests, the combination of tree characteristics that allows a robust prediction of stemflow volumes in species-rich forests is not well known. For many hydrological investigations, it would be useful if at least a rough estimate of stemflow volumes can be obtained based on tree characteristics. The need for robust predictions of stemflow motivated us to investigate the relations between tree characteristics and stemflow volumes in a species-rich tropical forest located in central Panama. With a sampling setup consisting of 10 rainfall collectors, 300 throughfall samplers, and 60 stemflow collectors and cumulated data comprising 26 rain events, we derive three main findings. First, stemflow represents a minor hydrological component in the studied 1 ha forest patch (0.98 % of cumulated rainfall). Second, in the studied species-rich forest, single tree characteristics are only weakly related to stemflow volumes. The influence of multiple tree parameters (e.g. crown diameter, presence of large epiphytes, and inclination of branches) and the dependencies among these parameters require a multivariate approach to understand the generation of stemflow. Third, predicting stemflow in species-rich forests based on tree parameters is a difficult task. Although the best model can capture the variation in stemflow to some degree, a critical validation reveals that the model cannot provide robust predictions of stemflow. A reanalysis of data from previous studies in species-rich forests corroborates this finding. Based on these results we discuss several options for quantifying stemflow volumes in species-rich forests.

  10. Plant species richness enhances nitrogen retention in green roof plots.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Catherine; Schweinhart, Shelbye; Buffam, Ishi

    2016-10-01

    Vegetated (green) roofs have become common in many cities and are projected to continue to increase in coverage, but little is known about the ecological properties of these engineered ecosystems. In this study, we tested the biodiversity-ecosystem function hypothesis using commercially available green roof trays as replicated plots with varying levels of plant species richness (0, 1, 3, or 6 common green roof species per plot, using plants with different functional characteristics). We estimated accumulated plant biomass near the peak of the first full growing season (July 2013) and measured runoff volume after nearly every rain event from September 2012 to September 2013 (33 events) and runoff fluxes of inorganic nutrients ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate from a subset of 10 events. We found that (1) total plant biomass increased with increasing species richness, (2) green roof plots were effective at reducing storm runoff, with vegetation increasing water retention more than soil-like substrate alone, but there was no significant effect of plant species identity or richness on runoff volume, (3) green roof substrate was a significant source of phosphate, regardless of presence/absence of plants, and (4) dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN = nitrate + ammonium) runoff fluxes were different among plant species and decreased significantly with increasing plant species richness. The variation in N retention was positively related to variation in plant biomass. Notably, the increased biomass and N retention with species richness in this engineered ecosystem are similar to patterns observed in published studies from grasslands and other well-studied ecosystems. We suggest that more diverse plantings on vegetated roofs may enhance the retention capacity for reactive nitrogen. This is of importance for the sustained health of vegetated roof ecosystems, which over time often experience nitrogen limitation, and is also relevant for water quality in receiving waters

  11. Genetic diversity in widespread species is not congruent with species richness in alpine plant communities.

    PubMed

    Taberlet, Pierre; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Englisch, Thorsten; Tribsch, Andreas; Holderegger, Rolf; Alvarez, Nadir; Niklfeld, Harald; Coldea, Gheorghe; Mirek, Zbigniew; Moilanen, Atte; Ahlmer, Wolfgang; Marsan, Paolo Ajmone; Bona, Enzo; Bovio, Maurizio; Choler, Philippe; Cieślak, Elżbieta; Colli, Licia; Cristea, Vasile; Dalmas, Jean-Pierre; Frajman, Božo; Garraud, Luc; Gaudeul, Myriam; Gielly, Ludovic; Gutermann, Walter; Jogan, Nejc; Kagalo, Alexander A; Korbecka, Grażyna; Küpfer, Philippe; Lequette, Benoît; Letz, Dominik Roman; Manel, Stéphanie; Mansion, Guilhem; Marhold, Karol; Martini, Fabrizio; Negrini, Riccardo; Niño, Fernando; Paun, Ovidiu; Pellecchia, Marco; Perico, Giovanni; Piękoś-Mirkowa, Halina; Prosser, Filippo; Puşcaş, Mihai; Ronikier, Michał; Scheuerer, Martin; Schneeweiss, Gerald M; Schönswetter, Peter; Schratt-Ehrendorfer, Luise; Schüpfer, Fanny; Selvaggi, Alberto; Steinmann, Katharina; Thiel-Egenter, Conny; van Loo, Marcela; Winkler, Manuela; Wohlgemuth, Thomas; Wraber, Tone; Gugerli, Felix; Vellend, Mark

    2012-12-01

    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims at the conservation of all three levels of biodiversity, that is, ecosystems, species and genes. Genetic diversity represents evolutionary potential and is important for ecosystem functioning. Unfortunately, genetic diversity in natural populations is hardly considered in conservation strategies because it is difficult to measure and has been hypothesised to co-vary with species richness. This means that species richness is taken as a surrogate of genetic diversity in conservation planning, though their relationship has not been properly evaluated. We tested whether the genetic and species levels of biodiversity co-vary, using a large-scale and multi-species approach. We chose the high-mountain flora of the Alps and the Carpathians as study systems and demonstrate that species richness and genetic diversity are not correlated. Species richness thus cannot act as a surrogate for genetic diversity. Our results have important consequences for implementing the CBD when designing conservation strategies.

  12. Patterns of Freshwater Species Richness, Endemism, and Vulnerability in California.

    PubMed

    Howard, Jeanette K; Klausmeyer, Kirk R; Fesenmyer, Kurt A; Furnish, Joseph; Gardali, Thomas; Grantham, Ted; Katz, Jacob V E; Kupferberg, Sarah; McIntyre, Patrick; Moyle, Peter B; Ode, Peter R; Peek, Ryan; Quiñones, Rebecca M; Rehn, Andrew C; Santos, Nick; Schoenig, Steve; Serpa, Larry; Shedd, Jackson D; Slusark, Joe; Viers, Joshua H; Wright, Amber; Morrison, Scott A

    2015-01-01

    The ranges and abundances of species that depend on freshwater habitats are declining worldwide. Efforts to counteract those trends are often hampered by a lack of information about species distribution and conservation status and are often strongly biased toward a few well-studied groups. We identified the 3,906 vascular plants, macroinvertebrates, and vertebrates native to California, USA, that depend on fresh water for at least one stage of their life history. We evaluated the conservation status for these taxa using existing government and non-governmental organization assessments (e.g., endangered species act, NatureServe), created a spatial database of locality observations or distribution information from ~400 data sources, and mapped patterns of richness, endemism, and vulnerability. Although nearly half of all taxa with conservation status (n = 1,939) are vulnerable to extinction, only 114 (6%) of those vulnerable taxa have a legal mandate for protection in the form of formal inclusion on a state or federal endangered species list. Endemic taxa are at greater risk than non-endemics, with 90% of the 927 endemic taxa vulnerable to extinction. Records with spatial data were available for a total of 2,276 species (61%). The patterns of species richness differ depending on the taxonomic group analyzed, but are similar across taxonomic level. No particular taxonomic group represents an umbrella for all species, but hotspots of high richness for listed species cover 40% of the hotspots for all other species and 58% of the hotspots for vulnerable freshwater species. By mapping freshwater species hotspots we show locations that represent the top priority for conservation action in the state. This study identifies opportunities to fill gaps in the evaluation of conservation status for freshwater taxa in California, to address the lack of occurrence information for nearly 40% of freshwater taxa and nearly 40% of watersheds in the state, and to implement adequate

  13. Patterns of Freshwater Species Richness, Endemism, and Vulnerability in California

    PubMed Central

    Furnish, Joseph; Gardali, Thomas; Grantham, Ted; Katz, Jacob V. E.; Kupferberg, Sarah; McIntyre, Patrick; Moyle, Peter B.; Ode, Peter R.; Peek, Ryan; Quiñones, Rebecca M.; Rehn, Andrew C.; Santos, Nick; Schoenig, Steve; Serpa, Larry; Shedd, Jackson D.; Slusark, Joe; Viers, Joshua H.; Wright, Amber; Morrison, Scott A.

    2015-01-01

    The ranges and abundances of species that depend on freshwater habitats are declining worldwide. Efforts to counteract those trends are often hampered by a lack of information about species distribution and conservation status and are often strongly biased toward a few well-studied groups. We identified the 3,906 vascular plants, macroinvertebrates, and vertebrates native to California, USA, that depend on fresh water for at least one stage of their life history. We evaluated the conservation status for these taxa using existing government and non-governmental organization assessments (e.g., endangered species act, NatureServe), created a spatial database of locality observations or distribution information from ~400 data sources, and mapped patterns of richness, endemism, and vulnerability. Although nearly half of all taxa with conservation status (n = 1,939) are vulnerable to extinction, only 114 (6%) of those vulnerable taxa have a legal mandate for protection in the form of formal inclusion on a state or federal endangered species list. Endemic taxa are at greater risk than non-endemics, with 90% of the 927 endemic taxa vulnerable to extinction. Records with spatial data were available for a total of 2,276 species (61%). The patterns of species richness differ depending on the taxonomic group analyzed, but are similar across taxonomic level. No particular taxonomic group represents an umbrella for all species, but hotspots of high richness for listed species cover 40% of the hotspots for all other species and 58% of the hotspots for vulnerable freshwater species. By mapping freshwater species hotspots we show locations that represent the top priority for conservation action in the state. This study identifies opportunities to fill gaps in the evaluation of conservation status for freshwater taxa in California, to address the lack of occurrence information for nearly 40% of freshwater taxa and nearly 40% of watersheds in the state, and to implement adequate

  14. Productivity Is a Poor Predictor of Plant Species Richness.

    SciTech Connect

    Peter B. Adler; et al.

    2011-09-22

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity and richness.

  15. Analysis of the parasitic copepod species richness among Mediterranean fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raibaut, André; Combes, Claude; Benoit, Françoise

    1998-06-01

    The Mediterranean ichthyofauna is composed of 652 species belonging to 405 genera and 117 families. Among these, 182 were studied for their parasitic copepods. The analysis of all the works conducted on these crustacea yielded 226 species distributed in 88 genera and 20 families. For each fish species we have established a file providing the species name of the fish, its family, its geographical distribution within the Mediterranean and some of its bio-ecological characteristics. Within each file, all the parasitic copepod species reported on each host species were listed. This allowed to know the species richness (SR) of these hosts. We thus produced 182 files within which 226 copepod species are distributed. A program was created under the Hypercard software, in order to analyse our data. Two parameters were studied. The first one is the mean species richness (MSR), which corresponds to the mean of the different SR found on the different host species. The second is the parasite-host ratio (P/H), which is the ratio of the number of copepod species by the number of host species. These parameters are calculated by our program for all the 182 species of Mediterranean fishes retained in our investigation, on the first hand, and, on the second hand, for one particular group of fish species. We used the following variables to investigate their correlations with copepod species richness: taxonomy—fish families, genera and species; biometry—maximal size of the adult fish; eco-ethology—mode of life (benthic, pelagic or nectonic), displacements (sedentary, migratory with environmental change, or migratory without environmental change), behaviour (solitary or gregarious). Other variables (colour, food, reproduction, abundance, distribution area) were also analysed but did not reveal any clear correlation. Providing that our study does not rely on quantitative (prevalence, intensity) but qualitative basis our aim was only to reveal some tendencies. These tendencies are

  16. Herbivore species richness, composition and community structure mediate predator richness effects and top-down control of herbivore biomass.

    PubMed

    Wilby, Andrew; Orwin, Kate H

    2013-08-01

    Changes in predator species richness can have important consequences for ecosystem functioning at multiple trophic levels, but these effects are variable and depend on the ecological context in addition to the properties of predators themselves. Here, we report an experimental study to test how species identity, community attributes, and community structure at the herbivore level moderate the effects of predator richness on ecosystem functioning. Using mesocosms containing predatory insects and aphid prey, we independently manipulated species richness at both predator and herbivore trophic levels. Community structure was also manipulated by changing the distribution of herbivore species across two plant species. Predator species richness and herbivore species richness were found to negatively interact to influence predator biomass accumulation, an effect which is hypothesised to be due to the breakdown of functional complementarity among predators in species-rich herbivore assemblages. The strength of predator suppression of herbivore biomass decreased as herbivore species richness and distribution across host plants increased, and positive predator richness effects on herbivore biomass suppression were only observed in herbivore assemblages of relatively low productivity. In summary, the study shows that the species richness, productivity and host plant distribution of prey communities can all moderate the general influence of predators and the emergence of predator species richness effects on ecosystem functioning.

  17. Climate patterns as predictors of amphibians species richness and indicators of potential stress

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Battaglin, W.; Hay, L.; McCabe, G.; Nanjappa, P.; Gallant, A.L.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians occupy a range of habitats throughout the world, but species richness is greatest in regions with moist, warm climates. We modeled the statistical relations of anuran and urodele species richness with mean annual climate for the conterminous United States, and compared the strength of these relations at national and regional levels. Model variables were calculated for county and subcounty mapping units, and included 40-year (1960-1999) annual mean and mean annual climate statistics, mapping unit average elevation, mapping unit land area, and estimates of anuran and urodele species richness. Climate data were derived from more than 7,500 first-order and cooperative meteorological stations and were interpolated to the mapping units using multiple linear regression models. Anuran and urodele species richness were calculated from the United States Geological Survey's Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) National Atlas for Amphibian Distributions. The national multivariate linear regression (MLR) model of anuran species richness had an adjusted coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.64 and the national MLR model for urodele species richness had an R2 value of 0.45. Stratifying the United States by coarse-resolution ecological regions provided models for anUrans that ranged in R2 values from 0.15 to 0.78. Regional models for urodeles had R2 values. ranging from 0.27 to 0.74. In general, regional models for anurans were more strongly influenced by temperature variables, whereas precipitation variables had a larger influence on urodele models.

  18. Estimating species richness and accumulation by modeling species occurrence and detectability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dorazio, R.M.; Royle, J. Andrew; Soderstrom, B.; Glimskarc, A.

    2006-01-01

    A statistical model is developed for estimating species richness and accumulation by formulating these community-level attributes as functions of model-based estimators of species occurrence while accounting for imperfect detection of individual species. The model requires a sampling protocol wherein repeated observations are made at a collection of sample locations selected to be representative of the community. This temporal replication provides the data needed to resolve the ambiguity between species absence and nondetection when species are unobserved at sample locations. Estimates of species richness and accumulation are computed for two communities, an avian community and a butterfly community. Our model-based estimates suggest that detection failures in many bird species were attributed to low rates of occurrence, as opposed to simply low rates of detection. We estimate that the avian community contains a substantial number of uncommon species and that species richness greatly exceeds the number of species actually observed in the sample. In fact, predictions of species accumulation suggest that even doubling the number of sample locations would not have revealed all of the species in the community. In contrast, our analysis of the butterfly community suggests that many species are relatively common and that the estimated richness of species in the community is nearly equal to the number of species actually detected in the sample. Our predictions of species accumulation suggest that the number of sample locations actually used in the butterfly survey could have been cut in half and the asymptotic richness of species still would have been attained. Our approach of developing occurrence-based summaries of communities while allowing for imperfect detection of species is broadly applicable and should prove useful in the design and analysis of surveys of biodiversity.

  19. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adler, Peter B.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Harpole, W. Stanley; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Calabrese, Laura B.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Collins, Scott L.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Frater, Paul; Gasarch, Eve I.; Gruner, Daneil S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Lambers, Janneke Hille Ris; Humphries, Hope; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam D.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Mortensen, Brent; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Wang, Gang; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2011-01-01

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity an

  20. Helminth parasite species richness in rodents from Southeast Asia: role of host species and habitat.

    PubMed

    Palmeirim, Marta; Bordes, Frédéric; Chaisiri, Kittipong; Siribat, Praphaiphat; Ribas, Alexis; Morand, Serge

    2014-10-01

    Southeast Asia is a biodiversity hotspot that harbours many species of rodents, including some that live in close contact with humans. They host helminth parasites, some of which are of zoonotic importance. It is therefore important to understand the factors that influence the richness of the helminths parasitizing rodents. The specific objectives of this study were to evaluate rodent species as a factor determining helminth richness in rodent assemblages, to identify the major rodent helminth reservoir species and to explore the influence of habitat on helminth richness. We estimated helminth species richness using a large dataset of 18 rodent species (1,651 individuals) originating from Southeast Asia and screened for helminth parasites. The use of an unbiased estimator shows that the helminth species richness varies substantially among rodent species and across habitats. We confirmed this pattern by investigating the number of helminth species per individual rodent in all rodent species, and specifically in the two mitochondrial lineages Rattus tanezumi and R. tanezumi R3, which were captured in all habitats.

  1. Plant species richness increases phosphatase activities in an experimental grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hacker, Nina; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Oelmann, Yvonne

    2014-05-01

    Plant species richness has been shown to increase aboveground nutrient uptake requiring the mobilization of soil nutrient pools. For phosphorus (P) the underlying mechanisms for increased P release in soil under highly diverse grassland mixtures remain obscure because aboveground P storage and concentrations of inorganic and organic P in soil solution and differently reactive soil P pools are unrelated (Oelmann et al. 2011). The need of plants and soil microorganisms for P can increase the exudation of enzymes hydrolyzing organically bound P (phosphatases) which might represent an important release mechanism of inorganic P in a competitive environment such as highly diverse grassland mixtures. Our objectives were to test the effects of i) plant functional groups (legumes, grasses, non-leguminous tall and small herbs), and of (ii) plant species richness on microbial P (Pmic) and phosphatase activities in soil. In autumn 2013, we measured Pmic and alkaline phosphomonoesterase and phosphodiesterase activities in soil of 80 grassland mixtures comprising different community compositions and species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 60) in the Jena Experiment. In general, Pmic and enzyme activities were correlated (r = 0.59 and 0.46 for phosphomonoesterase and phosphodiesterase activities, respectively; p

  2. Wildlife species richness in shelterbelts: test of a habitat model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.; Cable, Ted T.; Haire, Sandra L.

    1992-01-01

    Shelterbelts are human-made habitats consisting of rows of shrubs and trees planted either in fields or on the windward side of farmstead dwellings. Shelterbelts provide wooded habitat for a large variety of birds and other wildlife. A model to predict wildlife species richness in shelterbelts (Schroeder 1986) was published as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model series (Schamberger et al. 1982). HSI models have been used extensively by wildlife managers and land use planners to assess habitat quality. Several HSI models have become the focus of a test program that includes analysis of field data for corroboration, refutation, or modification of model hypotheses. Previous tests of HSI models focused either on single species (e.g., Cook and Irwin 1985, Morton et al. 1989, Schroeder 1990) or examined portions of HSI models, such as the relationship between cavity abundance and tree diameter (Allen and Corn 1990). The shelterbelt model, however, assesses habitat value at the community level. The effects of habitat characteristics, area, and perimeter on diversity and abundance of bird and mammal species in shelterbelts were first studied by Yahner (1983a, b). Johnson and Beck (1988) confirmed the importance of shelterbelts to wildlife and identified area, perimeter, and diversity and complexity of vegetation as key measurements of habitat quality. The shelterbelt model incorporates both specific habitat variables and larger scale parameters, such as area and configuration, to predict wildlife species richness. This shift in perspective comes at a time of increasing interest in conservation and planning beyond the species levels (e.g., Graul and Miller 1984, Hutto et al. 1987, Schroeder 1987: 26). We report results of a 3-year study of spatial and vegetative parameters and their relationship to breeding bird species richness (BSR) in 34 Kansas shelterbelts. Our objectives were to test the hypothesis presented in the original

  3. Empirical Relationships between Species Richness, Evenness, and Proportional Diversity.

    PubMed

    Stirling, G; Wilsey, B

    2001-09-01

    Diversity (or biodiversity) is typically measured by a species count (richness) and sometimes with an evenness index; it may also be measured by a proportional statistic that combines both measures (e.g., Shannon-Weiner index or H'). These diversity measures are hypothesized to be positively and strongly correlated, but this null hypothesis has not been tested empirically. We used the results of Caswell's neutral model to generate null relationships between richness (S), evenness (J'), and proportional diversity (H'). We tested predictions of the null model against empirical relationships describing data in a literature survey and in four individual studies conducted across various scales. Empirical relationships between log S or J' and H' differed from the null model when <10 species were tested and in plants, vertebrates, and fungi. The empirical relationships were similar to the null model when >10 and <100 species were tested and in invertebrates. If >100 species were used to estimate diversity, the relation between log S and H' was negative. The strongest predictive models included log S and J'. A path analysis indicated that log S and J' were always negatively related, that empirical observations could not be explained without including indirect effects, and that differences between the partials may indicate ecological effects, which suggests that S and J' act like diversity components or that diversity should be measured using a compound statistic.

  4. Effects of urbanization on carnivore species distribution and richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ordenana, Miguel A.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Fisher, Robert N.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Siudyla, Shalene; Haas, Christopher D.; Harris, Sierra; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Turschak, Greta M.; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.

    2010-01-01

    Urban development can have multiple effects on mammalian carnivore communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 7,929 photographs from 217 localities in 11 camera-trap studies across coastal southern California to describe habitat use and determine the effects of urban proximity (distance to urban edge) and intensity (percentage of area urbanized) on carnivore occurrence and species richness in natural habitats close to the urban boundary. Coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) were distributed widely across the region. Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), mountain lions (Puma concolor), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were detected less frequently, and long-tailed weasels (Mustela frenata), American badgers (Taxidea taxus), western spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were detected rarely. Habitat use generally reflected availability for most species. Coyote and raccoon occurrence increased with both proximity to and intensity of urbanization, whereas bobcat, gray fox, and mountain lion occurrence decreased with urban proximity and intensity. Domestic dogs and Virginia opossums exhibited positive and weak negative relationships, respectively, with urban intensity but were unaffected by urban proximity. Striped skunk occurrence increased with urban proximity but decreased with urban intensity. Native species richness was negatively associated with urban intensity but not urban proximity, probably because of the stronger negative response of individual species to urban intensity.

  5. Does Plant Species Richness Guarantee the Resilience of Local Medical Systems? A Perspective from Utilitarian Redundancy

    PubMed Central

    Santoro, Flávia Rosa

    2015-01-01

    Resilience is related to the ability of a system to adjust to disturbances. The Utilitarian Redundancy Model has emerged as a tool for investigating the resilience of local medical systems. The model determines the use of species richness for the same therapeutic function as a facilitator of the maintenance of these systems. However, predictions generated from this model have not yet been tested, and a lack of variables exists for deeper analyses of resilience. This study aims to address gaps in the Utilitarian Redundancy Model and to investigate the resilience of two medical systems in the Brazilian semi-arid zone. As a local illness is not always perceived in the same way that biomedicine recognizes, the term “therapeutic targets” is used for perceived illnesses. Semi-structured interviews with local experts were conducted using the free-listing technique to collect data on known medicinal plants, usage preferences, use of redundant species, characteristics of therapeutic targets, and the perceived severity for each target. Additionally, participatory workshops were conducted to determine the frequency of targets. The medical systems showed high species richness but low levels of species redundancy. However, if redundancy was present, it was the primary factor responsible for the maintenance of system functions. Species richness was positively associated with therapeutic target frequencies and negatively related to target severity. Moreover, information about redundant species seems to be largely idiosyncratic; this finding raises questions about the importance of redundancy for resilience. We stress the Utilitarian Redundancy Model as an interesting tool to be used in studies of resilience, but we emphasize that it must consider the distribution of redundancy in terms of the treatment of important illnesses and the sharing of information. This study has identified aspects of the higher and lower vulnerabilities of medical systems, adding variables that

  6. Temperature and species richness effects in phytoplankton communities.

    PubMed

    Schabhüttl, Stefanie; Hingsamer, Peter; Weigelhofer, Gabriele; Hein, Thomas; Weigert, Achim; Striebel, Maren

    2013-02-01

    Phytoplankton play an important role as primary producers and thus can affect higher trophic levels. Phytoplankton growth and diversity may, besides other factors, be controlled by seasonal temperature changes and increasing water temperatures. In this study, we investigated the combined effects of temperature and diversity on phytoplankton growth. In a controlled laboratory experiment, monocultures of 15 freshwater phytoplankton taxa (green algae, cyanobacteria, and diatoms) as well as 25 mixed communities of different species richness (2-12 species) and taxa composition were exposed to constant temperatures of 12, 18, and 24 °C. Additionally, they were exposed to short-term daily temperature peaks of +4 °C. Increased species richness had a positive effect on phytoplankton growth rates and phosphorous content at all temperature levels, with maximum values occurring at 18 °C. Overyielding was observed at almost all temperature levels and could mostly be explained by complementary traits. Higher temperatures resulted in higher fractions of cyanobacteria in communities. This negative effect of temperature on phytoplankton diversity following a shift in community composition was most obvious in communities adapted to cooler temperatures, pointing to the assumption that relative temperature changes may be more important than absolute ones.

  7. Image Texture Predicts Avian Density and Species Richness

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Eric M.; Pidgeon, Anna M.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Keuler, Nicholas S.

    2013-01-01

    For decades, ecologists have measured habitat attributes in the field to understand and predict patterns of animal distribution and abundance. However, the scale of inference possible from field measured data is typically limited because large-scale data collection is rarely feasible. This is problematic given that conservation and management typical require data that are fine grained yet broad in extent. Recent advances in remote sensing methodology offer alternative tools for efficiently characterizing wildlife habitat across broad areas. We explored the use of remotely sensed image texture, which is a surrogate for vegetation structure, calculated from both an air photo and from a Landsat TM satellite image, compared with field-measured vegetation structure, characterized by foliage-height diversity and horizontal vegetation structure, to predict avian density and species richness within grassland, savanna, and woodland habitats at Fort McCoy Military Installation, Wisconsin, USA. Image texture calculated from the air photo best predicted density of a grassland associated species, grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), within grassland habitat (R2 = 0.52, p-value <0.001), and avian species richness among habitats (R2 = 0.54, p-value <0.001). Density of field sparrow (Spizella pusilla), a savanna associated species, was not particularly well captured by either field-measured or remotely sensed vegetation structure variables, but was best predicted by air photo image texture (R2 = 0.13, p-value = 0.002). Density of ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus), a woodland associated species, was best predicted by pixel-level satellite data (mean NDVI, R2 = 0.54, p-value <0.001). Surprisingly and interestingly, remotely sensed vegetation structure measures (i.e., image texture) were often better predictors of avian density and species richness than field-measured vegetation structure, and thus show promise as a valuable tool for mapping habitat quality

  8. Deconstructing responses of dragonfly species richness to area, nutrients, water plant diversity and forestry.

    PubMed

    Honkanen, Merja; Sorjanen, Aili-Maria; Mönkkönen, Mikko

    2011-06-01

    Understanding large-scale variation in species richness in relation to area, energy, habitat heterogeneity and anthropogenic disturbance has been a major task in ecology. Ultimately, variation in species richness results from variation in individual species occupancies. We studied whether the individual species occupancy patterns are determined by the same candidate factors as total species richness. We sampled 26 boreal forest ponds for dragonflies (Odonata) and studied the effects of shoreline length, water vascular plant species density (WVPSD), availability of nutrients, intensity of forestry, amount of Sphagnum peat cover and pH on dragonfly species richness and individual dragonfly species. WVPSD and pH had a strong positive effect on species richness. Removal of six dragonfly species experiencing strongest responses to WVPSD cancelled the relationship between species richness and WVPSD. By contrast, removal of nine least observed species did not affect the relationship between WVPSD and species richness. Thus, our results showed that relatively common species responding strongly to WVPSD shaped the observed species richness pattern whereas the effect of least observed, often rare, species was negligible. Also, our results support the view that, despite of the great impact of energy on species richness at large spatial scales, habitat heterogeneity can still have an effect on species richness in smaller scales, even overriding the effects of area.

  9. Consumer species richness and nutrients interact in determining producer diversity

    PubMed Central

    Groendahl, Sophie; Fink, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    While it is crucial to understand the factors that determine the biodiversity of primary producer communities, the relative importance of bottom-up and top-down control factors is still poorly understood. Using freshwater benthic algal communities in the laboratory as a model system, we find an unimodal relationship between nutrient availability and producer diversity, and that increasing number of consumer species increases producer diversity, but overall grazing decreases algal biodiversity. Interestingly, these two factors interact strongly in determining producer diversity, as an increase in nutrient supply diminishes the positive effect of consumer species richness on producer biodiversity. This novel and thus-far overlooked interaction of bottom-up and top-down control mechanisms of biodiversity may have a pronounced impact on ecosystem functioning and thus have repercussions for the fields of biodiversity conservation and restoration. PMID:28303953

  10. Foraminifera Species Richness, Abundance, and Diversity Research in Bolinas, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunwin, N.; Ingram, Z.; Mendez, M.; Sandoval, K.

    2015-12-01

    Foraminifera are abundant, diverse, respond rapidly to environmental change, and are present in all marine and estuarine environments, making them important indicator species. A survey of occurrence and distribution of foraminifera in the Bolinas Lagoon, Marin County, California was carried out by Hedman in 1975, but no study since has focused on foraminiferal composition within this important ecosystem. In July 2015, the Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program collected samples at 12 sites previously examined in the 1975 study. Thirty-six samples were collected from the upper few centimeters of sediment from a variety of intertidal and subtidal environments within the lagoon. Foraminifera from each sample were isolated, identified and species richness, abundance and diversity quantified. Furthermore, comparisons of faunal composition represented in our recent collection and that of Hedman's 1975 report are made.

  11. Ectomycorrhizal fungal richness declines towards the host species' range edge.

    PubMed

    Lankau, Richard A; Keymer, Daniel P

    2016-07-01

    Plant range boundaries are generally considered to reflect abiotic conditions; however, a rise in negative or decline in positive species interactions at range margins may contribute to these stable boundaries. While evidence suggests that pollinator mutualisms may decline near range boundaries, little is known about other important plant mutualisms, including microbial root symbionts. Here, we used molecular methods to characterize root-associated fungal communities in populations of two related temperate tree species from across the species' range in the eastern United States. We found that ectomycorrhizal fungal richness on plant roots declined with distance from the centre of the host species range. These patterns were not evident in nonmycorrhizal fungal communities on roots nor in fungal communities in bulk soil. Climatic and soil chemical variables could not explain these biogeographic patterns, although these abiotic gradients affected other components of the bulk soil and rhizosphere fungal community. Depauperate ectomycorrhizal fungal communities may represent an underappreciated challenge to marginal tree populations, especially as rapid climate change pushes these populations outside their current climate niche.

  12. Species richness of vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens along an altitudinal gradient in western Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grytnes, John Arvid; Heegaard, Einar; Ihlen, Per G.

    2006-05-01

    Species richness patterns of ground-dwelling vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens were compared along an altitudinal gradient (310-1135 m a.s.l.), in western Norway. Total species richness peaked at intermediate altitudes, vascular plant species richness peaked immediately above the forest limit (at 600-700 m a.s.l.), bryophyte species richness had no statistically significant trend, whereas lichen richness increased from the lowest point and up to the forest limit, with no trend above. It is proposed that the pattern in vascular plant species richness is enhanced by an ecotone effect. Bryophyte species richness responds to local scale factors whereas the lichen species richness may be responding to the shading from the forest trees.

  13. Cascade effects of crop species richness on the diversity of pest insects and their natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Shi, PeiJian; Hui, Cang; Men, XingYuan; Zhao, ZiHua; Ouyang, Fang; Ge, Feng; Jin, XianShi; Cao, HaiFeng; Li, B Larry

    2014-07-01

    Understanding how plant species richness influences the diversity of herbivorous and predatory/parasitic arthropods is central to community ecology. We explore the effects of crop species richness on the diversity of pest insects and their natural enemies. Using data from a four-year experiment with five levels of crop species richness, we found that crop species richness significantly affected the pest species richness, but there were no significant effects on richness of the pests' natural enemies. In contrast, the species richness of pest insects significantly affected their natural enemies. These findings suggest a cascade effect where trophic interactions are strong between adjacent trophic levels, while the interactions between connected but nonadjacent trophic levels are weakened by the intermediate trophic level. High crop species richness resulted in a more stable arthropod community compared with communities in monoculture crops. Our results highlight the complicated cross-trophic interactions and the crucial role of crop diversity in the food webs of agro-ecosystems.

  14. Vascular plant and vertebrate species richness in national parks of the eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Myrick, Kaci E.; Huston, Michael A.; Weckerly, Floyd W.; Green, M. Clay

    2013-01-01

    Given the estimates that species diversity is diminishing at 50-100 times the normal rate, it is critical that we be able to evaluate changes in species richness in order to make informed decisions for conserving species diversity. In this study, we examined the potential of vascular plant species richness to be used as a surrogate for vertebrate species richness in the classes of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Vascular plants, as primary producers, represent the biotic starting point for ecological community structure and are the logical place to start for understanding vertebrate species associations. We used data collected by the United States (US) National Park Service (NPS) on species presence within parks in the eastern US to estimate simple linear regressions between plant species richness and vertebrate richness. Because environmental factors may also influence species diversity, we performed simple linear regressions of species richness versus natural logarithm of park area, park latitude, mean annual precipitation, mean annual temperature, and human population density surrounding the parks. We then combined plant species richness and environmental variables in multiple regressions to determine the variables that remained as significant predictors of vertebrate species richness. As expected, we detected significant relationships between plant species richness and amphibian, bird, and mammal species richness. In some cases, plant species richness was predicted by park area alone. Species richness of mammals was only related to plant species richness. Reptile species richness, on the other hand, was related to plant species richness, park latitude and annual precipitation, while amphibian species richness was related to park latitude, park area, and plant species richness. Thus, plant species richness predicted species richness of different vertebrate groups to varying degrees and should not be used exclusively as a surrogate for vertebrate

  15. Does coevolution promote species richness in parasitic cuckoos?

    PubMed Central

    Krüger, Oliver; Sorenson, Michael D.; Davies, Nicholas B.

    2009-01-01

    Why some lineages have diversified into larger numbers of species than others is a fundamental but still relatively poorly understood aspect of the evolutionary process. Coevolution has been recognized as a potentially important engine of speciation, but has rarely been tested in a comparative framework. We use a comparative approach based on a complete phylogeny of all living cuckoos to test whether parasite–host coevolution is associated with patterns of cuckoo species richness. There are no clear differences between parental and parasitic cuckoos in the number of species per genus. However, a cladogenesis test shows that brood parasitism is associated with both significantly higher speciation and extinction rates. Furthermore, subspecies diversification rate estimates were over twice as high in parasitic cuckoos as in parental cuckoos. Among parasitic cuckoos, there is marked variation in the severity of the detrimental effects on host fitness; chicks of some cuckoo species are raised alongside the young of the host and others are more virulent, with the cuckoo chick ejecting or killing the eggs/young of the host. We show that cuckoos with a more virulent parasitic strategy have more recognized subspecies. In addition, cuckoo species with more recognized subspecies have more hosts. These results hold after controlling for confounding geographical effects such as range size and isolation in archipelagos. Although the power of our analyses is limited by the fact that brood parasitism evolved independently only three times in cuckoos, our results suggest that coevolutionary arms races with hosts have contributed to higher speciation and extinction rates in parasitic cuckoos. PMID:19692405

  16. Phenotypic differentiation within a foundation grass species correlates with species richness in a subalpine community.

    PubMed

    Al Hayek, Patrick; Touzard, Blaise; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Michalet, Richard

    2014-10-01

    Few studies have examined consequences of ecotypic differentiation within alpine foundation species for community diversity and their feedbacks for the foundation species' fitness. Additionally, no study has quantified ecotypic differences in competitive effects in the field and in controlled conditions to disentangle genetic from plasticity effects in foundation/subordinate species interactions. We focused on a subalpine community of the French Pyrenees including two phenotypes of a cushion-forming species, Festuca gautieri: tight cushions in dry convex outcrops, and loose cushions (exhibiting high subordinate species richness) in wet concave slopes. We assessed, with field and shadehouse experiments, the genetic vs. plasticity basis of differences in: (1) cushion traits and (2) competitive effects on subordinates, and (3) quantified community feedbacks on foundation species' fitness. We found that trait differences across habitats had both genetic and plasticity bases, with stronger contribution of the latter. Field results showed higher competition within loose than tight phenotypes. In contrast, shadehouse results showed higher competitive ability for tight phenotypes. However, as changes in interactions across habitats were due to environmental effects without changes in cushion effects, we argue that heritable and plastic changes in competitive effects maintain high subordinate species diversity through decreasing competition. We showed high reproduction cost for loose cushions when hosting subordinates highlighting the occurrence of community feedbacks. These results suggest that phenotypic differentiation within foundation species may cascade on subordinate species diversity through heritable and plastic changes in the foundation species' competitive effects, and that community feedbacks may affect foundation species' fitness.

  17. The effects of protection from fishing on species richness: distinguishing between alternative explanations.

    PubMed

    Vanderklift, Mathew A; Babcock, Russell C; Cook, Kylie

    2013-01-01

    Marine reserves that prohibit fishing often result in greater densities of individuals and more species than adjacent fished areas. However, simple conclusions about their effects on species richness are confounded, because more species are expected to occur wherever there are more individuals. Here, there is an important distinction between the number of species per sampling unit (species density), and species richness measured as the number of species per given number of individuals. When conservation of species richness is an important goal, analyses need to discriminate between the alternative explanations for differences in the number of species. We used rarefaction to test whether species richness was higher in two 'no-take' marine reserves after controlling for differences in the density of individuals. We surveyed each reserve in three different years. There was a higher density of individuals and species in each reserve than in adjacent fished areas. However, rarefaction analyses indicated that effects on species richness were weak after controlling for the number of individuals: slightly higher species richness was recorded inside each reserve in one of three surveys, but the difference was small, and was apparent only when the maximum number of individuals was approached. Our results therefore indicate that patterns in species density were not reflected by patterns in species richness-the application of rarefaction methods is needed to determine the responses of species richness to protection elsewhere. The distinction between species density and species richness will not be important in all situations, but when it is important, inferences about species richness cannot be reliably deduced from measurements of species density.

  18. Tree diversity promotes functional dissimilarity and maintains functional richness despite species loss in predator assemblages.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Michalski, Stefan G; Purschke, Oliver; Assmann, Thorsten

    2014-02-01

    The effects of species loss on ecosystems depend on the community's functional diversity (FD). However, how FD responds to environmental changes is poorly understood. This applies particularly to higher trophic levels, which regulate many ecosystem processes and are strongly affected by human-induced environmental changes. We analyzed how functional richness (FRic), evenness (FEve), and divergence (FDiv) of important generalist predators-epigeic spiders-are affected by changes in woody plant species richness, plant phylogenetic diversity, and stand age in highly diverse subtropical forests in China. FEve and FDiv of spiders increased with plant richness and stand age. FRic remained on a constant level despite decreasing spider species richness with increasing plant species richness. Plant phylogenetic diversity had no consistent effect on spider FD. The results contrast with the negative effect of diversity on spider species richness and suggest that functional redundancy among spiders decreased with increasing plant richness through non-random species loss. Moreover, increasing functional dissimilarity within spider assemblages with increasing plant richness indicates that the abundance distribution of predators in functional trait space affects ecological functions independent of predator species richness or the available trait space. While plant diversity is generally hypothesized to positively affect predators, our results only support this hypothesis for FD-and here particularly for trait distributions within the overall functional trait space-and not for patterns in species richness. Understanding the way predator assemblages affect ecosystem functions in such highly diverse, natural ecosystems thus requires explicit consideration of FD and its relationship with species richness.

  19. Estimating the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Species Richness within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

    PubMed Central

    Wathen, Steve; Thorne, James H.; Holguin, Andrew; Schwartz, Mark W.

    2014-01-01

    Evidence for significant losses of species richness or biodiversity, even within protected natural areas, is mounting. Managers are increasingly being asked to monitor biodiversity, yet estimating biodiversity is often prohibitively expensive. As a cost-effective option, we estimated the spatial and temporal distribution of species richness for four taxonomic groups (birds, mammals, herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians), and plants) within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks using only existing biological studies undertaken within the Parks and the Parks' long-term wildlife observation database. We used a rarefaction approach to model species richness for the four taxonomic groups and analyzed those groups by habitat type, elevation zone, and time period. We then mapped the spatial distributions of species richness values for the four taxonomic groups, as well as total species richness, for the Parks. We also estimated changes in species richness for birds, mammals, and herpetofauna since 1980. The modeled patterns of species richness either peaked at mid elevations (mammals, plants, and total species richness) or declined consistently with increasing elevation (herpetofauna and birds). Plants reached maximum species richness values at much higher elevations than did vertebrate taxa, and non-flying mammals reached maximum species richness values at higher elevations than did birds. Alpine plant communities, including sagebrush, had higher species richness values than did subalpine plant communities located below them in elevation. These results are supported by other papers published in the scientific literature. Perhaps reflecting climate change: birds and herpetofauna displayed declines in species richness since 1980 at low and middle elevations and mammals displayed declines in species richness since 1980 at all elevations. PMID:25469873

  20. Estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of species richness within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

    PubMed

    Wathen, Steve; Thorne, James H; Holguin, Andrew; Schwartz, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    Evidence for significant losses of species richness or biodiversity, even within protected natural areas, is mounting. Managers are increasingly being asked to monitor biodiversity, yet estimating biodiversity is often prohibitively expensive. As a cost-effective option, we estimated the spatial and temporal distribution of species richness for four taxonomic groups (birds, mammals, herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians), and plants) within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks using only existing biological studies undertaken within the Parks and the Parks' long-term wildlife observation database. We used a rarefaction approach to model species richness for the four taxonomic groups and analyzed those groups by habitat type, elevation zone, and time period. We then mapped the spatial distributions of species richness values for the four taxonomic groups, as well as total species richness, for the Parks. We also estimated changes in species richness for birds, mammals, and herpetofauna since 1980. The modeled patterns of species richness either peaked at mid elevations (mammals, plants, and total species richness) or declined consistently with increasing elevation (herpetofauna and birds). Plants reached maximum species richness values at much higher elevations than did vertebrate taxa, and non-flying mammals reached maximum species richness values at higher elevations than did birds. Alpine plant communities, including sagebrush, had higher species richness values than did subalpine plant communities located below them in elevation. These results are supported by other papers published in the scientific literature. Perhaps reflecting climate change: birds and herpetofauna displayed declines in species richness since 1980 at low and middle elevations and mammals displayed declines in species richness since 1980 at all elevations.

  1. Correlates of species richness in mammals: body size, life history, and ecology.

    PubMed

    Isaac, Nick J B; Jones, Kate E; Gittleman, John L; Purvis, Andy

    2005-05-01

    We present the most extensive examination to date of proposed correlates of species richness. We use rigorous phylogenetic comparative techniques, data for 1,692 mammal species in four clades, and multivariate statistics to test four hypotheses about species richness and compare the evidence for each. Overall, we find strong support for the life-history model of diversification. Species richness is significantly correlated with shorter gestation period in the carnivores and large litter size in marsupials. These traits and short interbirth intervals are also associated with species richness in a pooled analysis of all four clades. Additionally, we find some support for the abundance hypotheses in different clades of mammals: abundance correlates positively with species richness in primates but negatively in microchiropterans. Our analyses provide no evidence that mammalian species richness is associated with body size or degree of sexual dimorphism.

  2. Predicting coral species richness: the effect of input variables, diversity and scale.

    PubMed

    Richards, Zoe T; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs are facing a biodiversity crisis due to increasing human impacts, consequently, one third of reef-building corals have an elevated risk of extinction. Logistic challenges prevent broad-scale species-level monitoring of hard corals; hence it has become critical that effective proxy indicators of species richness are established. This study tests how accurately three potential proxy indicators (generic richness on belt transects, generic richness on point-intercept transects and percent live hard coral cover on point-intercept transects) predict coral species richness at three different locations and two analytical scales. Generic richness (measured on a belt transect) was found to be the most effective predictor variable, with significant positive linear relationships across locations and scales. Percent live hard coral cover consistently performed poorly as an indicator of coral species richness. This study advances the practical framework for optimizing coral reef monitoring programs and empirically demonstrates that generic richness offers an effective way to predict coral species richness with a moderate level of precision. While the accuracy of species richness estimates will decrease in communities dominated by species-rich genera (e.g. Acropora), generic richness provides a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity and incorporating this metric into monitoring programs will increase the likelihood that changes in coral species diversity can be detected.

  3. Sown species richness and realized diversity can influence functioning of plant communities differently.

    PubMed

    Rychtecká, Terezie; Lanta, Vojtěch; Weiterová, Iva; Lepš, Jan

    2014-08-01

    Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments (BEF) typically manipulate sown species richness and composition of experimental communities to study ecosystem functioning as a response to changes in diversity. If sown species richness is taken as a measure of diversity and aboveground biomass production as a measure of community functioning, then this relationship is usually found to be positive. The sown species richness can be considered the equivalent of a local species pool in natural communities. However, in addition to species richness, realized diversity is also an important community diversity component. Realized diversity is affected by environmental filtering and biotic interactions operating within a community. As both sown species richness and the realized diversity in BEF studies (as well as local species pool vs observed realized richness in natural communities) can differ markedly, so can their effects on the community functioning. We tested this assumption using two data sets: data from a short-term pot experiment and data from the long-term Jena biodiversity plot experiment. We considered three possible predictors of community functioning (aboveground biomass production): sown species richness, realized diversity (defined as inverse of Simpson dominance index), and survivor species richness. Sown species richness affected biomass production positively in all cases. Realized diversity as well as survivor species richness had positive effects on biomass in approximately half of cases. When realized diversity or survivor species richness was tested together with sown species richness, their partial effects were none or negative. Our results suggest that we can expect positive diversity-productivity relationship when the local species pool size is the decisive factor determining realized observed diversity; in other cases, the shape of the diversity-functioning relationship may be quite opposite.

  4. Landscape variation in tree species richness in northern Iran forests.

    PubMed

    Bourque, Charles P-A; Bayat, Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

    Mapping landscape variation in tree species richness (SR) is essential to the long term management and conservation of forest ecosystems. The current study examines the prospect of mapping field assessments of SR in a high-elevation, deciduous forest in northern Iran as a function of 16 biophysical variables representative of the area's unique physiography, including topography and coastal placement, biophysical environment, and forests. Basic to this study is the development of moderate-resolution biophysical surfaces and associated plot-estimates for 202 permanent sampling plots. The biophysical variables include: (i) three topographic variables generated directly from the area's digital terrain model; (ii) four ecophysiologically-relevant variables derived from process models or from first principles; and (iii) seven variables of Landsat-8-acquired surface reflectance and two, of surface radiance. With symbolic regression, it was shown that only four of the 16 variables were needed to explain 85% of observed plot-level variation in SR (i.e., wind velocity, surface reflectance of blue light, and topographic wetness indices representative of soil water content), yielding mean-absolute and root-mean-squared error of 0.50 and 0.78, respectively. Overall, localised calculations of wind velocity and surface reflectance of blue light explained about 63% of observed variation in SR, with wind velocity accounting for 51% of that variation. The remaining 22% was explained by linear combinations of soil-water-related topographic indices and associated thresholds. In general, SR and diversity tended to be greatest for plots dominated by Carpinus betulus (involving ≥ 33% of all trees in a plot), than by Fagus orientalis (median difference of one species). This study provides a significant step towards describing landscape variation in SR as a function of modelled and satellite-based information and symbolic regression. Methods in this study are sufficiently general to be

  5. Aquatic plant community invasibility and scale-dependent patterns in native and invasive species richness.

    PubMed

    Capers, Robert S; Selsky, Roslyn; Bugbee, Gregory J; White, Jason C

    2007-12-01

    Invasive species richness often is negatively correlated with native species richness at the small spatial scale of sampling plots, but positively correlated in larger areas. The pattern at small scales has been interpreted as evidence that native plants can competitively exclude invasive species. Large-scale patterns have been understood to result from environmental heterogeneity, among other causes. We investigated species richness patterns among submerged and floating-leaved aquatic plants (87 native species and eight invasives) in 103 temperate lakes in Connecticut (northeastern USA) and found neither a consistently negative relationship at small (3-m2) scales, nor a positive relationship at large scales. Native species richness at sampling locations was uncorrelated with invasive species richness in 37 of the 60 lakes where invasive plants occurred; richness was negatively correlated in 16 lakes and positively correlated in seven. No correlation between native and invasive species richness was found at larger spatial scales (whole lakes and counties). Increases in richness with area were uncorrelated with abiotic heterogeneity. Logistic regression showed that the probability of occurrence of five invasive species increased in sampling locations (3 m2, n = 2980 samples) where native plants occurred, indicating that native plant species richness provided no resistance against invasion. However, the probability of three invasive species' occurrence declined as native plant density increased, indicating that density, if not species richness, provided some resistance with these species. Density had no effect on occurrence of three other invasive species. Based on these results, native species may resist invasion at small spatial scales only in communities where density is high (i.e., in communities where competition among individuals contributes to community structure). Most hydrophyte communities, however, appear to be maintained in a nonequilibrial condition by

  6. Associations of forest cover, fragment area, and connectivity with neotropical understory bird species richness and abundance.

    PubMed

    Martensen, Alexandre Camargo; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Banks-Leite, Cristina; Prado, Paulo Inácio; Metzger, Jean Paul

    2012-12-01

    Theoretical and empirical studies demonstrate that the total amount of forest and the size and connectivity of fragments have nonlinear effects on species survival. We tested how habitat amount and configuration affect understory bird species richness and abundance. We used mist nets (almost 34,000 net hours) to sample birds in 53 Atlantic Forest fragments in southeastern Brazil. Fragments were distributed among 3 10,800-ha landscapes. The remaining forest in these landscapes was below (10% forest cover), similar to (30%), and above (50%) the theoretical fragmentation threshold (approximately 30%) below which the effects of fragmentation should be intensified. Species-richness estimates were significantly higher (F= 3715, p = 0.00) where 50% of the forest remained, which suggests a species occurrence threshold of 30-50% forest, which is higher than usually occurs (<30%). Relations between forest cover and species richness differed depending on species sensitivity to forest conversion and fragmentation. For less sensitive species, species richness decreased as forest cover increased, whereas for highly sensitive species the opposite occurred. For sensitive species, species richness and the amount of forest cover were positively related, particularly when forest cover was 30-50%. Fragment size and connectivity were related to species richness and abundance in all landscapes, not just below the 30% threshold. Where 10% of the forest remained, fragment size was more related to species richness and abundance than connectivity. However, the relation between connectivity and species richness and abundance was stronger where 30% of the landscape was forested. Where 50% of the landscape was forested, fragment size and connectivity were both related to species richness and abundance. Our results demonstrated a rapid loss of species at relatively high levels of forest cover (30-50%). Highly sensitive species were 3-4 times more common above the 30-50% threshold than below it

  7. On the relationship between regional and local species richness: a test of saturation theory.

    PubMed

    Starzomski, Brian M; Parker, Raenelle L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2008-07-01

    What are the local community consequences of changes in regional species richness and composition? To answer this question we followed the assembly of microarthropod communities in defaunated areas of moss, embedded in a larger moss "region." Regions were created by combining moss from spatially distinct sites, resulting in regional species pools that differed in both microarthropod richness and composition, but not area. Regional effects were less important than seasonality for local richness. Initial differences in regional richness had no direct effect on local species richness at any time along a successional gradient of 0.5-16 months. The structure of the regional pool affected both local richness and local composition, but these effects were seasonally dependent. Local species richness differed substantially between dates along the successional gradient and continued to increase 16 months after assembly began. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first critical test of saturation theory that experimentally manipulates regional richness. Further, our results failed to support the most important mechanisms proposed to explain the local richness-regional richness relationship. The results demonstrate that complicated interactions between assembly time, seasonality, and regional species pools contribute to structuring local species richness and composition in this community.

  8. Flea (Siphonaptera) species richness in the Great Basin Desert and island biogeography theory.

    PubMed

    Bossard, Robert L

    2014-06-01

    Numbers of flea (Siphonaptera) species (flea species richness) on individual mammals should be higher on large mammals, mammals with dense populations, and mammals with large geographic ranges, if mammals are islands for fleas. I tested the first two predictions with regressions of H. J. Egoscue's trapping data on flea species richness collected from individual mammals against mammal size and population density from the literature. Mammal size and population density did not correlate with flea species richness. Mammal geographic range did, in earlier studies. The intermediate-sized (31 g), moderately dense (0.004 individuals/m(2)) Peromyscus truei (Shufeldt) had the highest richness with eight flea species on one individual. Overall, island biogeography theory does not describe the distribution of flea species on mammals in the Great Basin Desert, based on H. J. Egoscue's collections. Alternatively, epidemiological or metapopulation theories may explain flea species richness.

  9. Landscape Variation in Tree Species Richness in Northern Iran Forests

    PubMed Central

    Bourque, Charles P.-A.; Bayat, Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

    Mapping landscape variation in tree species richness (SR) is essential to the long term management and conservation of forest ecosystems. The current study examines the prospect of mapping field assessments of SR in a high-elevation, deciduous forest in northern Iran as a function of 16 biophysical variables representative of the area’s unique physiography, including topography and coastal placement, biophysical environment, and forests. Basic to this study is the development of moderate-resolution biophysical surfaces and associated plot-estimates for 202 permanent sampling plots. The biophysical variables include: (i) three topographic variables generated directly from the area’s digital terrain model; (ii) four ecophysiologically-relevant variables derived from process models or from first principles; and (iii) seven variables of Landsat-8-acquired surface reflectance and two, of surface radiance. With symbolic regression, it was shown that only four of the 16 variables were needed to explain 85% of observed plot-level variation in SR (i.e., wind velocity, surface reflectance of blue light, and topographic wetness indices representative of soil water content), yielding mean-absolute and root-mean-squared error of 0.50 and 0.78, respectively. Overall, localised calculations of wind velocity and surface reflectance of blue light explained about 63% of observed variation in SR, with wind velocity accounting for 51% of that variation. The remaining 22% was explained by linear combinations of soil-water-related topographic indices and associated thresholds. In general, SR and diversity tended to be greatest for plots dominated by Carpinus betulus (involving ≥ 33% of all trees in a plot), than by Fagus orientalis (median difference of one species). This study provides a significant step towards describing landscape variation in SR as a function of modelled and satellite-based information and symbolic regression. Methods in this study are sufficiently general to

  10. Inference methods for spatial variation in species richness and community composition when not all species are detected

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Boulinier, T.; Hines, J.E.; Pollock, K.H.; Sauer, J.R.

    1998-01-01

    Inferences about spatial variation in species richness and community composition are important both to ecological hypotheses about the structure and function of communities and to community-level conservation and management. Few sampling programs for animal communities provide censuses, and usually some species present. We present estimators useful for drawing inferences about comparative species richness and composition between different sampling locations when not all species are detected in sampling efforts. Based on capture-recapture models using the robust design, our methods estimate relative species richness, proportion of species in one location that are also found in another, and number of species found in one location but not in another. The methods use data on the presence or absence of each species at different sampling occasions (or locations) to estimate the number of species not detected at any occasions (or locations). This approach permits estimation of the number of species in the sampled community and in subsets of the community useful for estimating the fraction of species shared by two communities. We provide an illustration of our estimation methods by comparing bird species richness and composition in two locations sampled by routes of the North American Breeding Bird Survey. In this example analysis, the two locations (an associated bird communities) represented different levels of urbanization. Estimates of relative richness, proportion of shared species, and number of species present on one route but not the other indicated that the route with the smaller fraction of urban area had greater richness and a larer number of species that were not found on the more urban route than vice versa. We developed a software package, COMDYN, for computing estimates based on the methods. Because these estimation methods explicitly deal with sampling in which not all species are detected, we recommend their use for addressing questions about species

  11. Evaluating species richness: Biased ecological inference results from spatial heterogeneity in detection probabilities.

    PubMed

    McNew, Lance B; Handel, Colleen M

    2015-09-01

    Accurate estimates of species richness are necessary to test predictions of ecological theory and evaluate biodiversity for conservation purposes. However, species richness is difficult to measure in the field because some species will almost always be overlooked due to their cryptic nature or the observer's failure to perceive their cues. Common measures of species richness that assume consistent observability across species are inviting because they may require only single counts of species at survey sites. Single-visit estimation methods ignore spatial and temporal variation in species detection probabilities related to survey or site conditions that may confound estimates of species richness. We used simulated and empirical data to evaluate the bias and precision of raw species counts, the limiting forms of jackknife and Chao estimators, and multispecies occupancy models when estimating species richness to evaluate whether the choice of estimator can affect inferences about the relationships between environmental conditions and community size under variable detection processes. Four simulated scenarios with realistic and variable detection processes were considered. Results of simulations indicated that (1) raw species counts were always biased low, (2) single-visit jackknife and Chao estimators were significantly biased regardless of detection process, (3) multispecies occupancy models were more precise and generally less biased than the jackknife and Chao estimators, and (4) spatial heterogeneity resulting from the effects of a site covariate on species detection probabilities had significant impacts on the inferred relationships between species richness and a spatially explicit environmental condition. For a real data set of bird observations in northwestern Alaska, USA, the four estimation methods produced different estimates of local species richness, which severely affected inferences about the effects of shrubs on local avian richness. Overall, our

  12. Disentangling the determinants of species richness of vascular plants and mammals from national to regional scales.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Yi; Cai, Lei; Cao, Yun; Wu, Jun; Lei, Juncheng; Le, Zhifang; Ding, Hui; Cui, Peng

    2016-02-23

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness gets new implication for biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change and intensified human intervention. Here, we created a database of the geographical distribution of 30,519 vascular plant species and 565 mammal species from 2,376 counties across China and disentangled the determinants that explain species richness patterns both at national and regional scales using spatial linear models. We found that the determinants of species richness patterns varied among regions: elevational range was the most powerful predictor for the species richness of plants and mammals across China. However, species richness patterns in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Region (QTR) are quite unique, where net primary productivity was the most important predictor. We also detected that elevational range was positively related to plant species richness when it is less than 1,900 m, whereas the relationship was not significant when elevational range is larger than 1,900 m. It indicated that elevational range often emerges as the predominant controlling factor within the regions where energy is sufficient. The effects of land use on mammal species richness should attract special attention. Our study suggests that region-specific conservation policies should be developed based on the regional features of species richness.

  13. Increasing litter species richness reduces variability in a terrestrial decomposer system.

    PubMed

    Keith, Aidan M; Van der Wal, René; Brooker, Rob W; Osler, Graham H R; Chapman, Stephen J; Burslem, David F R P; Elston, David A

    2008-09-01

    Debate on the relationship between diversity and stability has been driven by the recognition that species loss may influence ecosystem properties and processes. We conducted a litterbag experiment in the Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom, to examine the effects of altering plant litter diversity on decomposition, microbial biomass, and microfaunal abundance. The design of treatments was fully factorial and included five species from an upland plant community (silver birch, Betula pendula; Scots' pine, Pinus sylvestris; heather, Calluna vulgaris; bilberry, Vaccinium myrtillus; wavy-hair grass, Deschampsia flexuosa); species richness ranged from one to five species. We tested the effects of litter species richness and composition on variable means, whether increasing litter species richness reduced variability in the decomposer system, and whether any richness-variability relationships were maintained over time (196 vs. 564 days). While litter species composition effects controlled variable means, we revealed reductions in variability with increasing litter species richness, even after accounting for differences between litter types. These findings suggest that higher plant species richness per se may result in more stable ecosystem processes (e.g., decomposition) and decomposer communities. Negative richness-variation relationships generally relaxed over time, presumably because properties of litter mixtures became more homogeneous. However, given that plant litter inputs continue to enter the belowground system over time, we conclude that variation in ecosystem properties may be buffered by greater litter species richness.

  14. Disentangling the determinants of species richness of vascular plants and mammals from national to regional scales

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Yi; Cai, Lei; Cao, Yun; Wu, Jun; Lei, Juncheng; Le, Zhifang; Ding, Hui; Cui, Peng

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness gets new implication for biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change and intensified human intervention. Here, we created a database of the geographical distribution of 30,519 vascular plant species and 565 mammal species from 2,376 counties across China and disentangled the determinants that explain species richness patterns both at national and regional scales using spatial linear models. We found that the determinants of species richness patterns varied among regions: elevational range was the most powerful predictor for the species richness of plants and mammals across China. However, species richness patterns in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Region (QTR) are quite unique, where net primary productivity was the most important predictor. We also detected that elevational range was positively related to plant species richness when it is less than 1,900 m, whereas the relationship was not significant when elevational range is larger than 1,900 m. It indicated that elevational range often emerges as the predominant controlling factor within the regions where energy is sufficient. The effects of land use on mammal species richness should attract special attention. Our study suggests that region-specific conservation policies should be developed based on the regional features of species richness. PMID:26902418

  15. Disentangling the determinants of species richness of vascular plants and mammals from national to regional scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Yi; Cai, Lei; Cao, Yun; Wu, Jun; Lei, Juncheng; Le, Zhifang; Ding, Hui; Cui, Peng

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness gets new implication for biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change and intensified human intervention. Here, we created a database of the geographical distribution of 30,519 vascular plant species and 565 mammal species from 2,376 counties across China and disentangled the determinants that explain species richness patterns both at national and regional scales using spatial linear models. We found that the determinants of species richness patterns varied among regions: elevational range was the most powerful predictor for the species richness of plants and mammals across China. However, species richness patterns in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Region (QTR) are quite unique, where net primary productivity was the most important predictor. We also detected that elevational range was positively related to plant species richness when it is less than 1,900 m, whereas the relationship was not significant when elevational range is larger than 1,900 m. It indicated that elevational range often emerges as the predominant controlling factor within the regions where energy is sufficient. The effects of land use on mammal species richness should attract special attention. Our study suggests that region-specific conservation policies should be developed based on the regional features of species richness.

  16. A meta-analysis of declines in local species richness from human disturbances.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Grace E P; Romanuk, Tamara N

    2014-01-01

    There is high uncertainty surrounding the magnitude of current and future biodiversity loss that is occurring due to human disturbances. Here, we present a global meta-analysis of experimental and observational studies that report 327 measures of change in species richness between disturbed and undisturbed habitats across both terrestrial and aquatic biomes. On average, human-mediated disturbances lead to an 18.3% decline in species richness. Declines in species richness were highest for endotherms (33.2%), followed by producers (25.1%), and ectotherms (10.5%). Land-use change and species invasions had the largest impact on species richness resulting in a 24.8% and 23.7% decline, respectively, followed by habitat loss (14%), nutrient addition (8.2%), and increases in temperature (3.6%). Across all disturbances, declines in species richness were greater for terrestrial biomes (22.4%) than aquatic biomes (5.9%). In the tropics, habitat loss and land-use change had the largest impact on species richness, whereas in the boreal forest and Northern temperate forests, species invasions had the largest impact on species richness. Along with revealing trends in changes in species richness for different disturbances, biomes, and taxa, our results also identify critical knowledge gaps for predicting the effects of human disturbance on Earth's biomes.

  17. Comment on "Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness"

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Adler, Peter B.; Grace, James B.; Harpole, W Stanley; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Collins, Scott L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Hillebrand, Helmut; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Laungani, Ramesh; Lind, Eric M.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Orrock, John L.; Peri, Pablo L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Speziale, Karina L.; Standish, Rachel J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Wardle, Glenda M.; Williams, Ryan J.; Yang, Louie H.

    2016-01-01

    Fraser et al. (Reports, 17 July 2015, p. 302) report a unimodal relationship between productivity and species richness at regional and global scales, which they contrast with the results of Adler et al. (Reports, 23 September 2011, p. 1750). However, both data sets, when analyzed correctly, show clearly and consistently that productivity is a poor predictor of local species richness.

  18. Inferring Species Richness and Turnover by Statistical Multiresolution Texture Analysis of Satellite Imagery

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-10-24

    time series similarity measures for classification and change detection of ecosystem dynamics . Remote...for estimating species-richness, and introduce a method based on statistical wavelet multiresolution texture analysis to quantitatively assess...entropy for estimating species-richness, and introduce a method based on statistical wavelet multiresolution texture analysis to quantitatively

  19. Comment on "Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness".

    PubMed

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Adler, Peter B; Grace, James B; Harpole, W Stanley; Borer, Elizabeth T; Seabloom, Eric W; Anderson, T Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D; Biederman, Lori A; Brown, Cynthia S; Buckley, Yvonne M; Chu, Chengjin; Collins, Scott L; Crawley, Michael J; Fay, Philip A; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Hillebrand, Helmut; Kirkman, Kevin; Knops, Johannes M H; Laungani, Ramesh; Lind, Eric M; MacDougall, Andrew S; McCulley, Rebecca L; Mitchell, Charles E; Moore, Joslin L; Morgan, John W; Orrock, John L; Peri, Pablo L; Prober, Suzanne M; Risch, Anita C; Schütz, Martin; Speziale, Karina L; Standish, Rachel J; Sullivan, Lauren L; Wardle, Glenda M; Williams, Ryan J; Yang, Louie H

    2016-01-29

    Fraser et al. (Reports, 17 July 2015, p. 302) report a unimodal relationship between productivity and species richness at regional and global scales, which they contrast with the results of Adler et al. (Reports, 23 September 2011, p. 1750). However, both data sets, when analyzed correctly, show clearly and consistently that productivity is a poor predictor of local species richness.

  20. Species richness and the temporal stability of biomass production: A new analysis of recent biodiversity experiments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, we investigate how species richness affects temporal stability of biomass production by analyzing 27 recent biodiversity experiments conducted in grassland and freshwater algal communities. We find that, in grasslands, increasing species richness stabilizes whole-community biomass pro...

  1. Relationships between species richness, evenness, and abundance in a southwestern savanna.

    PubMed

    Bock, Carl E; Jones, Zach F; Bock, Jane H

    2007-05-01

    Species richness and evenness are components of biological diversity that may or may not be correlated with one another and with patterns of species abundance. We compared these attributes among flowering plants, grasshoppers, butterflies, lizards, summer birds, winter birds, and rodents across 48 plots in the grasslands and mesquite-oak savannas of southeastern Arizona. Species richness and evenness were uncorrelated or weakly negatively correlated for each taxonomic group, supporting the conclusion that richness alone is an incomplete measure of diversity. In each case, richness was positively correlated with one or more measures of abundance. By contrast, evenness usually was negatively correlated with the abundance variables, reflecting the fact that plots with high evenness generally were those where all species present were about equally uncommon. Therefore richness, but not evenness, usually was a positive predictor of places of conservation value, if these are defined as places where species of interest are especially abundant. Species diversity was more positively correlated with evenness than with richness among grasshoppers and flowering plants, in contrast to the other taxonomic groups, and the positive correlations between richness and abundance were comparatively weak for grasshoppers and plants as well. Both of these differences can be attributed to the fact that assemblages of plants and grasshoppers were numerically dominated by small subsets of common species (grasses and certain spur-throated grasshoppers) whose abundances differed greatly among plots in ways unrelated to species richness of the groups as a whole.

  2. Species Richness Patterns and Water-Energy Dynamics in the Drylands of Northwest China

    PubMed Central

    Zerbe, Stefan; Abdusalih, Nurbay; Tang, Zhiyao; Ma, Ming; Yin, Linke; Mohammat, Anwar; Han, Wenxuan; Fang, Jingyun

    2013-01-01

    Dryland ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climatic and land-use changes, while the mechanisms underlying patterns of dryland species richness are still elusive. With distributions of 3637 native vascular plants, 154 mammals, and 425 birds in Xinjiang, China, we tested the water-energy dynamics hypothesis for species richness patterns in Central Asian drylands. Our results supported the water-energy dynamics hypothesis. We found that species richness of all three groups was a hump-shaped function of energy availability, but a linear function of water availability. We further found that water availability had stronger effects on plant richness, but weaker effects on vertebrate richness than energy availability. We conducted piecewise linear regressions to detect the breakpoints in the relationship between species richness and potential evapotranspiration which divided Xinjiang into low and high energy regions. The concordance between mammal and plant richness was stronger in high than in low energy regions, which was opposite to that between birds and plants. Plant richness had stronger effects than climate on mammal richness regardless of energy levels, but on bird richness only in high energy regions. The changes in the concordance between vertebrate and plant richness along the climatic gradient suggest that cautions are needed when using concordance between taxa in conservation planning. PMID:23840472

  3. Plant species richness at different scales in native and exotic grasslands in Southeastern Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLaughlin, S.P.; Bowers, Janice E.

    2006-01-01

    Species richness in Madrean mixed-grass prairies dominated by native or exotic species in southeastern Arizona was characterized at the community and point scales using ten 1-m2 quadrats nested within each of eight 1000-m2 plots. In the 1000-m2 plots average richness was significantly higher in oak savanna (OS, 121.0 species) than in exotic grassland on mesa tops (EMT, 52.0 species), whereas native grassland on mesa slopes (NMS, 92.5 species) and native grassland on mesa tops (NMT, 77.0 species) did not differ significantly in richness from OS or EMT When richness was partitioned by life form, EMT was notably poorer than other community types in species of perennial grasses, perennial herbs, and summer annuals. In the 1-m2 quadrats, OS (21.2 species), NMS (20.9 species), and NMT (20.7 species) were significantly richer than EMT (5.9 species). Cover in 1-m2 plots was significantly higher in EMT than in NMT, NMS, or OS. Species richness at the point scale showed a unimodal relation to canopy cover, with cover accounting for 30% of the variation in number of species in 1-m2 quadrats. Competitive exclusion and allelopathy have perhaps limited species richness at the point scale in exotic grassland. There was no evidence of a species-pool effect between point and community scales, but such an effect between community and landscape scales was supported. Madrean mixed-grass prairies are landscapes with high species richness in comparison to other grassland types in North America, providing a large pool of potential colonizing species at the community scale. Beta-diversity (between communities) within the landscape of the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch was consequently high despite a relative lack of habitat diversity.

  4. Is There a Relationship between Fish Cannibalism and Latitude or Species Richness?

    PubMed Central

    Keppeler, Friedrich Wolfgang; Agostinho, Angelo Antonio; Winemiller, Kirk O.

    2017-01-01

    Cannibalism has been commonly observed in fish from northern and alpine regions and less frequently reported for subtropical and tropical fish in more diverse communities. Assuming all else being equal, cannibalism should be more common in communities with lower species richness because the probability of encountering conspecific versus heterospecific prey would be higher. A global dataset was compiled to determine if cannibalism occurrence is associated with species richness and latitude. Cannibalism occurrence, local species richness and latitude were recorded for 4,100 populations of 2,314 teleost fish species. Relationships between cannibalism, species richness and latitude were evaluated using generalized linear mixed models. Species richness was an important predictor of cannibalism, with occurrences more frequently reported for assemblages containing fewer species. Cannibalism was positively related with latitude for both marine and freshwater ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere, but not in the Southern Hemisphere. The regression slope for the relationship was steeper for freshwater than marine fishes. In general, cannibalism is more frequent in communities with lower species richness, and the relationship between cannibalism and latitude is stronger in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, weaker latitudinal gradients of fish species richness may account for the weak relationship between cannibalism and latitude. Cannibalism may be more common in freshwater than marine systems because freshwater habitats tend to be smaller and more closed to dispersal. Cannibalism should have greatest potential to influence fish population dynamics in freshwater systems at high northern latitudes. PMID:28122040

  5. Ecosystem consequences of species richness and composition in pond food webs.

    PubMed

    Downing, Amy L; Leibold, Mathew A

    2002-04-25

    Resolving current concerns about the role of biodiversity on ecosystems calls for understanding the separate roles of changes in species numbers and of composition. Recent work shows that primary productivity often, but not always, saturates with species richness within single trophic levels. However, any interpretation of such patterns must consider that variation in biodiversity is necessarily associated with changes in species composition (identity), and that changes in biodiversity often occur across multiple trophic levels. Here we present results from a mesocosm experiment in which we independently manipulated species richness and species composition across multiple trophic levels in pond food webs. In contrast to previous studies that focused on single trophic levels, we found that productivity is either idiosyncratic or increases with respect to species richness, and that richness influences trophic structure. However, the composition of species within richness levels can have equally or more marked effects on ecosystems than average effects of richness per se. Indirect evidence suggests that richness and associated changes in species composition affect ecosystem attributes through indirect effects and trophic interactions among species, features that are highly characteristic of natural, complex ecosystems.

  6. Is There a Relationship between Fish Cannibalism and Latitude or Species Richness?

    PubMed

    Pereira, Larissa Strictar; Keppeler, Friedrich Wolfgang; Agostinho, Angelo Antonio; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2017-01-01

    Cannibalism has been commonly observed in fish from northern and alpine regions and less frequently reported for subtropical and tropical fish in more diverse communities. Assuming all else being equal, cannibalism should be more common in communities with lower species richness because the probability of encountering conspecific versus heterospecific prey would be higher. A global dataset was compiled to determine if cannibalism occurrence is associated with species richness and latitude. Cannibalism occurrence, local species richness and latitude were recorded for 4,100 populations of 2,314 teleost fish species. Relationships between cannibalism, species richness and latitude were evaluated using generalized linear mixed models. Species richness was an important predictor of cannibalism, with occurrences more frequently reported for assemblages containing fewer species. Cannibalism was positively related with latitude for both marine and freshwater ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere, but not in the Southern Hemisphere. The regression slope for the relationship was steeper for freshwater than marine fishes. In general, cannibalism is more frequent in communities with lower species richness, and the relationship between cannibalism and latitude is stronger in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, weaker latitudinal gradients of fish species richness may account for the weak relationship between cannibalism and latitude. Cannibalism may be more common in freshwater than marine systems because freshwater habitats tend to be smaller and more closed to dispersal. Cannibalism should have greatest potential to influence fish population dynamics in freshwater systems at high northern latitudes.

  7. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Jun; Cai, Lei; Ding, Hui; Lei, Juncheng; Wu, Yi; Cui, Peng; Chen, Lian; Le, Zhifang; Cao, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity. PMID:26629903

  8. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Jun; Cai, Lei; Ding, Hui; Lei, Juncheng; Wu, Yi; Cui, Peng; Chen, Lian; Le, Zhifang; Cao, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity.

  9. SPECIES RICHNESS AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION PRIORITIES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Patterns in the geographic distribution of seven species groups were used to identify important areas for conservation in British Columbia, Canada. Potential priority sites for conservation were determined using an integer programming algorithm that maximized the number of speci...

  10. The Distribution and Abundance of Bird Species: Towards a Satellite, Data Driven Avian Energetics and Species Richness Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, James A.

    2003-01-01

    This paper addresses the fundamental question of why birds occur where and when they do, i.e., what are the causative factors that determine the spatio-temporal distributions, abundance, or richness of bird species? In this paper we outline the first steps toward building a satellite, data-driven model of avian energetics and species richness based on individual bird physiology, morphology, and interaction with the spatio-temporal habitat. To evaluate our model, we will use the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Christmas Bird Count data for species richness, wintering and breeding range. Long term and current satellite data series include AVHRR, Landsat, and MODIS.

  11. Species richness and interacting factors control invasibility of a marine community

    PubMed Central

    Marraffini, M. L.; Geller, J. B.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic vectors have moved marine species around the world leading to increased invasions and expanded species' ranges. The biotic resistance hypothesis of Elton (in The ecology of invasions by animals and plants, 1958) predicts that more diverse communities should have greater resistance to invasions, but experiments have been equivocal. We hypothesized that species richness interacts with other factors to determine experimental outcomes. We manipulated species richness, species composition (native and introduced) and availability of bare space in invertebrate assemblages in a marina in Monterey, CA. Increased species richness significantly interacted with both initial cover of native species and of all organisms to collectively decrease recruitment. Although native species decreased recruitment, introduced species had a similar effect, and we concluded that biotic resistance is conferred by total species richness. We suggest that contradictory conclusions in previous studies about the role of diversity in regulating invasions reflect uncontrolled variables in those experiments that modified the effect of species richness. Our results suggest that patches of low diversity and abundance may facilitate invasions, and that such patches, once colonized by non-indigenous species, can resist both native and non-indigenous species recruitment. PMID:26203005

  12. Species richness and interacting factors control invasibility of a marine community.

    PubMed

    Marraffini, M L; Geller, J B

    2015-08-07

    Anthropogenic vectors have moved marine species around the world leading to increased invasions and expanded species' ranges. The biotic resistance hypothesis of Elton (in The ecology of invasions by animals and plants, 1958) predicts that more diverse communities should have greater resistance to invasions, but experiments have been equivocal. We hypothesized that species richness interacts with other factors to determine experimental outcomes. We manipulated species richness, species composition (native and introduced) and availability of bare space in invertebrate assemblages in a marina in Monterey, CA. Increased species richness significantly interacted with both initial cover of native species and of all organisms to collectively decrease recruitment. Although native species decreased recruitment, introduced species had a similar effect, and we concluded that biotic resistance is conferred by total species richness. We suggest that contradictory conclusions in previous studies about the role of diversity in regulating invasions reflect uncontrolled variables in those experiments that modified the effect of species richness. Our results suggest that patches of low diversity and abundance may facilitate invasions, and that such patches, once colonized by non-indigenous species, can resist both native and non-indigenous species recruitment.

  13. Species-richness in Neotropical Sericothripinae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae).

    PubMed

    Lima, Élison Fabrício B; Mound, Laurence A

    2016-09-08

    Two of the three recognized genera of Sericothripinae are known from the Neotropics, and 14 new species from this area are here described in this subfamily. Illustrated keys are provided to females of seven species of Hydatothrips, and 41 species of Neohydatothrips, mainly from Brazil but including all recorded species south of the border between Mexico and USA. Plant species on which breeding has been recorded are indicated where possible, notes are provided on the few species of economic importance, and a key is appended to second instar larvae of seven species. Neohydatothrips burungae (Hood) stat. rev. and N. aztecus Johansen stat. rev. are recalled from synonymy with Neohydatothrips signifer (Priesner), and N. denigratus (De Santis) syn. n. is synonymized with N. burungae. Hydatothrips williamsi (Hood) comb. n. is relocated from Neohydatothrips, and as this produces a homonym in the genus, Hydatothrips tareei nom. nov. is proposed for Hydatothrips williamsi Mound & Tree from Australia.

  14. Factors associated with plant species richness in a coastal tall-grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.; Allain, L.; Allen, C.

    2000-01-01

    In this study we examine the factors associated with variations in species richness within a remnant tall-grass prairie in order to gain insight into the relative importance of controlling variables. The study area was a small, isolated prairie surrounded by wetlands and located within the coastal prairie region, which occurs along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico coastal plain. Samples were taken along three transects that spanned the prairie. Parameters measured included micro-elevation, soil characteristics, indications of recent disturbance, above-ground biomass (including litter), light penetration through the plant canopy, and species richness. Species richness was found to correlate with micro-elevation, certain soil parameters, and light penetration through the canopy, but not with above-ground biomass. Structural equation analysis was used to assess the direct and indirect effects of micro-elevation, soil properties, disturbance, and indicators of plant abundance on species richness. The results of this analysis showed that observed variations in species richness were primarily associated with variations in environmental effects (from soil and microtopography) and were largely unrelated to variations in measures of plant abundance (biomass and light penetration). These findings suggest that observed variations in species richness in this system primarily resulted from environmental effects on the species pool. These results fit with a growing body of information that suggests that environmental effects on species richness are of widespread importance.

  15. Canopy cover negatively affects arboreal ant species richness in a tropical open habitat.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, A C M; Ribas, C R

    2016-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis of a negative relationship between vegetation characteristics and ant species richness in a Brazilian open vegetation habitat, called candeial. We set up arboreal pitfalls to sample arboreal ants and measured the following environmental variables, which were used as surrogate of environmental heterogeneity: tree richness, tree density, tree height, circumference at the base of the plants, and canopy cover. Only canopy cover had a negative effect on the arboreal ant species richness. Vegetation characteristics and plant species composition are probably homogeneous in candeial, which explains the lack of relationship between other environmental variables and ant richness. Open vegetation habitats harbor a large number of opportunistic and generalist species, besides specialist ants from habitats with high temperatures. An increase in canopy cover decreases sunlight incidence and may cause local microclimatic differences, which negatively affect the species richness of specialist ants from open areas. Canopy cover regulates the richness of arboreal ants in open areas, since only few ant species are able to colonize sites with dense vegetation; most species are present in sites with high temperature and luminosity. Within open vegetation habitats the relationship between vegetation characteristics and species richness seems to be the opposite from closed vegetation areas, like forests.

  16. Revealing patterns of local species richness along environmental gradients with a novel network tool.

    PubMed

    Baudena, Mara; Sánchez, Angel; Georg, Co-Pierre; Ruiz-Benito, Paloma; Rodríguez, Miguel Á; Zavala, Miguel A; Rietkerk, Max

    2015-06-25

    How species richness relates to environmental gradients at large extents is commonly investigated aggregating local site data to coarser grains. However, such relationships often change with the grain of analysis, potentially hiding the local signal. Here we show that a novel network technique, the "method of reflections", could unveil the relationships between species richness and climate without such drawbacks. We introduced a new index related to potential species richness, which revealed large scale patterns by including at the local community level information about species distribution throughout the dataset (i.e., the network). The method effectively removed noise, identifying how far site richness was from potential. When applying it to study woody species richness patterns in Spain, we observed that annual precipitation and mean annual temperature explained large parts of the variance of the newly defined species richness, highlighting that, at the local scale, communities in drier and warmer areas were potentially the species richest. Our method went far beyond what geographical upscaling of the data could unfold, and the insights obtained strongly suggested that it is a powerful instrument to detect key factors underlying species richness patterns, and that it could have numerous applications in ecology and other fields.

  17. Revealing patterns of local species richness along environmental gradients with a novel network tool

    PubMed Central

    Baudena, Mara; Sánchez, Angel; Georg, Co-Pierre; Ruiz-Benito, Paloma; Rodríguez, Miguel Á.; Zavala, Miguel A.; Rietkerk, Max

    2015-01-01

    How species richness relates to environmental gradients at large extents is commonly investigated aggregating local site data to coarser grains. However, such relationships often change with the grain of analysis, potentially hiding the local signal. Here we show that a novel network technique, the “method of reflections”, could unveil the relationships between species richness and climate without such drawbacks. We introduced a new index related to potential species richness, which revealed large scale patterns by including at the local community level information about species distribution throughout the dataset (i.e., the network). The method effectively removed noise, identifying how far site richness was from potential. When applying it to study woody species richness patterns in Spain, we observed that annual precipitation and mean annual temperature explained large parts of the variance of the newly defined species richness, highlighting that, at the local scale, communities in drier and warmer areas were potentially the species richest. Our method went far beyond what geographical upscaling of the data could unfold, and the insights obtained strongly suggested that it is a powerful instrument to detect key factors underlying species richness patterns, and that it could have numerous applications in ecology and other fields. PMID:26109495

  18. Orchid Species Richness along Elevational and Environmental Gradients in Yunnan, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shi-Bao; Chen, Wen-Yun; Huang, Jia-Lin; Bi, Ying-Feng; Yang, Xue-Fei

    2015-01-01

    The family Orchidaceae is not only one of the most diverse families of flowering plants, but also one of the most endangered plant taxa. Therefore, understanding how its species richness varies along geographical and environmental gradients is essential for conservation efforts. However, such knowledge is rarely available, especially on a large scale. We used a database extracted from herbarium records to investigate the relationships between orchid species richness and elevation, and to examine how elevational diversity in Yunnan Province, China, might be explained by mid-domain effect (MDE), species-area relationship (SAR), water-energy dynamics (WED), Rapoport's Rule, and climatic variables. This particular location was selected because it is one of the primary centers of distribution for orchids. We recorded 691 species that span 127 genera and account for 88.59% of all confirmed orchid species in Yunnan. Species richness, estimated at 200-m intervals along a slope, was closely correlated with elevation, peaking at 1395 to 1723 m. The elevational pattern of orchid richness was considerably shaped by MDE, SAR, WED, and climate. Among those four predictors, climate was the strongest while MDE was the weakest for predicting the elevational pattern of orchid richness. Species richness showed parabolic responses to mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP), with maximum richness values recorded at 13.7 to 17.7°C for MAT and 1237 to 1414 mm for MAP. Rapoport's Rule also helped to explain the elevational pattern of species richness in Yunnan, but those influences were not entirely uniform across all methods. These results suggested that the elevational pattern of orchid species richness in Yunnan is collectively shaped by several mechanisms related to geometric constraints, size of the land area, and environments. Because of the dominant role of climate in determining orchid richness, our findings may contribute to a better understanding of

  19. Global assessment of the effects of terrestrial acidification on plant species richness.

    PubMed

    Azevedo, Ligia B; van Zelm, Rosalie; Hendriks, A Jan; Bobbink, Roland; Huijbregts, Mark A J

    2013-03-01

    This study estimates the potential losses of vascular plant species richness due to terrestrial acidification for different world's biomes. We used empirical occurrence data of 2409 species from 140 studies and estimated the relative species richness - pH response curves using logistic regressions. The regressions were then used to quantify the fraction of species that are potentially lost due to soil pH changes. Although we found considerable variability within biomes, out results show that the pH at which species richness was maximized was found to be the lowest in (sub)tropical forests (pH = 4.1) and the highest in deserts (pH = 7.4). We also found that (sub)tropical moist forests are highly sensitive to decreases of in soil pH below 4.1. This study can be coupled with existing atmospheric deposition models to quantify the risk of species richness loss following soil acidification.

  20. Species richness on coral reefs and the pursuit of convergent global estimates.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Rebecca; O'Leary, Rebecca A; Low-Choy, Samantha; Mengersen, Kerrie; Knowlton, Nancy; Brainard, Russell E; Caley, M Julian

    2015-02-16

    Global species richness, whether estimated by taxon, habitat, or ecosystem, is a key biodiversity metric. Yet, despite the global importance of biodiversity and increasing threats to it (e.g., we are no better able to estimate global species richness now than we were six decades ago. Estimates of global species richness remain highly uncertain and are often logically inconsistent. They are also difficult to validate because estimation of global species richness requires extrapolation beyond the number of species known. Given that somewhere between 3% and >96% of species on Earth may remain undiscovered, depending on the methods used and the taxa considered, such extrapolations, especially from small percentages of known species, are likely to be highly uncertain. An alternative approach is to estimate all species, the known and unknown, directly. Using expert taxonomic knowledge of the species already described and named, those already discovered but not yet described and named, and those still awaiting discovery, we estimate there to be 830,000 (95% credible limits: 550,000-1,330,000) multi-cellular species on coral reefs worldwide, excluding fungi. Uncertainty surrounding this estimate and its components were often strongly skewed toward larger values, indicating that many more species on coral reefs is more plausible than many fewer. The uncertainties revealed here should guide future research toward achieving convergence in global species richness estimates for coral reefs and other ecosystems via adaptive learning protocols whereby such estimates can be tested and improved, and their uncertainties reduced, as new knowledge is acquired.

  1. Environmental correlates of species and genetic richness in lungless salamanders (family plethodontidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Jeremy L.; Camp, Carlos D.

    2006-01-01

    Biological diversity is distributed across the planet in non-random, organised ways. At the species level, numerous environmental variables have been proposed to explain this non-random distribution with available energy and habitat heterogeneity receiving the most empirical support. With regard to genetic organisation, environmental stress and habitat heterogeneity have been widely supported. However, few studies have addressed if these two scales of biological organisation are structured via similar processes. Here, we tested whether or not the distributional organisation of genetic and species richness were driven by similar environmental variables for salamanders of the family Plethodontidae across North America. In general, we found that those environmental variables related to energy, particularly energy made accessible to salamanders via the actions of available moisture, were the primary determinants of both genetic and species richness. This finding is consistent with both the "more individuals hypothesis" of species richness and neutral-theory expectations for genetic richness. Additionally, greater habitat heterogeneity, as measured by increased topographic variance, was of secondary importance in positively influencing species richness, although its effects on genetic richness were far more variable. In total, our results suggest that both of these scales of biological organisation are influenced by similar environmental variables, even though increased genetic richness at the population-level does not always translate into greater species richness.

  2. Regional species richness of families and the distribution of abundance and rarity in a local community of forest Hymenoptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulrich, Werner

    2005-09-01

    Recent investigations about the relationship between the number of species of taxonomic lineages and regional patterns of species abundances gave indecisive results. Here, it is shown that mean densities of species of a species-rich community of forest Hymenoptera (673 species out of 25 families) were positively related to the number of European species per family. The fraction of abundant species per family declined and the fraction of rare species increased with species richness. Species rich families contained relatively more species, which were present in only one study year (occasional species), and relatively fewer species present during the whole study period (frequent species).

  3. Tree species richness decreases while species evenness increases with disturbance frequency in a natural boreal forest landscape.

    PubMed

    Yeboah, Daniel; Chen, Han Y H; Kingston, Steve

    2016-02-01

    Understanding species diversity and disturbance relationships is important for biodiversity conservation in disturbance-driven boreal forests. Species richness and evenness may respond differently with stand development following fire. Furthermore, few studies have simultaneously accounted for the influences of climate and local site conditions on species diversity. Using forest inventory data, we examined the relationships between species richness, Shannon's index, evenness, and time since last stand-replacing fire (TSF) in a large landscape of disturbance-driven boreal forest. TSF has negative effect on species richness and Shannon's index, and a positive effect on species evenness. Path analysis revealed that the environmental variables affect richness and Shannon's index only through their effects on TSF while affecting evenness directly as well as through their effects on TSF. Synthesis and applications. Our results demonstrate that species richness and Shannon's index decrease while species evenness increases with TSF in a boreal forest landscape. Furthermore, we show that disturbance frequency, local site conditions, and climate simultaneously influence tree species diversity through complex direct and indirect effects in the studied boreal forest.

  4. Spatial association between malaria vector species richness and malaria in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Douglas O; Alimi, Temitope; Herrera, Socrates; Beier, John C; Quiñones, Martha L

    2016-06-01

    Malaria transmission in Colombia is highly variable in space and time. Using a species distribution model, we mapped potential distribution of five vector species including Anopheles albimanus, Anopheles calderoni, Anopheles darlingi, Anopheles neivai, and Anopheles nuneztovari in five Departments of Colombia where malaria transmission remains problematic. We overlaid the range maps of the five species to reveal areas of sympatry and related per-pixel species richness to mean annual parasite index (API) for 2011-2014 mapped by municipality (n = 287). The relationship between mean number of vector species per municipality and API was evaluated using a Poisson regression, which revealed a highly significant relationship between species richness and API (p = 0 for Wald Chi-Square statistic). The results suggest that areas of relatively high transmission in Colombia typically contain higher number of vector species than areas with unstable transmission and that future elimination strategies should account for vector species richness.

  5. Effects of spatial heterogeneity on butterfly species richness in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kumar, S.; Simonson, S.E.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated butterfly responses to plot-level characteristics (plant species richness, vegetation height, and range in NDVI [normalized difference vegetation index]) and spatial heterogeneity in topography and landscape patterns (composition and configuration) at multiple spatial scales. Stratified random sampling was used to collect data on butterfly species richness from seventy-six 20 ?? 50 m plots. The plant species richness and average vegetation height data were collected from 76 modified-Whittaker plots overlaid on 76 butterfly plots. Spatial heterogeneity around sample plots was quantified by measuring topographic variables and landscape metrics at eight spatial extents (radii of 300, 600 to 2,400 m). The number of butterfly species recorded was strongly positively correlated with plant species richness, proportion of shrubland and mean patch size of shrubland. Patterns in butterfly species richness were negatively correlated with other variables including mean patch size, average vegetation height, elevation, and range in NDVI. The best predictive model selected using Akaike's Information Criterion corrected for small sample size (AICc), explained 62% of the variation in butterfly species richness at the 2,100 m spatial extent. Average vegetation height and mean patch size were among the best predictors of butterfly species richness. The models that included plot-level information and topographic variables explained relatively less variation in butterfly species richness, and were improved significantly after including landscape metrics. Our results suggest that spatial heterogeneity greatly influences patterns in butterfly species richness, and that it should be explicitly considered in conservation and management actions. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  6. Species Richness-Environment Relationships of European Arthropods at Two Spatial Grains: Habitats and Countries

    PubMed Central

    Entling, Martin H.; Schweiger, Oliver; Bacher, Sven; Espadaler, Xavier; Hickler, Thomas; Kumschick, Sabrina; Woodcock, Ben A.; Nentwig, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    We study how species richness of arthropods relates to theories concerning net primary productivity, ambient energy, water-energy dynamics and spatial environmental heterogeneity. We use two datasets of arthropod richness with similar spatial extents (Scandinavia to Mediterranean), but contrasting spatial grain (local habitat and country). Samples of ground-dwelling spiders, beetles, bugs and ants were collected from 32 paired habitats at 16 locations across Europe. Species richness of these taxonomic groups was also determined for 25 European countries based on the Fauna Europaea database. We tested effects of net primary productivity (NPP), annual mean temperature (T), annual rainfall (R) and potential evapotranspiration of the coldest month (PETmin) on species richness and turnover. Spatial environmental heterogeneity within countries was considered by including the ranges of NPP, T, R and PETmin. At the local habitat grain, relationships between species richness and environmental variables differed strongly between taxa and trophic groups. However, species turnover across locations was strongly correlated with differences in T. At the country grain, species richness was significantly correlated with environmental variables from all four theories. In particular, species richness within countries increased strongly with spatial heterogeneity in T. The importance of spatial heterogeneity in T for both species turnover across locations and for species richness within countries suggests that the temperature niche is an important determinant of arthropod diversity. We suggest that, unless climatic heterogeneity is constant across sampling units, coarse-grained studies should always account for environmental heterogeneity as a predictor of arthropod species richness, just as studies with variable area of sampling units routinely consider area. PMID:23029288

  7. Species richness - Energy relationships and dung beetle diversity across an aridity and trophic resource gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tshikae, B. Power; Davis, Adrian L. V.; Scholtz, Clarke H.

    2013-05-01

    Understanding factors that drive species richness and turnover across ecological gradients is important for insect conservation planning. To this end, we studied species richness - energy relationships and regional versus local factors that influence dung beetle diversity in game reserves along an aridity and trophic resource gradient in the Botswana Kalahari. Dung beetle species richness, alpha diversity, and abundance declined with increasing aridity from northeast to southwest and differed significantly between dung types (pig, elephant, cattle, sheep) and carrion (chicken livers). Patterns of between-study area species richness on ruminant dung (cattle, sheep) differed to other bait types. Patterns of species richness between bait types in two southwest study areas differed from those in four areas to the northeast. Regional species turnover between study areas was higher than local turnover between bait types. Patterns of southwest to northeast species loss showed greater consistency than northeast to southwest losses from larger assemblages. Towards the southwest, similarity to northeast assemblages declined steeply as beta diversity increased. High beta diversity and low similarity at gradsect extremes resulted from two groups of species assemblages showing either northeast or southwest biogeographical centres. The findings are consistent with the energy hypothesis that indicates insect species richness in lower latitudes is indirectly limited by declining water variables, which drive reduced food resources (lower energy availability) represented, here, by restriction of large mammals dropping large dung types to the northeast and dominance of pellet dropping mammals in the arid southwest Kalahari. The influence of theoretical causal mechanisms is discussed.

  8. Species richness and the temporal stability of biomass production: a new analysis of recent biodiversity experiments.

    PubMed

    Gross, Kevin; Cardinale, Bradley J; Fox, Jeremy W; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; van Ruijven, Jasper

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between biological diversity and ecological stability has fascinated ecologists for decades. Determining the generality of this relationship, and discovering the mechanisms that underlie it, are vitally important for ecosystem management. Here, we investigate how species richness affects the temporal stability of biomass production by reanalyzing 27 recent biodiversity experiments conducted with primary producers. We find that, in grasslands, increasing species richness stabilizes whole-community biomass but destabilizes the dynamics of constituent populations. Community biomass is stabilized because species richness impacts mean biomass more strongly than its variance. In algal communities, species richness has a minimal effect on community stability because richness affects the mean and variance of biomass nearly equally. Using a new measure of synchrony among species, we find that for both grasslands and algae, temporal correlations in species biomass are lower when species are grown together in polyculture than when grown alone in monoculture. These results suggest that interspecific interactions tend to stabilize community biomass in diverse communities. Contrary to prevailing theory, we found no evidence that species' responses to environmental variation in monoculture predicted the strength of diversity's stabilizing effect. Together, these results deepen our understanding of when and why increasing species richness stabilizes community biomass.

  9. Species Associations in a Species-Rich Subtropical Forest Were Not Well-Explained by Stochastic Geometry of Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qinggang; Bao, Dachuan; Guo, Yili; Lu, Junmeng; Lu, Zhijun; Xu, Yaozhan; Zhang, Kuihan; Liu, Haibo; Meng, Hongjie; Jiang, Mingxi; Qiao, Xiujuan; Huang, Handong

    2014-01-01

    The stochastic dilution hypothesis has been proposed to explain species coexistence in species-rich communities. The relative importance of the stochastic dilution effects with respect to other effects such as competition and habitat filtering required to be tested. In this study, using data from a 25-ha species-rich subtropical forest plot with a strong topographic structure at Badagongshan in central China, we analyzed overall species associations and fine-scale species interactions between 2,550 species pairs. The result showed that: (1) the proportion of segregation in overall species association analysis at 2 m neighborhood in this plot followed the prediction of the stochastic dilution hypothesis that segregations should decrease with species richness but that at 10 m neighborhood was higher than the prediction. (2) The proportion of no association type was lower than the expectation of stochastic dilution hypothesis. (3) Fine-scale species interaction analyses using Heterogeneous Poisson processes as null models revealed a high proportion (47%) of significant species effects. However, the assumption of separation of scale of this method was not fully met in this plot with a strong fine-scale topographic structure. We also found that for species within the same families, fine-scale positive species interactions occurred more frequently and negative ones occurred less frequently than expected by chance. These results suggested effects of environmental filtering other than species interaction in this forest. (4) We also found that arbor species showed a much higher proportion of significant fine-scale species interactions (66%) than shrub species (18%). We concluded that the stochastic dilution hypothesis only be partly supported and environmental filtering left discernible spatial signals in the spatial associations between species in this species-rich subtropical forest with a strong topographic structure. PMID:24824996

  10. Immigration rates and species niche characteristics affect the relationship between species richness and habitat heterogeneity in modeled meta-communities.

    PubMed

    Bar-Massada, Avi

    2015-01-01

    The positive relationship between habitat heterogeneity and species richness is a cornerstone of ecology. Recently, it was suggested that this relationship should be unimodal rather than linear due to a tradeoff between environmental heterogeneity and population sizes. Increased environmental heterogeneity will decrease effective habitat sizes, which in turn will increase the rate of local species extinctions. The occurrence of the unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationship at the habitat scale was confirmed in both empirical and theoretical studies. However, it is unclear whether it can occur at broader spatial scales, for meta-communities in diverse and patchy landscapes. Here, I used a spatially explicit meta-community model to quantify the roles of two species-level characteristics, niche width and immigration rates, on the type of the richness-heterogeneity relationship at the landscape scale. I found that both positive and unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationships can occur in meta-communities in patchy landscapes. The type of the relationship was affected by the interactions between inter-patch immigration rates and species' niche widths. Unimodal relationships were prominent in meta-communities comprising species with wide niches but low inter-patch immigration rates. In contrast, meta-communities consisting of species with narrow niches and high immigration rates exhibited positive relationships. Meta-communities comprising generalist species are therefore likely to exhibit unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationships as long as low immigration rates prevent rescue effects and patches are small. The richness-heterogeneity relationship at the landscape scale is dictated by species' niche widths and inter-patch immigration rates. These immigration rates, in turn, depend on the interaction between species dispersal capabilities and habitat connectivity, highlighting the roles of both species traits and landscape structure in generating the richness

  11. Southeast Asian primate communities: the effects of ecology and Pleistocene refuges on species richness.

    PubMed

    Hassel-Finnegan, Heather; Borries, Carola; Zhao, Qing; Phiapalath, Phaivanh; Koenig, Andreas

    2013-12-01

    We examined historical and ecological factors affecting current primate biodiversity in Southeast Asia. In Africa, Madagascar and South America, but not Southeast Asia, primate species richness is positively associated with average rainfall and distance from the equator (latitude). We predicted that Southeast Asia's non-conformance may be due to the effect of dispersed Pleistocene refuges (locations of constricted tropical forests during glacial maxima which today are at least 305 m in altitude). Based on 45 forested sites (13 on large islands; 32 on the mainland) of at least 100 km(2) to minimize recent human impact, we determined correlations between extant primate species richness and rainfall, latitude and supplementary ecological variables, while controlling for refuges and islands. We found that refuge sites had significantly higher primate species richness than non-refuges (t = -2.76, P < 0.05), and distance from the nearest Pleistocene refuge was negatively correlated with species richness for non-refuge sites (r = -0.51, P < 0.05). There was no difference in species richness between sites on large islands and the mainland (t = -1.4, P = 0.16). The expected positive relationship between rainfall and species richness was not found (r = 0.17, P = 0.28). As predicted, primate species richness was negatively correlated with latitude (r = -0.39, P < 0.05) and positively correlated with mean temperature (r = 0.45, P < 0.05). General linear models indicated that a site's latitude (F1,38 = 6.18, P < 0.05) and Pleistocene refuge classification (F1,42 = 5.96, P < 0.05) were the best predictors of species richness. Both ecological and historical factors contribute to present day primate species richness in Southeast Asia, making its biodiversity less of an outlier than previously believed.

  12. A parasitic plant increases native and exotic plant species richness in vernal pools

    PubMed Central

    Graffis, Andrea M.; Kneitel, Jamie M.

    2015-01-01

    Species interactions are well known to affect species diversity in communities, but the effects of parasites have been less studied. Previous studies on parasitic plants have found both positive and negative effects on plant community diversity. Cuscuta howelliana is an abundant endemic parasitic plant that inhabits California vernal pools. We tested the hypothesis that C. howelliana acts as a keystone species to increase plant species richness in vernal pools through a C. howelliana removal experiment at Beale Air Force Base in north-central California. Vernal pool endemic plants were parasitized more frequently, and Eryngium castrense and Navarretia leucocephala were the most frequently parasitized host plant species of C. howelliana. Cuscuta howelliana caused higher plant species richness, both natives and exotics, compared with removal plots. However, there was no single plant species that significantly increased with C. howelliana removal. Decreases in Eryngium castrense percent cover plots with C. howelliana is a plausible explanation for differences in species richness. In conclusion, C. howelliana led to changes in species composition and increases in plant species richness, consistent with what is expected from the effects of a keystone species. This research provides support for a shift in management strategies that focus on species-specific targets to strategies that target maintenance of complex species interactions and therefore maximize biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems. PMID:26307042

  13. The age of island-like habitats impacts habitat specialist species richness.

    PubMed

    Horsák, Michal; Hájek, Michal; Spitale, Daniel; Hájková, Petra; Díte, Daniel; Nekola, Jeffrey C

    2012-05-01

    While the effects of contemporaneous local environment on species richness have been repeatedly documented, much less is known about historical effects, especially over large temporal scales. Using fen sites in the Western Carpathian Mountains with known radiocarbon-dated ages spanning Late Glacial to modern times (16 975-270 cal years before 2008), we have compiled richness data from the same plots for three groups of taxa with contrasting dispersal modes: (1) vascular plants, which have macroscopic propagules possessing variable, but rather low, dispersal abilities; (2) bryophytes, which have microscopic propagules that are readily transported long distances by air; and (3) terrestrial and freshwater mollusks, which have macroscopic individuals with slow active migration rates, but which also often possess high passive dispersal abilities. Using path analysis we tested the relationships between species richness and habitat age, area, isolation, and altitude for these groups. When only matrix-derived taxa were considered, no significant positive relation was noted between species richness and habitat size or age. When only calcareous-fen specialists were considered, however, habitat age was found to significantly affect vascular plant richness and, marginally, also bryophyte richness, whereas mollusk richness was significantly affected by habitat area. These results suggest that in inland insular systems only habitat specialist (i.e., interpatch disperser and/or relict species) richness is influenced by habitat age and/or area, with habitat age becoming more important as species dispersal ability decreases.

  14. Effects of habitat fragmentation and isolation on species richness: evidence from biogeographic patterns.

    PubMed

    Quinn, James F; Harrison, Susan P

    1988-02-01

    Habitat subdivision by geography or human activity may be an important determinant of regional species richness. Cumulative species-area relationships for vertebrates, land plants, and insects on island archipelagoes show that collections of small islands generally harbor more species than comparable areas composed of one or a few large islands. The effect of the degree of habitat subdivision in increasing species richness appears to increase with the distance from potential sources of colonists. Mountaintop biotas show no clear differences between species richness on large alpine areas and collections of smaller peaks. National park faunas generally have more species in collections of small parks than in the larger parks. In all cases where a consistent effect of subdivision is observed, the more subdivided collection of islands or isolates contains more species. To the degree that these data provide guidance for establishing nature reserves, they suggest that increasing the numbers of reserves may be an important component of conservation strategies.

  15. Midpoint attractors and species richness: Modelling the interaction between environmental drivers and geometric constraints.

    PubMed

    Colwell, Robert K; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Ashton, Louise A; Beck, Jan; Brehm, Gunnar; Fayle, Tom M; Fiedler, Konrad; Forister, Matthew L; Kessler, Michael; Kitching, Roger L; Klimes, Petr; Kluge, Jürgen; Longino, John T; Maunsell, Sarah C; McCain, Christy M; Moses, Jimmy; Noben, Sarah; Sam, Katerina; Sam, Legi; Shapiro, Arthur M; Wang, Xiangping; Novotny, Vojtech

    2016-09-01

    We introduce a novel framework for conceptualising, quantifying and unifying discordant patterns of species richness along geographical gradients. While not itself explicitly mechanistic, this approach offers a path towards understanding mechanisms. In this study, we focused on the diverse patterns of species richness on mountainsides. We conjectured that elevational range midpoints of species may be drawn towards a single midpoint attractor - a unimodal gradient of environmental favourability. The midpoint attractor interacts with geometric constraints imposed by sea level and the mountaintop to produce taxon-specific patterns of species richness. We developed a Bayesian simulation model to estimate the location and strength of the midpoint attractor from species occurrence data sampled along mountainsides. We also constructed midpoint predictor models to test whether environmental variables could directly account for the observed patterns of species range midpoints. We challenged these models with 16 elevational data sets, comprising 4500 species of insects, vertebrates and plants. The midpoint predictor models generally failed to predict the pattern of species midpoints. In contrast, the midpoint attractor model closely reproduced empirical spatial patterns of species richness and range midpoints. Gradients of environmental favourability, subject to geometric constraints, may parsimoniously account for elevational and other patterns of species richness.

  16. Combining geodiversity with climate and topography to account for threatened species richness.

    PubMed

    Tukiainen, Helena; Bailey, Joseph J; Field, Richard; Kangas, Katja; Hjort, Jan

    2017-04-01

    Understanding threatened species diversity is important for long-term conservation planning. Geodiversity-the diversity of Earth surface materials, forms, and processes-may be a useful biodiversity surrogate for conservation and have conservation value itself. Geodiversity and species richness relationships have been demonstrated; establishing whether geodiversity relates to threatened species' diversity and distribution pattern is a logical next step for conservation. We used 4 geodiversity variables (rock-type and soil-type richness, geomorphological diversity, and hydrological feature diversity) and 4 climatic and topographic variables to model threatened species diversity across 31 of Finland's national parks. We also analyzed rarity-weighted richness (a measure of site complementarity) of threatened vascular plants, fungi, bryophytes, and all species combined. Our 1-km(2) resolution data set included 271 threatened species from 16 major taxa. We modeled threatened species richness (raw and rarity weighted) with boosted regression trees. Climatic variables, especially the annual temperature sum above 5 °C, dominated our models, which is consistent with the critical role of temperature in this boreal environment. Geodiversity added significant explanatory power. High geodiversity values were consistently associated with high threatened species richness across taxa. The combined effect of geodiversity variables was even more pronounced in the rarity-weighted richness analyses (except for fungi) than in those for species richness. Geodiversity measures correlated most strongly with species richness (raw and rarity weighted) of threatened vascular plants and bryophytes and were weakest for molluscs, lichens, and mammals. Although simple measures of topography improve biodiversity modeling, our results suggest that geodiversity data relating to geology, landforms, and hydrology are also worth including. This reinforces recent arguments that conserving nature

  17. Does avian species richness in natural patch mosaics follow the forest fragmentation paradigm?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pavlacky, D.C.; Anderson, S.H.

    2007-01-01

    As one approaches the north-eastern limit of pinyon (Pinus spp.) juniper (Juniperus spp.) vegetation on the Colorado Plateau, USA, woodland patches become increasingly disjunct, grading into sagebrush (Artemisia spp.)-dominated landscapes. Patterns of avian species richness in naturally heterogeneous forests may or may not respond to patch discontinuity in the same manner as bird assemblages in fragmented agricultural systems. We used observational data from naturally patchy woodlands and predictions derived from studies of human-modified agricultural forests to estimate the effects of patch area, shape, isolation and distance to contiguous woodland on avian species richness. We predicted that patterns of species richness in naturally patchy juniper woodlands would differ from those observed in fragmented agricultural systems. Our objectives were to (1) estimate the effect of naturally occurring patch structure on avian species richness with respect to habitat affinity and migratory strategy and (2) assess the concordance of the effects to predictions from agricultural forest systems. We used the analogy between populations and communities to estimate species richness, where species are treated as individuals in the application of traditional capture-recapture theory. Information-theoretic model selection showed that overall species richness was explained primarily by the species area relationship. There was some support for a model with greater complexity than the equilibrium theory of island biogeography where the isolation of large patches resulted in greater species richness. Species richness of woodland-dwelling birds was best explained by the equilibrium hypothesis with partial landscape complementation by open-country species in isolated patches. Species richness within specific migratory strategies showed concomitant increases and no shifts in species composition along the patch area gradient. Our results indicate that many patterns of species richness

  18. Management trade-off between aboveground carbon storage and understory plant species richness in temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Burton, Julia I; Ares, Adrian; Olson, Deanna H; Puettmann, Klaus J

    2013-09-01

    Because forest ecosystems have the capacity to store large quantities of carbon (C), there is interest in managing forests to mitigate elevated CO2 concentrations and associated effects on the global climate. However, some mitigation techniques may contrast with management strategies for other goals, such as maintaining and restoring biodiversity. Forest thinning reduces C storage in the overstory and recruitment of detrital C. These C stores can affect environmental conditions and resource availability in the understory, driving patterns in the distribution of early and late-seral species. We examined the effects of replicated (N = 7) thinning experiments on aboveground C and understory vascular plant species richness, and we contrasted relationships between aboveground C and early- vs. late-seral species richness. Finally, we used structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine relationships among early- and late-seral species richness and live and detrital aboveground C stores. Six years following thinning, aboveground C was greater in the high-density treatment and untreated control than in moderate- (MD) and variable-density (VD) treatments as a result of reductions in live overstory C. In contrast, all thinning treatments increased species richness relative to controls. Between the growing seasons of years 6 and 11 following treatments, the live overstory C increment tended to increase with residual density, while richness decreased in MD and VD treatments. The richness of early-seral species was negatively related to aboveground C in MD and VD, while late-seral species richness was positively (albeit weakly) related to aboveground C. Structural equation modeling analysis revealed strong negative effects of live overstory C on early-seral species richness balanced against weaker positive effects on late-seral species richness, as well as positive effects of detrital C stocks. A trade-off between carbon and plant species richness thus emerges as a net result of

  19. The influence of vegetation height heterogeneity on forest and woodland bird species richness across the United States.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qiongyu; Swatantran, Anu; Dubayah, Ralph; Goetz, Scott J

    2014-01-01

    Avian diversity is under increasing pressures. It is thus critical to understand the ecological variables that contribute to large scale spatial distribution of avian species diversity. Traditionally, studies have relied primarily on two-dimensional habitat structure to model broad scale species richness. Vegetation vertical structure is increasingly used at local scales. However, the spatial arrangement of vegetation height has never been taken into consideration. Our goal was to examine the efficacies of three-dimensional forest structure, particularly the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation height in improving avian richness models across forested ecoregions in the U.S. We developed novel habitat metrics to characterize the spatial arrangement of vegetation height using the National Biomass and Carbon Dataset for the year 2000 (NBCD). The height-structured metrics were compared with other habitat metrics for statistical association with richness of three forest breeding bird guilds across Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes: a broadly grouped woodland guild, and two forest breeding guilds with preferences for forest edge and for interior forest. Parametric and non-parametric models were built to examine the improvement of predictability. Height-structured metrics had the strongest associations with species richness, yielding improved predictive ability for the woodland guild richness models (r(2) = ∼ 0.53 for the parametric models, 0.63 the non-parametric models) and the forest edge guild models (r(2) = ∼ 0.34 for the parametric models, 0.47 the non-parametric models). All but one of the linear models incorporating height-structured metrics showed significantly higher adjusted-r2 values than their counterparts without additional metrics. The interior forest guild richness showed a consistent low association with height-structured metrics. Our results suggest that height heterogeneity, beyond canopy height alone, supplements habitat characterization and

  20. Parasite Rates of Discovery, Global Species Richness and Host Specificity.

    PubMed

    Costello, Mark John

    2016-10-01

    If every metazoan species has at least one host-specific parasite, as several local scale studies have suggested, then half of all species could be parasites. However, host specificity varies significantly depending on host phylogeny, body size, habitat, and geographic distribution. The best studied hosts tend to be vertebrates, larger animals, and/or widespread, and thus have a higher number of parasites and host-specific parasites. Thus, host specificity for these well-known taxa cannot be simply extrapolated to other taxa, notably invertebrates, small sized, and more endemic species, which comprise the major portion of yet to be discovered species. At present, parasites of animals comprise about 5% of named species. This article analyzed the rate of description of several largely parasitic taxa within crustaceans (copepods, amphipods, isopods, pentastomids, cirripeds), marine helminths (nematodes, acanthocephalans, flukes), gastropod molluscs, insects (ticks, fleas, biting flies, strepispterans), and microsporidia. The period of highest discovery has been most recent for the marine helminths and microsporids. The number of people describing parasites has been increasing since the 1960s, as it has for all other taxa. However, the number of species being described per decade relative to the number of authors has been decreasing except for the helminths. The results indicate that more than half of all parasites have been described, and two-thirds of host taxa, although the proportion varies between taxa. It is highly unlikely that the number of named species of parasites will ever approach that of their hosts. This contrast between the proportion that parasites comprise of local and global faunas suggests that parasites are less host specific and more widespread than local scale studies suggest.

  1. Species richness effects on ecosystem multifunctionality depend on evenness, composition and spatial pattern

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maestre, F.T.; Castillo-Monroy, A. P.; Bowker, M.A.; Ochoa-Hueso, R.

    2012-01-01

    1. Recent studies have suggested that the simultaneous maintenance of multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality) is positively supported by species richness. However, little is known regarding the relative importance of other community attributes (e.g. spatial pattern, species evenness) as drivers of multifunctionality. 2. We conducted two microcosm experiments using model biological soil crust communities dominated by lichens to: (i) evaluate the joint effects and relative importance of changes in species composition, spatial pattern (clumped and random distribution of lichens), evenness (maximal and low evenness) and richness (from two to eight species) on soil functions related to nutrient cycling (β-glucosidase, urease and acid phosphatase enzymes, in situ N availability, total N, organic C, and N fixation), and (ii) assess how these community attributes affect multifunctionality. 3. Species richness, composition and spatial pattern affected multiple ecosystem functions (e.g. organic C, total N, N availability, β-glucosidase activity), albeit the magnitude and direction of their effects varied with the particular function, experiment and soil depth considered. Changes in species composition had effects on organic C, total N and the activity of β-glucosidase. Significant species richness × evenness and spatial pattern × evenness interactions were found when analysing functions such as organic C, total N and the activity of phosphatase. 4. The probability of sustaining multiple ecosystem functions increased with species richness, but this effect was largely modulated by attributes such as species evenness, composition and spatial pattern. Overall, we found that model communities with high species richness, random spatial pattern and low evenness increased multifunctionality. 5. Synthesis. Our results illustrate how different community attributes have a diverse impact on ecosystem functions related to nutrient cycling, and provide new

  2. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species

    PubMed Central

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; László, Zoltán; Ludwig, Martin; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground), the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness). We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their natural enemies

  3. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species.

    PubMed

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; László, Zoltán; Ludwig, Martin; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground), the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness). We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their natural enemies

  4. Species richness and stand stability in conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    DeClerck, Fabrice A J; Barbour, Michael G; Sawyer, John O

    2006-11-01

    Theoretical and empirical studies have long suggested that stability and complexity are intimately related, but evidence from long-lived systems at large scales is lacking. Stability can either be driven by complex species interactions, or it can be driven by the presence/absence and abundance of a species best able to perform a specific ecosystem function. We use 64 years of stand productivity measures in forest systems composed of four dominant conifer tree species to contrast the effect of species richness and abundance on three stability measures. To perform this contrast, we measured the annual growth increments of > 900 trees in mixed and pure forest stands to test three hypotheses: increased species richness will (1) decrease stand variance, (2) increase stand resistance to drought events, and (3) increase stand resilience to drought events. In each case, the alternate hypothesis was that species richness had no effect, but that species composition and abundance within a stand drove variance, resistance, and resilience. In pure stands, the four species demonstrated significant differences in productivity, and in their resistance and resilience to drought events. The two pine species were the most drought resistant and resilient, whereas mountain hemlock was the least resistant and resilient, and red fir was intermediate. For community measures we found a moderately significant (P = 0.08) increase in the community coefficient of variation and a significant (P = 0.03) increase in resilience with increased species richness, but no significant relationship between species richness and community resistance, though the variance in community resistance to drought decreased with species richness. Community resistance to drought was significantly (P = 0.001) correlated to the relative abundance of lodgepole pine, the most resistant species. We propose that resistance is driven by competition for a single limiting resource, with negative diversity effects. In contrast

  5. Richness and species composition of arboreal arthropods affected by nutrients and predators: a press experiment.

    PubMed

    Gruner, Daniel S; Taylor, Andrew D

    2006-04-01

    A longstanding goal for ecologists is to understand the processes that maintain biological diversity in communities, yet few studies have investigated the combined effects of predators and resources on biodiversity in natural ecosystems. We fertilized nutrient limited plots and excluded insectivorous birds in a randomized block design, and examined the impacts on arthropods associated with the dominant tree in the Hawaiian Islands, Metrosideros polymorpha (Myrtaceae). After 33 months, the species load (per foliage mass) of herbivores and carnivores increased with fertilization, but rarified richness (standardized to abundance) did not change. Fertilization depressed species richness of arboreal detritivores, and carnivore richness dropped in caged, unfertilized plots, both because of the increased dominance of common, introduced species with treatments. Herbivore species abundance distributions were more equitable than other trophic levels following treatments, and fertilization added specialized native species without changing relativized species richness. Overall, bird removal and nutrient addition treatments on arthropod richness acted largely independently, but with countervailing influences that obscured distinct top-down and bottom-up effects on different trophic levels. This study demonstrates that species composition, biological invasions, and the individuality of species traits may complicate efforts to predict the interactive effects of resources and predation on species diversity in food webs.

  6. Species richness of motile cryptofauna across a gradient of reef framework erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enochs, I. C.; Manzello, D. P.

    2012-09-01

    Coral reef ecosystems contain exceptionally high concentrations of marine biodiversity, potentially encompassing millions of species. Similar to tropical rainforests and their insects, the majority of reef animal species are small and cryptic, living in the cracks and crevices of structural taxa (trees and corals). Although the cryptofauna make up the majority of a reef's metazoan biodiversity, we know little about their basic ecology. We sampled motile cryptofaunal communities from both live corals and dead carbonate reef framework across a gradient of increasing erosion on a reef in Pacific Panamá. A total of 289 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) from six phyla were identified. We used species-accumulation models fitted to individual- and sample-based rarefaction curves, as well as seven nonparametric richness estimators to estimate species richness among the different framework types. All procedures predicted the same trends in species richness across the differing framework types. Estimated species richness was higher in dead framework (261-370 OTUs) than in live coral substrates (112-219 OTUs). Surprisingly, richness increased as framework structure was eroded: coral rubble contained the greatest number of species (227-320 OTUs) and the lowest estimated richness of 47-115 OTUs was found in the zone where the reef framework had the greatest vertical relief. This contradicts the paradigm that abundant live coral indicates the apex of reef diversity.

  7. Interactions between micro- and macroparasites predict microparasite species richness across primates.

    PubMed

    Nunn, Charles L; Brezine, Carrie; Jolles, Anna E; Ezenwa, Vanessa O

    2014-04-01

    Most wild animals face concurrent challenges by multiple infectious organisms, and immunological responses triggered by some parasites may increase susceptibility to other infectious agents. Immune-mediated interactions among parasites have been investigated among individuals in a population, but less is known about broader comparative patterns. We investigated the "macro-micro facilitation hypothesis" that higher helminth prevalence in a host species provides greater opportunities for intracellular parasites to invade, resulting in higher richness of intracellular microparasites. We obtained data on average helminth prevalence for 70 primate hosts, along with data on richness of intra- and extracellular infectious organisms. Using Bayesian phylogenetic methods, we found that primate species with higher overall helminth prevalence harbored more species of intracellular microparasites, while the positive association between helminth prevalence and extracellular microparasite species richness was weaker. The relationships held after controlling for potentially confounding variables, but associations were not found in focused tests of prevalence for six genera of well-studied helminths. The magnitude of support and effect sizes for overall helminth prevalence on intracellular microparasite species richness was similar to support for other well recognized ecological and life-history drivers of parasite species richness. Our findings therefore suggest that intrahost parasite interactions are as important as some ecological characteristics of hosts in accounting for parasite richness across host species.

  8. Responses of predatory invertebrates to seeding density and plant species richness in experimental tallgrass prairie restorations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Allen, Craig R.; Danielson, Stephen D.; Helzer, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, agricultural producers and non-governmental organizations have restored thousands of hectares of former cropland in the central United States with native grasses and forbs. However, the ability of these grassland restorations to attract predatory invertebrates has not been well documented, even though predators provide an important ecosystem service to agricultural producers by naturally regulating herbivores. This study assessed the effects of plant richness and seeding density on the richness and abundance of surface-dwelling (ants, ground beetles, and spiders) and aboveground (ladybird beetles) predatory invertebrates. In the spring of 2006, twenty-four 55 m × 55 m-plots were planted to six replicates in each of four treatments: high richness (97 species typically planted by The Nature Conservancy), at low and high seeding densities, and low richness (15 species representing a typical Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Reserve Program mix, CP25), at low and high seeding densities. Ants, ground beetles, and spiders were sampled using pitfall traps and ladybird beetles were sampled using sweep netting in 2007–2009. The abundance of ants, ground beetles, and spiders showed no response to seed mix richness or seeding density but there was a significant positive effect of richness on ladybird beetle abundance. Seeding density had a significant positive effect on ground beetle and spider species richness and Shannon–Weaver diversity. These results may be related to differences in the plant species composition and relative amount of grass basal cover among the treatments rather than richness.

  9. Environmental heterogeneity as a universal driver of species richness across taxa, biomes and spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Stein, Anke; Gerstner, Katharina; Kreft, Holger

    2014-07-01

    Environmental heterogeneity is regarded as one of the most important factors governing species richness gradients. An increase in available niche space, provision of refuges and opportunities for isolation and divergent adaptation are thought to enhance species coexistence, persistence and diversification. However, the extent and generality of positive heterogeneity-richness relationships are still debated. Apart from widespread evidence supporting positive relationships, negative and hump-shaped relationships have also been reported. In a meta-analysis of 1148 data points from 192 studies worldwide, we examine the strength and direction of the relationship between spatial environmental heterogeneity and species richness of terrestrial plants and animals. We find that separate effects of heterogeneity in land cover, vegetation, climate, soil and topography are significantly positive, with vegetation and topographic heterogeneity showing particularly strong associations with species richness. The use of equal-area study units, spatial grain and spatial extent emerge as key factors influencing the strength of heterogeneity-richness relationships, highlighting the pervasive influence of spatial scale in heterogeneity-richness studies. We provide the first quantitative support for the generality of positive heterogeneity-richness relationships across heterogeneity components, habitat types, taxa and spatial scales from landscape to global extents, and identify specific needs for future comparative heterogeneity-richness research.

  10. Climate and landscape explain richness patterns depending on the type of species' distribution data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsianou, Mariana A.; Koutsias, Nikolaos; Mazaris, Antonios D.; Kallimanis, Athanasios S.

    2016-07-01

    Understanding the patterns of species richness and their environmental drivers, remains a central theme in ecological research and especially in the continental scales where many conservation decisions are made. Here, we analyzed the patterns of species richness from amphibians, reptiles and mammals at the EU level. We used two different data sources for each taxon: expert-drawn species range maps, and presence/absence atlases. As environmental drivers, we considered climate and land cover. Land cover is increasingly the focus of research, but there still is no consensus on how to classify land cover to distinct habitat classes, so we analyzed the CORINE land cover data with three different levels of thematic resolution (resolution of classification scheme ˗ less to more detailed). We found that the two types of species richness data explored in this study yielded different richness maps. Although, we expected expert-drawn range based estimates of species richness to exceed those from atlas data (due to the assumption that species are present in all locations throughout their region), we found that in many cases the opposite is true (the extreme case is the reptiles where more than half of the atlas based estimates were greater than the expert-drawn range based estimates). Also, we detected contrasting information on the richness drivers of biodiversity patterns depending on the dataset used. For atlas based richness estimates, landscape attributes played more important role than climate while for expert-drawn range based richness estimates climatic variables were more important (for the ectothermic amphibians and reptiles). Finally we found that the thematic resolution of the land cover classification scheme, also played a role in quantifying the effect of land cover diversity, with more detailed thematic resolution increasing the relative contribution of landscape attributes in predicting species richness.

  11. Corridors Increase Plant Species Richness at Large Scales

    SciTech Connect

    Damschen, Ellen I.; Haddad, Nick M.; Orrock,John L.; Tewksbury, Joshua J.; Levey, Douglas J.

    2006-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the largest threats to biodiversity. Landscape corridors, which are hypothesized to reduce the negative consequences of fragmentation, have become common features of ecological management plans worldwide. Despite their popularity, there is little evidence documenting the effectiveness of corridors in preserving biodiversity at large scales. Using a large-scale replicated experiment, we showed that habitat patches connected by corridors retain more native plant species than do isolated patches, that this difference increases over time, and that corridors do not promote invasion by exotic species. Our results support the use of corridors in biodiversity conservation.

  12. The humpbacked species richness-curve: A contingent rule for community ecology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, John H.; Duda, Jeffrey J.

    2011-01-01

    Functional relationships involving species richness may be unimodal, monotonically increasing, monotonically decreasing, bimodal, multimodal, U-shaped, or with no discernable pattern. The unimodal relationships are the most interesting because they suggest dynamic, nonequilibrium community processes. For that reason, they are also contentious. In this paper, we provide a wide-ranging review of the literature on unimodal (humpbacked) species richness-relationships. Though not as widespread as previously thought, unimodal patterns of species richness are often associated with disturbance, predation and herbivory, productivity, spatial heterogeneity, environmental gradients, time, and latitude. These unimodal patterns are contingent on organism and environment; we examine unimodal species richness-curves involving plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, plankton, and microbes in marine, lacustrine, and terrestrial habitats. A goal of future research is to understand the contingent patterns and the complex, interacting processes that generate them.

  13. Estimation of species richness and parameters reflecting community dynamics using data from ecological monitoring programs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Sauer, J.R.; Hines, J.E.; Boulinier, T.; Pollock, K.H.; Therres, Glenn D.

    2001-01-01

    Although many ecological monitoring programs are now in place, the use of resulting data to draw inferences about changes in biodiversity is problematic. The difficulty arises because of the inability to count all animals present in any sampled area. This inability results not only in underestimation of species richness but also in potentially misleading comparisons of species richness over time and space. We recommend the use of probabilistic estimators for estimating species richness and related parameters (e.g., rate of change in species richness, local extinction probability, local turnover, local colonization) when animal detection probabilities are <1. We illustrate these methods using data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey obtained along survey routes in Maryland. We also introduce software to implement these estimation methods.

  14. Variable effects of host characteristics on species richness of flea infracommunities in rodents from three continents.

    PubMed

    Kiffner, Christian; Stanko, Michal; Morand, Serge; Khokhlova, Irina S; Shenbrot, Georgy I; Laudisoit, Anne; Leirs, Herwig; Hawlena, Hadas; Krasnov, Boris R

    2014-08-01

    We studied the effect of host gender and body mass on species richness of flea infracommunities in nine rodent host species from three biomes (temperate zone of central Europe, desert of the Middle East and the tropics of East Africa). Using season- and species-specific generalized linear mixed models and controlling for year-to-year variation, spatial clustering of rodent sampling and over-dispersion of the data, we found inconsistent associations between host characteristics and flea species richness. We found strong support for male-biased flea parasitism, especially during the reproductive period (higher species richness in male hosts than in females) in all considered European rodents (Apodemus agrarius, Myodes glareolus and Microtus arvalis) and in one rodent species from the Middle East (Dipodillus dasyurus). In contrast, two of three African rodent species (Lophuromys kilonzoi and Praomys delectorum) demonstrated a trend of female-biased flea species richness. Positive associations between body mass and the number of flea species were detected mainly in males (five of nine species: A. agrarius, M. glareolus, M. arvalis, D. dasyurus and Mastomys natalensis) and not in females (except for M. natalensis). The results of this study support earlier reports that gender-biased, in general, and male-biased, in particular, infestation by ectoparasites is not a universal rule. This suggests that mechanisms of parasite acquisition by an individual host are species-specific and have evolved independently in different rodent host-flea systems.

  15. Impacts of forest fragmentation on species richness: a hierarchical approach to community modelling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zipkin, Elise F.; DeWan, Amielle; Royle, J. Andrew

    2009-01-01

    1. Species richness is often used as a tool for prioritizing conservation action. One method for predicting richness and other summaries of community structure is to develop species-specific models of occurrence probability based on habitat or landscape characteristics. However, this approach can be challenging for rare or elusive species for which survey data are often sparse. 2. Recent developments have allowed for improved inference about community structure based on species-specific models of occurrence probability, integrated within a hierarchical modelling framework. This framework offers advantages to inference about species richness over typical approaches by accounting for both species-level effects and the aggregated effects of landscape composition on a community as a whole, thus leading to increased precision in estimates of species richness by improving occupancy estimates for all species, including those that were observed infrequently. 3. We developed a hierarchical model to assess the community response of breeding birds in the Hudson River Valley, New York, to habitat fragmentation and analysed the model using a Bayesian approach. 4. The model was designed to estimate species-specific occurrence and the effects of fragment area and edge (as measured through the perimeter and the perimeter/area ratio, P/A), while accounting for imperfect detection of species. 5. We used the fitted model to make predictions of species richness within forest fragments of variable morphology. The model revealed that species richness of the observed bird community was maximized in small forest fragments with a high P/A. However, the number of forest interior species, a subset of the community with high conservation value, was maximized in large fragments with low P/A. 6. Synthesis and applications. Our results demonstrate the importance of understanding the responses of both individual, and groups of species, to environmental heterogeneity while illustrating the utility

  16. Patterns of fine-scale plant species richness in dry grasslands across the eastern Balkan Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palpurina, Salza; Chytrý, Milan; Tzonev, Rossen; Danihelka, Jiří; Axmanová, Irena; Merunková, Kristina; Duchoň, Mário; Karakiev, Todor

    2015-02-01

    Fine-scale plant species richness varies across habitats, climatic and biogeographic regions, but the large-scale context of this variation is insufficiently explored. The patterns at the borders between biomes harbouring rich but different floras are of special interest. Dry grasslands of the eastern Balkan Peninsula, situated in the Eurasian forest-steppe zone and developed under Mediterranean influence, are a specific case of such biome transition. However, there are no studies assessing the patterns of fine-scale species richness and their underlying factors across the eastern Balkans. To explore these patterns, we sampled dry and semi-dry grasslands (phytosociological class Festuco-Brometea) across Bulgaria and SE Romania. In total, 172 vegetation plots of 10 × 10 m2 were sampled, in which all vascular plant species were recorded, soil depth was measured, and soil samples were collected and analysed in a laboratory for pH and plant-available nutrients. Geographic coordinates were used to extract selected climatic variables. Regression trees and linear regressions were used to quantify the relationships between species richness and environmental variables. Climatic factors were identified as the main drivers of species richness: (1) Species richness was strongly positively correlated with the mean temperature of the coldest month: sub-Mediterranean areas of S and E Bulgaria, characterized by warmer winters, were more species-rich. (2) Outside the sub-Mediterranean areas, species richness strongly increased with annual precipitation, which was primarily controlled by altitude. (3) Bedrock type and soil pH also significantly affected dry grassland richness outside the sub-Mediterranean areas. These results suggest that fine-scale species richness of dry grasslands over large areas is driven by processes at the regional level, especially by the difference in the species pools of large regions, in our case the Continental and Mediterranean biogeographic regions

  17. Productivity and species richness in longleaf pine woodlands: resource-disturbance influences across an edaphic gradient.

    PubMed

    Kirkman, L K; Giencke, L M; Taylor, R S; Boring, L R; Staudhammer, C L; Mitchell, R J

    2016-09-01

    This study examines the complex feedback mechanisms that regulate a positive relationship between species richness and productivity in a longleaf pine-wiregrass woodland. Across a natural soil moisture gradient spanning wet-mesic to xeric conditions, two large scale manipulations over a 10-yr period were used to determine how limiting resources and fire regulate plant species diversity and productivity at multiple scales. A fully factorial experiment was used to examine productivity and species richness responses to N and water additions. A separate experiment examined standing crop and richness responses to N addition in the presence and absence of fire. Specifically, these manipulations addressed the following questions: (1) How do N and water addition influence annual aboveground net primary productivity of the midstory/overstory and ground cover? (2) How do species richness responses to resource manipulations vary with scale and among functional groups of ground cover species? (3) How does standing crop (including overstory, understory/midstory, and ground cover components) differ between frequently burned and fire excluded plots after a decade without fire? (4) What is the role of fire in regulating species richness responses to N addition? This long-term study across a soil moisture gradient provides empirical evidence that species richness and productivity in longleaf pine woodlands are strongly regulated by soil moisture. After a decade of treatment, there was an overall species richness decline with N addition, an increase in richness of some functional groups with irrigation, and a substantial decline in species richness with fire exclusion. Changes in species richness in response to treatments were scale-dependent, occurring primarily at small scales (≤10 m(2) ). Further, with fire exclusion, standing crop of ground cover decreased with N addition and non-pine understory/midstory increased in wet-mesic sites. Non-pine understory/midstory standing crop

  18. The challenge of accurately documenting bee species richness in agroecosystems: bee diversity in eastern apple orchards.

    PubMed

    Russo, Laura; Park, Mia; Gibbs, Jason; Danforth, Bryan

    2015-09-01

    Bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops, and bee diversity has been shown to be closely associated with pollination, a valuable ecosystem service. Higher functional diversity and species richness of bees have been shown to lead to higher crop yield. Bees simultaneously represent a mega-diverse taxon that is extremely challenging to sample thoroughly and an important group to understand because of pollination services. We sampled bees visiting apple blossoms in 28 orchards over 6 years. We used species rarefaction analyses to test for the completeness of sampling and the relationship between species richness and sampling effort, orchard size, and percent agriculture in the surrounding landscape. We performed more than 190 h of sampling, collecting 11,219 specimens representing 104 species. Despite the sampling intensity, we captured <75% of expected species richness at more than half of the sites. For most of these, the variation in bee community composition between years was greater than among sites. Species richness was influenced by percent agriculture, orchard size, and sampling effort, but we found no factors explaining the difference between observed and expected species richness. Competition between honeybees and wild bees did not appear to be a factor, as we found no correlation between honeybee and wild bee abundance. Our study shows that the pollinator fauna of agroecosystems can be diverse and challenging to thoroughly sample. We demonstrate that there is high temporal variation in community composition and that sites vary widely in the sampling effort required to fully describe their diversity. In order to maximize pollination services provided by wild bee species, we must first accurately estimate species richness. For researchers interested in providing this estimate, we recommend multiyear studies and rarefaction analyses to quantify the gap between observed and expected species richness.

  19. Patterns and multi-scale drivers of phytoplankton species richness in temperate peri-urban lakes.

    PubMed

    Catherine, Arnaud; Selma, Maloufi; Mouillot, David; Troussellier, Marc; Bernard, Cécile

    2016-07-15

    Local species richness (SR) is a key characteristic affecting ecosystem functioning. Yet, the mechanisms regulating phytoplankton diversity in freshwater ecosystems are not fully understood, especially in peri-urban environments where anthropogenic pressures strongly impact the quality of aquatic ecosystems. To address this issue, we sampled the phytoplankton communities of 50 lakes in the Paris area (France) characterized by a large gradient of physico-chemical and catchment-scale characteristics. We used large phytoplankton datasets to describe phytoplankton diversity patterns and applied a machine-learning algorithm to test the degree to which species richness patterns are potentially controlled by environmental factors. Selected environmental factors were studied at two scales: the lake-scale (e.g. nutrients concentrations, water temperature, lake depth) and the catchment-scale (e.g. catchment, landscape and climate variables). Then, we used a variance partitioning approach to evaluate the interaction between lake-scale and catchment-scale variables in explaining local species richness. Finally, we analysed the residuals of predictive models to identify potential vectors of improvement of phytoplankton species richness predictive models. Lake-scale and catchment-scale drivers provided similar predictive accuracy of local species richness (R(2)=0.458 and 0.424, respectively). Both models suggested that seasonal temperature variations and nutrient supply strongly modulate local species richness. Integrating lake- and catchment-scale predictors in a single predictive model did not provide increased predictive accuracy; therefore suggesting that the catchment-scale model probably explains observed species richness variations through the impact of catchment-scale variables on in-lake water quality characteristics. Models based on catchment characteristics, which include simple and easy to obtain variables, provide a meaningful way of predicting phytoplankton species

  20. Stochastic dilution effects weaken deterministic effects of niche-based processes in species rich forests.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xugao; Wiegand, Thorsten; Kraft, Nathan J B; Swenson, Nathan G; Davies, Stuart J; Hao, Zhanqing; Howe, Robert; Lin, Yiching; Ma, Keping; Mi, Xiangcheng; Su, Sheng-Hsin; Sun, I-fang; Wolf, Amy

    2016-02-01

    Recent theory predicts that stochastic dilution effects may result in species-rich communities with statistically independent species spatial distributions, even if the underlying ecological processes structuring the community are driven by deterministic niche differences. Stochastic dilution is a consequence of the stochastic geometry of biodiversity where the identities of the nearest neighbors of individuals of a given species are largely unpredictable. Under such circumstances, the outcome of deterministic species interactions may vary greatly among individuals of a given species. Consequently, nonrandom patterns in the biotic neighborhoods of species, which might be expected from coexistence or community assembly theory (e.g., individuals of a given species are neighbored by phylogenetically similar species), are weakened or do not emerge, resulting in statistical independence of species spatial distributions. We used data on phylogenetic and functional similarity of tree species in five large forest dynamics plots located across a gradient of species richness to test predictions of the stochastic dilution hypothesis. To quantify the biotic neighborhood of a focal species we used the mean phylogenetic (or functional) dissimilarity of the individuals of the focal species to all species within a local neighborhood. We then compared the biotic neighborhood of species to predictions from stochastic null models to test if a focal species was surrounded by more or less similar species than expected by chance. The proportions of focal species that showed spatial independence with respect to their biotic neighborhoods increased with total species richness. Locally dominant, high-abundance species were more likely to be surrounded by species that were statistically more similar or more dissimilar than expected by chance. Our results suggest that stochasticity may play a stronger role in shaping the spatial structure of species rich tropical forest communities than it

  1. Hierarchical Bayes estimation of species richness and occupancy in spatially replicated surveys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kery, M.; Royle, J. Andrew

    2008-01-01

    1. Species richness is the most widely used biodiversity metric, but cannot be observed directly as, typically, some species are overlooked. Imperfect detectability must therefore be accounted for to obtain unbiased species-richness estimates. When richness is assessed at multiple sites, two approaches can be used to estimate species richness: either estimating for each site separately, or pooling all samples. The first approach produces imprecise estimates, while the second loses site-specific information. 2. In contrast, a hierarchical Bayes (HB) multispecies site-occupancy model benefits from the combination of information across sites without losing site-specific information and also yields occupancy estimates for each species. The heart of the model is an estimate of the incompletely observed presence-absence matrix, a centrepiece of biogeography and monitoring studies. We illustrate the model using Swiss breeding bird survey data, and compare its estimates with the widely used jackknife species-richness estimator and raw species counts. 3. Two independent observers each conducted three surveys in 26 1-km(2) quadrats, and detected 27-56 (total 103) species. The average estimated proportion of species detected after three surveys was 0.87 under the HB model. Jackknife estimates were less precise (less repeatable between observers) than raw counts, but HB estimates were as repeatable as raw counts. The combination of information in the HB model thus resulted in species-richness estimates presumably at least as unbiased as previous approaches that correct for detectability, but without costs in precision relative to uncorrected, biased species counts. 4. Total species richness in the entire region sampled was estimated at 113.1 (CI 106-123); species detectability ranged from 0.08 to 0.99, illustrating very heterogeneous species detectability; and species occupancy was 0.06-0.96. Even after six surveys, absolute bias in observed occupancy was estimated at up to 0

  2. Species richness and occupancy estimation in communities subject to temporary emigration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kery, M.; Royle, J. Andrew; Plattner, M.; Dorazio, R.M.

    2009-01-01

    Species richness is the most common biodiversity metric, although typically some species remain unobserved. Therefore, estimates of species richness and related quantities should account for imperfect detectability. Community dynamics can often be represented as superposition of species-specific phenologies (e. g., in taxa with well-defined flight [insects], activity [rodents], or vegetation periods [plants]). We develop a model for such predictably open communities wherein species richness is expressed as the sum over observed and unobserved species of estimated species-specific and site-specific occurrence indicators and where seasonal occurrence is modeled as a species-specific function of time. Our model is a multispecies extension of a multistate model with one unobservable state and represents a parsimonious way of dealing with a widespread form of 'temporary emigration.'' For illustration we use Swiss butterfly monitoring data collected under a robust design (RD); species were recorded on 13 transects during two secondary periods within <= 7 primary sampling periods. We compare estimates with those under a variation of the model applied to standard data, where secondary samples are pooled. The latter model yielded unrealistically high estimates of total community size of 274 species. In contrast, estimates were similar under models applied to RD data with constant (122) or seasonally varying (126) detectability for each species, but the former was more parsimonious and therefore used for inference. Per transect, 6 44 (mean 21.1) species were detected. Species richness estimates averaged 29.3; therefore only 71% (range 32-92%) of all species present were ever detected. In any primary period, 0.4-5.6 species present were overlooked. Detectability varied by species and averaged 0.88 per primary sampling period. Our modeling framework is extremely flexible; extensions such as covariates for the occurrence or detectability of individual species are easy. It

  3. Revisiting spatial scale in the productivity-species richness relationship: fundamental issues and global change implications.

    PubMed

    McBride, Paul D; Cusens, Jarrod; Gillman, Len N

    2014-09-23

    The relationship between net primary productivity (NPP) and species richness has been the subject of long-running debate. A changing climate gives added impetus to resolving this debate, as it becomes increasingly necessary to predict biodiversity responses that might arise from shifts in productivity or its climatic correlates. It has become increasingly clear that at small scales productivity-species richness relationships (PSRs) are variable, while at macro scales relationships are typically positive. We demonstrate the importance of explicitly considering scale in discussions on PSRs even at large scales by showing that distinct patterns emerge in a global dataset of terrestrial ecoregions when ecoregions are binned into size classes. At all sizes, PSRs in ecoregions are positive, but the strength of the PSR scales positively with ecoregion size. In small ecoregions (10(3)-10(4) km(2)), factors correlating with productivity play only a minor role in species richness patterns, while in large ecoregions (>10(5) km(2)), NPP modelled from remotely sensed data is able to explain most of the variation in species richness. Better understanding the effects of scale on PSRs contributes to the debate on the relationship between species richness and productivity, which in turn allows us to better predict how both long- and short-term biodiversity patterns and ecosystem functioning might be altered under global change scenarios. This gives focus on future research to clarify causal pathways between species richness and productivity with appropriate attention to scale as an important focusing element.

  4. Urbanization level and woodland size are major drivers of woodpecker species richness and abundance.

    PubMed

    Myczko, Lukasz; Rosin, Zuzanna M; Skórka, Piotr; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization is a process globally responsible for loss of biodiversity and for biological homogenization. Urbanization may have a direct negative impact on species behaviour and indirect effects on species populations through alterations of their habitats, for example patch size and habitat quality. Woodpeckers are species potentially susceptible to urbanization. These birds are mostly forest specialists and the development of urban areas in former forests may be an important factor influencing their richness and abundance, but documented examples are rare. In this study we investigated how woodpeckers responded to changes in forest habitats as a consequence of urbanization, namely size and isolation of habitat patches, and other within-patch characteristics. We selected 42 woodland patches in a gradient from a semi-natural rural landscape to the city centre of Poznań (Western Poland) in spring 2010. Both species richness and abundance of woodpeckers correlated positively to woodland patch area and negatively to increasing urbanization. Abundance of woodpeckers was also positively correlated with shrub cover and percentage of deciduous tree species. Furthermore, species richness and abundance of woodpeckers were highest at moderate values of canopy openness. Ordination analyses confirmed that urbanization level and woodland patch area were variables contributing most to species abundance in the woodpecker community. Similar results were obtained in presence-absence models for particular species. Thus, to sustain woodpecker species within cities it is important to keep woodland patches large, multi-layered and rich in deciduous tree species.

  5. Species richness and distribution of blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) in the Chapada Diamantina region, Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Landeiro, Victor L; Pepinelli, Mateus; Hamada, Neusa

    2009-01-01

    Taxonomically, blackflies (Simuliidae) are among the best-known aquatic insects in Brazil. However, information on their distribution is lacking for many regions. We sampled simuliids in 50 streams in the Chapada Diamantina region, State of Bahia, located in three distinct geographical areas, 20 at Lençóis, 18 at Mucugê, and 12 at Rio de Contas. We analyzed simuliid species richness and distribution in the Chapada Diamantina area as a whole, as well as in each of the three distinct geographical areas. We collected 20 species, three of which were not yet described and two were described after our sampling. The three areas are distinct in relation to environmental variables, mainly owing to differences in altitude and water pH. Four species were restricted to Rio de Contas, while four other species were restricted to Mucugê. Sixteen species were present in Mucugê and fifteen in Rio de Contas. Only twelve species were present in Lençóis, despite the higher sampling effort. Rio de Contas appears to be the area that harbors the highest species richness. Species richness was related to environmental factors only when evaluated on a small spatial scale (i.e. when each area was analyzed separately). Although we have not tested for causal relationships, our findings agree with other studies that showed that pH and altitude are important factors with which species richness and species distribution appear to be associated.

  6. Urbanization Level and Woodland Size Are Major Drivers of Woodpecker Species Richness and Abundance

    PubMed Central

    Myczko, Łukasz; Rosin, Zuzanna M.; Skórka, Piotr; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization is a process globally responsible for loss of biodiversity and for biological homogenization. Urbanization may have a direct negative impact on species behaviour and indirect effects on species populations through alterations of their habitats, for example patch size and habitat quality. Woodpeckers are species potentially susceptible to urbanization. These birds are mostly forest specialists and the development of urban areas in former forests may be an important factor influencing their richness and abundance, but documented examples are rare. In this study we investigated how woodpeckers responded to changes in forest habitats as a consequence of urbanization, namely size and isolation of habitat patches, and other within-patch characteristics. We selected 42 woodland patches in a gradient from a semi-natural rural landscape to the city centre of Poznań (Western Poland) in spring 2010. Both species richness and abundance of woodpeckers correlated positively to woodland patch area and negatively to increasing urbanization. Abundance of woodpeckers was also positively correlated with shrub cover and percentage of deciduous tree species. Furthermore, species richness and abundance of woodpeckers were highest at moderate values of canopy openness. Ordination analyses confirmed that urbanization level and woodland patch area were variables contributing most to species abundance in the woodpecker community. Similar results were obtained in presence-absence models for particular species. Thus, to sustain woodpecker species within cities it is important to keep woodland patches large, multi-layered and rich in deciduous tree species. PMID:24740155

  7. Threatened and Endangered Freshwater Fish and Mussel Species Richness

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all US listed Threatened and Endangered freshwater fish and freshwater mussels in the Middle-Atlantic region. The data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons and represent total species counts for each spatial unit. More information about these resources, including the variables used in this study, may be found here: https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/NERL/ReVA/ReVA_Data.zip.

  8. Evolution of the species-rich Cape flora.

    PubMed Central

    Linder, H P; Hardy, C R

    2004-01-01

    The Cape Floristic Region ('fynbos biome') has very high levels of plant species diversity and endemism. Much of this diversity is concentrated in a relatively small number of clades centered in the region (Cape clades), and these form a vegetation called 'fynbos'. The general explanation for the origin of this diversity is that much of it evolved in the Pliocene and Late Miocene in response to progressive aridification. We present a phylogenetic analysis of an almost complete species sample of the largest clade of Restionaceae, the third largest Cape clade. This indicates that the radiation of the Restionaceae started between 20 and 42 Myr ago, and since then there were no, or at most gradual, changes in the speciation rate in this clade. For seven other clades, the estimated starting dates for their radiation ranges from 7 to 20 Myr ago. Combining the radiation patterns for these clades shows that ca. 15% of the modern species evolved during the Pleistocene, and almost 40% since the beginning of the Pliocene. We suggest that these clades might have radiated in response to the fynbos vegetation increasing its extent in the Cape as a result of climatic change. PMID:15519977

  9. Assessing the natural and anthropogenic influences on basin-wide fish species richness.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Su-Ting; Herricks, Edwin E; Tsai, Wen-Ping; Chang, Fi-John

    2016-12-01

    Theory predicts that the number of fish species increases with river size in natural free-flowing rivers, but the relationship is lost under intensive exploitation of water resources associated with dams and/or landscape developments. In this paper, we aim to identify orthomorphic issues that disrupt theoretical species patterns based on a multi-year, basin-wide assessment in the Danshuei River Watershed of Taiwan. We hypothesize that multiple human-induced modifications fragment habitat areas leading to decreases of local fish species richness. We integrally relate natural and anthropogenic influences on fish species richness by a multiple linear regression model that is driven by a combination of factors including river network structure controls, water quality alterations of habitat, and disruption of channel connectivity with major discontinuities in habitat caused by dams. We found that stream order is a major forcing factor representing natural influence on fish species richness. In addition to stream order, we identified dams, dissolved oxygen deficiency (DO), and excessive total phosphorus (TP) as major anthropogenic influences on the richness of fish species. Our results showed that anthropogenic influences were operating at various spatial scales that inherently regulate the physical, chemical, and biological condition of fish habitats. Moreover, our probability-based risk assessment revealed causes of species richness reduction and opportunities for mitigation. Risks of species richness reduction caused by dams were determined by the position of dams and the contribution of tributaries in the drainage network. Risks associated with TP and DO were higher in human-activity-intensified downstream reaches. Our methodology provides a structural framework for assessing changes in basin-wide fish species richness under the mixed natural and human-modified river network and habitat conditions. Based on our analysis results, we recommend that a focus on landscape

  10. The combined effects of biotic and abiotic stress on species richness and connectance.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Devdutt; De Laender, Frederik

    2017-01-01

    Food web structure and species richness are both subject to biotic (e.g. predation pressure and resource limitation) and abiotic stress (e.g. environmental change). We investigated the combined effects of both types of stress on richness and connectance, and on their relationship, in a predator-prey system. To this end, we developed a mathematical two trophic level food-web model to investigate the effects of biotic and abiotic stress on food web connectance and species richness. We found negative effects of top-down and bottom-up control on prey and predator richness, respectively. Effects of top-down and bottom-up control were stronger when initial connectance was high and low, respectively. Bottom-up control could either aggravate or buffer negative effects of top-down control. Abiotic stress affecting predator richness had positive indirect effects on prey richness, but only when initial connectance was low. However, no indirect effects on predator richness were observed following direct effects on prey richness. Top-down and bottom-up control selected for weakly connected prey and highly connected predators, thereby decreasing and increasing connectance, respectively. Our simulations suggest a broad range of negative and positive richness-connectance relationships, thereby revisiting the often found negative relationship between richness and connectance in food webs. Our results suggest that (1) initial food-web connectance strongly influences the effects of biotic stress on richness and the occurrence of indirect effects on richness; and (2) the shape of the richness-connectance relationship depends on the type of biotic stress.

  11. Productivity and species richness across an environmental gradient in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Kirkman, L K; Mitchell, R J; Helton, R C; Drew, M B

    2001-11-01

    The fire-dependent longleaf pine-wiregrass (Pinus palustris Mill.-Aristida beyrichiana Trin. & Rupr.) savannas of the southeastern United States provide a unique opportunity to examine the relationship between productivity and species richness in a natural ecosystem because of the extremely high number of species and their range across a wide ecological amplitude (sandhills to edges of wetlands). We used a natural gradient to examine how plant species richness and plant community structure vary with standing crop biomass (which in this system is proportional to annual net productivity) as a function of soil moisture and nitrogen mineralization rates in a frequently burned longleaf pine-wiregrass savanna. Highest ground cover biomass and highest species richness were found at the same position along the gradient, the wet-mesic sites. Relative differences in species richness among site types were independent of scale, ranging from 0.01 m(2) to 100 m(2). Nitrogen availability was negatively correlated with species richness. Dominance of wiregrass (in terms of biomass) was consistent across the gradient and not correlated with species richness. Regardless of site type, the community structure of the savannas was characterized by many perennial species with infrequent occurrences, a factor in the low temporal heterogeneity (percent similarity between seasons and years) and high within-site spatial heterogeneity (percent dissimilarity of vegetation composition). The coexistence of numerous species is likely due to the high frequency of fire that removes competing hardwood vegetation and litter and to the suite of fire-adapted perennial species that, once established, are able to persist. Our results suggest that soil moisture is an important factor regulating both the number of species present and community production within the defined gradient of this study.

  12. Elevational pattern of bird species richness and its causes along a central Himalaya gradient, China

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Xinyuan; Ding, Zhifeng; Hu, Yiming; Liang, Jianchao; Wu, Yongjie; Si, Xingfeng; Guo, Mingfang

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the relative importance of six variables: area, the mid-domain effect, temperature, precipitation, productivity, and habitat heterogeneity on elevational patterns of species richness for breeding birds along a central Himalaya gradient in the Gyirong Valley, the longest of five canyons in the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. We conducted field surveys in each of twelve elevational bands of 300 m between 1,800 and 5,400 m asl four times throughout the entire wet season. A total of 169 breeding bird species were recorded and most of the species (74%) were small-ranged. The species richness patterns of overall, large-ranged and small-ranged birds were all hump-shaped, but with peaks at different elevations. Large-ranged species and small-ranged species contributed equally to the overall richness pattern. Based on the bivariate and multiple regression analyses, area and precipitation were not crucial factors in determining the species richness along this gradient. The mid-domain effect played an important role in shaping the richness pattern of large-ranged species. Temperature was negatively correlated with overall and large-ranged species but positively correlated with small-ranged species. Productivity was a strong explanatory factor among all the bird groups, and habitat heterogeneity played an important role in shaping the elevational richness patterns of overall and small-ranged species. Our results highlight the need to conserve primary forest and intact habitat in this area. Furthermore, we need to increase conservation efforts in this montane biodiversity hotspot in light of increasing anthropogenic activities and land use pressure. PMID:27833806

  13. Elevational pattern of bird species richness and its causes along a central Himalaya gradient, China.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xinyuan; Ding, Zhifeng; Hu, Yiming; Liang, Jianchao; Wu, Yongjie; Si, Xingfeng; Guo, Mingfang; Hu, Huijian; Jin, Kun

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the relative importance of six variables: area, the mid-domain effect, temperature, precipitation, productivity, and habitat heterogeneity on elevational patterns of species richness for breeding birds along a central Himalaya gradient in the Gyirong Valley, the longest of five canyons in the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. We conducted field surveys in each of twelve elevational bands of 300 m between 1,800 and 5,400 m asl four times throughout the entire wet season. A total of 169 breeding bird species were recorded and most of the species (74%) were small-ranged. The species richness patterns of overall, large-ranged and small-ranged birds were all hump-shaped, but with peaks at different elevations. Large-ranged species and small-ranged species contributed equally to the overall richness pattern. Based on the bivariate and multiple regression analyses, area and precipitation were not crucial factors in determining the species richness along this gradient. The mid-domain effect played an important role in shaping the richness pattern of large-ranged species. Temperature was negatively correlated with overall and large-ranged species but positively correlated with small-ranged species. Productivity was a strong explanatory factor among all the bird groups, and habitat heterogeneity played an important role in shaping the elevational richness patterns of overall and small-ranged species. Our results highlight the need to conserve primary forest and intact habitat in this area. Furthermore, we need to increase conservation efforts in this montane biodiversity hotspot in light of increasing anthropogenic activities and land use pressure.

  14. Richness of lichen species, especially of threatened ones, is promoted by management methods furthering stand continuity.

    PubMed

    Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Hessenmöller, Dominik; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Fischer, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Lichens are a key component of forest biodiversity. However, a comprehensive study analyzing lichen species richness in relation to several management types, extending over different regions and forest stages and including information on site conditions is missing for temperate European forests. In three German regions (Schwäbische Alb, Hainich-Dün, Schorfheide-Chorin), the so-called Biodiversity Exploratories, we studied lichen species richness in 631 forest plots of 400 m(2) comprising different management types (unmanaged, selection cutting, deciduous and coniferous age-class forests resulting from clear cutting or shelterwood logging), various stand ages, and site conditions, typical for large parts of temperate Europe. We analyzed how lichen species richness responds to management and habitat variables (standing biomass, cover of deadwood, cover of rocks). We found strong regional differences with highest lichen species richness in the Schwäbische Alb, probably driven by regional differences in former air pollution, and in precipitation and habitat variables. Overall, unmanaged forests harbored 22% more threatened lichen species than managed age-class forests. In general, total, corticolous, and threatened lichen species richness did not differ among management types of deciduous forests. However, in the Schwäbische-Alb region, deciduous forests had 61% more lichen species than coniferous forests and they had 279% more threatened and 76% more corticolous lichen species. Old deciduous age classes were richer in corticolous lichen species than young ones, while old coniferous age-classes were poorer than young ones. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of stand continuity for conservation. To increase total and threatened lichen species richness we suggest (1) conserving unmanaged forests, (2) promoting silvicultural methods assuring stand continuity, (3) conserving old trees in managed forests, (4) promoting stands of native deciduous tree species

  15. Patterns of Species Richness and Turnover for the South American Rodent Fauna.

    PubMed

    Maestri, Renan; Patterson, Bruce D

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the spatial distribution of species sheds light on the group's biogeographical history, offers clues to the drivers of diversity, and helps to guide conservation strategies. Here, we compile geographic range information for South America's diverse rodents, whose 14 families comprise ~50% of the continent's mammalian species. The South American rodent fauna is dominated by independent and temporally staggered radiations of caviomorph and sigmodontine groups. We mapped species richness and turnover of all rodents and the principal clades to identify the main predictors of diversity patterns. Species richness was highest in the Andes, with a secondary hotspot in Atlantic Forest and some regions of considerable richness in Amazonia. Differences in richness were evident between the caviomorphs and sigmodontines, the former showing the greatest richness in tropical forests whereas the latter show-and largely determine-the all-rodent pattern. Elevation was the main predictor of sigmodontine richness, whereas temperature was the principal variable correlated with richness of caviomorphs. Across clades, species turnover was highest along the Andes and was best explained by elevational relief. In South America, the effects of the familiar latitudinal gradient in species richness are mixed with a strong longitudinal effect, triggered by the importance of elevation and the position of the Andes. Both latitudinal and elevational effects help explain the complicated distribution of rodent diversity across the continent. The continent's restricted-range species-those seemingly most vulnerable to localized disturbance-are mostly distributed along the Andes and in Atlantic Forest, with the greatest concentration in Ecuador. Both the Andes and Atlantic Forest are known hotspots for other faunal and floral components. Contrasting patterns of the older caviomorph and younger sigmodontine radiations underscore the interplay of both historical and ecological factors in

  16. Reversal in the relationship between species richness and turnover in a phytoplankton community.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Blake; Pomati, Francesco

    2012-11-01

    Negative relationships between species richness and the rate of compositional turnover are common, suggesting that diverse communities have greater stability than depauperate ones; however, the mechanistic basis for this pattern is still widely debated. Species richness and turnover can covary either because they are mechanistically linked or because they share common environmental drivers. Few empirical studies have combined long-term changes in community composition with multiple drivers of environmental change, and so little is known about how the underlying mechanisms of species coexistence interact with changes in the mean and variability of environmental conditions. Here, we use a 33 year long time series (1976-2008) of phytoplankton community composition from Lake Zurich, to examine how environmental variation influences the relationship between richness and annual turnover. We find that the relationship between richness and annual turnover reverses midway through the time series (1992-1993), leading to a hump-shaped relationship between species richness and annual turnover. Using structural equation modeling we show that annual turnover and diversity are independently associated with different drivers of environmental change. Furthermore, we find that the observed annual sequences of community assembly give rise to rates of species accumulation that are more heterogeneous through time than expected by chance, likely owing to a high proportion of species showing significant autocorrelation and to strong positive covariation in the occurrences of species.

  17. Multivariate control of plant species richness and community biomass in blackland prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weiher, E.; Forbes, S.; Schauwecker, T.; Grace, J.B.

    2004-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that patterns of plant species richness and community biomass are best understood in a multivariate context. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a multivariate hypothesis about how herbaceous biomass and richness relate to gradients in soil conditions and woody plant cover in blackland prairies. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate how soil characteristics and shade by scattered Juniperus virginiana trees relate to standing biomass and species richness in 99 0.25 m2 quadrats collected in eastern Mississippi, USA. Analysis proceeded in two stages. In the first stage, we evaluated the hypothesis that correlations among soil parameters could be represented by two underlying (latent) soil factors, mineral content and organic content. In the second stage, we evaluated the hypothesis that richness and biomass were related to (1) soil properties, (2) tree canopy extent, and (3) each other (i.e. reciprocal effects between richness and biomass). With some modification to the details of the original model, it was found that soil properties could be represented as two latent variables. In the overall model, 51% and 53% of the observed variation in richness and biomass were explained. The order of importance for variables explaining variations in richness was (1) soil organic content, (2) soil mineral content, (3) community biomass, and (4) tree canopy extent. The order of importance for variables explaining biomass was (1) tree canopy and (2) soil organic content, with neither soil mineral content nor species richness explaining significant variation in biomass. Based on these findings, we conclude that variations in richness are uniquely related to both variations in soil conditions and variations in herbaceous biomass. We further conclude that there is no evidence in these data for effects of species richness on biomass.

  18. Species richness and soil properties in Pinus ponderosa forests: A structural equation modeling analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laughlin, D.C.; Abella, S.R.; Covington, W.W.; Grace, J.B.

    2007-01-01

    Question: How are the effects of mineral soil properties on understory plant species richness propagated through a network of processes involving the forest overstory, soil organic matter, soil nitrogen, and understory plant abundance? Location: North-central Arizona, USA. Methods: We sampled 75 0.05-ha plots across a broad soil gradient in a Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine) forest ecosystem. We evaluated multivariate models of plant species richness using structural equation modeling. Results: Richness was highest at intermediate levels of understory plant cover, suggesting that both colonization success and competitive exclusion can limit richness in this system. We did not detect a reciprocal positive effect of richness on plant cover. Richness was strongly related to soil nitrogen in the model, with evidence for both a direct negative effect and an indirect non-linear relationship mediated through understory plant cover. Soil organic matter appeared to have a positive influence on understory richness that was independent of soil nitrogen. Richness was lowest where the forest overstory was densest, which can be explained through indirect effects on soil organic matter, soil nitrogen and understory cover. Finally, model results suggest a variety of direct and indirect processes whereby mineral soil properties can influence richness. Conclusions: Understory plant species richness and plant cover in P. ponderosa forests appear to be significantly influenced by soil organic matter and nitrogen, which are, in turn, related to overstory density and composition and mineral soil properties. Thus, soil properties can impose direct and indirect constraints on local species diversity in ponderosa pine forests. ?? IAVS; Opulus Press.

  19. Duck productivity in restored species-rich native and species-poor non-native plantings.

    PubMed

    Haffele, Ryan D; Eichholz, Michael W; Dixon, Cami S

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010-2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years.

  20. Duck Productivity in Restored Species-Rich Native and Species-Poor Non-Native Plantings

    PubMed Central

    Haffele, Ryan D.; Eichholz, Michael W.; Dixon, Cami S.

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010–2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years. PMID:23840898

  1. Regional and local species richness in an insular environment: Serpentine plants in California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrison, S.; Safford, H.D.; Grace, J.B.; Viers, J.H.; Davies, K.F.

    2006-01-01

    We asked how the richness of the specialized (endemic) flora of serpentine rock outcrops in California varies at both the regional and local scales. Our study had two goals: first, to test whether endemic richness is affected by spatial habitat structure (e.g., regional serpentine area, local serpentine outcrop area, regional and local measures of outcrop isolation), and second, to conduct this test in the context of a broader assessment of environmental influences (e.g., climate, soils, vegetation, disturbance) and historical influences (e.g., geologic age, geographic province) on local and regional species richness. We measured endemic and total richness and environmental variables in 109 serpentine sites (1000-m2 paired plots) in 78 serpentine-containing regions of the state. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to simultaneously relate regional richness to regionalscale predictors, and local richness to both local-scale and regional-scale predictors. Our model for serpentine endemics explained 66% of the variation in local endemic richness based on local environment (vegetation, soils, rock cover) and on regional endemic richness. It explained 73% of the variation in regional endemic richness based on regional environment (climate and productivity), historical factors (geologic age and geographic province), and spatial structure (regional total area of serpentine, the only significant spatial variable in our analysis). We did not find a strong influence of spatial structure on species richness. However, we were able to distinguish local vs. regional influences on species richness to a novel extent, despite the existence of correlations between local and regional conditions. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Native macrophyte density and richness affect the invasiveness of a tropical poaceae species.

    PubMed

    Michelan, Thaisa S; Thomaz, Sidinei M; Bini, Luis M

    2013-01-01

    The role of the native species richness and density in ecosystem invasibility is a matter of concern for both ecologists and managers. We tested the hypothesis that the invasiveness of Urochloa arrecta (non-native in the Neotropics) is negatively affected by the species richness and abundance of native aquatic macrophytes in freshwater ecosystems. We first created four levels of macrophyte richness in a greenhouse (richness experiment), and we then manipulated the densities of the same native species in a second experiment (density experiment). When the native macrophytes were adults, fragments of U. arrecta were added, and their growth was assessed. Our results from the richness experiment corroborated the hypothesis of a negative relationship between the native species richness and the growth of U. arrecta, as measured by sprout length and root biomass. However, the resistance to invasion was not attributed to the presence of a particular native species with a greater competitive ability. In the density experiment, U. arrecta growth decreased significantly with an increased density of all five of the native species. Density strongly affected the performance of the Poaceae in a negative manner, suggesting that patches that are densely colonized by native macrophytes and less subject to disturbances will be more resistant to invasion than those that are poorly colonized and more commonly subjected to disturbances. Our density experiment also showed that some species exhibit a higher competitive ability than others (sampling effect). Although native richness and abundance clearly limit the colonization and establishment of U. arrecta, these factors cannot completely prevent the invasion of aquatic ecosystems by this Poaceae species.

  3. Estimating vascular plant species richness on Horn Island, Mississippi using small-footprint airborne LIDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucas, Kelly L.; Raber, George T.; Carter, Gregory A.

    2010-09-01

    Most remote sensing studies of species diversity have been based on the use of passive imagery representing the horizontal dimensions of ecosystems. However, LIDAR (light detection and ranging), provides a means to accurately quantify vertical structure. The goal of this study was to evaluate vascular plant species richness on a coastal barrier island using indicators of community vertical structure derived from airborne, multiple-return LIDAR data. Returns from a 3 m buffer area surrounding each of 90, 15 m vegetation line transects were extracted from LIDAR data of Horn Island, Mississippi, acquired in April, 2004. LIDAR indices did not correlate with richness when data for all habitats were combined. When habitats were considered separately, several LIDAR indices correlated significantly (p <= 0.05) with richness in marsh, meadow and woodland habitats. Best-fit indices indicated the importance of vegetation height and structural complexity in estimating plant species richness.

  4. Effects of trophic skewing of species richness on ecosystem functioning in a diverse marine community.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Pamela L; Bruno, John F

    2012-01-01

    Widespread overharvesting of top consumers of the world's ecosystems has "skewed" food webs, in terms of biomass and species richness, towards a generally greater domination at lower trophic levels. This skewing is exacerbated in locations where exotic species are predominantly low-trophic level consumers such as benthic macrophytes, detritivores, and filter feeders. However, in some systems where numerous exotic predators have been added, sometimes purposefully as in many freshwater systems, food webs are skewed in the opposite direction toward consumer dominance. Little is known about how such modifications to food web topology, e.g., changes in the ratio of predator to prey species richness, affect ecosystem functioning. We experimentally measured the effects of trophic skew on production in an estuarine food web by manipulating ratios of species richness across three trophic levels in experimental mesocosms. After 24 days, increasing macroalgal richness promoted both plant biomass and grazer abundance, although the positive effect on plant biomass disappeared in the presence of grazers. The strongest trophic cascade on the experimentally stocked macroalgae emerged in communities with a greater ratio of prey to predator richness (bottom-rich food webs), while stronger cascades on the accumulation of naturally colonizing algae (primarily microalgae with some early successional macroalgae that recruited and grew in the mesocosms) generally emerged in communities with greater predator to prey richness (the more top-rich food webs). These results suggest that trophic skewing of species richness and overall changes in food web topology can influence marine community structure and food web dynamics in complex ways, emphasizing the need for multitrophic approaches to understand the consequences of marine extinctions and invasions.

  5. Effects of Trophic Skewing of Species Richness on Ecosystem Functioning in a Diverse Marine Community

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Pamela L.; Bruno, John F.

    2012-01-01

    Widespread overharvesting of top consumers of the world’s ecosystems has “skewed” food webs, in terms of biomass and species richness, towards a generally greater domination at lower trophic levels. This skewing is exacerbated in locations where exotic species are predominantly low-trophic level consumers such as benthic macrophytes, detritivores, and filter feeders. However, in some systems where numerous exotic predators have been added, sometimes purposefully as in many freshwater systems, food webs are skewed in the opposite direction toward consumer dominance. Little is known about how such modifications to food web topology, e.g., changes in the ratio of predator to prey species richness, affect ecosystem functioning. We experimentally measured the effects of trophic skew on production in an estuarine food web by manipulating ratios of species richness across three trophic levels in experimental mesocosms. After 24 days, increasing macroalgal richness promoted both plant biomass and grazer abundance, although the positive effect on plant biomass disappeared in the presence of grazers. The strongest trophic cascade on the experimentally stocked macroalgae emerged in communities with a greater ratio of prey to predator richness (bottom-rich food webs), while stronger cascades on the accumulation of naturally colonizing algae (primarily microalgae with some early successional macroalgae that recruited and grew in the mesocosms) generally emerged in communities with greater predator to prey richness (the more top-rich food webs). These results suggest that trophic skewing of species richness and overall changes in food web topology can influence marine community structure and food web dynamics in complex ways, emphasizing the need for multitrophic approaches to understand the consequences of marine extinctions and invasions. PMID:22693549

  6. Changes in Species Richness and Composition of Tiger Moths (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae) among Three Neotropical Ecoregions

    PubMed Central

    Beccacece, Hernán Mario; Zeballos, Sebastián Rodolfo; Zapata, Adriana Inés

    2016-01-01

    Paraná, Yungas and Chaco Serrano ecoregions are among the most species-rich terrestrial habitats at higher latitude. However, the information for tiger moths, one of the most speciose groups of moths, is unknown in these ecoregions. In this study, we assess their species richness and composition in all three of these ecoregions. Also we investigated whether the species composition of tiger moths is influenced by climatic factors and altitude. Tiger moth species were obtained with samples from 71 sites using standardized protocols (21 sites were in Yungas, 19 in Paraná and 31 in Chaco Serrano). Rarefaction-extrapolation curves, non-parametric estimators for incidence and sample coverage indices were performed to assess species richness in the ecoregions studied. Non metric multidimensional scaling and adonis tests were performed to compare the species composition of tiger moths among ecoregions. Permutest analysis and Pearson correlation were used to evaluate the relationship among species composition and annual mean temperature, annual temperature range, annual precipitation, precipitation seasonality and altitude. Among ecoregions Paraná was the richest with 125 species, followed by Yungas with 63 species and Chaco Serrano with 24 species. Species composition differed among these ecoregions, although Yungas and Chaco Serrano were more similar than Paraná. Species composition was significantly influenced by climatic factors and altitude. This study showed that species richness and species composition of tiger moths differed among the three ecoregions assessed. Furthermore, not only climatic factors and altitude influence the species composition of tiger moths among ecoregions, but also climatic seasonality at higher latitude in Neotropical South America becomes an important factor. PMID:27681478

  7. Disentangling the Role of Climate, Topography and Vegetation in Species Richness Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Moura, Mario R.; Villalobos, Fabricio; Costa, Gabriel C.; Garcia, Paulo C. A.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental gradients (EG) related to climate, topography and vegetation are among the most important drivers of broad scale patterns of species richness. However, these different EG do not necessarily drive species richness in similar ways, potentially presenting synergistic associations when driving species richness. Understanding the synergism among EG allows us to address key questions arising from the effects of global climate and land use changes on biodiversity. Herein, we use variation partitioning (also know as commonality analysis) to disentangle unique and shared contributions of different EG in explaining species richness of Neotropical vertebrates. We use three broad sets of predictors to represent the environmental variability in (i) climate (annual mean temperature, temperature annual range, annual precipitation and precipitation range), (ii) topography (mean elevation, range and coefficient of variation of elevation), and (iii) vegetation (land cover diversity, standard deviation and range of forest canopy height). The shared contribution between two types of EG is used to quantify synergistic processes operating among EG, offering new perspectives on the causal relationships driving species richness. To account for spatially structured processes, we use Spatial EigenVector Mapping models. We perform analyses across groups with distinct dispersal abilities (amphibians, non-volant mammals, bats and birds) and discuss the influence of vagility on the partitioning results. Our findings indicate that broad scale patterns of vertebrate richness are mainly affected by the synergism between climate and vegetation, followed by the unique contribution of climate. Climatic factors were relatively more important in explaining species richness of good dispersers. Most of the variation in vegetation that explains vertebrate richness is climatically structured, supporting the productivity hypothesis. Further, the weak synergism between topography and vegetation

  8. Environmental heterogeneity predicts species richness of freshwater mollusks in sub-Saharan Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauffe, T.; Schultheiß, R.; Van Bocxlaer, B.; Prömmel, K.; Albrecht, C.

    2016-09-01

    Species diversity and how it is structured on a continental scale is influenced by stochastic, ecological, and evolutionary driving forces, but hypotheses on determining factors have been mainly examined for terrestrial and marine organisms. The extant diversity of African freshwater mollusks is in general well assessed to facilitate conservation strategies and because of the medical importance of several taxa as intermediate hosts for tropical parasites. This historical accumulation of knowledge has, however, not resulted in substantial macroecological studies on the spatial distribution of freshwater mollusks. Here, we use continental distribution data and a recently developed method of random and cohesive allocation of species distribution ranges to test the relative importance of various factors in shaping species richness of Bivalvia and Gastropoda. We show that the mid-domain effect, that is, a hump-shaped richness gradient in a geographically bounded system despite the absence of environmental gradients, plays a minor role in determining species richness of freshwater mollusks in sub-Saharan Africa. The western branch of the East African Rift System was included as dispersal barrier in richness models, but these simulation results did not fit observed diversity patterns significantly better than models where this effect was not included, which suggests that the rift has played a more complex role in generating diversity patterns. Present-day precipitation and temperature explain richness patterns better than Eemian climatic condition. Therefore, the availability of water and energy for primary productivity during the past does not influence current species richness patterns much, and observed diversity patterns appear to be in equilibrium with contemporary climate. The availability of surface waters was the best predictor of bivalve and gastropod richness. Our data indicate that habitat diversity causes the observed species-area relationship, and hence, that

  9. Patterns of Species Richness and Turnover for the South American Rodent Fauna

    PubMed Central

    Maestri, Renan; Patterson, Bruce D.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the spatial distribution of species sheds light on the group’s biogeographical history, offers clues to the drivers of diversity, and helps to guide conservation strategies. Here, we compile geographic range information for South America’s diverse rodents, whose 14 families comprise ~50% of the continent’s mammalian species. The South American rodent fauna is dominated by independent and temporally staggered radiations of caviomorph and sigmodontine groups. We mapped species richness and turnover of all rodents and the principal clades to identify the main predictors of diversity patterns. Species richness was highest in the Andes, with a secondary hotspot in Atlantic Forest and some regions of considerable richness in Amazonia. Differences in richness were evident between the caviomorphs and sigmodontines, the former showing the greatest richness in tropical forests whereas the latter show—and largely determine—the all-rodent pattern. Elevation was the main predictor of sigmodontine richness, whereas temperature was the principal variable correlated with richness of caviomorphs. Across clades, species turnover was highest along the Andes and was best explained by elevational relief. In South America, the effects of the familiar latitudinal gradient in species richness are mixed with a strong longitudinal effect, triggered by the importance of elevation and the position of the Andes. Both latitudinal and elevational effects help explain the complicated distribution of rodent diversity across the continent. The continent’s restricted-range species—those seemingly most vulnerable to localized disturbance—are mostly distributed along the Andes and in Atlantic Forest, with the greatest concentration in Ecuador. Both the Andes and Atlantic Forest are known hotspots for other faunal and floral components. Contrasting patterns of the older caviomorph and younger sigmodontine radiations underscore the interplay of both historical and

  10. Disentangling the Role of Climate, Topography and Vegetation in Species Richness Gradients.

    PubMed

    Moura, Mario R; Villalobos, Fabricio; Costa, Gabriel C; Garcia, Paulo C A

    2016-01-01

    Environmental gradients (EG) related to climate, topography and vegetation are among the most important drivers of broad scale patterns of species richness. However, these different EG do not necessarily drive species richness in similar ways, potentially presenting synergistic associations when driving species richness. Understanding the synergism among EG allows us to address key questions arising from the effects of global climate and land use changes on biodiversity. Herein, we use variation partitioning (also know as commonality analysis) to disentangle unique and shared contributions of different EG in explaining species richness of Neotropical vertebrates. We use three broad sets of predictors to represent the environmental variability in (i) climate (annual mean temperature, temperature annual range, annual precipitation and precipitation range), (ii) topography (mean elevation, range and coefficient of variation of elevation), and (iii) vegetation (land cover diversity, standard deviation and range of forest canopy height). The shared contribution between two types of EG is used to quantify synergistic processes operating among EG, offering new perspectives on the causal relationships driving species richness. To account for spatially structured processes, we use Spatial EigenVector Mapping models. We perform analyses across groups with distinct dispersal abilities (amphibians, non-volant mammals, bats and birds) and discuss the influence of vagility on the partitioning results. Our findings indicate that broad scale patterns of vertebrate richness are mainly affected by the synergism between climate and vegetation, followed by the unique contribution of climate. Climatic factors were relatively more important in explaining species richness of good dispersers. Most of the variation in vegetation that explains vertebrate richness is climatically structured, supporting the productivity hypothesis. Further, the weak synergism between topography and vegetation

  11. Reef flattening effects on total richness and species responses in the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Newman, Steven P; Meesters, Erik H; Dryden, Charlie S; Williams, Stacey M; Sanchez, Cristina; Mumby, Peter J; Polunin, Nicholas V C

    2015-11-01

    There has been ongoing flattening of Caribbean coral reefs with the loss of habitat having severe implications for these systems. Complexity and its structural components are important to fish species richness and community composition, but little is known about its role for other taxa or species-specific responses. This study reveals the importance of reef habitat complexity and structural components to different taxa of macrofauna, total species richness, and individual coral and fish species in the Caribbean. Species presence and richness of different taxa were visually quantified in one hundred 25-m(2) plots in three marine reserves in the Caribbean. Sampling was evenly distributed across five levels of visually estimated reef complexity, with five structural components also recorded: the number of corals, number of large corals, slope angle, maximum sponge and maximum octocoral height. Taking advantage of natural heterogeneity in structural complexity within a particular coral reef habitat (Orbicella reefs) and discrete environmental envelope, thus minimizing other sources of variability, the relative importance of reef complexity and structural components was quantified for different taxa and individual fish and coral species on Caribbean coral reefs using boosted regression trees (BRTs). Boosted regression tree models performed very well when explaining variability in total (82·3%), coral (80·6%) and fish species richness (77·3%), for which the greatest declines in richness occurred below intermediate reef complexity levels. Complexity accounted for very little of the variability in octocorals, sponges, arthropods, annelids or anemones. BRTs revealed species-specific variability and importance for reef complexity and structural components. Coral and fish species occupancy generally declined at low complexity levels, with the exception of two coral species (Pseudodiploria strigosa and Porites divaricata) and four fish species (Halichoeres bivittatus, H

  12. Mussels as ecosystem engineers: Their contribution to species richness in a rocky littoral community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borthagaray, Ana Inés; Carranza, Alvar

    Mussels are important ecosystem engineers in marine benthic systems because they aggregate into beds, thus modifying the nature and complexity of the substrate. In this study, we evaluated the contribution of mussels ( Brachidontes rodriguezii, Mytilus edulis platensis, and Perna perna) to the benthic species richness of intertidal and shallow subtidal communities at Cerro Verde (Uruguay). We compared the richness of macro-benthic species between mussel-engineered patches and patches without mussels but dominated by algae or barnacles at a landscape scale (all samples), between tidal levels, and between sites distributed along a wave exposition gradient. Overall, we found a net increase in species richness in samples with mussels (35 species), in contrast to samples where mussels were naturally absent or scarce (27 species). The positive trend of the effect did not depend upon tidal level or wave exposition, but its magnitude varied between sites. Within sites, a significant positive effect was detected only at the protected site. Within the mussel-engineered patches, the richness of all macro-faunal groups (total, sessile and mobile) was positively correlated with mussel abundance. This evidence indicates that the mussel beds studied here were important in maintaining species richness at the landscape-level, and highlights that beds of shelled bivalves should not be neglected as conservation targets in marine benthic environments.

  13. Spatial and environmental correlates of species richness and turnover patterns in European cryptocephaline and chrysomeline beetles

    PubMed Central

    Freijeiro, Andrea; Baselga, Andrés

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Despite some general concordant patterns (i.e. the latitudinal richness gradient), species richness and composition of different European beetle taxa varies in different ways according to their dispersal and ecological traits. Here, the patterns of variation in species richness, composition and spatial turnover are analysed in European cryptocephaline and chrysomeline leaf beetles, assessing their environmental and spatial correlates. The underlying rationale to use environmental and spatial variables of diversity patterns is to assess the relative support for niche- and dispersal-driven hypotheses. Our results show that despite a broad congruence in the factors correlated with cryptocephaline and chrysomeline richness, environmental variables (particularly temperature) were more relevant in cryptocephalines, whereas spatial variables were more relevant in chrysomelines (that showed a significant longitudinal gradient besides the latitudinal one), in line with the higher proportion of flightless species within chrysomelines. The variation in species composition was also related to environmental and spatial factors, but this pattern was better predicted by spatial variables in both groups, suggesting that species composition is more linked to dispersal and historical contingencies than species richness, which would be more controlled by environmental limitations. Among historical factors, Pleistocene glaciations appear as the most plausible explanation for the steeper decay in assemblage similarity with spatial distance, both in cryptocephalines and chrysomelines. PMID:27408587

  14. Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Elena L E S; Roche, Dominique G; Binning, Sandra A; Wismer, Sharon; Bshary, Redouan

    2015-01-01

    Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes), live coral cover and patch size (volume). The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region.

  15. Spatial and environmental correlates of species richness and turnover patterns in European cryptocephaline and chrysomeline beetles.

    PubMed

    Freijeiro, Andrea; Baselga, Andrés

    2016-01-01

    Despite some general concordant patterns (i.e. the latitudinal richness gradient), species richness and composition of different European beetle taxa varies in different ways according to their dispersal and ecological traits. Here, the patterns of variation in species richness, composition and spatial turnover are analysed in European cryptocephaline and chrysomeline leaf beetles, assessing their environmental and spatial correlates. The underlying rationale to use environmental and spatial variables of diversity patterns is to assess the relative support for niche- and dispersal-driven hypotheses. Our results show that despite a broad congruence in the factors correlated with cryptocephaline and chrysomeline richness, environmental variables (particularly temperature) were more relevant in cryptocephalines, whereas spatial variables were more relevant in chrysomelines (that showed a significant longitudinal gradient besides the latitudinal one), in line with the higher proportion of flightless species within chrysomelines. The variation in species composition was also related to environmental and spatial factors, but this pattern was better predicted by spatial variables in both groups, suggesting that species composition is more linked to dispersal and historical contingencies than species richness, which would be more controlled by environmental limitations. Among historical factors, Pleistocene glaciations appear as the most plausible explanation for the steeper decay in assemblage similarity with spatial distance, both in cryptocephalines and chrysomelines.

  16. Limited sampling hampers "big data" estimation of species richness in a tropical biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Engemann, Kristine; Enquist, Brian J; Sandel, Brody; Boyle, Brad; Jørgensen, Peter M; Morueta-Holme, Naia; Peet, Robert K; Violle, Cyrille; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2015-02-01

    Macro-scale species richness studies often use museum specimens as their main source of information. However, such datasets are often strongly biased due to variation in sampling effort in space and time. These biases may strongly affect diversity estimates and may, thereby, obstruct solid inference on the underlying diversity drivers, as well as mislead conservation prioritization. In recent years, this has resulted in an increased focus on developing methods to correct for sampling bias. In this study, we use sample-size-correcting methods to examine patterns of tropical plant diversity in Ecuador, one of the most species-rich and climatically heterogeneous biodiversity hotspots. Species richness estimates were calculated based on 205,735 georeferenced specimens of 15,788 species using the Margalef diversity index, the Chao estimator, the second-order Jackknife and Bootstrapping resampling methods, and Hill numbers and rarefaction. Species richness was heavily correlated with sampling effort, and only rarefaction was able to remove this effect, and we recommend this method for estimation of species richness with "big data" collections.

  17. Corridors maintain species richness in the fragmented landscapes of a microecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, F.; Gonzalez, A.; Evans-Freke, I.

    1998-01-01

    Theory predicts that species richness or single-species populations can be maintained, or at least extinctions minimized, by boosting rates of immigration. One possible way of achieving this is by establishing corridors of suitable habitat between reserves. Using moss patches as model microecosystems, we provide here probably the first field experimental test of the idea that corridors can reduce the rate of loss of species, and therefore help to maintain species richness. Connecting patches of habitat with corridors did indeed slow the rate of extinction of species, preserving species richness for longer periods of time than in disconnected habitat patches. The pattern of γ-diversity, the cumulative species richness of entire connected systems, is similarly higher than that of fragmented systems, despite the homogenizing effects of movement. Predators are predicted to be more susceptible to fragmentation because of their greater mobility and smaller population sizes. Our data are consistent with this prediction: the proportion of predator species declined significantly in disconnected as compared with connected treatments.

  18. ESTIMATING REGIONAL SPECIES RICHNESS USING A LIMITED NUMBER OF SURVEY UNITS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The accurate and precise estimation of species richness at large spatial scales using a limited number of survey units is of great significance for ecology and biodiversity conservation. We used the distribution data of native fish and resident breeding bird species compiled for ...

  19. Environmental changes define ecological limits to species richness and reveal the mode of macroevolutionary competition.

    PubMed

    Ezard, Thomas H G; Purvis, Andy

    2016-08-01

    Co-dependent geological and climatic changes obscure how species interact in deep time. The interplay between these environmental factors makes it hard to discern whether ecological competition exerts an upper limit on species richness. Here, using the exceptional fossil record of Cenozoic Era macroperforate planktonic foraminifera, we assess the evidence for alternative modes of macroevolutionary competition. Our models support an environmentally dependent macroevolutionary form of contest competition that yields finite upper bounds on species richness. Models of biotic competition assuming unchanging environmental conditions were overwhelmingly rejected. In the best-supported model, temperature affects the per-lineage diversification rate, while both temperature and an environmental driver of sediment accumulation defines the upper limit. The support for contest competition implies that incumbency constrains species richness by restricting niche availability, and that the number of macroevolutionary niches varies as a function of environmental changes.

  20. Mountaintop island age determines species richness of boreal mammals in the American Southwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frey, J.K.; Bogan, M.A.; Yates, Terry L.

    2007-01-01

    Models that describe the mechanisms responsible for insular patterns of species richness include the equilibrium theory of island biogeography and the nonequilibrium vicariance model. The relative importance of dispersal or vicariance in structuring insular distribution patterns can be inferred from these models. Predictions of the alternative models were tested for boreal mammals in the American Southwest. Age of mountaintop islands of boreal habitat was determined by constructing a geographic cladogram based on characteristics of intervening valley barriers. Other independent variables included area and isolation of mountaintop islands. Island age was the most important predictor of species richness. In contrast with previous studies of species richness patterns in this system, these results supported the nonequilibrium vicariance model, which indicates that vicariance has been the primary determinant of species distribution patterns in this system.

  1. Spatial congruence in language and species richness but not threat in the world's top linguistic hotspot.

    PubMed

    Turvey, Samuel T; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2014-12-07

    Languages share key evolutionary properties with biological species, and global-level spatial congruence in richness and threat is documented between languages and several taxonomic groups. However, there is little understanding of the functional connection between diversification or extinction in languages and species, or the relationship between linguistic and species richness across different spatial scales. New Guinea is the world's most linguistically rich region and contains extremely high biological diversity. We demonstrate significant positive relationships between language and mammal richness in New Guinea across multiple spatial scales, revealing a likely functional relationship over scales at which infra-island diversification may occur. However, correlations are driven by spatial congruence between low levels of language and species richness. Regional biocultural richness may have showed closer congruence before New Guinea's linguistic landscape was altered by Holocene demographic events. In contrast to global studies, we demonstrate a significant negative correlation across New Guinea between areas with high levels of threatened languages and threatened mammals, indicating that landscape-scale threats differ between these groups. Spatial resource prioritization to conserve biodiversity may not benefit threatened languages, and conservation policy must adopt a multi-faceted approach to protect biocultural diversity as a whole.

  2. Spatial congruence in language and species richness but not threat in the world's top linguistic hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Turvey, Samuel T.; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    Languages share key evolutionary properties with biological species, and global-level spatial congruence in richness and threat is documented between languages and several taxonomic groups. However, there is little understanding of the functional connection between diversification or extinction in languages and species, or the relationship between linguistic and species richness across different spatial scales. New Guinea is the world's most linguistically rich region and contains extremely high biological diversity. We demonstrate significant positive relationships between language and mammal richness in New Guinea across multiple spatial scales, revealing a likely functional relationship over scales at which infra-island diversification may occur. However, correlations are driven by spatial congruence between low levels of language and species richness. Regional biocultural richness may have showed closer congruence before New Guinea's linguistic landscape was altered by Holocene demographic events. In contrast to global studies, we demonstrate a significant negative correlation across New Guinea between areas with high levels of threatened languages and threatened mammals, indicating that landscape-scale threats differ between these groups. Spatial resource prioritization to conserve biodiversity may not benefit threatened languages, and conservation policy must adopt a multi-faceted approach to protect biocultural diversity as a whole. PMID:25320172

  3. Orchid Species Richness along Elevational and Environmental Gradients in Yunnan, China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shi-Bao; Chen, Wen-Yun; Huang, Jia-Lin; Bi, Ying-Feng; Yang, Xue-Fei

    2015-01-01

    The family Orchidaceae is not only one of the most diverse families of flowering plants, but also one of the most endangered plant taxa. Therefore, understanding how its species richness varies along geographical and environmental gradients is essential for conservation efforts. However, such knowledge is rarely available, especially on a large scale. We used a database extracted from herbarium records to investigate the relationships between orchid species richness and elevation, and to examine how elevational diversity in Yunnan Province, China, might be explained by mid-domain effect (MDE), species–area relationship (SAR), water–energy dynamics (WED), Rapoport’s Rule, and climatic variables. This particular location was selected because it is one of the primary centers of distribution for orchids. We recorded 691 species that span 127 genera and account for 88.59% of all confirmed orchid species in Yunnan. Species richness, estimated at 200-m intervals along a slope, was closely correlated with elevation, peaking at 1395 to 1723 m. The elevational pattern of orchid richness was considerably shaped by MDE, SAR, WED, and climate. Among those four predictors, climate was the strongest while MDE was the weakest for predicting the elevational pattern of orchid richness. Species richness showed parabolic responses to mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP), with maximum richness values recorded at 13.7 to 17.7°C for MAT and 1237 to 1414 mm for MAP. Rapoport’s Rule also helped to explain the elevational pattern of species richness in Yunnan, but those influences were not entirely uniform across all methods. These results suggested that the elevational pattern of orchid species richness in Yunnan is collectively shaped by several mechanisms related to geometric constraints, size of the land area, and environments. Because of the dominant role of climate in determining orchid richness, our findings may contribute to a better

  4. Does species richness affect fine root biomass and production in young forest plantations?

    PubMed

    Domisch, Timo; Finér, Leena; Dawud, Seid Muhie; Vesterdal, Lars; Raulund-Rasmussen, Karsten

    2015-02-01

    Tree species diversity has been reported to increase forest ecosystem above-ground biomass and productivity, but little is known about below-ground biomass and production in diverse mixed forests compared to single-species forests. For testing whether species richness increases below-ground biomass and production and thus complementarity between forest tree species in young stands, we determined fine root biomass and production of trees and ground vegetation in two experimental plantations representing gradients in tree species richness. Additionally, we measured tree fine root length and determined species composition from fine root biomass samples with the near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy method. We did not observe higher biomass or production in mixed stands compared to monocultures. Neither did we observe any differences in tree root length or fine root turnover. One reason for this could be that these stands were still young, and canopy closure had not always taken place, i.e. a situation where above- or below-ground competition did not yet exist. Another reason could be that the rooting traits of the tree species did not differ sufficiently to support niche differentiation. Our results suggested that functional group identity (i.e. conifers vs. broadleaved species) can be more important for below-ground biomass and production than the species richness itself, as conifers seemed to be more competitive in colonising the soil volume, compared to broadleaved species.

  5. Patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness along elevational gradients in Mt. Kenya

    PubMed Central

    MALONZA, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-01-01

    Faunal species richness is traditionally assumed to decrease with increasing elevation and decreasing primary productivity. Species richness is reported to peak at mid-elevation. This survey examines the herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Mt. Kenya (central Kenya) by testing the hypothesis that changes in species richness with elevation relate to elevation-dependent changes in climate. Sampling along transects from an elevation of approximately 1 700 m in Chogoria forest block (wind-ward side) and approximately 2 600 m in Sirimon block (rain shadow zone) upwards in March 2009. This starts from the forest to montane alpine zones. Sampling of reptiles and amphibians uses pitfall traps associated with drift fences, time-limited searches and visual encounter surveys. The results show that herpetofaunal richness differs among three vegetation zones along the elevation gradient. Chogoria has higher biodiversity than Sirimon. More species occur at low and middle elevations and few exist at high elevations. The trends are consistent with expected optimum water and energy variables. The lower alpine montane zone has high species richness but low diversity due to dominance of some high elevations species. Unambiguous data do not support a mid-domain effect (mid-elevation peak) because the observed trend better fits a model in which climatic variables (rainfall and temperature) control species richness, which indirectly measures productivity. It is important to continue protection of all indigenous forests, especially at low to mid elevations. These areas are vulnerable to human destruction yet are home to some endemic species. Firebreaks can limit the spread of the perennial wildfires, especially on the moorlands. PMID:26646571

  6. Patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness along elevational gradients in Mt. Kenya.

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-11-18

    Faunal species richness is traditionally assumed to decrease with increasing elevation and decreasing primary productivity. Species richness is reported to peak at mid-elevation. This survey examines the herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Mt. Kenya (central Kenya) by testing the hypothesis that changes in species richness with elevation relate to elevation-dependent changes in climate. Sampling along transects from an elevation of approximately 1 700 m in Chogoria forest block (wind-ward side) and approximately 2 600 m in Sirimon block (rain shadow zone) upwards in March 2009. This starts from the forest to montane alpine zones. Sampling of reptiles and amphibians uses pitfall traps associated with drift fences, time-limited searches and visual encounter surveys. The results show that herpetofaunal richness differs among three vegetation zones along the elevation gradient. Chogoria has higher biodiversity than Sirimon. More species occur at low and middle elevations and few exist at high elevations. The trends are consistent with expected optimum water and energy variables. The lower alpine montane zone has high species richness but low diversity due to dominance of some high elevations species. Unambiguous data do not support a mid-domain effect (mid-elevation peak) because the observed trend better fits a model in which climatic variables (rainfall and temperature) control species richness, which indirectly measures productivity. It is important to continue protection of all indigenous forests, especially at low to mid elevations. These areas are vulnerable to human destruction yet are home to some endemic species. Firebreaks can limit the spread of the perennial wildfires, especially on the moorlands.

  7. Plant biodiversity effects in reducing fluvial erosion are limited to low species richness.

    PubMed

    Allen, Daniel C; Cardinale, Bradley J; Wynn-Thompson, Theresa

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that plant biodiversity may increase the erosion resistance of soils, yet direct evidence for any such relationship is lacking. We conducted a mesocosm experiment with eight species of riparian herbaceous plants, and found evidence that plant biodiversity significantly reduced fluvial erosion rates, with the eight-species polyculture decreasing erosion by 23% relative to monocultures. Species richness effects were largest at low levels of species richness, with little increase between four and eight species. Our results suggest that plant biodiversity reduced erosion rates indirectly through positive effects on root length and number of root tips, and that interactions between legumes and non-legumes were particularly important in producing biodiversity effects. Presumably, legumes increased root production of non-legumes by increasing soil nitrogen availability due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Our data suggest that a restoration project using species from different functional groups might provide the best insurance to maintain long-term erosion resistance.

  8. Acoustic assessment of species richness and assembly rules in ensiferan communities from temperate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Roca, Irene T; Proulx, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    Vocalizing animals are known to produce a wide range of species-specific spectral and temporal communication patterns. As a consequence, the acoustic heterogeneity of insect communities is expected to increase with the number of vocalizing species. Using a combination of simulation models and field surveys, we tested the hypotheses that (1) acoustic heterogeneity increases with the number of cricket and katydid species in ensiferan communities and (2) acoustic heterogeneity of naturally assembled ensiferan communities is higher than that of randomly assembled ones. The slope of the acoustic heterogeneity--species richness relationship in naturally assembled communities was positive but did not differ from that of randomly assembled communities, suggesting a rather weak competition for the acoustic space. Comparing the species richness-acoustic heterogeneity relationship of naturally and randomly assembled communities, our study provides a novel approach for understanding species assembly rules in animal groups that rely on acoustic communication.

  9. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales

    PubMed Central

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use–land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

  10. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales.

    PubMed

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa.

  11. Species richness, hotspots, and the scale dependence of range maps in ecology and conservation

    PubMed Central

    Hurlbert, Allen H.; Jetz, Walter

    2007-01-01

    Most studies examining continental-to-global patterns of species richness rely on the overlaying of extent-of-occurrence range maps. Because a species does not occur at all locations within its geographic range, range-map-derived data represent actual distributional patterns only at some relatively coarse and undefined resolution. With the increasing availability of high-resolution climate and land-cover data, broad-scale studies are increasingly likely to estimate richness at high resolutions. Because of the scale dependence of most ecological phenomena, a significant mismatch between the presumed and actual scale of ecological data may arise. This may affect conclusions regarding basic drivers of diversity and may lead to errors in the identification of diversity hotspots. Here, we examine avian range maps of 834 bird species in conjunction with geographically extensive survey data sets on two continents to determine the spatial resolutions at which range-map data actually characterize species occurrences and patterns of species richness. At resolutions less than 2° (≈200 km), range maps overestimate the area of occupancy of individual species and mischaracterize spatial patterns of species richness, resulting in up to two-thirds of biodiversity hotspots being misidentified. The scale dependence of range-map accuracy poses clear limitations on broad-scale ecological analyses and conservation assessments. We suggest that range-map data contain less information than is generally assumed and provide guidance about the appropriate scale of their use. PMID:17686977

  12. The relationship between species richness and evenness: a meta-analysis of studies across aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Soininen, Janne; Passy, Sophia; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2012-07-01

    Biological diversity comprises both species richness, i.e., the number of species in a community, and evenness, measuring how similar species are in their abundances. The relationship between species richness and evenness (RRE) across communities remains, however, a controversial issue in ecology because no consistent pattern has been reported. We conducted a systematic meta-review of RRE in aquatic ecosystems along regional to continental gradients and across trophic groups, differing in body size by 13 orders of magnitude. Hypotheses that RRE responded to latitudinal and scale variability across trophic groups were tested by regression analyses. Significant correlations of species richness and evenness only existed in 71 out of 229 datasets. Among the RRE, 89 were negative and 140 were positive. RRE did not vary with latitude but showed a positive response to scale. In a meta-analysis with ecosystem type as a single explaining variable, RRE did not vary among ecosystem types, i.e. between marine and freshwater. Finally, autotrophs had more positive RRE than heterotrophs. The weak RRE in many aquatic datasets suggests that richness and evenness often reflect independent components of biodiversity, highlighting that richness alone may be an incomplete surrogate for biodiversity. Our results further elucidate that RRE is driven by organismal and environmental properties, both of which must be considered to gain a deeper understanding of large-scale patterns of biodiversity.

  13. Electrofishing effort requirements for estimating species richness in the Kootenai River, Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Watkins, Carson J.; Quist, Michael; Shepard, Bradley B.; Ireland, Susan C.

    2016-01-01

    This study was conducted on the Kootenai River, Idaho to provide insight on sampling requirements to optimize future monitoring effort associated with the response of fish assemblages to habitat rehabilitation. Our objective was to define the electrofishing effort (m) needed to have a 95% probability of sampling 50, 75, and 100% of the observed species richness and to evaluate the relative influence of depth, velocity, and instream woody cover on sample size requirements. Sidechannel habitats required more sampling effort to achieve 75 and 100% of the total species richness than main-channel habitats. The sampling effort required to have a 95% probability of sampling 100% of the species richness was 1100 m for main-channel sites and 1400 m for side-channel sites. We hypothesized that the difference in sampling requirements between main- and side-channel habitats was largely due to differences in habitat characteristics and species richness between main- and side-channel habitats. In general, main-channel habitats had lower species richness than side-channel habitats. Habitat characteristics (i.e., depth, current velocity, and woody instream cover) were not related to sample size requirements. Our guidelines will improve sampling efficiency during monitoring effort in the Kootenai River and provide insight on sampling designs for other large western river systems where electrofishing is used to assess fish assemblages.

  14. Spatio-temporal dynamics of species richness in coastal fish communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lekve, K.; Boulinier, T.; Stenseth, N.C.; Gjøsaeter, J.; Fromentin, J-M.; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.

    2002-01-01

    Determining patterns of change in species richness and the processes underlying the dynamics of biodiversity are of key interest within the field of ecology, but few studies have investigated the dynamics of vertebrate communities at a decadal temporal scale. Here, we report findings on the spado-temporal variability in the richness and composition of fish communities along the Norwegian Skagerrak coast having been surveyed for more than half a century. Using statistical models incorporating non-detection and associated sampling variance, we estimate local species richness and changes in species composition allowing us to compute temporal variability in species richness. We tested whether temporal variation could be related to distance to the open sea and to local levels of pollution. Clear differences in mean species richness and temporal variability are observed between fjords that were and were not exposed to the effects of pollution. Altogether this indicates that the fjord is an appropriate scale for studying changes in coastal fish communities in space and time. The year-to-year rates of local extinction and turnover were found to be smaller than spatial differences in community composition. At the regional level, exposure to the open sea plays a homogenizing role, possibly due to coastal currents and advection.

  15. Drivers of Bird Species Richness within Moist High-Altitude Grasslands in Eastern South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Smit-Robinson, Hanneline; Underhill, Les G.; Altwegg, Res

    2016-01-01

    Moist high-altitude grasslands in South Africa are renowned for high avifaunal diversity and are priority areas for conservation. Conservation management of these areas conflicts with management for other uses, such as intensive livestock agriculture, which requires annual burning and leads to heavy grazing. Recently the area has become target for water storage schemes and renewable electricity energy projects. There is therefore an urgent need to investigate environmental factors and habitat factors that affect bird species richness in order to optimise management of those areas set aside for conservation. A particularly good opportunity to study these issues arose at Ingula in the eastern South African high-altitude grasslands. An area that had been subject to intense grazing was bought by the national power utility that constructed a pumped storage scheme on part of the land and set aside the rest for bird conservation. Since the new management took over in 2005 the area has been mostly annually burned with relatively little grazing. The new management seeks scientific advice on how to maintain avian species richness of the study area. We collected bird occurrence and vegetation data along random transects between 2006 and 2010 to monitor the impact of the new management, and to study the effect of the habitat changes on bird species richness. To achieve these, we convert bird transect data to presence only data to investigate how bird species richness were related to key transect vegetation attributes under this new grassland management. First we used generalised linear mixed models, to examine changes in vegetation grass height and cover and between burned and unburned habitats. Secondly, we examined how total bird species richness varied across seasons and years. And finally we investigated which habitat vegetation attributes were correlated with species richness of a group of grassland depended bird species only. Transects that were burned showed a larger

  16. Drivers of Bird Species Richness within Moist High-Altitude Grasslands in Eastern South Africa.

    PubMed

    Maphisa, David H; Smit-Robinson, Hanneline; Underhill, Les G; Altwegg, Res

    2016-01-01

    Moist high-altitude grasslands in South Africa are renowned for high avifaunal diversity and are priority areas for conservation. Conservation management of these areas conflicts with management for other uses, such as intensive livestock agriculture, which requires annual burning and leads to heavy grazing. Recently the area has become target for water storage schemes and renewable electricity energy projects. There is therefore an urgent need to investigate environmental factors and habitat factors that affect bird species richness in order to optimise management of those areas set aside for conservation. A particularly good opportunity to study these issues arose at Ingula in the eastern South African high-altitude grasslands. An area that had been subject to intense grazing was bought by the national power utility that constructed a pumped storage scheme on part of the land and set aside the rest for bird conservation. Since the new management took over in 2005 the area has been mostly annually burned with relatively little grazing. The new management seeks scientific advice on how to maintain avian species richness of the study area. We collected bird occurrence and vegetation data along random transects between 2006 and 2010 to monitor the impact of the new management, and to study the effect of the habitat changes on bird species richness. To achieve these, we convert bird transect data to presence only data to investigate how bird species richness were related to key transect vegetation attributes under this new grassland management. First we used generalised linear mixed models, to examine changes in vegetation grass height and cover and between burned and unburned habitats. Secondly, we examined how total bird species richness varied across seasons and years. And finally we investigated which habitat vegetation attributes were correlated with species richness of a group of grassland depended bird species only. Transects that were burned showed a larger

  17. Stronger predation in the tropics shapes species richness patterns in marine communities.

    PubMed

    Freestone, Amy L; Osman, Richard W; Ruiz, Gregory M; Torchin, Mark E

    2011-04-01

    Species interactions are widely assumed to be stronger at lower latitudes, but surprisingly few experimental studies test this hypothesis, and none ties these processes to observed patterns of species richness across latitude. We report here the first experimental field test that predation is both stronger and has a disproportionate effect on species richness in the tropics relative to the temperate zone. We conducted predator-exclusion experiments on communities of sessile marine invertebrates in four regions, which span 32 degrees latitude, in the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Over a three-month timescale, predation had no effect on species richness in the temperate zone. In the tropics, however, communities were from two to over ten times more species-rich in the absence of predators than when predators were present. While micro-and macro-predators likely compete for the limited prey resource in the tropics, micropredators alone were able to exert as much pressure on the invertebrate communities as the full predator community. This result highlights the extent to which exposure to even a subset of the predator guild can significantly impact species richness in the tropics. Patterns were consistent in analyses that included relative and total species abundances. Higher species richness in the absence of predators in the tropics was also observed when species occurrences were pooled across two larger spatial scales, site and region, demonstrating a consistent scaling relationship. These experimental results show that predation can both limit local species abundances and shape patterns of regional coexistence in the tropics. When preestablished diverse tropical communities were then exposed to predation for different durations, ranging from one to several days, species richness was always reduced. These findings confirmed that impacts of predation in the tropics are strong and consistent, even in more established communities. Our results offer empirical

  18. Molluskan species richness and endemism on New Caledonian seamounts: Are they enhanced compared to adjacent slopes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castelin, Magalie; Puillandre, Nicolas; Lozouet, Pierre; Sysoev, Alexander; de Forges, Bertrand Richer; Samadi, Sarah

    2011-06-01

    Seamounts were often considered as 'hotspots of diversity' and 'centers of endemism', but recently this opinion has been challenged. After 25 years of exploration and the work of numerous taxonomists, the Norfolk Ridge (Southwest Pacific) is probably one of the best-studied seamount chains worldwide. However, even in this intensively explored area, the richness and the geographic patterns of diversity are still poorly characterized. Among the benthic organisms, the post-mortem remains of mollusks can supplement live records to comprehensively document geographical distributions. Moreover, the accretionary growth of mollusk shells informs us about the life span of the pelagic larva. To compare diversity and level of endemism between the Norfolk Ridge seamounts and the continental slopes of New Caledonia we used species occurrence data drawn from (i) the taxonomic literature on mollusks and (ii) a raw dataset of mainly undescribed deep-sea species of the hyperdiverse Turridae. Patterns of endemism and species richness were analyzed through quantitative indices of endemism and species richness estimator metrics. To date, 403 gastropods and bivalves species have been recorded on the Norfolk Ridge seamounts. Of these, at least 38 species (˜10%) are potentially endemic to the seamounts and nearly all of 38 species have protoconchs indicating lecithotrophic larval development. Overall, our results suggest that estimates of species richness and endemism, when sampling effort is taken into account, were not significantly different between slopes and seamounts. By including in our analyses 347 undescribed morphospecies from the Norfolk Ridge, our results also demonstrate the influence of taxonomic bias on our estimates of species richness and endemism.

  19. Spatial scale and cross-taxon congruence of terrestrial vertebrate and vascular plant species richness in China.

    PubMed

    Qian, Hong; Kissling, W Daniel

    2010-04-01

    In ecology and biogeography it is often recognized that the species richness of different groups of organisms is spatially congruent (and thus positively correlated). However, ecological phenomena are often scale dependent and can change with spatial scale (i.e., grain size and extent). Because species richness gradients are also correlated with environmental gradients and plant species richness is thought to influence animal species richness, the relative roles of environment and plant richness in influencing cross-taxon congruence of animal richness at different spatial scales remain poorly explored. In this study, we examine the spatial concordance in species richness among terrestrial vertebrates and vascular plants at two spatial grain sizes (local and regional) across China. We hypothesize that (H1) cross-taxon richness relationships are weaker at the local scale; (H2) climatic predictors of species richness are stronger at the regional scale; (H3) effects of habitat heterogeneity on species richness are stronger at the local scale; (H4) plant richness positively affects vertebrate richness after accounting for environmental effects; and (H5) the plant-vertebrate richness relationship is weaker at the regional scale. We found significant and positive correlations between species richness of the groups, with correlations being stronger at the regional scale than at the local scale (supporting H1). Climate has weaker effects on species richness at the regional scale than at the local scale (rejecting H2), and for vertebrates (but not for plants) effects of habitat heterogeneity are stronger at the local scale (supporting hypothesis H3). Plant richness positively affects vertebrate richness after accounting for environmental effects (supporting H4), but the effect is stronger for the two endothermic groups (mammals and birds) than for the two ectothermic groups (reptiles and amphibians). In contrast to hypothesis H5, the effect of plant richness on species

  20. [Geographic patterns and ecological factors correlates of snake species richness in China].

    PubMed

    Cai, Bo; Huang, Yong; Chen, Yue-Ying; Hu, Jun-Hua; Guo, Xian-Guang; Wang, Yue-Zhao

    2012-08-01

    Understanding large-scale geographic patterns of species richness as well its underlying mechanisms are among the most significant objectives of macroecology and biogeography. The ecological hypothesis is one of the most accepted explanations of this mechanism. Here, we studied the geographic patterns of snakes and investigated the relationships between species richness and ecological factors in China at a spatial resolution of 100 km×100 km. We obtained the eigenvector-based spatial filters by Principal Coordinates Neighbor Matrices, and then analyzed ecological factors by multiple regression analysis. The results indicated several things: (1) species richness of snakes showed multi-peak patterns along both the latitudinal and longitudinal gradient. The areas of highest richness of snake are tropics and subtropical areas of Oriental realm in China while the areas of lowest richness are Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the grasslands and deserts in northern China, Yangtze-Huai Plain, Two-lake Plain, and the Poyang-lake Plain; (2) results of multiple regression analysis explained a total of 56.5% variance in snake richness. Among ecological factors used to explore the species richness patterns, we found the best factors were the normalized difference vegetation index, precipitation in the coldest quarter and temperature annual range ; (3) our results indicated that the model based on the significant variables that (P<0.05) uses a combination of precipitation of coldest quarter, normalized difference vegetation index and temperature annual range is the most parsimonious model for explaining the mechanism of snake richness in China. This finding demonstrates that different ecological factors work together to affect the geographic distribution of snakes in China. Studying the mechanisms that underlie these geographic patterns are complex, so we must carefully consider the choice of impact-factors and the influence of human activities.

  1. Predicting declines in avian species richness under nonrandom patterns of habitat loss in a neotropical landscape.

    PubMed

    Rompré, Ghislain; Robinson, W Douglas; Desrochers, André; Angehr, George

    2009-09-01

    One of the key concerns in conservation is to document and predict the effects of habitat loss on species richness. To do this, the species-area relationship (SAR) is frequently used. That relationship assumes random patterns of habitat loss and species distributions. In nature, however, species distribution patterns are usually nonrandom, influenced by biotic and abiotic factors. Likewise, socioeconomic and environmental factors influence habitat loss and are not randomly distributed across landscapes. We used a recently developed SAR model that accounts for nonrandomness to predict rates of bird species loss in fragmented forests of the Panama Canal region, an area that was historically covered in forest but now has 53% forest cover. Predicted species loss was higher than that predicted by the standard SAR. Furthermore, a species loss threshold was evident when remaining forest cover declined by 25%. This level of forest cover corresponds to 40% of the historical forest cover, and our model predicts rapid species loss past that threshold. This study illustrates the importance of considering patterns of species distributions and realistic habitat loss scenarios to develop better estimates of losses in species richness. Forecasts of tropical biodiversity loss generated from simple species-area relationships may underestimate actual losses because nonrandom patterns of species distributions and habitat loss are probably not unique to the Panama Canal region.

  2. Parasite and viral species richness of Southeast Asian bats: Fragmentation of area distribution matters

    PubMed Central

    Gay, Noellie; Olival, Kevin J.; Bumrungsri, Sara; Siriaroonrat, Boripat; Bourgarel, Mathieu; Morand, Serge

    2014-01-01

    Interest in bat-borne diseases and parasites has grown in the past decade over concerns for human health. However, the drivers of parasite diversity among bat host species are understudied as are the links between parasite richness and emerging risks. Thus, we aimed at exploring factors that explain macro and microparasite species richness in bats from Southeast Asia, a hotspot of emerging infectious diseases. First, we identified bat species that need increased sampling effort for pathogen discovery. Our approach highlights pathogen investigation disparities among species within the same genus, such as Rhinolophus and Pteropus. Secondly, comparative analysis using independent contrasts method allowed the identification of likely factors explaining parasite and viral diversity of bats. Our results showed a key role of bat distribution shape, an index of the fragmentation of bat distribution, on parasite diversity, linked to a decrease for both viral and endoparasite species richness. We discuss how our study may contribute to a better understanding of the link between parasite species richness and emergence. PMID:25161915

  3. Helminth species richness of introduced and native grey mullets (Teleostei: Mugilidae).

    PubMed

    Sarabeev, Volodimir

    2015-08-01

    Quantitative complex analyses of parasite communities of invaders across different native and introduced populations are largely lacking. The present study provides a comparative analysis of species richness of helminth parasites in native and invasive populations of grey mullets. The local species richness differed between regions and host species, but did not differ when compared with invasive and native hosts. The size of parasite assemblages of endohelminths was higher in the Mediterranean and Azov-Black Seas, while monogeneans were the most diverse in the Sea of Japan. The helminth diversity was apparently higher in the introduced population of Liza haematocheilus than that in their native habitat, but this trend could not be confirmed when the size of geographic range and sampling efforts were controlled for. The parasite species richness at the infracommunity level of the invasive host population is significantly lower compared with that of the native host populations that lends support to the enemy release hypothesis. A distribution pattern of the infracommunity richness of acquired parasites by the invasive host can be characterized as aggregated and it is random in native host populations. Heterogeneity in the host susceptibility and vulnerability to acquired helminth species was assumed to be a reason of the aggregation of species numbers in the population of the invasive host.

  4. Clade age and diversification rate variation explain disparity in species richness among water scavenger beetle (Hydrophilidae) lineages.

    PubMed

    Bloom, Devin D; Fikáček, Martin; Short, Andrew E Z

    2014-01-01

    Explaining the disparity of species richness across the tree of life is one of the great challenges in evolutionary biology. Some lineages are exceptionally species rich, while others are relatively species poor. One explanation for heterogeneity among clade richness is that older clades are more species rich because they have had more time to accrue diversity than younger clades. Alternatively, disparity in species richness may be due to among-lineage diversification rate variation. Here we investigate diversification in water scavenger beetles (Hydrophilidae), which vary in species richness among major lineages by as much as 20 fold. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and comparative methods, we test for a relationship between clade age and species richness and for shifts in diversification rate in hydrophilids. We detected a single diversification rate increase in Megasternini, a relatively young and species rich clade whose diversity might be explained by the stunning diversity of ecological niches occupied by this clade. We find that Amphiopini, an old clade, is significantly more species poor than expected, possibly due to its restricted geographic range. The remaining lineages show a correlation between species richness and clade age, suggesting that both clade age and variation in diversification rates explain the disparity in species richness in hydrophilids. We find little evidence that transitions between aquatic, semiaquatic, and terrestrial habitats are linked to shifts in diversification rates.

  5. Clade Age and Diversification Rate Variation Explain Disparity in Species Richness among Water Scavenger Beetle (Hydrophilidae) Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Bloom, Devin D.; Fikáček, Martin; Short, Andrew E. Z.

    2014-01-01

    Explaining the disparity of species richness across the tree of life is one of the great challenges in evolutionary biology. Some lineages are exceptionally species rich, while others are relatively species poor. One explanation for heterogeneity among clade richness is that older clades are more species rich because they have had more time to accrue diversity than younger clades. Alternatively, disparity in species richness may be due to among-lineage diversification rate variation. Here we investigate diversification in water scavenger beetles (Hydrophilidae), which vary in species richness among major lineages by as much as 20 fold. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and comparative methods, we test for a relationship between clade age and species richness and for shifts in diversification rate in hydrophilids. We detected a single diversification rate increase in Megasternini, a relatively young and species rich clade whose diversity might be explained by the stunning diversity of ecological niches occupied by this clade. We find that Amphiopini, an old clade, is significantly more species poor than expected, possibly due to its restricted geographic range. The remaining lineages show a correlation between species richness and clade age, suggesting that both clade age and variation in diversification rates explain the disparity in species richness in hydrophilids. We find little evidence that transitions between aquatic, semiaquatic, and terrestrial habitats are linked to shifts in diversification rates. PMID:24887453

  6. Intransitive competition is widespread in plant communities and maintains their species richness.

    PubMed

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T; Ulrich, Werner; Manning, Peter; Boch, Steffen; Bowker, Matthew A; Prati, Daniel; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Quero, José L; Schöning, Ingo; Gallardo, Antonio; Weisser, Wolfgang; Müller, Jörg; Socher, Stephanie A; García-Gómez, Miguel; Ochoa, Victoria; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2015-08-01

    Intransitive competition networks, those in which there is no single best competitor, may ensure species coexistence. However, their frequency and importance in maintaining diversity in real-world ecosystems remain unclear. We used two large data sets from drylands and agricultural grasslands to assess: (1) the generality of intransitive competition, (2) intransitivity-richness relationships and (3) effects of two major drivers of biodiversity loss (aridity and land-use intensification) on intransitivity and species richness. Intransitive competition occurred in > 65% of sites and was associated with higher species richness. Intransitivity increased with aridity, partly buffering its negative effects on diversity, but was decreased by intensive land use, enhancing its negative effects on diversity. These contrasting responses likely arise because intransitivity is promoted by temporal heterogeneity, which is enhanced by aridity but may decline with land-use intensity. We show that intransitivity is widespread in nature and increases diversity, but it can be lost with environmental homogenisation.

  7. Intransitive competition is widespread in plant communities and maintains their species richness

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.; Ulrich, Werner; Manning, Peter; Boch, Steffen; Bowker, Matthew A.; Prati, Daniel; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Quero, José L.; Schöning, Ingo; Gallardo, Antonio; Weisser, Wolfgang; Müller, Jörg; Socher, Stephanie A.; García-Gómez, Miguel; Ochoa, Victoria; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Intransitive competition networks, those in which there is no single best competitor, may ensure species coexistence. However, their frequency and importance in maintaining diversity in real-world ecosystems remains unclear. We used two large datasets from drylands and agricultural grasslands to assess: 1) the generality of intransitive competition, 2) intransitivity-richness relationships, and 3) effects of two major drivers of biodiversity loss (aridity and land-use intensification) on intransitivity and species richness. Intransitive competition occurred in >65% of sites and was associated with higher species richness. Intransitivity increased with aridity, partly buffering its negative effects on diversity, but was decreased by intensive land use, enhancing its negative effects on diversity. These contrasting responses likely arise because intransitivity is promoted by temporal heterogeneity, which is enhanced by aridity but may decline with land-use intensity. We show that intransitivity is widespread in nature and increases diversity, but it can be lost with environmental homogenization. PMID:26032242

  8. Diversity patterns in Iberian Calathus (Coleoptera, Carabidae: Harpalinae): species turnover shows a story overlooked by species richness.

    PubMed

    Gañán, Israel; Baselga, Andrés; Novoa, Francisco

    2008-12-01

    We assessed the relationships between diversity patterns of Iberian Calathus and current environmental gradients or broad-scale spatial constraints, using 50-km grid cells as sampling units. We assessed the completeness of the inventories using nonparametric estimators to avoid spurious results based on sampling biases. We modeled species richness and beta diversity, using spatial position, and 23 topographical, climatic, and geological variables as predictors in regression and constrained analysis of principal coordinates modeling. Geographical situation does not seem to affect Calathus species richness, because no spatial pattern was detected. The environmental variables only explained 23% of the variation in richness. Spatial and environmental predictors explained a large part of the variation in species composition (58%). The fraction shared by both groups of variables was relatively large, but the pure effect of each model was still important. Our results show that it is necessary to assess the completeness of inventories to avoid drawing false conclusions. Also, Iberian Calathus represent a clear example of the need for combined analyses of species richness and beta diversity patterns, because the lack of patterns in the former does not imply the invariance of biotic communities.

  9. Species richness and the analytic geometry of latitudinal and altitudinal gradients.

    PubMed

    Gorelick, Root

    2008-09-01

    Extensive empirical work has shown that species richness decreases roughly exponentially or quadratically with latitude. What appears to be a latitudinal gradient in fact may simply be a negative correlation of latitude with area at that latitude, due to convergence of lines of meridian at the poles. There is simply less area at high latitudes, which means fewer niches and fewer opportunities for speciation, hence diminished biodiversity at high latitudes. Similarly, analytic geometry of a cone shows that species number should decrease linearly with altitude on a conical mountain. Here, I provide an explicit mathematical model of the area hypothesis of species richness along latitude and altitude gradients. I re-analyze a previously published latitudinal gradient dataset and show that species number is a linear function of the predicted area and that species number is more fully explained by predicted area than by a quadratic function of latitude. However, analytic geometry is not needed if precise measures of area are known.

  10. Species richness and patterns of invasion in plants, birds, and fishes in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Barnett, David; Flather, Curtis; Fuller, Pam L.; Peterjohn, Bruce G.; Kartesz, John; Master, Lawrence L.

    2006-01-01

    We quantified broad-scale patterns of species richness and species density (mean # species/km2) for native and non-indigenous plants, birds, and fishes in the continental USA and Hawaii. We hypothesized that the species density of native and non-indigenous taxa would generally decrease in northern latitudes and higher elevations following declines in potential evapotranspiration, mean temperature, and precipitation. County data on plants (n = 3004 counties) and birds (n=3074 counties), and drainage (6 HUC) data on fishes (n = 328 drainages) showed that the densities of native and non-indigenous species were strongly positively correlated for plant species (r = 0.86, P < 0.0001), bird species (r = 0.93, P<0.0001), and fish species (r = 0.41, P<0.0001). Multiple regression models showed that the densities of native plant and bird species could be strongly predicted (adj. R2 = 0.66 in both models) at county levels, but fish species densities were less predictable at drainage levels (adj. R2 = 0.31,P<0.0001). Similarly, non-indigenous plant and bird species densities were strongly predictable (adj. R2 = 0.84 and 0.91 respectively), but non-indigenous fish species density was less predictable (adj. R2 = 0.38). County level hotspots of native and non-indigenous plants, birds, and fishes were located in low elevation areas close to the coast with high precipitation and productivity (vegetation carbon). We show that (1) native species richness can be moderately well predicted with abiotic factors; (2) human populations have tended to settle in areas rich in native species; and (3) the richness and density of non-indigenous plant, bird, and fish species can be accurately predicted from biotic and abiotic factors largely because they are positively correlated to native species densities. We conclude that while humans facilitate the initial establishment, invasions of non-indigenous species, the spread and subsequent distributions of non-indigenous species may be controlled

  11. Herbivores, tidal elevation, and species richness simultaneously mediate nitrate uptake by seaweed assemblages.

    PubMed

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Jones, Emily; Williams, Susan L

    2011-05-01

    In order for research into the consequences of biodiversity changes to be more applicable to real-world ecosystems, experiments must be conducted in the field, where a variety of factors other than diversity can affect the rates of key biogeochemical and physiological processes. Here, we experimentally evaluate the effects of two factors known to affect the diversity and composition of intertidal seaweed assemblages--tidal elevation and herbivory--on nitrate uptake by those assemblages. Based on surveys of community composition at the end of a 1.5-year press experiment, we found that both tide height and herbivores affected seaweed community structure. Not surprisingly, seaweed species richness was greater at lower tidal elevations. Herbivores did not affect richness, but they altered the types of species that were present; seaweed species characterized by higher rates of nitrate uptake were more abundant in herbivore-removal plots. Both tide height and herbivores affected nitrate uptake by seaweed assemblages. Individual seaweed species, as well as entire seaweed assemblages, living higher on the shore had greater rates of biomass-specific nitrate uptake, particularly at high ambient nitrate concentrations. Grazed seaweed assemblages exhibited reduced nitrate uptake, but only at low nitrate concentrations. We evaluated the effect of seaweed richness on nitrate uptake, both alone and after accounting for effects of tidal elevation and herbivores. When only richness was considered, we found no effect on uptake. However, when simultaneous effects of richness, tide height, and herbivores on uptake were evaluated, we found that all three had relatively large and comparable effects on nitrate uptake coefficients and that there was a negative relationship between seaweed richness and nitrate uptake. Particularly because effects of richness on uptake were not apparent unless the effects of tide height and herbivory were also considered, these results highlight the

  12. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T.; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  13. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    PubMed

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  14. Can Rapoport's rule be rescued? Modeling causes of the latitudinal gradient in species richness

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, P.H.; Gaines, S.D.

    1999-12-01

    The latitudinal gradient in species richness, wherein species richness peaks near the equator and declines toward the poles, is a widely recognized phenomenon that holds true for many taxa in all habitat types. Understanding the causative mechanism of mechanisms that generate the latitudinal gradient in species richness (LGSR) has been a major challenge, and the gradient remains unexplained. A different latitudinal trend (named Rapoport's rule), in which the mean size of species geographical ranges tends to decline toward the equator, has been hypothesized by G.C. Stevens to play a key role in generating the LGSR when coupled with a version of the rescue effect, in which local populations toward the fringes of geographical ranges are sustained by immigration. The Stevens hypothesis is now commonly cited as a potential explanation for the LGSR and has provoked numerous empirical studies in macroecology and biogeography. However, important aspects of the hypothesis are not obvious in Steven's verbal model and may go unrecognized, despite their major implications for empirical work related to large-scale ecological and evolutionary processes. Here the authors present mathematical simulation models that test the logical structure of the Stevens hypothesis, examine effects on global patterns of species richness produced by the mechanisms (Rapoport's rule and the rescue effect) explicitly identified by Stevens, and investigate the additional effect of competition.

  15. Testing wetland features to increase amphibian reproductive success and species richness for mitigation and restoration.

    PubMed

    Shulse, Christopher D; Semlitsch, Raymond D; Trauth, Kathleen M; Gardner, James E

    2012-07-01

    Aquatic habitat features can directly influence the abundance, species richness, and quality of juvenile amphibians recruited into adult populations. We examined the influences of within-wetland slope, vegetation, and stocked mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) on amphibian metamorph production and species richness during the first two years post-construction at 18 experimental wetlands in northeast Missouri (U.S.A.) grasslands. We used an information theoretic approach (AICc) to rank regression models representing total amphibian metamorph production, individual amphibian species metamorph production, and larval amphibian species richness. Total amphibian metamorph production was greatest at shallow-sloped, fish-free wetlands during the first year, but shallow-sloped wetlands with high vegetation cover were best the second year. Species richness was negatively associated with fish and positively associated with vegetation in both survey years. Leopard frog (Rana blairi/sphenocephala complex) metamorph quality, based on average metamorph size, was influenced by slope and the number of cohorts in the wetland. However, the tested variables had little influence on the size of American toads (Bufo americanus) or boreal chorus frogs (Pseudacris maculata). Our results indicate that wetlands designed to act as functional reproductive habitat for amphibians should incorporate shallows, high amounts of planted or naturally established vegetation cover, and should be fish-free.

  16. Spatial predictability of juvenile fish species richness and abundance in a coral reef environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mellin, C.; Andréfouët, S.; Ponton, D.

    2007-12-01

    Juvenile reef fish communities represent an essential component of coral reef ecosystems in the current focus of fish population dynamics and coral reef resilience. Juvenile fish survival depends on habitat characteristics and is, following settlement, the first determinant of the number of individuals within adult populations. The goal of this study was to provide methods for mapping juvenile fish species richness and abundance into spatial domains suitable for micro and meso-scale analysis and management decisions. Generalized Linear Models predicting juvenile fish species richness and abundance were developed according to spatial and temporal environmental variables measured from 10 m up to 10 km in the southwest lagoon of New Caledonia. The statistical model was further spatially generalized using a 1.5-m resolution, independently created, remotely sensed, habitat map. This procedure revealed that : (1) spatial factors at 10 to 100-m scale explained up to 71% of variability in juvenile species richness, (2) a small improvement (75%) was gained when a combination of environmental variables at different spatial and temporal scales was used and (3) the coupling of remotely sensed data, geographical information system tools and point-based ecological data showed that the highest species richness and abundance were predicted along a narrow margin overlapping the coral reef flat and adjacent seagrass beds. Spatially explicit models of species distribution may be relevant for the management of reef communities when strong relationships exist between faunistic and environmental variables and when models are built at appropriate scales.

  17. Likeability of Garden Birds: Importance of Species Knowledge & Richness in Connecting People to Nature

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Daniel T. C.; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2015-01-01

    Interacting with nature is widely recognised as providing many health and well-being benefits. As people live increasingly urbanised lifestyles, the provision of food for garden birds may create a vital link for connecting people to nature and enabling them to access these benefits. However, it is not clear which factors determine the pleasure that people receive from watching birds at their feeders. These may be dependent on the species that are present, the abundance of individuals and the species richness of birds around the feeders. We quantitatively surveyed urban households from towns in southern England to determine the factors that influence the likeability of 14 common garden bird species, and to assess whether people prefer to see a greater abundance of individuals or increased species richness at their feeders. There was substantial variation in likeability across species, with songbirds being preferred over non-songbirds. Species likeability increased for people who fed birds regularly and who could name the species. We found a strong correlation between the number of species that a person could correctly identify and how connected to nature they felt when they watched garden birds. Species richness was preferred over a greater number of individuals of the same species. Although we do not show causation this study suggests that it is possible to increase the well-being benefits that people gain from watching birds at their feeders. This could be done first through a human to bird approach by encouraging regular interactions between people and their garden birds, such as through learning the species names and providing food. Second, it could be achieved through a bird to human approach by increasing garden songbird diversity because the pleasure that a person receives from watching an individual bird at a feeder is dependent not only on its species but also on the diversity of birds at the feeder. PMID:26560968

  18. Likeability of Garden Birds: Importance of Species Knowledge & Richness in Connecting People to Nature.

    PubMed

    Cox, Daniel T C; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Interacting with nature is widely recognised as providing many health and well-being benefits. As people live increasingly urbanised lifestyles, the provision of food for garden birds may create a vital link for connecting people to nature and enabling them to access these benefits. However, it is not clear which factors determine the pleasure that people receive from watching birds at their feeders. These may be dependent on the species that are present, the abundance of individuals and the species richness of birds around the feeders. We quantitatively surveyed urban households from towns in southern England to determine the factors that influence the likeability of 14 common garden bird species, and to assess whether people prefer to see a greater abundance of individuals or increased species richness at their feeders. There was substantial variation in likeability across species, with songbirds being preferred over non-songbirds. Species likeability increased for people who fed birds regularly and who could name the species. We found a strong correlation between the number of species that a person could correctly identify and how connected to nature they felt when they watched garden birds. Species richness was preferred over a greater number of individuals of the same species. Although we do not show causation this study suggests that it is possible to increase the well-being benefits that people gain from watching birds at their feeders. This could be done first through a human to bird approach by encouraging regular interactions between people and their garden birds, such as through learning the species names and providing food. Second, it could be achieved through a bird to human approach by increasing garden songbird diversity because the pleasure that a person receives from watching an individual bird at a feeder is dependent not only on its species but also on the diversity of birds at the feeder.

  19. Tree species and functional traits but not species richness affect interrill erosion processes in young subtropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, S.; Goebes, P.; Song, Z.; Bruelheide, H.; Härdtle, W.; Kühn, P.; Li, Y.; Scholten, T.

    2016-01-01

    Soil erosion is seriously threatening ecosystem functioning in many parts of the world. In this context, it is assumed that tree species richness and functional diversity of tree communities can play a critical role in improving ecosystem services such as erosion control. An experiment with 170 micro-scale run-off plots was conducted to investigate the influence of tree species and tree species richness as well as functional traits on interrill erosion in a young forest ecosystem. An interrill erosion rate of 47.5 Mg ha-1 a-1 was calculated. This study provided evidence that different tree species affect interrill erosion differently, while tree species richness did not affect interrill erosion in young forest stands. Thus, different tree morphologies have to be considered, when assessing soil erosion under forest. High crown cover and leaf area index reduced interrill erosion in initial forest ecosystems, whereas rising tree height increased it. Even if a leaf litter cover was not present, the remaining soil surface cover by stones and biological soil crusts was the most important driver for soil erosion control. Furthermore, soil organic matter had a decreasing influence on interrill erosion. Long-term monitoring of soil erosion under closing tree canopies is necessary, and a wide range of functional tree traits should be considered in future research.

  20. Phylogenetic diversity of plants alters the effect of species richness on invertebrate herbivory.

    PubMed

    Dinnage, Russell

    2013-01-01

    Long-standing ecological theory proposes that diverse communities of plants should experience a decrease in herbivory. Yet previous empirical examinations of this hypothesis have revealed that plant species richness increases herbivory in just as many systems as it decreases it. In this study, I ask whether more insight into the role of plant diversity in promoting or suppressing herbivory can be gained by incorporating information about the evolutionary history of species in a community. In an old field system in southern Ontario, I surveyed communities of plants and measured levels of leaf damage on 27 species in 38 plots. I calculated a measure of phylogenetic diversity (PSE) that encapsulates information about the amount of evolutionary history represented in each of the plots and looked for a relationship between levels of herbivory and both species richness and phylogenetic diversity using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) that could account for variation in herbivory levels between species. I found that species richness was positively associated with herbivore damage at the plot-level, in keeping with the results from several other recent studies on this question. On the other hand, phylogenetic diversity was associated with decreased herbivory. Importantly, there was also an interaction between species richness and phylogenetic diversity, such that plots with the highest levels of herbivory were plots which had many species but only if those species tended to be closely related to one another. I propose that these results are the consequence of interactions with herbivores whose diets are phylogenetically specialized (for which I introduce the term cladophage), and how phylogenetic diversity may alter their realized host ranges. These results suggest that incorporating a phylogenetic perspective can add valuable additional insight into the role of plant diversity in explaining or predicting levels of herbivory at a whole-community scale.

  1. Latitudinal gradients of species richness in the deep-sea benthos of the North Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Rex, M A; Stuart, C T; Coyne, G

    2000-04-11

    Latitudinal species diversity gradients (LSDGs) in the Northern Hemisphere are the most well established biogeographic patterns on Earth. Despite long-standing interest in LSDGs as a central problem in ecology, their explanation remains uncertain. In terrestrial as well as coastal and pelagic marine ecosystems, these poleward declines in diversity typically have been represented and interpreted in terms of species richness, the number of coexisting species. Newly discovered LSDGs in the bathyal (500-4,000 m) benthos of the North Atlantic may help to resolve the underlying causes of these large-scale trends because the deep sea is such a physically distinct environment. However, a major problem in comparing surface and deep-sea LSDGs is that the latter have been measured differently, by using species diversity indices that are affected by both species richness and the evenness of relative abundance. Here, we demonstrate that deep-sea isopods, gastropods, and bivalves in the North Atlantic do exhibit poleward decreases in species richness, just as those found in other environments. A comprehensive systematic revision of the largest deep-sea gastropod family (Turridae) has provided a unique database on geographic distributions that is directly comparable to those used to document LSDGs in surface biotas. This taxon also shows a poleward decline in the number of species. Seasonal organic enrichment from sinking phytodetritus is the most plausible ecological explanation for deep-sea LSDGs and is the environmental factor most consistently associated with depressed diversity in a variety of bathyal habitats.

  2. Biomass production in experimental grasslands of different species richness during three years of climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Boeck, H. J.; Lemmens, C. M. H. M.; Gielen, B.; Malchair, S.; Carnol, M.; Merckx, R.; van den Berge, J.; Ceulemans, R.; Nijs, I.

    2007-12-01

    Here we report on the single and combined impacts of climate warming and species richness on the biomass production in experimental grassland communities. Projections of a future warmer climate have stimulated studies on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to this global change. Experiments have likewise addressed the importance of species numbers for ecosystem functioning. There is, however, little knowledge on the interplay between warming and species richness. During three years, we grew experimental plant communities containing one, three or nine grassland species in 12 sunlit, climate-controlled chambers in Wilrijk, Belgium. Half of these chambers were exposed to ambient air temperatures (unheated), while the other half were warmed by 3°C (heated). Equal amounts of water were added to heated and unheated communities, so that warming would imply drier soils if evapotranspiration was higher. Biomass production was decreased due to warming, both aboveground (-29%) and belowground (-25%), as negative impacts of increased heat and drought stress in summer prevailed. Increased resource partitioning, likely mostly through spatial complementarity, led to higher shoot and root biomass in multi-species communities, regardless of the induced warming. Surprisingly, warming suppressed productivity the most in 9-species communities, which may be attributed to negative impacts of intense interspecific competition for resources under conditions of high abiotic stress. Our results suggest that warming and the associated soil drying could reduce primary production in many temperate grasslands, and that this will not necessarily be mitigated by efforts to maintain or increase species richness.

  3. Functional diversity supports the physiological tolerance hypothesis for plant species richness along climatic gradients

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spasojevic, Marko J.; Grace, James B.; Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen Ingman

    2013-01-01

    1. The physiological tolerance hypothesis proposes that plant species richness is highest in warm and/or wet climates because a wider range of functional strategies can persist under such conditions. Functional diversity metrics, combined with statistical modeling, offer new ways to test whether diversity-environment relationships are consistent with this hypothesis. 2. In a classic study by R. H. Whittaker (1960), herb species richness declined from mesic (cool, moist, northerly) slopes to xeric (hot, dry, southerly) slopes. Building on this dataset, we measured four plant functional traits (plant height, specific leaf area, leaf water content and foliar C:N) and used them to calculate three functional diversity metrics (functional richness, evenness, and dispersion). We then used a structural equation model to ask if ‘functional diversity’ (modeled as the joint responses of richness, evenness, and dispersion) could explain the observed relationship of topographic climate gradients to species richness. We then repeated our model examining the functional diversity of each of the four traits individually. 3. Consistent with the physiological tolerance hypothesis, we found that functional diversity was higher in more favorable climatic conditions (mesic slopes), and that multivariate functional diversity mediated the relationship of the topographic climate gradient to plant species richness. We found similar patterns for models focusing on individual trait functional diversity of leaf water content and foliar C:N. 4. Synthesis. Our results provide trait-based support for the physiological tolerance hypothesis, suggesting that benign climates support more species because they allow for a wider range of functional strategies.

  4. Predicting total global species richness using rates of species description and estimates of taxonomic effort.

    PubMed

    Costello, Mark J; Wilson, Simon; Houlding, Brett

    2012-10-01

    We found that trends in the rate of description of 580,000 marine and terrestrial species, in the taxonomically authoritative World Register of Marine Species and Catalogue of Life databases, were similar until the 1950s. Since then, the relative number of marine to terrestrial species described per year has increased, reflecting the less explored nature of the oceans. From the mid-19th century, the cumulative number of species described has been linear, with the highest number of species described in the decade of 1900, and fewer species described and fewer authors active during the World Wars. There were more authors describing species since the 1960s, indicating greater taxonomic effort. There were fewer species described per author since the 1920s, suggesting it has become more difficult to discover new species. There was no evidence of any change in individual effort by taxonomists. Using a nonhomogeneous renewal process model we predicted that 24-31% to 21-29% more marine and terrestrial species remain to be discovered, respectively. We discuss why we consider that marine species comprise only 16% of all species on Earth although the oceans contain a greater phylogenetic diversity than occurs on land. We predict that there may be 1.8-2.0 million species on Earth, of which about 0.3 million are marine, significantly less than some previous estimates.

  5. Beneath the veil: Plant growth form influences the strength of species richness-productivity relationships in forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oberle, B.; Grace, J.B.; Chase, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Species richness has been observed to increase with productivity at large spatial scales, though the strength of this relationship varies among functional groups. In forests, canopy trees shade understorey plants, and for this reason we hypothesize that species richness of canopy trees will depend on macroclimate, while species richness of shorter growth forms will additionally be affected by shading from the canopy. In this study we test for differences in species richness-productivity relationships (SRPRs) among growth forms (canopy trees, shrubs, herbaceous species) in small forest plots. Location: We analysed 231 plots ranging from 34.0?? to 48.3?? N latitude and from 75.0?? to 124.2?? W longitude in the United States. Methods: We analysed data collected by the USDA Forest Inventory and Analysis program for plant species richness partitioned into different growth forms, in small plots. We used actual evapotranspiration as a macroclimatic estimate of regional productivity and calculated the area of light-blocking tissue in the immediate area surrounding plots for an estimate of the intensity of local shading. We estimated and compared SRPRs for different partitions of the species richness dataset using generalized linear models and we incorporated the possible indirect effects of shading using a structural equation model. Results: Canopy tree species richness increased strongly with regional productivity, while local shading primarily explained the variation in herbaceous plant richness. Shrub species richness was related to both regional productivity and local shading. Main conclusions: The relationship between total forest plant species richness and productivity at large scales belies strong effects of local interactions. Counter to the pattern for overall richness, we found that understorey herbaceous plant species richness does not respond to regional productivity gradients, and instead is strongly influenced by canopy density, while shrub species

  6. Vascular plant species richness along environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone in central Japan.

    PubMed

    Tsujino, Riyou; Yumoto, Takakazu

    2013-03-01

    In order to clarify how vegetation types change along the environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone and the determinant factors that define plant species richness, we established 360 plots (each 4 × 10 m) within which the vegetation type, species richness, elevation, topographic position index (TPI), slope inclination, and ground light index (GLI) of the natural vegetation were surveyed. Mean elevation, TPI, slope inclination, and GLI differed across vegetation types. Tree species richness was negatively correlated with elevation, whereas fern and herb species richness were positively correlated. Tree species richness was greater in the upper slope area than the lower slope area, whereas fern and herb species richness were greater in the lower slope area. Ferns and trees species richness were smaller in the open canopy, whereas herb species richness was greater in the open canopy. Vegetation types were determined firstly by elevation and secondary by topographic configurations, such as topographic position, and slope inclination. Elevation and topography were the most important factors affecting plant richness, but the most influential variables differed among plant life-form groups. Moreover, the species richness responses to these environmental gradients greatly differed among ferns, herbs, and trees.

  7. Effects of subtle pollution at different levels of biological organisation on species-rich assemblages.

    PubMed

    Rubal, Marcos; Veiga, Puri; Reis, Pedro A; Bertocci, Iacopo; Sousa-Pinto, Isabel

    2014-08-01

    We investigated effects of subtle nutrient enrichment and metal pollution on different levels of biological organization (i.e. whole assemblage, population and individual) of species-rich assemblages. We used rockpools as model system, applying a multi-factorial sampling design to test hypotheses on differences between disturbed and reference locations. Results indicated that disturbed and reference locations supported similar assemblages, as well as individual fitness-related life-traits were ineffective to discriminate between the two conditions. In contrast, assemblages responded to pollution through a reduction of the abundance of sensitive species and a proliferation of tolerant species, although these alterations were detectable only once the influence of dominant taxa was down-weighed by data transformation. Present findings suggest that, contrarily to individual level variables, assemblage structure after data transformation and patterns of distribution and abundance of differently sensitive taxa would be a powerful tool to detect effects of subtle pollution on species-rich assemblages.

  8. Mammal predator and prey species richness are strongly linked at macroscales.

    PubMed

    Sandom, Christopher; Dalby, Lars; Fløjgaard, Camilla; Kissling, W Daniel; Lenoir, Jonathan; Sandel, Brody; Trøjelsgaard, Kristian; Ejrnaes, Rasmus; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-05-01

    Predator-prey interactions play an important role for species composition and community dynamics at local scales, but their importance in shaping large-scale gradients of species richness remains unexplored. Here, we use global range maps, structural equation models (SEM), and comprehensive databases of dietary preferences and body masses of all terrestrial, non-volant mammals worldwide, to test whether (1) prey bottom-up or predator top-down relationships are important drivers of broad-scale species richness gradients once the environment and human influence have been accounted for, (2) predator-prey richness associations vary among biogeographic regions, and (3) body size influences large-scale covariation between predators and prey. SEMs including only productivity, climate, and human factors explained a high proportion of variance in prey richness (R2=0.56) but considerably less in predator richness (R2=0.13). Adding predator-to-prey or prey-to-predator paths strongly increased the explained variance in both cases (prey R2=0.79, predator R2=0.57), suggesting that predator-prey interactions play an important role in driving global diversity gradients. Prey bottom-up effects prevailed over productivity, climate, and human influence to explain predator richness, whereas productivity and climate were more important than predator top-down effects for explaining prey richness, although predator top-down effects were still significant. Global predator-prey associations were not reproduced in all regions, indicating that distinct paleoclimate and evolutionary histories (Africa and Australia) may alter species interactions across trophic levels. Stronger cross-trophic-level associations were recorded within categories of similar body size (e.g., large prey to large predators) than between them (e.g., large prey to small predators), suggesting that mass-related energetic and physiological constraints influence broad-scale richness links, especially for large

  9. When should species richness be energy-limited, and how would we know?

    SciTech Connect

    Hurlbert, Allen H.; Stegen, James C.

    2014-04-01

    Energetic constraints are fundamental to ecology and evolution, and empirical relationships between species richness and estimates of available energy have led some to suggest that richness is energetically constrained. However, the mechanism linking energy with richness is rarely specified and predictions of secondary patterns consistent with energy-constrained richness are lacking. Here we lay out the necessary and sufficient assumptions of a causal relationship linking energy gradients to richness gradients. We then describe an eco-evolutionary simulation model that combines spatially-explicit diversification with trait evolution, resource availability, and assemblage-level carrying capacities. Our model identified patterns in richness and phylogenetic structure expected when a spatial gradient in energy availability determines the number of individuals supported in a given area. A comparison to patterns under alternative scenarios, in which fundamental assumptions behind energetic explanations were violated, revealed patterns that are useful for evaluating the importance of energetic constraints in empirical systems. We find that clades arising at the low-energy end of a gradient provide the most powerful inferences regarding whether assumptions are met, and use rockfish (Sebastes) from the northeastern Pacific to show how empirical data can be coupled with model predictions to evaluate the role of energetic constraints in generating observed richness gradients.

  10. When should species richness be energy limited, and how would we know?

    PubMed

    Hurlbert, Allen H; Stegen, James C

    2014-04-01

    Energetic constraints are fundamental to ecology and evolution, and empirical relationships between species richness and estimates of available energy (i.e. resources) have led some to suggest that richness is energetically constrained. However, the mechanism linking energy with richness is rarely specified and predictions of secondary patterns consistent with energy-constrained richness are lacking. Here, we lay out the necessary and sufficient assumptions of a causal relationship linking energy gradients to richness gradients. We then describe an eco-evolutionary simulation model that combines spatially explicit diversification with trait evolution, resource availability and assemblage-level carrying capacities. Our model identified patterns in richness and phylogenetic structure expected when a spatial gradient in energy availability determines the number of individuals supported in a given area. A comparison to patterns under alternative scenarios, in which fundamental assumptions behind energetic explanations were violated, revealed patterns that are useful for evaluating the importance of energetic constraints in empirical systems. We use a data set on rockfish (genus Sebastes) from the northeastern Pacific to show how empirical data can be coupled with model predictions to evaluate the role of energetic constraints in generating observed richness gradients.

  11. RESTORING SPECIES RICHNESS AND DIVERSITY IN A RUSSIAN KNAPWEED (ACROPTILON REPENS)-INFESTED RIPARIAN PLANT COMMUNITY USING HERBICIDES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Species richness and diversity are important indicators of ecosystem function and may be related to plant community resistance to invasion by non-indigenous species. Knowledge about the influence of various strategies on species richness and diversity is central to making wise invasive plant manage...

  12. Metazoan parasite species richness in Neotropical fishes: hotspots and the geography of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Luque, J L; Poulin, R

    2007-06-01

    Although research on parasite biodiversity has intensified recently, there are signs that parasites remain an underestimated component of total biodiversity in many regions of the planet. To identify geographical hotspots of parasite diversity, we performed qualitative and quantitative analyses of the parasite-host associations in fishes from Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that includes known hotspots of plant and animal biodiversity. The database included 10,904 metazoan parasite-host associations involving 1660 fish species. The number of host species with at least 1 parasite record was less than 10% of the total known fish species in the majority of countries. Associations involving adult endoparasites in actinopterygian fish hosts dominated the database. Across the whole region, no significant difference in parasite species richness was detected between marine and freshwater fishes. As a rule, host body size and study effort (number of studies per fish species) were good predictors of parasite species richness. Some interesting patterns emerged when we included only the regions with highest fish species biodiversity and study effort (Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands). Independently of differences in study effort or host body sizes, Mexico stands out as a hotspot of parasite diversity for freshwater fishes, as does Brasil for marine fishes. However, among 57 marine fish species common to all 3 regions, populations from the Caribbean consistently harboured more parasite species. These differences may reflect true biological patterns, or regional discrepancies in study effort and local priorities for fish parasitology research.

  13. Species richness and relative species abundance of Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera) in three forests with different perturbations in the North-Central Caribbean of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Stephen, Carolyn; Sánchez, Ragde

    2014-09-01

    Measurements of species richness and species abundance can have important implications for regulations and conservation. This study investigated species richness and abundance of butterflies in the family Nymphalidae at undisturbed, and disturbed habitats in Tirimbina Biological Reserve and Nogal Private Reserve, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica. Traps baited with rotten banana were placed in the canopy and the understory of three habitats: within mature forest, at a river/forest border, and at a banana plantation/forest border. In total, 71 species and 487 individuals were caught and identified during May and June 2011 and May 2013. Species richness and species abundance were found to increase significantly at perturbed habitats (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, respectively). The edge effect, in which species richness and abundance increase due to greater complementary resources from different habitats, could be one possible explanation for increased species richness and abundance.

  14. No Evidence of Complementary Water Use along a Plant Species Richness Gradient in Temperate Experimental Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Bachmann, Dörte; Gockele, Annette; Ravenek, Janneke M.; Roscher, Christiane; Strecker, Tanja; Weigelt, Alexandra; Buchmann, Nina

    2015-01-01

    Niche complementarity in resource use has been proposed as a key mechanism to explain the positive effects of increasing plant species richness on ecosystem processes, in particular on primary productivity. Since hardly any information is available for niche complementarity in water use, we tested the effects of plant diversity on spatial and temporal complementarity in water uptake in experimental grasslands by using stable water isotopes. We hypothesized that water uptake from deeper soil depths increases in more diverse compared to low diverse plant species mixtures. We labeled soil water in 8 cm (with 18O) and 28 cm depth (with ²H) three times during the 2011 growing season in 40 temperate grassland communities of varying species richness (2, 4, 8 and 16 species) and functional group number and composition (legumes, grasses, tall herbs, small herbs). Stable isotope analyses of xylem and soil water allowed identifying the preferential depth of water uptake. Higher enrichment in 18O of xylem water than in ²H suggested that the main water uptake was in the upper soil layer. Furthermore, our results revealed no differences in root water uptake among communities with different species richness, different number of functional groups or with time. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis of increased complementarity in water use in more diverse than in less diverse communities of temperate grassland species. PMID:25587998

  15. Evolutionary patterns of range size, abundance and species richness in Amazonian angiosperm trees

    PubMed Central

    Chave, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Amazonian tree species vary enormously in their total abundance and range size, while Amazonian tree genera vary greatly in species richness. The drivers of this variation are not well understood. Here, we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis that represents half of Amazonian tree genera in order to contribute to explaining the variation. We find several clear, broad-scale patterns. Firstly, there is significant phylogenetic signal for all three characteristics; closely related genera tend to have similar numbers of species and similar mean range size and abundance. Additionally, the species richness of genera shows a significant, negative relationship with the mean range size and abundance of their constituent species. Our results suggest that phylogenetically correlated intrinsic factors, namely traits of the genera themselves, shape among lineage variation in range size, abundance and species richness. We postulate that tree stature may be one particularly relevant trait. However, other traits may also be relevant, and our study reinforces the need for ambitious compilations of trait data for Amazonian trees. In the meantime, our study shows how large-scale phylogenies can help to elucidate, and contribute to explaining, macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns in hyperdiverse, yet poorly understood regions like the Amazon Basin. PMID:27651991

  16. No evidence of complementary water use along a plant species richness gradient in temperate experimental grasslands.

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Dörte; Gockele, Annette; Ravenek, Janneke M; Roscher, Christiane; Strecker, Tanja; Weigelt, Alexandra; Buchmann, Nina

    2015-01-01

    Niche complementarity in resource use has been proposed as a key mechanism to explain the positive effects of increasing plant species richness on ecosystem processes, in particular on primary productivity. Since hardly any information is available for niche complementarity in water use, we tested the effects of plant diversity on spatial and temporal complementarity in water uptake in experimental grasslands by using stable water isotopes. We hypothesized that water uptake from deeper soil depths increases in more diverse compared to low diverse plant species mixtures. We labeled soil water in 8 cm (with 18O) and 28 cm depth (with ²H) three times during the 2011 growing season in 40 temperate grassland communities of varying species richness (2, 4, 8 and 16 species) and functional group number and composition (legumes, grasses, tall herbs, small herbs). Stable isotope analyses of xylem and soil water allowed identifying the preferential depth of water uptake. Higher enrichment in 18O of xylem water than in ²H suggested that the main water uptake was in the upper soil layer. Furthermore, our results revealed no differences in root water uptake among communities with different species richness, different number of functional groups or with time. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis of increased complementarity in water use in more diverse than in less diverse communities of temperate grassland species.

  17. Evolutionary patterns of range size, abundance and species richness in Amazonian angiosperm trees.

    PubMed

    Dexter, Kyle; Chave, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Amazonian tree species vary enormously in their total abundance and range size, while Amazonian tree genera vary greatly in species richness. The drivers of this variation are not well understood. Here, we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis that represents half of Amazonian tree genera in order to contribute to explaining the variation. We find several clear, broad-scale patterns. Firstly, there is significant phylogenetic signal for all three characteristics; closely related genera tend to have similar numbers of species and similar mean range size and abundance. Additionally, the species richness of genera shows a significant, negative relationship with the mean range size and abundance of their constituent species. Our results suggest that phylogenetically correlated intrinsic factors, namely traits of the genera themselves, shape among lineage variation in range size, abundance and species richness. We postulate that tree stature may be one particularly relevant trait. However, other traits may also be relevant, and our study reinforces the need for ambitious compilations of trait data for Amazonian trees. In the meantime, our study shows how large-scale phylogenies can help to elucidate, and contribute to explaining, macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns in hyperdiverse, yet poorly understood regions like the Amazon Basin.

  18. Comment on "Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fraser et al. (Reports, 17 July 2015, p. 302) report a unimodal relationship between productivity and species richness at regional and global scales, which they contrast with the results of Adler et al. (Reports, 23 September 2011, p. 1750). However, both data sets, when analyzed correctly, show cl...

  19. Climate and species richness predict the phylogenetic structure of African mammal communities.

    PubMed

    Kamilar, Jason M; Beaudrot, Lydia; Reed, Kaye E

    2015-01-01

    We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phylogenetic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition, we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and ungulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature seasonality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities, and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change.

  20. Habitat fragmentation and effects of herbivore (howler monkey) abundances on bird species richness.

    PubMed

    Feeley, Kenneth J; Terborgh, John W

    2006-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation can alter herbivore abundances, potentially causing changes in the plant community that can propagate through the food web and eventually influence other important taxonomic groups such as birds. Here we test the relationship between the density of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) and bird species richness on a large set of recently isolated land-bridge islands in Lago Guri, Venezuela (n = 29 islands). Several of these islands host relict populations of howler monkeys at densities up to more than 30 times greater than those on the mainland. These "hyperabundant" herbivores previously have been shown to have a strong positive influence on aboveground plant productivity. We predicted that this should lead to a positive, indirect effect of howler monkey density on bird species richness. After accounting for passive sampling (the tendency for species richness to be positively associated with island area, regardless of differences in habitat quality) we found a significant positive correlation between howler monkey density and bird species richness. A path analysis incorporating data on tree growth rates from a subset of islands (n = 9) supported the hypothesis that the effect of howler monkeys on the resident bird communities is indirect and is mediated through changes in plant productivity and habitat quality. These results highlight the potential for disparate taxonomic groups to be related through indirect interactions and trophic cascades.

  1. Impact of Precipitation Patterns on Biomass and Species Richness of Annuals in a Dry Steppe

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Hong; Liang, Cunzhu; Li, Zhiyong; Liu, Zhongling; Miao, Bailing; He, Chunguang; Sheng, Lianxi

    2015-01-01

    Annuals are an important component part of plant communities in arid and semiarid grassland ecosystems. Although it is well known that precipitation has a significant impact on productivity and species richness of community or perennials, nevertheless, due to lack of measurements, especially long-term experiment data, there is little information on how quantity and patterns of precipitation affect similar attributes of annuals. This study addresses this knowledge gap by analyzing how quantity and temporal patterns of precipitation affect aboveground biomass, interannual variation aboveground biomass, relative aboveground biomass, and species richness of annuals using a 29-year dataset from a dry steppe site at the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station. Results showed that aboveground biomass and relative aboveground biomass of annuals increased with increasing precipitation. The coefficient of variation in aboveground biomass of annuals decreased significantly with increasing annual and growing-season precipitation. Species richness of annuals increased significantly with increasing annual precipitation and growing-season precipitation. Overall, this study highlights the importance of precipitation for aboveground biomass and species richness of annuals. PMID:25906187

  2. Impact of precipitation patterns on biomass and species richness of annuals in a dry steppe.

    PubMed

    Yan, Hong; Liang, Cunzhu; Li, Zhiyong; Liu, Zhongling; Miao, Bailing; He, Chunguang; Sheng, Lianxi

    2015-01-01

    Annuals are an important component part of plant communities in arid and semiarid grassland ecosystems. Although it is well known that precipitation has a significant impact on productivity and species richness of community or perennials, nevertheless, due to lack of measurements, especially long-term experiment data, there is little information on how quantity and patterns of precipitation affect similar attributes of annuals. This study addresses this knowledge gap by analyzing how quantity and temporal patterns of precipitation affect aboveground biomass, interannual variation aboveground biomass, relative aboveground biomass, and species richness of annuals using a 29-year dataset from a dry steppe site at the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station. Results showed that aboveground biomass and relative aboveground biomass of annuals increased with increasing precipitation. The coefficient of variation in aboveground biomass of annuals decreased significantly with increasing annual and growing-season precipitation. Species richness of annuals increased significantly with increasing annual precipitation and growing-season precipitation. Overall, this study highlights the importance of precipitation for aboveground biomass and species richness of annuals.

  3. Tree species identity and functional traits but not species richness affect interrill erosion processes in young subtropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, S.; Goebes, P.; Song, Z.; Bruelheide, H.; Härdtle, W.; Kühn, P.; Li, Y.; Scholten, T.

    2015-06-01

    Soil erosion is seriously threatening ecosystem functioning in many parts of the world. In this context, it is assumed that tree species richness and functional diversity of tree communities can play a critical role in improving ecosystem services such as erosion control. An experiment with 170 micro-scale runoff plots was conducted to investigate the influence of tree species richness and identity as well as tree functional traits on interrill erosion in a young forest ecosystem. An interrill erosion rate of 47.5 t ha-1 a-1 was calculated. This study provided evidence that different tree species affect interrill erosion, but higher tree species richness did not mitigate soil losses in young forest stands. Thus, different tree morphologies have to be considered, when assessing erosion under forest. High crown cover and leaf area index reduced soil losses in initial forest ecosystems, whereas rising tree height increased them. Even if a leaf litter cover was not present, remaining soil surface cover by stones and biological soil crusts was the most important driver for soil erosion control. Furthermore, soil organic matter had a decreasing influence on soil loss. Long-term monitoring of soil erosion under closing tree canopies is necessary and a wide range of functional tree traits should be taken into consideration in future research.

  4. Patterns of species description and species richness of geometrid moths (lepidoptera: geometridae) on the Korean peninsula.

    PubMed

    Choi, Sei-Woong

    2006-02-01

    The diversity and pattern of species description among geometrid moths in Korea from 1883 to 2004 were assessed. A total of 647 geometrid species have been described: Ennominae (275 species, 43%), Larentiinae (227 spp., 35%), Geometrinae (68 spp., 11%), Sterrhinae (67 spp., 11%), Oenochrominae (9 spp., 2%), and Archiearinae (1 sp., <1%). Fourteen authors described more than 80% of geometrid species. The cumulative curve of the number of geometrid species described showed three high-rate peaks of description, around the 1900s, 1950s, and 2000s. The cumulative curves of five subfamilies (Ennominae, Larentiinae, Geometrinae, Sterrhinae, and Oenochrominae) fluctuated equally, and none has clearly reached an asymptote. The localities where a species was first recorded in Korea are mostly in the northern and central parts of the peninsula. The utility of larentiines, which are predominant in mountainous habitats and high latitudes, as a bioindicator for global warming is briefly discussed.

  5. Abundance and species richness of Coreoidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) from Parque Estadual do Turvo, Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Barcellos, Aline; Schmidt, Letícia S; Brailovsky, Harry

    2008-01-01

    The coreoid fauna from Neotropics is poorly known, especially in terms of community studies. Aiming at contributing to this knowledge, a two-year study was carried out at Parque Estadual do Turvo, Municipality of Derrubadas, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to evaluate the composition, abundance and species richness of Coreoidea. Samplings were conducted in the springs of 2003 and 2004 (October), and autumns of 2004 and 2005 (May), using beating tray method, along two trails of the park. Sampling effort (hours X collectors) totaled 153h. A total of 282 individuals of Coreoidea were collected, distributed in 28 species of Alydidae, Coreidae and Rhopalidae. The most abundant species was the coreid Cebrenis supina Brailovsky, representing 16% of the collected individuals, followed by the rhopalids Jadera aeola (Dallas), and Harmostes sp., with 12.1% and 11.7%, respectively. The estimated richnesses by Chao 1, Chao 2, Jackknife 1 and Jackknife 2 indicated that the observed richness corresponds to 70% to 80% of the expected for the area. The estimated richness through rarefaction was significantly higher in spring 2003 and autumn 2004 than in the other periods. There was no significant difference, however, between spring of 2003 and autumn of 2004, and between spring of 2004 and autumn of 2005, for the same parameter. Yucumã and Garcia trails did not differ significantly for the estimated richness. Singletons and doubletons represented 32.1% of the recorded species. Additionally, eight other species were obtained qualitatively by using, besides beating tray without protocol, manual collection.

  6. Habitat selection determines abundance, richness and species composition of beetles in aquatic communities.

    PubMed

    Binckley, Christopher A; Resetarits, William J

    2005-09-22

    Distribution and abundance patterns at the community and metacommunity scale can result from two distinct mechanisms. Random dispersal followed by non-random, site-specific mortality (species sorting) is the dominant paradigm in community ecology, while habitat selection provides an alternative, largely unexplored, mechanism with different demographic consequences. Rather than differential mortality, habitat selection involves redistribution of individuals among habitat patches based on perceived rather than realized fitness, with perceptions driven by past selection. In particular, habitat preferences based on species composition can create distinct patterns of positive and negative covariance among species, generating more complex linkages among communities than with random dispersal models. In our experiments, the mere presence of predatory fishes, in the absence of any mortality, reduced abundance and species richness of aquatic beetles by up to 80% in comparison with the results from fishless controls. Beetle species' shared habitat preferences generated distinct patterns of species richness, species composition and total abundance, matching large-scale field patterns previously ascribed to random dispersal and differential mortality. Our results indicate that landscape-level patterns of distribution and species diversity can be driven to a large extent by habitat selection behaviour, a critical, but largely overlooked, mechanism of community and metacommunity assembly.

  7. Estimating species richness and modelling habitat preferences of tropical forest mammals from camera trap data.

    PubMed

    Rovero, Francesco; Martin, Emanuel; Rosa, Melissa; Ahumada, Jorge A; Spitale, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Medium-to-large mammals within tropical forests represent a rich and functionally diversified component of this biome; however, they continue to be threatened by hunting and habitat loss. Assessing these communities implies studying species' richness and composition, and determining a state variable of species abundance in order to infer changes in species distribution and habitat associations. The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) network fills a chronic gap in standardized data collection by implementing a systematic monitoring framework of biodiversity, including mammal communities, across several sites. In this study, we used TEAM camera trap data collected in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania, an area of exceptional importance for mammal diversity, to propose an example of a baseline assessment of species' occupancy. We used 60 camera trap locations and cumulated 1,818 camera days in 2009. Sampling yielded 10,647 images of 26 species of mammals. We estimated that a minimum of 32 species are in fact present, matching available knowledge from other sources. Estimated species richness at camera sites did not vary with a suite of habitat covariates derived from remote sensing, however the detection probability varied with functional guilds, with herbivores being more detectable than other guilds. Species-specific occupancy modelling revealed novel ecological knowledge for the 11 most detected species, highlighting patterns such as 'montane forest dwellers', e.g. the endemic Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei), and 'lowland forest dwellers', e.g. suni antelope (Neotragus moschatus). Our results show that the analysis of camera trap data with account for imperfect detection can provide a solid ecological assessment of mammal communities that can be systematically replicated across sites.

  8. Blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) in Croatia: species richness, distribution and relationship to surrounding countries.

    PubMed

    Ivković, Marija; Kúdela, Matuš; Kúdelová, Tatiana

    2016-05-05

    All records of blackflies (Simuliidae) from the territory of Croatia are summarized, including previously unpublished data. The blackfly fauna of Croatia consists of 28 species. Simulium (Nevermannia) angustitarse (Lundström), Simulium (Nevermannia) cryophilum (Rubtsov) complex, Simulium (Nevermannia) lundstromi (Enderlein), Simulium (Nevermannia) vernum Macquart complex, Simulium (Simulium) argyreatum Meigen, Simulium (Simulium) bezzii (Corti) complex, Simulium paraequinum Puri and Simulium pseudequinum Séguy are reported for the first time from Croatia. Information related to the ecoregions, in which species were found and specific species traits are given. Genus Prosimulium Roubaud is represented by one species only. Genus Simulium Latreille is represented by 27 species in six subgenera, with subgenus Simulium Latreille s. str. being most species rich (13 species) and subgenera Boophthora Enderlein and  Trichodagmia Enderlein represented each by only one species. Compared to the neighboring countries, the Croatian species assemblage is most similar to the fauna of Slovenia and least similar to that of Italy. The relatively low number of species, presence of several species complexes and unclear identity of other species show that further research of blackflies in Croatia is needed.

  9. Energy, water and large-scale patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, Miguel Á.; Belmontes, Juan Alfonso; Hawkins, Bradford A.

    2005-07-01

    We used regression analyses to examine the relationships between reptile and amphibian species richness in Europe and 11 environmental variables related to five hypotheses for geographical patterns of species richness: (1) productivity; (2) ambient energy; (3) water-energy balance, (4) habitat heterogeneity; and (5) climatic variability. For reptiles, annual potential evapotranspiration (PET), a measure of the amount of atmospheric energy, explained 71% of the variance, with variability in log elevation explaining an additional 6%. For amphibians, annual actual evapotranspiration (AET), a measure of the joint availability of energy and water in the environment, and the global vegetation index, an estimate of plant biomass generated through satellite remote sensing, both described similar proportions of the variance (61% and 60%, respectively) and had partially independent effects on richness as indicated by multiple regression. The two-factor environmental models successfully removed most of the statistically detectable spatial autocorrelation in the richness data of both groups. Our results are consistent with reptile and amphibian environmental requirements, where the former depend strongly on solar energy and the latter require both warmth and moisture for reproduction. We conclude that ambient energy explains the reptile richness pattern, whereas for amphibians a combination of water-energy balance and productivity best explain the pattern.

  10. Species richness and assemblages in landscapes of different farming intensity--time to revise conservation strategies?

    PubMed

    Andersson, Erik; Lindborg, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Worldwide conservation goals to protect biodiversity emphasize the need to rethink which objectives are most suitable for different landscapes. Comparing two different Swedish farming landscapes, we used survey data on birds and vascular plants to test whether landscapes with large, intensively managed farms had lower richness and diversity of the two taxa than landscapes with less intensively managed small farms, and if they differed in species composition. Landscapes with large intensively managed farms did not have lower richness than smaller low intensively managed farms. The landscape types were also similar in that they had few red listed species, normally targeted in conservation. Differences in species composition demonstrate that by having both types of agricultural landscapes regional diversity is increased, which is seldom captured in the objectives for agro-environmental policies. Thus we argue that focus on species richness or red listed species would miss the actual diversity found in the two landscape types. Biodiversity conservation, especially in production landscapes, would therefore benefit from a hierarchy of local to regional objectives with explicit targets in terms of which aspects of biodiversity to focus on.

  11. Impact of Forest Management on Species Richness: Global Meta-Analysis and Economic Trade-Offs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Burivalova, Zuzana; Koh, Lian Pin; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2016-04-01

    Forests managed for timber have an important role to play in conserving global biodiversity. We evaluated the most common timber production systems worldwide in terms of their impact on local species richness by conducting a categorical meta-analysis. We reviewed 287 published studies containing 1008 comparisons of species richness in managed and unmanaged forests and derived management, taxon, and continent specific effect sizes. We show that in terms of local species richness loss, forest management types can be ranked, from best to worse, as follows: selection and retention systems, reduced impact logging, conventional selective logging, clear-cutting, agroforestry, timber plantations, fuelwood plantations. Next, we calculated the economic profitability in terms of the net present value of timber harvesting from 10 hypothetical wood-producing Forest Management Units (FMU) from around the globe. The ranking of management types is altered when the species loss per unit profit generated from the FMU is considered. This is due to differences in yield, timber species prices, rotation cycle length and production costs. We thus conclude that it would be erroneous to dismiss or prioritize timber production regimes, based solely on their ranking of alpha diversity impacts.

  12. Assessing spider species richness and composition in Mediterranean cork oak forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso, Pedro; Gaspar, Clara; Pereira, Luis C.; Silva, Israel; Henriques, Sérgio S.; da Silva, Ricardo R.; Sousa, Pedro

    2008-01-01

    Semi-quantitative sampling protocols have been proposed as the most cost-effective and comprehensive way of sampling spiders in many regions of the world. In the present study, a balanced sampling design with the same number of samples per day, time of day, collector and method, was used to assess the species richness and composition of a Quercus suber woodland in Central Portugal. A total of 475 samples, each corresponding to one hour of effective fieldwork, were taken. One hundred sixty eight species were captured, of which 150 were recorded inside a delimited one-hectare plot; this number corresponds to around 90% of the estimated species richness. We tested the effect of applying different sampling approaches (sampling day, time of day, collector experience and method) on species richness, abundance, and composition. Most sampling approaches were found to influence the species measures, of which method, time of day and the respective interaction had the strongest influence. The data indicated that fauna depletion of the sampled area possibly occurred and that the inventory was reaching a plateau by the end of the sampling process. We advocate the use of the Chao estimators as best for intensive protocols limited in space and time and the use of the asymptotic properties of the Michaelis-Menten curve as a stopping or reliability rule, as it allows the investigator to know when a close-to-complete inventory has been obtained and when reliable non-parametric estimators have been achieved.

  13. Effects of unseeded areas on species richness of coal mines reclaimed with municipal biosolids

    SciTech Connect

    Halofsky, J.E.; McCormick, L.H.

    2005-12-01

    Land application of municipal biosolids on coal mine spoils can benefit vegetation establishment in mine reclamation. However, the application of biosolids leads to domination by early-successional species, such as grasses, and low establishment of woody and volunteer species, thus reducing potential for forestry as a postmining land use. In this experiment, tree seedlings were planted in strips (0.6-, 1-, and 4-m wide) that were not seeded with grasses, and the effects of unseeded strip width on seedling growth and species richness were assessed. Planted seedling mortality was high; therefore, the effect of unseeded strip width on seedling growth could not be determined. However, it was found that natural plant invasion and species richness were highest in the 4-m unseeded strips. The practice of leaving 4-m-wide unseeded strips in mine reclamation with biosolids in the eastern United States, along with the improvement of tree seedling planting practices and planting stock, would help promote a more species-rich plant community that could be utilized for forestry or a variety of other postmining land uses.

  14. Species Richness and Assemblages in Landscapes of Different Farming Intensity – Time to Revise Conservation Strategies?

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Erik; Lindborg, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Worldwide conservation goals to protect biodiversity emphasize the need to rethink which objectives are most suitable for different landscapes. Comparing two different Swedish farming landscapes, we used survey data on birds and vascular plants to test whether landscapes with large, intensively managed farms had lower richness and diversity of the two taxa than landscapes with less intensively managed small farms, and if they differed in species composition. Landscapes with large intensively managed farms did not have lower richness than smaller low intensively managed farms. The landscape types were also similar in that they had few red listed species, normally targeted in conservation. Differences in species composition demonstrate that by having both types of agricultural landscapes regional diversity is increased, which is seldom captured in the objectives for agro-environmental policies. Thus we argue that focus on species richness or red listed species would miss the actual diversity found in the two landscape types. Biodiversity conservation, especially in production landscapes, would therefore benefit from a hierarchy of local to regional objectives with explicit targets in terms of which aspects of biodiversity to focus on. PMID:25275484

  15. Species richness and biomass explain spatial turnover in ecosystem functioning across tropical and temperate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Andrew D; Weigelt, Patrick; Jochum, Malte; Ott, David; Hodapp, Dorothee; Haneda, Noor Farikhah; Brose, Ulrich

    2016-05-19

    Predicting ecosystem functioning at large spatial scales rests on our ability to scale up from local plots to landscapes, but this is highly contingent on our understanding of how functioning varies through space. Such an understanding has been hampered by a strong experimental focus of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research restricted to small spatial scales. To address this limitation, we investigate the drivers of spatial variation in multitrophic energy flux-a measure of ecosystem functioning in complex communities-at the landscape scale. We use a structural equation modelling framework based on distance matrices to test how spatial and environmental distances drive variation in community energy flux via four mechanisms: species composition, species richness, niche complementarity and biomass. We found that in both a tropical and a temperate study region, geographical and environmental distance indirectly influence species richness and biomass, with clear evidence that these are the dominant mechanisms explaining variability in community energy flux over spatial and environmental gradients. Our results reveal that species composition and trait variability may become redundant in predicting ecosystem functioning at the landscape scale. Instead, we demonstrate that species richness and total biomass may best predict rates of ecosystem functioning at larger spatial scales.

  16. Impact of Forest Management on Species Richness: Global Meta-Analysis and Economic Trade-Offs

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Burivalova, Zuzana; Koh, Lian Pin; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Forests managed for timber have an important role to play in conserving global biodiversity. We evaluated the most common timber production systems worldwide in terms of their impact on local species richness by conducting a categorical meta-analysis. We reviewed 287 published studies containing 1008 comparisons of species richness in managed and unmanaged forests and derived management, taxon, and continent specific effect sizes. We show that in terms of local species richness loss, forest management types can be ranked, from best to worse, as follows: selection and retention systems, reduced impact logging, conventional selective logging, clear-cutting, agroforestry, timber plantations, fuelwood plantations. Next, we calculated the economic profitability in terms of the net present value of timber harvesting from 10 hypothetical wood-producing Forest Management Units (FMU) from around the globe. The ranking of management types is altered when the species loss per unit profit generated from the FMU is considered. This is due to differences in yield, timber species prices, rotation cycle length and production costs. We thus conclude that it would be erroneous to dismiss or prioritize timber production regimes, based solely on their ranking of alpha diversity impacts. PMID:27040604

  17. Species composition and richness of amphibians in logged forests at Hulu Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izam, Nur Amalina Mohd; Ahmad, Amirrudin; Grismer, L. Lee; Saidin, Ahmad Nazri; Nor, Shukor Md.; Ahmad, Norhayati

    2016-11-01

    A study was done to compare amphibian species composition and richness between a disturbed forest due to logging/dam construction and a 30-year old logged forest at Hulu Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. This study was conducted from August to October 2014, using drift fenced-pitfall traps. The upstream (UP) and downstream riverine area (DP) of a dam called Puah Dam (PD) represented the disturbed forest habitat, while Sg. Deka Wildlife Reserve (SDWR) represented a 30-year old regenerating logged forest. There were six amphibian species found at SDWR, while four species were recorded at UP and DP.

  18. Species richness and macronutrient content of wawo worms (Polychaeta, Annelida) from Ambonese waters, Maluku, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Pamungkas, Joko

    2015-01-01

    The aims of this research were to: (1) investigate the species richness of wawo worms, and to (2) analyze macronutrient content of the worms. Wawo worms were sampled using a fishing net on March 18(th)-19(th), 2014, from Ambonese waters, Maluku. As many as 26 wawo species belonging to 5 families were identified. Palola sp. was identified as the most abundant species of wawo, followed by Lysidiceoele, Horst 1905, Eunice spp. and nereidids. Results of the proximate analysis reveal that female epitokes of Palola sp. contain 10.78 % ash, 10.71 % moisture, 11.67 % crude fat, 54.72 % crude protein and 12.12 % carbohydrate.

  19. Geographical, Temporal and Environmental Determinants of Bryophyte Species Richness in the Macaronesian Islands

    PubMed Central

    Aranda, Silvia C.; Gabriel, Rosalina; Borges, Paulo A. V.; Santos, Ana M. C.; de Azevedo, Eduardo Brito; Patiño, Jairo; Hortal, Joaquín; Lobo, Jorge M.

    2014-01-01

    Species richness on oceanic islands has been related to a series of ecological factors including island size and isolation (i.e. the Equilibrium Model of Island Biogeography, EMIB), habitat diversity, climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) and more recently island ontogeny (i.e. the General Dynamic Model of oceanic island biogeography, GDM). Here we evaluate the relationship of these factors with the diversity of bryophytes in the Macaronesian region (Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde). The predictive power of EMIB, habitat diversity, climate and the GDM on total bryophyte richness, as well as moss and liverwort richness (the two dominant bryophyte groups), was evaluated through ordinary least squares regressions. After choosing the best subset of variables using inference statistics, we used partial regression analyses to identify the independent and shared effects of each model. The variables included within each model were similar for mosses and liverworts, with orographic mist layer being one of the most important predictors of richness. Models combining climate with either the GDM or habitat diversity explained most of richness variation (up to 91%). There was a high portion of shared variance between all pairwise combinations of factors in mosses, while in liverworts around half of the variability in species richness was accounted for exclusively by climate. Our results suggest that the effects of climate and habitat are strong and prevalent in this region, while geographical factors have limited influence on Macaronesian bryophyte diversity. Although climate is of great importance for liverwort richness, in mosses its effect is similar to or, at least, indiscernible from the effect of habitat diversity and, strikingly, the effect of island ontogeny. These results indicate that for highly vagile taxa on oceanic islands, the dispersal process may be less important for successful colonization than the availability of suitable ecological

  20. Geographical, temporal and environmental determinants of bryophyte species richness in the Macaronesian islands.

    PubMed

    Aranda, Silvia C; Gabriel, Rosalina; Borges, Paulo A V; Santos, Ana M C; de Azevedo, Eduardo Brito; Patiño, Jairo; Hortal, Joaquín; Lobo, Jorge M

    2014-01-01

    Species richness on oceanic islands has been related to a series of ecological factors including island size and isolation (i.e. the Equilibrium Model of Island Biogeography, EMIB), habitat diversity, climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) and more recently island ontogeny (i.e. the General Dynamic Model of oceanic island biogeography, GDM). Here we evaluate the relationship of these factors with the diversity of bryophytes in the Macaronesian region (Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde). The predictive power of EMIB, habitat diversity, climate and the GDM on total bryophyte richness, as well as moss and liverwort richness (the two dominant bryophyte groups), was evaluated through ordinary least squares regressions. After choosing the best subset of variables using inference statistics, we used partial regression analyses to identify the independent and shared effects of each model. The variables included within each model were similar for mosses and liverworts, with orographic mist layer being one of the most important predictors of richness. Models combining climate with either the GDM or habitat diversity explained most of richness variation (up to 91%). There was a high portion of shared variance between all pairwise combinations of factors in mosses, while in liverworts around half of the variability in species richness was accounted for exclusively by climate. Our results suggest that the effects of climate and habitat are strong and prevalent in this region, while geographical factors have limited influence on Macaronesian bryophyte diversity. Although climate is of great importance for liverwort richness, in mosses its effect is similar to or, at least, indiscernible from the effect of habitat diversity and, strikingly, the effect of island ontogeny. These results indicate that for highly vagile taxa on oceanic islands, the dispersal process may be less important for successful colonization than the availability of suitable ecological

  1. Social organization influences the exchange and species richness of medicinal plants in Amazonian homegardens

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influencing the species diversity that people maintain in their homegardens. Here, we assess the association between the exchange of medicinal knowledge and plant material and medicinal plant richness in homegardens. Using Tsimane’ Amazonian homegardens as a case study, we explore whether social organization shapes exchanges of medicinal plant knowledge and medicinal plant material. We also use network centrality measures to evaluate people’s location and performance in medicinal plant knowledge and plant material exchange networks. Our results suggest that social organization, specifically kinship and gender relations, influences medicinal plant exchange patterns significantly. Homegardens total and medicinal plant species richness are related to gardeners’ centrality in the networks, whereby people with greater centrality maintain greater plant richness. Thus, together with agroecological conditions, social relations among gardeners and the culturally specific social structure seem to be important determinants of plant richness in homegardens. Understanding which factors pattern general species diversity in tropical homegardens, and medicinal plant diversity in particular, can help policy makers, health providers, and local communities to understand better how to promote and preserve medicinal plants in situ. Biocultural approaches that are also gender sensitive offer a culturally appropriate means to reduce the global and local loss of both biological and cultural diversity. PMID:27668001

  2. Social organization influences the exchange and species richness of medicinal plants in Amazonian homegardens.

    PubMed

    2016-03-01

    Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influencing the species diversity that people maintain in their homegardens. Here, we assess the association between the exchange of medicinal knowledge and plant material and medicinal plant richness in homegardens. Using Tsimane' Amazonian homegardens as a case study, we explore whether social organization shapes exchanges of medicinal plant knowledge and medicinal plant material. We also use network centrality measures to evaluate people's location and performance in medicinal plant knowledge and plant material exchange networks. Our results suggest that social organization, specifically kinship and gender relations, influences medicinal plant exchange patterns significantly. Homegardens total and medicinal plant species richness are related to gardeners' centrality in the networks, whereby people with greater centrality maintain greater plant richness. Thus, together with agroecological conditions, social relations among gardeners and the culturally specific social structure seem to be important determinants of plant richness in homegardens. Understanding which factors pattern general species diversity in tropical homegardens, and medicinal plant diversity in particular, can help policy makers, health providers, and local communities to understand better how to promote and preserve medicinal plants in situ. Biocultural approaches that are also gender sensitive offer a culturally appropriate means to reduce the global and local loss of both biological and cultural diversity.

  3. Higher subsoil carbon storage in species-rich than species-poor temperate forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schleuß, Per-Marten; Heitkamp, Felix; Leuschner, Christoph; Fender, Ann-Catrin; Jungkunst, Hermann F.

    2014-01-01

    Forest soils contribute ca. 70% to the global soil organic carbon (SOC) pool and thus are an important element of the global carbon cycle. Forests also harbour a large part of the global terrestrial biodiversity. It is not clear, however, whether tree species diversity affects SOC. By measuring the carbon concentration of different soil particle size fractions separately, we were able to distinguish between effects of fine particle content and tree species composition on the SOC pool in old-growth broad-leaved forest plots along a tree diversity gradient (1-, 3- and 5-species). Variation in clay content explained part of the observed SOC increase from monospecific to mixed forests, but we show that the carbon concentration per unit clay or fine silt in the subsoil was by 30-35% higher in mixed than monospecific stands indicating a significant species identity or species diversity effect on C stabilization. Underlying causes may be differences in fine root biomass and turnover, in leaf litter decomposition rate among the tree species, and/or species-specific rhizosphere effects on soil. Our findings may have important implications for forestry offering management options through preference of mixed stands that could increase forest SOC pools and mitigate climate warming.

  4. Helminth parasitism in two closely related South African rodents: abundance, prevalence, species richness and impinging factors.

    PubMed

    Spickett, Andrea; Junker, Kerstin; Krasnov, Boris R; Haukisalmi, Voitto; Matthee, Sonja

    2017-04-01

    We investigated patterns of helminth infection in two closely related rodents (social Rhabdomys pumilio occurring mainly in xeric habitats and solitary R. dilectus occurring mainly in mesic habitats) at 20 localities in different biomes of South Africa and asked if between-species differences were mainly caused by difference in sociality or difference in environmental conditions of their respective habitats. Helminths recovered from the gastrointestinal tract totalled 11 nematode and 5 cestode species from R. pumilio and 19 nematode and 7 cestode species from R. dilectus. In both hosts, mean abundance and prevalence of nematodes were higher compared to cestodes. Cestode infection as well as nematode abundance, species richness or prevalence did not differ between the two rodents. However, incidence of nematode infection was significantly higher in R. dilectus than in R. pumilio. Moreover, nematode numbers and species richness in infracommunities of R. pumilio inhabiting the relatively more xeric Karoo biome were significantly lower than in those inhabiting the relatively less xeric Fynbos biome. Although we could not unequivocally distinguish between effects of host sociality and environmental factors on the number of individuals and species of helminths in the two hosts, differences in the incidence of nematode infection between R. pumilio and R. dilectus as well as differences in the number of nematode individuals and species between R. pumilio from the Fynbos and the Karoo suggested the effect of environmental conditions on helminth infection to be more important than that of sociality.

  5. Patterns of species richness among assemblages of Unionicola spp. (Acari: Unionicolidae) inhabiting freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoida) of North America.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Dale D; Vidrine, Malcolm F

    2013-04-01

    Water mites of Unionicola species are common symbionts of freshwater mussels, living on the gills or mantle and foot of their hosts and using these tissues as sites of oviposition. Although surveys of the mite fauna among North American mussels suggest that these mites represent highly diverse assemblages, there are currently no quantitative data characterizing Unionicola species diversity among their molluscan hosts. The present study addresses patterns of species richness of Unionicola assemblages from freshwater mussels, including the relationship between richness and host specificity among these mites. Results from this study indicate that mite species richness increased significantly with an increase in the number of host individuals sampled. When corrected for sampling effort, there was a positive relationship between host size and mite species richness. Results from this study also reveal a significant relationship between mite species richness and the geographical distribution of host mussels. Overall, the patterns of species richness observed for this study are consistent with those examining the richness of parasitic helminth communities. Because the phylogenetic history of host taxa can have a significant influence on patterns of parasite species richness, studies that correct for the phylogenetic history among host mussels will be required to better understand the role that evolutionary processes have in determining Unionicola species richness. The present study did not indicate a significant relationship between species richness and host specificity and, in not doing so, suggests that the dispersal ability of mites may also play a role in influencing Unionicola species richness. The host recognition behavior and swimming abilities for a larger sample of mites will be required to substantiate this hypothesis.

  6. From richer to poorer: successful invasion by freshwater fishes depends on species richness of donor and recipient basins.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Tobler, Michael; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2016-07-01

    Evidence for the theory of biotic resistance is equivocal, with experiments often finding a negative relationship between invasion success and native species richness, and large-scale comparative studies finding a positive relationship. Biotic resistance derives from local species interactions, yet global and regional studies often analyze data at coarse spatial grains. In addition, differences in competitive environments across regions may confound tests of biotic resistance based solely on native species richness of the invaded community. Using global and regional data sets for fishes in river and stream reaches, we ask two questions: (1) does a negative relationship exist between native and non-native species richness and (2) do non-native species originate from higher diversity systems. A negative relationship between native and non-native species richness in local assemblages was found at the global scale, while regional patterns revealed the opposite trend. At both spatial scales, however, nearly all non-native species originated from river basins with higher native species richness than the basin of the invaded community. Together, these findings imply that coevolved ecological interactions in species-rich systems inhibit establishment of generalist non-native species from less diverse communities. Consideration of both the ecological and evolutionary aspects of community assembly is critical to understanding invasion patterns. Distinct evolutionary histories in different regions strongly influence invasion of intact communities that are relatively unimpacted by human actions, and may explain the conflicting relationship between native and non-native species richness found at different spatial scales.

  7. Cold temperature decreases bacterial species richness in nitrogen-removing bioreactors treating inorganic mine waters.

    PubMed

    Karkman, A; Mattila, K; Tamminen, M; Virta, M

    2011-12-01

    Explosives used in mining, such as ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO), can cause eutrophication of the surrounding environment by leakage of ammonium and nitrate from undetonated material that is not properly treated. Cold temperatures in mines affect nitrogen removal from water when such nutrients are treated with bioreactors in situ. In this study we identified bacteria in the bioreactors and studied the effect of temperature on the bacterial community. The bioreactors consisted of sequential nitrification and denitrification units running at either 5 or 10°C. One nitrification bioreactor running at 5°C was fed with salt spiked water. From the nitrification bioreactors, sequences from both ammonia- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria were identified, but the species were distinct at different temperatures. The main nitrifiers in the lower temperature were closely related to the genera Nitrosospira and Candidatus Nitrotoga. 16S rRNA gene sequences closely related to halotolerant Nitrosomonas eutropha were found only from the salt spiked nitrification bioreactor. At 10°C the genera Nitrosomonas and Nitrospira were the abundant nitrifiers. The results showed that bacterial species richness estimates were low, <150 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), in all bioreactor clone libraries, when sequences were assigned to operational taxonomic units at an evolutionary distance of 0.03. The only exception was the nitrification bioreactor running at 10°C where species richness was higher, >300 OTUs. Species richness was lower in bioreactors running at 5°C compared to those operating at 10°C.

  8. Climate modifies response of non-native and native species richness to nutrient enrichment.

    PubMed

    Flores-Moreno, Habacuc; Reich, Peter B; Lind, Eric M; Sullivan, Lauren L; Seabloom, Eric W; Yahdjian, Laura; MacDougall, Andrew S; Reichmann, Lara G; Alberti, Juan; Báez, Selene; Bakker, Jonathan D; Cadotte, Marc W; Caldeira, Maria C; Chaneton, Enrique J; D'Antonio, Carla M; Fay, Philip A; Firn, Jennifer; Hagenah, Nicole; Harpole, W Stanley; Iribarne, Oscar; Kirkman, Kevin P; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J; Laungani, Ramesh; Leakey, Andrew D B; McCulley, Rebecca L; Moore, Joslin L; Pascual, Jesus; Borer, Elizabeth T

    2016-05-19

    Ecosystem eutrophication often increases domination by non-natives and causes displacement of native taxa. However, variation in environmental conditions may affect the outcome of interactions between native and non-native taxa in environments where nutrient supply is elevated. We examined the interactive effects of eutrophication, climate variability and climate average conditions on the success of native and non-native plant species using experimental nutrient manipulations replicated at 32 grassland sites on four continents. We hypothesized that effects of nutrient addition would be greatest where climate was stable and benign, owing to reduced niche partitioning. We found that the abundance of non-native species increased with nutrient addition independent of climate; however, nutrient addition increased non-native species richness and decreased native species richness, with these effects dampened in warmer or wetter sites. Eutrophication also altered the time scale in which grassland invasion responded to climate, decreasing the importance of long-term climate and increasing that of annual climate. Thus, climatic conditions mediate the responses of native and non-native flora to nutrient enrichment. Our results suggest that the negative effect of nutrient addition on native abundance is decoupled from its effect on richness, and reduces the time scale of the links between climate and compositional change.

  9. Impact of grazing on the species richness of plant communities in Mediterranean temporary pools (western Morocco).

    PubMed

    Bouahim, Siham; Rhazi, Laïla; Amami, Btissam; Sahib, Nargis; Rhazi, Mouhssine; Waterkeyn, Aline; Zouahri, Abdelmjid; Mesleard, François; Muller, Serge D; Grillas, Patrick

    2010-09-01

    The impact of grazing on the vegetation of Moroccan temporary pools has been studied at 2 scales: regional (inter-pools) and local (intra-pools). Half of the 16 forest pools studied is located in a reserve and ungrazed. The other half, located within public forest, is grazed. Vegetation relevés coupled to water-depths measurements were carried out in each pool. The results showed a significant effect of grazing on both scales of analysis. This effect was found in the species composition of the vegetation, which differed between the 2 types of pools, and in the lower species richness and abundance of plant species in the grazed pools. These differences are interpreted as resulting from the selection by herbivores and the differential tolerance of species to disturbance. These impacts are likely to expose certain species to local extinction by reducing their populations.

  10. Rich and rare—First insights into species diversity and abundance of Antarctic abyssal Gastropoda (Mollusca)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwabe, Enrico; Michael Bohn, Jens; Engl, Winfried; Linse, Katrin; Schrödl, Michael

    2007-08-01

    The abyssal depths of the polar oceans are thought to be low in diversity compared with the shallower polar shelves and temperate and tropical deep-sea basins. Our recent study on the gastropod fauna of the deep Southern Ocean gives evidence of the existence of a rich gastropod assemblage at abyssal depths. During the ANDEEP I and II expeditions to the southern Drake Passage, Northwestern Weddell Sea, and South Sandwich Trench, gastropods were collected by bottom and Agassiz trawls, epibenthic sledge, and multicorer, at 40 stations in depths between 127 and 5194 m. On the whole, 473 specimens, corresponding to 93 species of 36 families, were obtained. Of those, 414 specimens were caught below 750 m depth and refer to 84 (90%) benthic species of 32 (89%) families. Most families were represented by a single species only. The numerically dominant families were Skeneidae and Buccinidae (with 10 and 11 species, respectively), Eulimidae and Trochidae (with 9 species each), and Turridae (6 species). Thirty-Seven benthic deep-sea species (44%) were represented by a single specimen, and another 20 species (24%) were found at a single station, suggesting that more than two thirds of Antarctic deep-sea gastropod species are very rare or have a very scattered distribution. Of the 27 species occurring at two or more deep-sea stations, 14 were collected with different gear. Approximately half of the deep-water species are new to science or have been recently described. The present investigation increases the total number of recorded benthic Antarctic deep-sea gastropods (below 750 m) from 115 to 177. The previously known depth ranges have been extended, often considerably, for 31 species. The collected deep-sea gastropods comprise both eurybathic shelf species (29%) and apparently true deep-sea species (58%); some of the latter may belong to a so far unknown Antarctic abyssal fauna. Geographical ranges of the collected Antarctic benthic deep-sea gastropod species appear limited

  11. Estimating Species Richness and Modelling Habitat Preferences of Tropical Forest Mammals from Camera Trap Data

    PubMed Central

    Rovero, Francesco; Martin, Emanuel; Rosa, Melissa; Ahumada, Jorge A.; Spitale, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Medium-to-large mammals within tropical forests represent a rich and functionally diversified component of this biome; however, they continue to be threatened by hunting and habitat loss. Assessing these communities implies studying species’ richness and composition, and determining a state variable of species abundance in order to infer changes in species distribution and habitat associations. The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) network fills a chronic gap in standardized data collection by implementing a systematic monitoring framework of biodiversity, including mammal communities, across several sites. In this study, we used TEAM camera trap data collected in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania, an area of exceptional importance for mammal diversity, to propose an example of a baseline assessment of species’ occupancy. We used 60 camera trap locations and cumulated 1,818 camera days in 2009. Sampling yielded 10,647 images of 26 species of mammals. We estimated that a minimum of 32 species are in fact present, matching available knowledge from other sources. Estimated species richness at camera sites did not vary with a suite of habitat covariates derived from remote sensing, however the detection probability varied with functional guilds, with herbivores being more detectable than other guilds. Species-specific occupancy modelling revealed novel ecological knowledge for the 11 most detected species, highlighting patterns such as ‘montane forest dwellers’, e.g. the endemic Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei), and ‘lowland forest dwellers’, e.g. suni antelope (Neotragus moschatus). Our results show that the analysis of camera trap data with account for imperfect detection can provide a solid ecological assessment of mammal communities that can be systematically replicated across sites. PMID:25054806

  12. Biomass production in experimental grasslands of different species richness during three years of climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Boeck, H. J.; Lemmens, C. M. H. M.; Zavalloni, C.; Gielen, B.; Malchair, S.; Carnol, M.; Merckx, R.; van den Berge, J.; Ceulemans, R.; Nijs, I.

    2008-04-01

    Here we report on the single and combined impacts of climate warming and species richness on the biomass production in experimental grassland communities. Projections of a future warmer climate have stimulated studies on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to this global change. Experiments have likewise addressed the importance of species numbers for ecosystem functioning. There is, however, little knowledge on the interplay between warming and species richness. During three years, we grew experimental plant communities containing one, three or nine grassland species in 12 sunlit, climate-controlled chambers in Wilrijk, Belgium. Half of these chambers were exposed to ambient air temperatures (unheated), while the other half were warmed by 3°C (heated). Equal amounts of water were added to heated and unheated communities, so that warming would imply drier soils if evapotranspiration was higher. Biomass production was decreased due to warming, both aboveground (-29%) and belowground (-25%), as negative impacts of increased heat and drought stress in summer prevailed. Complementarity effects, likely mostly through both increased aboveground spatial complementarity and facilitative effects of legumes, led to higher shoot and root biomass in multi-species communities, regardless of the induced warming. Surprisingly, warming suppressed productivity the most in 9-species communities, which may be attributed to negative impacts of intense interspecific competition for resources under conditions of high abiotic stress. Our results suggest that warming and the associated soil drying could reduce primary production in many temperate grasslands, and that this will not necessarily be mitigated by efforts to maintain or increase species richness.

  13. Testing Dragonflies as Species Richness Indicators in a Fragmented Subtropical Atlantic Forest Environment.

    PubMed

    Renner, S; Sahlén, G; Périco, E

    2016-06-01

    We surveyed 15 bodies of water among remnants of the Atlantic Forest biome in southern Brazil for adult dragonflies and damselflies to test whether an empirical selection method for diversity indicators could be applied in a subtropical ecosystem, where limited ecological knowledge on species level is available. We found a regional species pool of 34 species distributed in a nested subset pattern with a mean of 11.2 species per locality. There was a pronounced difference in species composition between spring, summer, and autumn, but no differences in species numbers between seasons. Two species, Homeoura chelifera (Selys) and Ischnura capreolus (Hagen), were the strongest candidates for regional diversity indicators, being found only at species-rich localities in our surveyed area and likewise in an undisturbed national forest reserve, serving as a reference site for the Atlantic Forest. Using our selection method, we found it possible to obtain a tentative list of diversity indicators without having detailed ecological information of each species, providing a reference site is available for comparison. The method thus allows for indicator species to be selected in blanco from taxonomic groups that are little known. We hence argue that Odonata can already be incorporated in ongoing assessment programs in the Neotropics, which would also increase the ecological knowledge of the group and allow extrapolation to other taxa.

  14. The species-rich assemblages of tintinnids (marine planktonic protists) are structured by mouth size

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, John R; Landry, Michael R; Ritchie, Mark E

    2013-01-01

    Many microbial taxa in the marine plankton appear super-saturated in species richness. Here, we provide a partial explanation by analyzing how species are organized, species packing, in terms of both taxonomy and morphology. We focused on a well-studied group, tintinnid ciliates of the microzooplankton, in which feeding ecology is closely linked to morphology. Populations in three distinct systems were examined: an Eastern Mediterranean Gyre, a Western Mediterranean Gyre and the California Current. We found that species abundance distributions exhibited the long-tailed, log distributions typical of most natural assemblages of microbial and other organisms. In contrast, grouping in oral size-classes, which corresponds with prey-size exploited, revealed a geometric distribution consistent with a dominant role of a single resource in structuring an assemblage. The number of species found in a particular oral size-class increases with the numerical importance of the size-class in the overall population. We suggest that high species diversity reflects the fact that accompanying each dominant species are many ecologically similar species, presumably able to replace the dominant species, at least with regard to the size of prey exploited. Such redundancy suggests that species diversity greatly exceeds ecological diversity in the plankton. PMID:23426009

  15. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Symstad, A.J.; Jonas, J.L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity. ?? Society for Range

  16. Lower richness of small wild mammal species and chagas disease risk.

    PubMed

    Xavier, Samanta Cristina das Chagas; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; Lima, Valdirene dos Santos; Monteiro, Kerla Joeline Lima; Otaviano, Joel Carlos Rodrigues; Ferreira da Silva, Luiz Felipe Coutinho; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2012-01-01

    A new epidemiological scenario involving the oral transmission of Chagas disease, mainly in the Amazon basin, requires innovative control measures. Geospatial analyses of the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycle in the wild mammals have been scarce. We applied interpolation and map algebra methods to evaluate mammalian fauna variables related to small wild mammals and the T. cruzi infection pattern in dogs to identify hotspot areas of transmission. We also evaluated the use of dogs as sentinels of epidemiological risk of Chagas disease. Dogs (n = 649) were examined by two parasitological and three distinct serological assays. kDNA amplification was performed in patent infections, although the infection was mainly sub-patent in dogs. The distribution of T. cruzi infection in dogs was not homogeneous, ranging from 11-89% in different localities. The interpolation method and map algebra were employed to test the associations between the lower richness in mammal species and the risk of exposure of dogs to T. cruzi infection. Geospatial analysis indicated that the reduction of the mammal fauna (richness and abundance) was associated with higher parasitemia in small wild mammals and higher exposure of dogs to infection. A Generalized Linear Model (GLM) demonstrated that species richness and positive hemocultures in wild mammals were associated with T. cruzi infection in dogs. Domestic canine infection rates differed significantly between areas with and without Chagas disease outbreaks (Chi-squared test). Geospatial analysis by interpolation and map algebra methods proved to be a powerful tool in the evaluation of areas of T. cruzi transmission. Dog infection was shown to not only be an efficient indicator of reduction of wild mammalian fauna richness but to also act as a signal for the presence of small wild mammals with high parasitemia. The lower richness of small mammal species is discussed as a risk factor for the re-emergence of Chagas disease.

  17. Aquatic Biodiversity in the Amazon: Habitat Specialization and Geographic Isolation Promote Species Richness

    PubMed Central

    Albert, James S.; Carvalho, Tiago P.; Petry, Paulo; Holder, Meghan A.; Maxime, Emmanuel L.; Espino, Jessica; Corahua, Isabel; Quispe, Roberto; Rengifo, Blanca; Ortega, Hernan; Reis, Roberto E.

    2011-01-01

    Simple Summary The immense rainforest ecosystems of tropical America represent some of the greatest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet. Prominent among these are evolutionary radiations of freshwater fishes, including electric eels, piranhas, stingrays, and a myriad of small-bodied and colorful tetras, cichlids, and armored catfishes. In all, the many thousands of these forms account for nearly 10% of all the vertebrate species on Earth. This article explores the complimentary roles that ecological and geographic filters play in limiting dispersal in aquatic species, and how these factors contribute to the accumulation of species richness over broad geographic and evolutionary time scales. Abstract The Neotropical freshwater ichthyofauna has among the highest species richness and density of any vertebrate fauna on Earth, with more than 5,600 species compressed into less than 12% of the world's land surface area, and less than 0.002% of the world's total liquid water supply. How have so many species come to co-exist in such a small amount of total habitat space? Here we report results of an aquatic faunal survey of the Fitzcarrald region in southeastern Peru, an area of low-elevation upland (200–500 m above sea level) rainforest in the Western Amazon, that straddles the headwaters of four large Amazonian tributaries; the Juruá (Yurúa), Ucayali, Purús, and Madre de Dios rivers. All measures of fish species diversity in this region are high; there is high alpha diversity with many species coexisting in the same locality, high beta diversity with high turnover between habitats, and high gamma diversity with high turnover between adjacent tributary basins. Current data show little species endemism, and no known examples of sympatric sister species, within the Fitzcarrald region, suggesting a lack of localized or recent adaptive divergences. These results support the hypothesis that the fish species of the Fitzcarrald region are relatively ancient

  18. Underestimation of Species Richness in Neotropical Frogs Revealed by mtDNA Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Fouquet, Antoine; Gilles, André; Vences, Miguel; Marty, Christian; Blanc, Michel; Gemmell, Neil J.

    2007-01-01

    Background Amphibians are rapidly vanishing. At the same time, it is most likely that the number of amphibian species is highly underestimated. Recent DNA barcoding work has attempted to define a threshold between intra- and inter-specific genetic distances to help identify candidate species. In groups with high extinction rates and poorly known species boundaries, like amphibians, such tools may provide a way to rapidly evaluate species richness. Methodology Here we analyse published and new 16S rDNA sequences from 60 frog species of Amazonia-Guianas to obtain a minimum estimate of the number of undescribed species in this region. We combined isolation by distance, phylogenetic analyses, and comparison of molecular distances to evaluate threshold values for the identification of candidate species among these frogs. Principal Findings In most cases, geographically distant populations belong to genetically highly distinct lineages that could be considered as candidate new species. This was not universal among the taxa studied and thus widespread species of Neotropical frogs really do exist, contrary to previous assumptions. Moreover, the many instances of paraphyly and the wide overlap between distributions of inter- and intra-specific distances reinforce the hypothesis that many cryptic species remain to be described. In our data set, pairwise genetic distances below 0.02 are strongly correlated with geographical distances. This correlation remains statistically significant until genetic distance is 0.05, with no such relation thereafter. This suggests that for higher distances allopatric and sympatric cryptic species prevail. Based on our analyses, we propose a more inclusive pairwise genetic distance of 0.03 between taxa to target lineages that could correspond to candidate species. Conclusions Using this approach, we identify 129 candidate species, two-fold greater than the 60 species included in the current study. This leads to estimates of around 170 to 460

  19. Species richness and distributions of boreal waterbirds in relation to nesting and brood-rearing habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewis, Tyler L.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Bertram, Mark R.; Dubour, Adam J.

    2015-01-01

    Identification of ecological factors that drive animal distributions allows us to understand why distributions vary temporally and spatially, and to develop models to predict future changes to populations–vital tools for effective wildlife management and conservation. For waterbird broods in the boreal forest, distributions are likely driven by factors affecting quality of nesting and brood-rearing habitats, and the influence of these factors may extend beyond singles species, affecting the entire waterbird community. We used occupancy models to assess factors influencing species richness of waterbird broods on 72 boreal lakes, along with brood distributions of 3 species of conservation concern: lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), white-winged scoters (Melanitta fusca), and horned grebe (Podiceps auritus). Factors examined included abundance of invertebrate foods (Amphipoda, Diptera, Gastropoda, Hemiptera, Odonata), physical lake attributes (lake area, emergent vegetation), water chemistry (nitrogen, phosphorus, chlorophyll a concentrations), and nesting habitats (water edge, non-forest cover). Of the 5 invertebrates, only amphipod density was related to richness and occupancy, consistently having a large and positive relationship. Despite this importance to waterbirds, amphipods were the most patchily distributed invertebrate, with 17% of the study lakes containing 70% of collected amphipods. Lake area was the only other covariate that strongly and positively influenced species richness and occupancy of scaup, scoters, and grebes. All 3 water chemistry covariates, which provided alternative measures of lake productivity, were positively related to species richness but had little effect on scaup, scoter, and grebe occupancy. Conversely, emergent vegetation was negatively related to richness, reflecting avoidance of overgrown lakes by broods. Finally, nesting habitats had no influence on richness and occupancy, indicating that, at a broad spatial scale, brood

  20. Plant community responses to long-term fertilization: changes in functional group abundance drive changes in species richness.

    PubMed

    Dickson, Timothy L; Gross, Katherine L

    2013-12-01

    Declines in species richness due to fertilization are typically rapid and associated with increases in aboveground production. However, in a long-term experiment examining the impacts of fertilization in an early successional community, we found it took 14 years for plant species richness to significantly decline in fertilized plots, despite fertilization causing a rapid increase in aboveground production. To determine what accounted for this lag in the species richness response, we examined several potential mechanisms. We found evidence suggesting the abundance of one functional group-tall species with long-distance (runner) clonality-drove changes in species richness, and we found little support for other mechanisms. Tall runner species initially increased in abundance due to fertilization, then declined dramatically and were not abundant again until later in the experiment, when species richness and the combined biomass of all other functional groups (non-tall runner) declined. Over 86 % of the species found throughout the course of our study are non-tall runner, and there is a strong negative relationship between non-tall runner and tall runner biomass. We therefore suggest that declines in species richness in the fertilized treatment are due to high tall runner abundance that decreases the abundance and richness of non-tall runner species. By identifying the functional group that drives declines in richness due to fertilization, our results help to elucidate how fertilization decreases plant richness and also suggest that declines in richness due to fertilization can be lessened by controlling the abundance of species with a tall runner growth form.

  1. Aquatic Biodiversity in the Amazon: Habitat Specialization and Geographic Isolation Promote Species Richness.

    PubMed

    Albert, James S; Carvalho, Tiago P; Petry, Paulo; Holder, Meghan A; Maxime, Emmanuel L; Espino, Jessica; Corahua, Isabel; Quispe, Roberto; Rengifo, Blanca; Ortega, Hernan; Reis, Roberto E

    2011-04-29

    The Neotropical freshwater ichthyofauna has among the highest species richness and density of any vertebrate fauna on Earth, with more than 5,600 species compressed into less than 12% of the world's land surface area, and less than 0.002% of the world's total liquid water supply. How have so many species come to co-exist in such a small amount of total habitat space? Here we report results of an aquatic faunal survey of the Fitzcarrald region in southeastern Peru, an area of low-elevation upland (200-500 m above sea level) rainforest in the Western Amazon, that straddles the headwaters of four large Amazonian tributaries; the Juruá (Yurúa), Ucayali, Purús, and Madre de Dios rivers. All measures of fish species diversity in this region are high; there is high alpha diversity with many species coexisting in the same locality, high beta diversity with high turnover between habitats, and high gamma diversity with high turnover between adjacent tributary basins. Current data show little species endemism, and no known examples of sympatric sister species, within the Fitzcarrald region, suggesting a lack of localized or recent adaptive divergences. These results support the hypothesis that the fish species of the Fitzcarrald region are relatively ancient, predating the Late Miocene-Pliocene (c. 4 Ma) uplift that isolated its several headwater basins. The results also suggest that habitat specialization (phylogenetic niche conservatism) and geographic isolation (dispersal limitation) have contributed to the maintenance of high species richness in this region of the Amazon Basin.

  2. Environmental gradients explain species richness and community composition of coastal breeding birds in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Nord, Maria; Forslund, Pär

    2015-01-01

    Scientifically-based systematic conservation planning for reserve design requires knowledge of species richness patterns and how these are related to environmental gradients. In this study, we explore a large inventory of coastal breeding birds, in total 48 species, sampled in 4646 1 km2 squares which covered a large archipelago in the Baltic Sea on the east coast of Sweden. We analysed how species richness (α diversity) and community composition (β diversity) of two groups of coastal breeding birds (specialists, i.e. obligate coastal breeders; generalists, i.e. facultative coastal breeders) were affected by distance to open sea, land area, shoreline length and archipelago width. The total number of species per square increased with increasing shoreline length, but increasing land area counteracted this effect in specialists. The number of specialist bird species per square increased with decreasing distance to open sea, while the opposite was true for the generalists. Differences in community composition between squares were associated with differences in land area and distance to open sea, both when considering all species pooled and each group separately. Fourteen species were nationally red-listed, and showed similar relationships to the environmental gradients as did all species, specialists and generalists. We suggest that availability of suitable breeding habitats, and probably also proximity to feeding areas, explain much of the observed spatial distributions of coastal birds in this study. Our findings have important implications for systematic conservation planning of coastal breeding birds. In particular, we provide information on where coastal breeding birds occur and which environments they seem to prefer. Small land areas with long shorelines are highly valuable both in general and for red-listed species. Thus, such areas should be prioritized for protection against human disturbance and used by management in reserve selection.

  3. Environmental Gradients Explain Species Richness and Community Composition of Coastal Breeding Birds in the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Nord, Maria; Forslund, Pär

    2015-01-01

    Scientifically-based systematic conservation planning for reserve design requires knowledge of species richness patterns and how these are related to environmental gradients. In this study, we explore a large inventory of coastal breeding birds, in total 48 species, sampled in 4646 1 km2 squares which covered a large archipelago in the Baltic Sea on the east coast of Sweden. We analysed how species richness (α diversity) and community composition (β diversity) of two groups of coastal breeding birds (specialists, i.e. obligate coastal breeders; generalists, i.e. facultative coastal breeders) were affected by distance to open sea, land area, shoreline length and archipelago width. The total number of species per square increased with increasing shoreline length, but increasing land area counteracted this effect in specialists. The number of specialist bird species per square increased with decreasing distance to open sea, while the opposite was true for the generalists. Differences in community composition between squares were associated with differences in land area and distance to open sea, both when considering all species pooled and each group separately. Fourteen species were nationally red-listed, and showed similar relationships to the environmental gradients as did all species, specialists and generalists. We suggest that availability of suitable breeding habitats, and probably also proximity to feeding areas, explain much of the observed spatial distributions of coastal birds in this study. Our findings have important implications for systematic conservation planning of coastal breeding birds. In particular, we provide information on where coastal breeding birds occur and which environments they seem to prefer. Small land areas with long shorelines are highly valuable both in general and for red-listed species. Thus, such areas should be prioritized for protection against human disturbance and used by management in reserve selection. PMID:25714432

  4. Species richness, distribution and genetic diversity of Caenorhabditis nematodes in a remote tropical rainforest

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In stark contrast to the wealth of detail about C. elegans developmental biology and molecular genetics, biologists lack basic data for understanding the abundance and distribution of Caenorhabditis species in natural areas that are unperturbed by human influence. Methods Here we report the analysis of dense sampling from a small, remote site in the Amazonian rain forest of the Nouragues Natural Reserve in French Guiana. Results Sampling of rotting fruits and flowers revealed proliferating populations of Caenorhabditis, with up to three different species co-occurring within a single substrate sample, indicating remarkable overlap of local microhabitats. We isolated six species, representing the highest local species richness for Caenorhabditis encountered to date, including both tropically cosmopolitan and geographically restricted species not previously isolated elsewhere. We also documented the structure of within-species molecular diversity at multiple spatial scales, focusing on 57 C. briggsae isolates from French Guiana. Two distinct genetic subgroups co-occur even within a single fruit. However, the structure of C. briggsae population genetic diversity in French Guiana does not result from strong local patterning but instead presents a microcosm of global patterns of differentiation. We further integrate our observations with new data from nearly 50 additional recently collected C. briggsae isolates from both tropical and temperate regions of the world to re-evaluate local and global patterns of intraspecific diversity, providing the most comprehensive analysis to date for C. briggsae population structure across multiple spatial scales. Conclusions The abundance and species richness of Caenorhabditis nematodes is high in a Neotropical rainforest habitat that is subject to minimal human interference. Microhabitat preferences overlap for different local species, although global distributions include both cosmopolitan and geographically restricted

  5. Filling in the gaps: Modelling native species richness and invasions using spatially incomplete data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarnevich, C.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.; Barnett, D.; Kartesz, J.

    2006-01-01

    Detailed knowledge of patterns of native species richness, an important component of biodiversity, and non-native species invasions is often lacking even though this knowledge is essential to conservation efforts. However, we cannot afford to wait for complete information on the distribution and abundance of native and harmful invasive species. Using information from counties well surveyed for plants across the USA, we developed models to fill data gaps in poorly surveyed areas by estimating the density (number of species km -2) of native and non-native plant species. Here, we show that native plant species density is non-random, predictable, and is the best predictor of non-native plant species density. We found that eastern agricultural sites and coastal areas are among the most invaded in terms of non-native plant species densities, and that the central USA appears to have the greatest ratio of non-native to native species. These large-scale models could also be applied to smaller spatial scales or other taxa to set priorities for conservation and invasion mitigation, prevention, and control efforts. ?? 2006 The Authors.

  6. Relations of Environmental Factors with Mussel-Species Richness in the Neversink River, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baldigo, Barry P.; Ernst, Anne G.; Schuler, George E.; Apse, Colin D.

    2007-01-01

    the Neversink Reservoir that mimic the river?s original flow patterns have recently been proposed by TNC and could benefit the established mussel populations and aquatic communities. The ability to protect mussel populations and the potential to increase mussel richness in the Neversink River is unknown, however, because the environmental factors that affect the seven mussel species are poorly defined, and the distribution of mussel beds is patchy and thus difficult to quantify. In 1997, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with TNC, began a 6-year study along the Neversink River and its tributaries to (1) document the current distribution of each mussel species, (2) assess environmental factors in relation to mussel-species richness and distribution, and (3) identify the factors that most strongly affect mussel populations and develop an equation that relates environmental factors to mussel-species richness. This report (a) summarizes the methods used to quantify or qualify environmental factors and mussel-species distribution and abundance, (b) presents a list of environmental factors that were correlated with mussel-species richness, and (c) offers an empirical model to predict richness of mussel species in benthic communities throughout the basin.

  7. Novel application of species richness estimators to predict the host range of parasites.

    PubMed

    Watson, David M; Milner, Kirsty V; Leigh, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Host range is a critical life history trait of parasites, influencing prevalence, virulence and ultimately determining their distributional extent. Current approaches to measure host range are sensitive to sampling effort, the number of known hosts increasing with more records. Here, we develop a novel application of results-based stopping rules to determine how many hosts should be sampled to yield stable estimates of the number of primary hosts within regions, then use species richness estimation to predict host ranges of parasites across their distributional ranges. We selected three mistletoe species (hemiparasitic plants in the Loranthaceae) to evaluate our approach: a strict host specialist (Amyema lucasii, dependent on a single host species), an intermediate species (Amyema quandang, dependent on hosts in one genus) and a generalist (Lysiana exocarpi, dependent on many genera across multiple families), comparing results from geographically-stratified surveys against known host lists derived from herbarium specimens. The results-based stopping rule (stop sampling bioregion once observed host richness exceeds 80% of the host richness predicted using the Abundance-based Coverage Estimator) worked well for most bioregions studied, being satisfied after three to six sampling plots (each representing 25 host trees) but was unreliable in those bioregions with high host richness or high proportions of rare hosts. Although generating stable predictions of host range with minimal variation among six estimators trialled, distribution-wide estimates fell well short of the number of hosts known from herbarium records. This mismatch, coupled with the discovery of nine previously unrecorded mistletoe-host combinations, further demonstrates the limited ecological relevance of simple host-parasite lists. By collecting estimates of host range of constrained completeness, our approach maximises sampling efficiency while generating comparable estimates of the number of primary

  8. Consequences of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity for species richness and abundance of farmland birds.

    PubMed

    Smith, Henrik G; Dänhardt, Juliana; Lindström, Ake; Rundlöf, Maj

    2010-04-01

    It has been suggested that organic farming may benefit farmland biodiversity more in landscapes that have lost a significant part of its former landscape heterogeneity. We tested this hypothesis by comparing bird species richness and abundance during the breeding season in organic and conventional farms, matched to eliminate all differences not directly linked to the farming practice, situated in either homogeneous plains with only a little semi-natural habitat or in heterogeneous farmland landscapes with abundant field borders and semi-natural grasslands. The effect of farm management on species richness interacted with landscape structure, such that there was a positive relationship between organic farming and diversity only in homogeneous landscapes. This pattern was mainly dependent on the species richness of passerine birds, in particular those that were invertebrate feeders. Species richness of non-passerines was positively related to organic farming independent of the landscape context. Bird abundance was positively related to landscape heterogeneity but not to farm management. This was mainly because the abundance of passerines, particularly invertebrate feeders, was positively related to landscape heterogeneity. We suggest that invertebrate feeders particularly benefit from organic farming because of improved foraging conditions through increased invertebrate abundances in otherwise depauperate homogeneous landscapes. Although many seed-eaters also benefit from increased insect abundance, they may also utilize crop seed resources in homogeneous landscapes and conventional farms. The occurrence of an interactive effect of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity on bird diversity will have consequences for the optimal allocation of resources to restore the diversity of farmland birds.

  9. Above ground biomass and tree species richness estimation with airborne lidar in tropical Ghana forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaglio Laurin, Gaia; Puletti, Nicola; Chen, Qi; Corona, Piermaria; Papale, Dario; Valentini, Riccardo

    2016-10-01

    Estimates of forest aboveground biomass are fundamental for carbon monitoring and accounting; delivering information at very high spatial resolution is especially valuable for local management, conservation and selective logging purposes. In tropical areas, hosting large biomass and biodiversity resources which are often threatened by unsustainable anthropogenic pressures, frequent forest resources monitoring is needed. Lidar is a powerful tool to estimate aboveground biomass at fine resolution; however its application in tropical forests has been limited, with high variability in the accuracy of results. Lidar pulses scan the forest vertical profile, and can provide structure information which is also linked to biodiversity. In the last decade the remote sensing of biodiversity has received great attention, but few studies focused on the use of lidar for assessing tree species richness in tropical forests. This research aims at estimating aboveground biomass and tree species richness using discrete return airborne lidar in Ghana forests. We tested an advanced statistical technique, Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), which does not require assumptions on data distribution or on the relationships between variables, being suitable for studying ecological variables. We compared the MARS regression results with those obtained by multilinear regression and found that both algorithms were effective, but MARS provided higher accuracy either for biomass (R2 = 0.72) and species richness (R2 = 0.64). We also noted strong correlation between biodiversity and biomass field values. Even if the forest areas under analysis are limited in extent and represent peculiar ecosystems, the preliminary indications produced by our study suggest that instrument such as lidar, specifically useful for pinpointing forest structure, can also be exploited as a support for tree species richness assessment.

  10. Solution of the spatial neutral model yields new bounds on the Amazonian species richness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shem-Tov, Yahav; Danino, Matan; Shnerb, Nadav M.

    2017-02-01

    Neutral models, in which individual agents with equal fitness undergo a birth-death-mutation process, are very popular in population genetics and community ecology. Usually these models are applied to populations and communities with spatial structure, but the analytic results presented so far are limited to well-mixed or mainland-island scenarios. Here we combine analytic results and numerics to obtain an approximate solution for the species abundance distribution and the species richness for the neutral model on continuous landscape. We show how the regional diversity increases when the recruitment length decreases and the spatial segregation of species grows. Our results are supported by extensive numerical simulations and allow one to probe the numerically inaccessible regime of large-scale systems with extremely small mutation/speciation rates. Model predictions are compared with the findings of recent large-scale surveys of tropical trees across the Amazon basin, yielding new bounds for the species richness (between 13100 and 15000) and the number of singleton species (between 455 and 690).

  11. Pollen Deposition Is More Important than Species Richness for Seed Set in Luffa Gourd.

    PubMed

    Ali, M; Saeed, S; Sajjad, A

    2016-10-01

    In the context of global biodiversity decline, it is imperative to understand the different aspects of bee communities for sustaining the vital ecosystem service of pollination. Bee species can be assigned to functional groups (average difference among species in functionally related traits) on the basis of complementarity (trait variations exhibited by individual organisms) in their behavior but is not yet known which functional group trait is most important for seed set. In this study, first, the functional groups of bees were made based on their five selected traits (pollen deposition, visitation rate, stay time, visiting time of the day, body size) and then related to the seed set of obligate cross-pollinated Luffa gourd (Luffa aegyptiaca). We found that bee diversity and abundance differed significantly among the studied plots, but only the bee species richness was positively related to the seed set. Functional group diversity in terms of pollen deposition explained even more of the variance in seed set (r (2) = 0.74) than did the species richness (r (2) = 0.53) making it the most important trait of bee species for predicting the crop reproductive success.

  12. Solution of the spatial neutral model yields new bounds on the Amazonian species richness

    PubMed Central

    Shem-Tov, Yahav; Danino, Matan; Shnerb, Nadav M.

    2017-01-01

    Neutral models, in which individual agents with equal fitness undergo a birth-death-mutation process, are very popular in population genetics and community ecology. Usually these models are applied to populations and communities with spatial structure, but the analytic results presented so far are limited to well-mixed or mainland-island scenarios. Here we combine analytic results and numerics to obtain an approximate solution for the species abundance distribution and the species richness for the neutral model on continuous landscape. We show how the regional diversity increases when the recruitment length decreases and the spatial segregation of species grows. Our results are supported by extensive numerical simulations and allow one to probe the numerically inaccessible regime of large-scale systems with extremely small mutation/speciation rates. Model predictions are compared with the findings of recent large-scale surveys of tropical trees across the Amazon basin, yielding new bounds for the species richness (between 13100 and 15000) and the number of singleton species (between 455 and 690). PMID:28209969

  13. Early positive effects of tree species richness on herbivory in a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment influence tree growth.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Härdtle, Werner; Assmann, Thorsten; Li, Ying; Ma, Keping; von Oheimb, Goddert; Zhang, Jiayong

    2015-05-01

    Despite the importance of herbivory for the structure and functioning of species-rich forests, little is known about how herbivory is affected by tree species richness, and more specifically by random vs. non-random species loss. We assessed herbivore damage and its effects on tree growth in the early stage of a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment in subtropical China that features random and non-random extinction scenarios of tree mixtures numbering between one and 24 species. In contrast to random species loss, the non-random extinction scenarios were based on the tree species' local rarity and specific leaf area - traits that may strongly influence the way herbivory is affected by plant species richness. Herbivory increased with tree species richness across all scenarios and was unaffected by the different species compositions in the random and non-random extinction scenarios. Whereas tree growth rates were positively related to herbivory on plots with smaller trees, growth rates significantly declined with increasing herbivory on plots with larger trees. Our results suggest that the effects of herbivory on growth rates increase from monocultures to the most species-rich plant communities and that negative effects with increasing tree species richness become more pronounced with time as trees grow larger. Synthesis. Our results indicate that key trophic interactions can be quick to become established in forest plantations (i.e. already 2.5 years after tree planting). Stronger herbivory effects on tree growth with increasing tree species richness suggest a potentially important role of herbivory in regulating ecosystem functions and the structural development of species-rich forests from the very start of secondary forest succession. The lack of significant differences between the extinction scenarios, however, contrasts with findings from natural forests of higher successional age, where rarity had negative effects on herbivory. This indicates that the

  14. Rarity, species richness, and the threat of extinction--are plants the same as animals?

    PubMed

    Knapp, Sandra

    2011-05-01

    Assessment of conservation status is done both for areas or habitats and for species (or taxa). IUCN Red List categories have been the principal method of categorising species in terms of extinction risk, and have been shown to be robust and helpful in the groups for which they have been developed. A recent study highlights properties associated with extinction risk in flowering plants, focusing on the species-rich hot spot of the Cape region of South Africa, and concludes that merely following methods derived from studies of vertebrates may not provide the best estimates of extinction risk for plants. Biology, geography, and history all are important factors in risk, and the study poses many questions about how we categorise and assess species for conservation priorities.

  15. [Power-law species richness accumulation as manifestation of the fractal community structure].

    PubMed

    Gelashvili, D B; Iudin, D I; Rozenberg, G S; Iakimov, N V

    2007-01-01

    Applications of the fractal to describing the species structure of communities are discussed. Fundamental notions of fractal geometry are explained in the first part. The problem of applying the concept of fractal to describe the spatial allocation of particular species and of community as a whole is reviewed in the second part. In the final part, the usage of the selfsimirity principle for analyzing community organization is substantiated, and evidence of the fractal structure of biocenoses is presented according to Whittaker's concept of alpha diversity. It is shown that community is characterized, as a fractal object, by scale invariance, by power function relationship between the number of structural elements of the community (individuals, populations, species) and the scale (sampling effort), and, finally, by fractional value of the power (fractal dimension). Power function is the formula the takes into account the share of rare species, or species represented by a single individual. providing for no saturation of the function f(x). This formula also does not contradict the A.P. Levich's "rule of ecological non-additivity" and, lastly, allows the application of fractal formalism to characterize the species structure of a community. It is concluded that the mathematical image of species richness is a monofractal, i.e., a set characterised by only one parameter, fractal dimension. Thus, the species structure of a community (as well as the pattern of its spatial allocation) displays self-similarity and is a fractal.

  16. Early positive effects of tree species richness on herbivory in a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment influence tree growth

    PubMed Central

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Härdtle, Werner; Assmann, Thorsten; Li, Ying; Ma, Keping; von Oheimb, Goddert; Zhang, Jiayong

    2015-01-01

    Despite the importance of herbivory for the structure and functioning of species-rich forests, little is known about how herbivory is affected by tree species richness, and more specifically by random vs. non-random species loss. We assessed herbivore damage and its effects on tree growth in the early stage of a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment in subtropical China that features random and non-random extinction scenarios of tree mixtures numbering between one and 24 species. In contrast to random species loss, the non-random extinction scenarios were based on the tree species’ local rarity and specific leaf area – traits that may strongly influence the way herbivory is affected by plant species richness. Herbivory increased with tree species richness across all scenarios and was unaffected by the different species compositions in the random and non-random extinction scenarios. Whereas tree growth rates were positively related to herbivory on plots with smaller trees, growth rates significantly declined with increasing herbivory on plots with larger trees. Our results suggest that the effects of herbivory on growth rates increase from monocultures to the most species-rich plant communities and that negative effects with increasing tree species richness become more pronounced with time as trees grow larger. Synthesis. Our results indicate that key trophic interactions can be quick to become established in forest plantations (i.e. already 2.5 years after tree planting). Stronger herbivory effects on tree growth with increasing tree species richness suggest a potentially important role of herbivory in regulating ecosystem functions and the structural development of species-rich forests from the very start of secondary forest succession. The lack of significant differences between the extinction scenarios, however, contrasts with findings from natural forests of higher successional age, where rarity had negative effects on herbivory. This indicates that

  17. Unimodal latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across northern Eurasian lowlands.

    PubMed

    Horsák, Michal; Chytrý, Milan

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale patterns of species richness and their causes are still poorly understood for most terrestrial invertebrates, although invertebrates can add important insights into the mechanisms that generate regional and global biodiversity patterns. Here we explore the general plausibility of the climate-based "water-energy dynamics" hypothesis using the latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across extensive topographically homogeneous lowlands of northern Eurasia. We established a 1480-km long latitudinal transect across the Western Siberian Plain (Russia) from the Russia-Kazakhstan border (54.5°N) to the Arctic Ocean (67.5°N), crossing eight latitudinal vegetation zones: steppe, forest-steppe, subtaiga, southern, middle and northern taiga, forest-tundra, and tundra. We sampled snails in forests and open habitats each half-degree of latitude and used generalized linear models to relate snail species richness to climatic variables and soil calcium content measured in situ. Contrary to the classical prediction of latitudinal biodiversity decrease, we found a striking unimodal pattern of snail species richness peaking in the subtaiga and southern-taiga zones between 57 and 59°N. The main south-to-north interchange of the two principal diversity constraints, i.e. drought stress vs. cold stress, explained most of the variance in the latitudinal diversity pattern. Water balance, calculated as annual precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration, was a single variable that could explain 81.7% of the variance in species richness. Our data suggest that the "water-energy dynamics" hypothesis can apply not only at the global scale but also at subcontinental scales of higher latitudes, as water availability was found to be the primary limiting factor also in this extratropical region with summer-warm and dry climate. A narrow zone with a sharp south-to-north switch in the two main diversity constraints seems to constitute the dominant and general pattern of

  18. Deriving the species richness distribution of Geotrupinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) in Mexico from the overlap of individual model predictions.

    PubMed

    Trotta-Moreu, Nuria; Lobo, Jorge M

    2010-02-01

    Predictions from individual distribution models for Mexican Geotrupinae species were overlaid to obtain a total species richness map for this group. A database (GEOMEX) that compiles available information from the literature and from several entomological collections was used. A Maximum Entropy method (MaxEnt) was applied to estimate the distribution of each species, taking into account 19 climatic variables as predictors. For each species, suitability values ranging from 0 to 100 were calculated for each grid cell on the map, and 21 different thresholds were used to convert these continuous suitability values into binary ones (presence-absence). By summing all of the individual binary maps, we generated a species richness prediction for each of the considered thresholds. The number of species and faunal composition thus predicted for each Mexican state were subsequently compared with those observed in a preselected set of well-surveyed states. Our results indicate that the sum of individual predictions tends to overestimate species richness but that the selection of an appropriate threshold can reduce this bias. Even under the most optimistic prediction threshold, the mean species richness error is 61% of the observed species richness, with commission errors being significantly more common than omission errors (71 +/- 29 versus 18 +/- 10%). The estimated distribution of Geotrupinae species richness in Mexico in discussed, although our conclusions are preliminary and contingent on the scarce and probably biased available data.

  19. Landscape and Local Correlates of Bee Abundance and Species Richness in Urban Gardens.

    PubMed

    Quistberg, Robyn D; Bichier, Peter; Philpott, Stacy M

    2016-03-31

    Urban gardens may preserve biodiversity as urban population densities increase, but this strongly depends on the characteristics of the gardens and the landscapes in which they are embedded. We investigated whether local and landscape characteristics are important correlates of bee (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) abundance and species richness in urban community gardens. We worked in 19 gardens in the California central coast and sampled bees with aerial nets and pan traps. We measured local characteristics (i.e., vegetation and ground cover) and used the USGS National Land Cover Database to classify the landscape surrounding our garden study sites at 2 km scales. We classified bees according to nesting type (i.e., cavity, ground) and body size and determined which local and landscape characteristics correlate with bee community characteristics. We found 55 bee species. One landscape and several local factors correlated with differences in bee abundance and richness for all bees, cavity-nesting bees, ground-nesting bees, and different sized bees. Generally, bees were more abundant and species rich in bigger gardens, in gardens with higher floral abundance, less mulch cover, more bare ground, and with more grass. Medium bees were less abundant in sites surrounded by more medium intensity developed land within 2 km. The fact that local factors were generally more important drivers of bee abundance and richness indicates a potential for gardeners to promote bee conservation by altering local management practices. In particular, increasing floral abundance, decreasing use of mulch, and providing bare ground may promote bees in urban gardens.

  20. Hotspots of species richness, threat and endemism for terrestrial vertebrates in SW Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascual, López-López; Luigi, Maiorano; Alessandra, Falcucci; Emilio, Barba; Luigi, Boitani

    2011-09-01

    The Mediterranean basin, and the Iberian Peninsula in particular, represent an outstanding "hotspot" of biological diversity with a long history of integration between natural ecosystems and human activities. Using deductive distribution models, and considering both Spain and Portugal, we downscaled traditional range maps for terrestrial vertebrates (amphibians, breeding birds, mammals and reptiles) to the finest possible resolution with the data at hand, and we identified hotspots based on three criteria: i) species richness; ii) vulnerability, and iii) endemism. We also provided a first evaluation of the conservation status of biodiversity hotspots based on these three criteria considering both existing and proposed protected areas (i.e., Natura 2000). For the identification of hotspots, we used a method based on the cumulative distribution functions of species richness values. We found no clear surrogacy among the different types of hotspots in the Iberian Peninsula. The most important hotspots (considering all criteria) are located in the western and southwestern portions of the study area, in the Mediterranean biogeographical region. Existing protected areas are not specifically concentrated in areas of high species richness, with only 5.2% of the hotspots of total richness being currently protected. The Natura 2000 network can potentially constitute an important baseline for protecting vertebrate diversity in the Iberian Peninsula although further improvements are needed. We suggest taking a step forward in conservation planning in the Mediterranean basin, explicitly considering the history of the region as well as its present environmental context. This would allow moving from traditional reserve networks (conservation focused on "patterns") to considerations about the "processes" that generated present biodiversity.

  1. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the brazilian coast.

    PubMed

    Rocha, C F D; Vrcibradic, D; Kiefer, M C; Menezes, V A; Fontes, A F; Hatano, F H; Galdino, C A B; Bergallo, H G; Van Sluys, M

    2014-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation is well known to adversely affect species living in the remaining, relatively isolated, habitat patches, especially for those having small range size and low density. This negative effect has been critical in coastal resting habitats. We analysed the lizard composition and richness of restinga habitats in 16 restinga habitats encompassing three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia) and more than 1500km of the Brazilian coast in order to evaluate if the loss of lizard species following habitat reduction occur in a nested pattern or at random, using the "Nestedness Temperature Calculator" to analyse the distribution pattern of lizard species among the restingas studied. We also estimated the potential capacity that each restinga has to maintain lizard species. Eleven lizard species were recorded in the restingas, although not all species occurred in all areas. The restinga with the richest lizard fauna was Guriri (eight species) whereas the restinga with the lowest richness was Praia do Sul (located at Ilha Grande, a large coastal island). Among the restingas analysed, Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves, were the most hospitable for lizards. The matrix community temperature of the lizard assemblages was 20.49° (= P <0.00001; 5000 randomisations; randomisation temperature = 51.45° ± 7.18° SD), indicating that lizard assemblages in the coastal restingas exhibited a considerable nested structure. The degree in which an area is hospitable for different assemblages could be used to suggest those with greater value of conservation. We concluded that lizard assemblages in coastal restingas occur at a considerable level of ordination in restinga habitats and that some restinga areas such as Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves are quite important to preserve lizard diversity of restinga environments.

  2. Functional-diversity indices can be driven by methodological choices and species richness.

    PubMed

    Poos, Mark S; Walker, Steven C; Jackson, Donald A

    2009-02-01

    Functional diversity is an important concept in community ecology because it captures information on functional traits absent in measures of species diversity. One popular method of measuring functional diversity is the dendrogram-based method, FD. To calculate FD, a variety of methodological choices are required, and it has been debated about whether biological conclusions are sensitive to such choices. We studied the probability that conclusions regarding FD were sensitive, and that patterns in sensitivity were related to alpha and beta components of species richness. We developed a randomization procedure that iteratively calculated FD by assigning species into two assemblages and calculating the probability that the community with higher FD varied across methods. We found evidence of sensitivity in all five communities we examined, ranging from a probability of sensitivity of 0 (no sensitivity) to 0.976 (almost completely sensitive). Variations in these probabilities were driven by differences in alpha diversity between assemblages and not by beta diversity. Importantly, FD was most sensitive when it was most useful (i.e., when differences in alpha diversity were low). We demonstrate that trends in functional-diversity analyses can be largely driven by methodological choices or species richness, rather than functional trait information alone.

  3. Evolutionary history determines how plant productivity responds to phylogenetic diversity and species richness.

    PubMed

    Genung, Mark A; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Bailey, Joseph K

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function has received a great deal of attention in ecological research and recent results, from re-analyses, suggest that ecosystem function improves with increases in phylogenetic diversity. However, many of these results have been generalized across a range of different species and clades, and plants with different evolutionary histories could display different relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function. To experimentally test this hypothesis, we manipulated species richness and phylogenetic diversity using 26 species from two subgenera of the genus Eucalyptus (subgenus Eucalyptus and subgenus Symphyomyrtus). We found that plant biomass (a measurement of ecosystem function) sometimes, but not always, responded to increases in species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Specifically, Symphyomyrtus plants showed a positive response while no comparable effect was observed for Eucalyptus plants, showing that responses to biodiversity can vary across different phylogenetic groups. Our results show that the impacts of evolutionary history may complicate the relationship between the diversity of plant communities and plant biomass.

  4. Experimental factors affecting PCR-based estimates of microbial species richness and evenness

    SciTech Connect

    Engelbrektson, Anna; Kunin, Victor; Wrighton, Kelly C.; Zvenigorodsky, Natasha; Chen, Feng; Ochman, Howard; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2009-12-01

    Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons for microbial community profiling can, for equivalent costs, yield greater than two orders of magnitude more sensitivity than traditional PCR-cloning and Sanger sequencing. With this increased sensitivity and the ability to analyze multiple samples in parallel, it has become possible to evaluate several technical aspects of PCRbased community structure profiling methods. We tested the effect of amplicon length and primer pair on estimates of species richness number of species and evenness relative abundance of species by assessing the potentially tractable microbial community residing in the termite hindgut. Two regions of the 16S rRNA gene were sequenced from one of two common priming sites, spanning the V1-V2 or V8 regions, using amplicons ranging n length from 352 to 1443 bp. Our results demonstrate that both amplicon length and primer pair markedly influence estimates of richness and evenness. However, estimates of species evenness are consistent among different primer pairs targeting the same region. These results highlight the importance of experimental methodology when comparing diversity estimates across communities.

  5. Prospects for quantifying structure, floristic composition and species richness of tropical forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gillespie, T.W.; Brock, J.; Wright, C.W.

    2004-01-01

    Airborne spectral and light detection and ranging (lidar) sensors have been used to quantify biophysical characteristics of tropical forests. Lidar sensors have provided high-resolution data on forest height, canopy topography, volume, and gap size; and provided estimates on number of strata in a forest, successional status of forests, and above-ground biomass. Spectral sensors have provided data on vegetation types, foliar biochemistry content of forest canopies, tree and canopy phenology, and spectral signatures for selected tree species. A number of advances are theoretically possible with individual and combined spectral and lidar sensors for the study of forest structure, floristic composition and species richness. Delineating individual canopies of over-storey trees with small footprint lidar and discrimination of tree architectural types with waveform distributions is possible and would provide scientists with a new method to study tropical forest structure. Combined spectral and lidar data can be used to identify selected tree species and identify the successional status of tropical forest fragments in order to rank forest patches by levels of species richness. It should be possible in the near future to quantify selected patterns of tropical forests at a higher resolution than can currently be undertaken in the field or from space. ?? 2004 Taylor and Francis Ltd.

  6. Vector species richness increases haemorrhagic disease prevalence through functional diversity modulating the duration of seasonal transmission.

    PubMed

    Park, Andrew W; Cleveland, Christopher A; Dallas, Tad A; Corn, Joseph L

    2016-06-01

    Although many parasites are transmitted between hosts by a suite of arthropod vectors, the impact of vector biodiversity on parasite transmission is poorly understood. Positive relationships between host infection prevalence and vector species richness (SR) may operate through multiple mechanisms, including (i) increased vector abundance, (ii) a sampling effect in which species of high vectorial capacity are more likely to occur in species-rich communities, and (iii) functional diversity whereby communities comprised species with distinct phenologies may extend the duration of seasonal transmission. Teasing such mechanisms apart is impeded by a lack of appropriate data, yet could highlight a neglected role for functional diversity in parasite transmission. We used statistical modelling of extensive host, vector and microparasite data to test the hypothesis that functional diversity leading to longer seasonal transmission explained variable levels of disease in a wildlife population. We additionally developed a simple transmission model to guide our expectation of how an increased transmission season translates to infection prevalence. Our study demonstrates that vector SR is associated with increased levels of disease reporting, but not via increases in vector abundance or via a sampling effect. Rather, the relationship operates by extending the length of seasonal transmission, in line with theoretical predictions.

  7. Shrubs as ecosystem engineers across an environmental gradient: effects on species richness and exotic plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Magnoli, Susan M; Cushman, J Hall

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystem-engineering plants modify the physical environment and can increase species diversity and exotic species invasion. At the individual level, the effects of ecosystem engineers on other plants often become more positive in stressful environments. In this study, we investigated whether the community-level effects of ecosystem engineers also become stronger in more stressful environments. Using comparative and experimental approaches, we assessed the ability of a native shrub (Ericameria ericoides) to act as an ecosystem engineer across a stress gradient in a coastal dune in northern California, USA. We found increased coarse organic matter and lower wind speeds within shrub patches. Growth of a dominant invasive grass (Bromus diandrus) was facilitated both by aboveground shrub biomass and by growing in soil taken from shrub patches. Experimental removal of shrubs negatively affected species most associated with shrubs and positively affected species most often found outside of shrubs. Counter to the stress-gradient hypothesis, the effects of shrubs on the physical environment and individual plant growth did not increase across the established stress gradient at this site. At the community level, shrub patches increased beta diversity, and contained greater rarified richness and exotic plant cover than shrub-free patches. Shrub effects on rarified richness increased with environmental stress, but effects on exotic cover and beta diversity did not. Our study provides evidence for the community-level effects of shrubs as ecosystem engineers in this system, but shows that these effects do not necessarily become stronger in more stressful environments.

  8. Dispersal capacity predicts both population genetic structure and species richness in reef fishes.

    PubMed

    Riginos, Cynthia; Buckley, Yvonne M; Blomberg, Simon P; Treml, Eric A

    2014-07-01

    Dispersal is a fundamental species characteristic that should directly affect both rates of gene flow among spatially distributed populations and opportunities for speciation. Yet no single trait associated with dispersal has been demonstrated to affect both micro- and macroevolutionary patterns of diversity across a diverse biological assemblage. Here, we examine patterns of genetic differentiation and species richness in reef fishes, an assemblage of over 7,000 species comprising approximately one-third of the extant bony fishes and over one-tenth of living vertebrates. In reef fishes, dispersal occurs primarily during a planktonic larval stage. There are two major reproductive and parental investment syndromes among reef fishes, and the differences between them have implications for dispersal: (1) benthic guarding fishes lay negatively buoyant eggs, typically guarded by the male parent, and from these eggs hatch large, strongly swimming larvae; in contrast, (2) pelagic spawning fishes release small floating eggs directly into the water column, which drift unprotected before small weakly swimming larvae hatch. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we show that benthic guarders have significantly greater population structure than pelagic spawners and additionally that taxonomic families of benthic guarders are more species rich than families of pelagic spawners. Our findings provide a compelling case for the continuity between micro- and macroevolutionary processes of biological diversification and underscore the importance of dispersal-related traits in influencing the mode and tempo of evolution.

  9. Experimental factors affecting PCR-based estimates of microbial species richness and evenness.

    PubMed

    Engelbrektson, Anna; Kunin, Victor; Wrighton, Kelly C; Zvenigorodsky, Natasha; Chen, Feng; Ochman, Howard; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2010-05-01

    Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons for microbial community profiling can, for equivalent costs, yield more than two orders of magnitude more sensitivity than traditional PCR cloning and Sanger sequencing. With this increased sensitivity and the ability to analyze multiple samples in parallel, it has become possible to evaluate several technical aspects of PCR-based community structure profiling methods. We tested the effect of amplicon length and primer pair on estimates of species richness (number of species) and evenness (relative abundance of species) by assessing the potentially tractable microbial community residing in the termite hindgut. Two regions of the 16S rRNA gene were sequenced from one of two common priming sites, spanning the V1-V2 or V8 regions, using amplicons ranging in length from 352 to 1443 bp. Our results show that both amplicon length and primer pair markedly influence estimates of richness and evenness. However, estimates of species evenness are consistent among different primer pairs targeting the same region. These results highlight the importance of experimental methodology when comparing diversity estimates across communities.

  10. Diversity and biogeography of a species-rich ant fauna of the Australian seasonal tropics.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Alan N; Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Oberprieler, Stefanie

    2016-09-15

    Although ants are an ecologically dominant and extensively studied faunal group throughout the tropics, there is a poor understanding of tropical ant diversity and distribution at large spatial scales. Here we use a collection developed from 3 decades of ant surveys to present the first analysis of ant diversity and biogeography of a large tropical region. Our objective was to document the species richness, composition, and biogeographic distributions of the ant fauna of the 400 000 km(2) "Top End" of Australia's Northern Territory. The known Top End ant fauna comprises 901 native species from 59 genera. The richest genera are Pheidole (90 species), Melophorus (83), Monomorium (83), Camponotus (71), Meranoplus (63), Polyrhachis (57), Rhytidoponera (50), Tetramorium (43), Cerapachys (32), and Iridomyrmex (31). The fauna is the center of diverse radiations within species-groups of genera such as Meranoplus, Rhytidoponera, and Leptogenys. It also includes IndoMalayan species that have likely bypassed the normal dispersal route into Australia through Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland. Faunistic similarity with other regions of far northern Australia is associated more with rainfall than with geographic proximity. Most (60%) of Top End ant species have not been recorded elsewhere, and, despite uncertainties relating to species delimitation and sampling intensity, this appears to be a credible estimate of the level of endemism. Such exceptionally high endemism can be attributed to the Top End's geographic isolation from other regions of northern Australia with comparably high rainfall.

  11. Predicting species richness and distribution ranges of centipedes at the northern edge of Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgopoulou, Elisavet; Djursvoll, Per; Simaiakis, Stylianos M.

    2016-07-01

    In recent decades, interest in understanding species distributions and exploring processes that shape species diversity has increased, leading to the development of advanced methods for the exploitation of occurrence data for analytical and ecological purposes. Here, with the use of georeferenced centipede data, we explore the importance and contribution of bioclimatic variables and land cover, and predict distribution ranges and potential hotspots in Norway. We used a maximum entropy analysis (Maxent) to model species' distributions, aiming at exploring centres of distribution, latitudinal spans and northern range boundaries of centipedes in Norway. The performance of all Maxent models was better than random with average test area under the curve (AUC) values above 0.893 and True Skill Statistic (TSS) values above 0.593. Our results showed a highly significant latitudinal gradient of increased species richness in southern grid-cells. Mean temperatures of warmest and coldest quarters explained much of the potential distribution of species. Predictive modelling analyses revealed that south-eastern Norway and the Atlantic coast in the west (inclusive of the major fjord system of Sognefjord), are local biodiversity hotspots with regard to high predictive species co-occurrence. We conclude that our predicted northward shifts of centipedes' distributions in Norway are likely a result of post-glacial recolonization patterns, species' ecological requirements and dispersal abilities.

  12. Protistan microbial observatory in the Cariaco Basin, Caribbean. I. Pyrosequencing vs Sanger insights into species richness.

    PubMed

    Edgcomb, Virginia; Orsi, William; Bunge, John; Jeon, Sunok; Christen, Richard; Leslin, Chesley; Holder, Mark; Taylor, Gordon T; Suarez, Paula; Varela, Ramon; Epstein, Slava

    2011-08-01

    Microbial diversity and distribution are topics of intensive research. In two companion papers in this issue, we describe the results of the Cariaco Microbial Observatory (Caribbean Sea, Venezuela). The Basin contains the largest body of marine anoxic water, and presents an opportunity to study protistan communities across biogeochemical gradients. In the first paper, we survey 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence diversity using both Sanger- and pyrosequencing-based approaches, employing multiple PCR primers, and state-of-the-art statistical analyses to estimate microbial richness missed by the survey. Sampling the Basin at three stations, in two seasons, and at four depths with distinct biogeochemical regimes, we obtained the largest, and arguably the least biased collection of over 6000 nearly full-length protistan rRNA gene sequences from a given oceanographic regime to date, and over 80,000 pyrosequencing tags. These represent all major and many minor protistan taxa, at frequencies globally similar between the two sequence collections. This large data set provided, via the recently developed parametric modeling, the first statistically sound prediction of the total size of protistan richness in a large and varied environment, such as the Cariaco Basin: over 36,000 species, defined as almost full-length 18S rRNA gene sequence clusters sharing over 99% sequence homology. This richness is a small fraction of the grand total of known protists (over 100,000-500,000 species), suggesting a degree of protistan endemism.

  13. Predators reduce abundance and species richness of coral reef fish recruits via non-selective predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinlein, J. M.; Stier, A. C.; Steele, M. A.

    2010-06-01

    Predators have important effects on coral reef fish populations, but their effects on community structure have only recently been investigated and are not yet well understood. Here, the effect of predation on the diversity and abundance of young coral reef fishes was experimentally examined in Moorea, French Polynesia. Effects of predators were quantified by monitoring recruitment of fishes onto standardized patch reefs in predator-exclosure cages or uncaged reefs. At the end of the 54-day experiment, recruits were 74% less abundant on reefs exposed to predators than on caged ones, and species richness was 42% lower on reefs exposed to predators. Effects of predators varied somewhat among families, however, rarefaction analysis indicated that predators foraged non-selectively among species. These results indicate that predation can alter diversity of reef fish communities by indiscriminately reducing the abundance of fishes soon after settlement, thereby reducing the number of species present on reefs.

  14. Chemical-specific adjustment factors (inter-species toxicokinetics) to establish the ADI for steviol glycosides.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Ashley; Lynch, Barry; Rogerson, Rebecca; Renwick, Andrew; Kern, Hua; Coffee, Matthew; Cuellar-Kingston, Nicole; Eapen, Alex; Crincoli, Christine; Pugh, George; Bhusari, Sachin; Purkayastha, Sidd; Carakostas, Michael

    2016-08-01

    The acceptable daily intake (ADI) of commercially available steviol glycosides is currently 0-4 mg/kg body weight (bw)/day, based on application of a 100-fold uncertainty factor to a no-observed-adverse-effect-level value from a chronic rat study. Within the 100-fold uncertainty factor is a 10-fold uncertainty factor to account for inter-species differences in toxicokinetics (4-fold) and toxicodynamics (2.5-fold). Single dose pharmacokinetics of stevioside were studied in rats (40 and 1000 mg/kg bw) and in male human subjects (40 mg/kg bw) to generate a chemical-specific, inter-species toxicokinetic adjustment factor. Tmax values for steviol were at ∼8 and ∼20 h after administration in rats and humans, respectively. Peak concentrations of steviol were similar in rats and humans, while steviol glucuronide concentrations were significantly higher in humans. Glucuronidation in rats was not saturated over the dose range 40-1000 mg/kg bw. The AUC0-last for steviol was approximately 2.8-fold greater in humans compared to rats. Chemical-specific adjustment factors for extrapolating toxicokinetics from rat to human of 1 and 2.8 were established based on Cmax and AUC0-last data respectively. Because these factors are lower than the default value of 4.0, a higher ADI for steviol glycosides of between 6 and 16 mg/kg bw/d is justified.

  15. Exploring Genetic Divergence in a Species-Rich Insect Genus Using 2790 DNA Barcodes

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Xiaolong; Stur, Elisabeth; Ekrem, Torbjørn

    2015-01-01

    DNA barcoding using a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (COI) has proven to be successful for species-level identification in many animal groups. However, most studies have been focused on relatively small datasets or on large datasets of taxonomically high-ranked groups. We explore the quality of DNA barcodes to delimit species in the diverse chironomid genus Tanytarsus (Diptera: Chironomidae) by using different analytical tools. The genus Tanytarsus is the most species-rich taxon of tribe Tanytarsini (Diptera: Chironomidae) with more than 400 species worldwide, some of which can be notoriously difficult to identify to species-level using morphology. Our dataset, based on sequences generated from own material and publicly available data in BOLD, consist of 2790 DNA barcodes with a fragment length of at least 500 base pairs. A neighbor joining tree of this dataset comprises 131 well separated clusters representing 121 morphological species of Tanytarsus: 77 named, 16 unnamed and 28 unidentified theoretical species. For our geographically widespread dataset, DNA barcodes unambiguously discriminate 94.6% of the Tanytarsus species recognized through prior morphological study. Deep intraspecific divergences exist in some species complexes, and need further taxonomic studies using appropriate nuclear markers as well as morphological and ecological data to be resolved. The DNA barcodes cluster into 120–242 molecular operational taxonomic units (OTUs) depending on whether Objective Clustering, Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD), Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent model (GMYC), Poisson Tree Process (PTP), subjective evaluation of the neighbor joining tree or Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) are used. We suggest that a 4–5% threshold is appropriate to delineate species of Tanytarsus non-biting midges. PMID:26406595

  16. Eco-evolutionary Model of Rapid Phenotypic Diversification in Species-Rich Communities.

    PubMed

    Villa Martín, Paula; Hidalgo, Jorge; Rubio de Casas, Rafael; Muñoz, Miguel A

    2016-10-01

    Evolutionary and ecosystem dynamics are often treated as different processes -operating at separate timescales- even if evidence reveals that rapid evolutionary changes can feed back into ecological interactions. A recent long-term field experiment has explicitly shown that communities of competing plant species can experience very fast phenotypic diversification, and that this gives rise to enhanced complementarity in resource exploitation and to enlarged ecosystem-level productivity. Here, we build on progress made in recent years in the integration of eco-evolutionary dynamics, and present a computational approach aimed at describing these empirical findings in detail. In particular we model a community of organisms of different but similar species evolving in time through mechanisms of birth, competition, sexual reproduction, descent with modification, and death. Based on simple rules, this model provides a rationalization for the emergence of rapid phenotypic diversification in species-rich communities. Furthermore, it also leads to non-trivial predictions about long-term phenotypic change and ecological interactions. Our results illustrate that the presence of highly specialized, non-competing species leads to very stable communities and reveals that phenotypically equivalent species occupying the same niche may emerge and coexist for very long times. Thus, the framework presented here provides a simple approach -complementing existing theories, but specifically devised to account for the specificities of the recent empirical findings for plant communities- to explain the collective emergence of diversification at a community level, and paves the way to further scrutinize the intimate entanglement of ecological and evolutionary processes, especially in species-rich communities.

  17. Eco-evolutionary Model of Rapid Phenotypic Diversification in Species-Rich Communities

    PubMed Central

    Villa Martín, Paula; Rubio de Casas, Rafael; Muñoz, Miguel A.

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary and ecosystem dynamics are often treated as different processes –operating at separate timescales– even if evidence reveals that rapid evolutionary changes can feed back into ecological interactions. A recent long-term field experiment has explicitly shown that communities of competing plant species can experience very fast phenotypic diversification, and that this gives rise to enhanced complementarity in resource exploitation and to enlarged ecosystem-level productivity. Here, we build on progress made in recent years in the integration of eco-evolutionary dynamics, and present a computational approach aimed at describing these empirical findings in detail. In particular we model a community of organisms of different but similar species evolving in time through mechanisms of birth, competition, sexual reproduction, descent with modification, and death. Based on simple rules, this model provides a rationalization for the emergence of rapid phenotypic diversification in species-rich communities. Furthermore, it also leads to non-trivial predictions about long-term phenotypic change and ecological interactions. Our results illustrate that the presence of highly specialized, non-competing species leads to very stable communities and reveals that phenotypically equivalent species occupying the same niche may emerge and coexist for very long times. Thus, the framework presented here provides a simple approach –complementing existing theories, but specifically devised to account for the specificities of the recent empirical findings for plant communities– to explain the collective emergence of diversification at a community level, and paves the way to further scrutinize the intimate entanglement of ecological and evolutionary processes, especially in species-rich communities. PMID:27736874

  18. Macroparasite community of the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris): poor species richness and diversity.

    PubMed

    Romeo, Claudia; Pisanu, Benoît; Ferrari, Nicola; Basset, Franck; Tillon, Laurent; Wauters, Lucas A; Martinoli, Adriano; Saino, Nicola; Chapuis, Jean-Louis

    2013-10-01

    The Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is the only naturally occurring tree squirrel throughout its range. We aim at improving current knowledge on its macroparasite fauna, expecting that it will have a poor parasite diversity because in species that have no sympatric congeners parasite richness should be lower than in hosts sharing their range with several closely related species, where host-switching events and lateral transmission are promoted. We examined gastro-intestinal helminth and ectoparasite communities (excluding mites) of, respectively, 147 and 311 red squirrel roadkills collected in four biogeographic regions in Italy and France. As expected, the macroparasite fauna was poor: we found five species of nematodes and some unidentified cestodes, three fleas, two sucking lice and two hard ticks. The helminth community was dominated by a single species, the oxyurid Trypanoxyuris (Rodentoxyuris) sciuri (prevalence, 87%; mean abundance, 373 ± 65 worms/host). Its abundance varied among seasons and biogeographic regions and increased with body mass in male hosts while decreased in females. The most prevalent ectoparasites were the flea Ceratophyllus (Monopsyllus) sciurorum (28%), whose presence was affected by season, and the generalist tick Ixodes (Ixodes) ricinus that was found only in France (34%). All the other helminths and arthropod species were rare, with prevalence below 10%. However, the first record of Strongyloides robustus, a common nematode of North American Eastern grey squirrels (S. carolinensis), in two red squirrels living in areas where this alien species co-inhabits, deserves further attention, since low parasite richness could result in native red squirrels being particularly vulnerable to parasite spillover.

  19. Comparison of vanadium-rich activity of three species fungi of basidiomycetes.

    PubMed

    Han, Chunchao; Cui, Bo; Qu, Jingran

    2009-03-01

    A comparison of vanadium-rich activity of three species fungi of Basidiomycetes, Ganoderma lucidum, Coprinus comatus, and Grifola frondosa, was studied. By fermentation and atomic absorption spectroscopy analysis, the biomass of G. lucidum and G. frondosa declined rapidly when the concentration of vanadium exceeded 0.3% but the biomass of C. comatus did not decline rapidly until the concentration of vanadium exceeded 0.4% and the content of vanadium accumulated in the mycelia was 3529.3 microg/g. After the mice were administered (intragastrically) with vanadium-rich C. comatus, the blood glucose of alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice was decreased (p < 0.05) and the body weight of the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice was increased gradually. Thus, we selected C. comatus to absorb vanadium and chose 0.4% as the optimal concentration of vanadium for the pharmacological works.

  20. Fine-scale spatial variation in plant species richness and its relationship to environmental conditions in coastal marshlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mancera, J.E.; Meche, G.C.; Cardona-Olarte, P.P.; Castaneda-Moya, E.; Chiasson, R.L.; Geddes, N.A.; Schile, L.M.; Wang, H.G.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Grace, J.B.

    2005-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that variations in environmental conditions play a major role in explaining variations in plant species richness at community and landscape scales. In this study, we considered the degree to which fine-scale spatial variations in richness could be related to fine-scale variations in abiotic and biotic factors. To examine spatial variation in richness, grids of 1 m(2) plots were laid out at five sites within a coastal riverine wetland landscape. At each site, a 5 x 7 array of plots was established adjacent to the river's edge with plots one meter apart. In addition to the estimation of species richness, environmental measurements included sediment salinity, plot microelevation, percent of plot recently disturbed, and estimated community biomass. Our analysis strategy was to combine the use of structural equation modeling (path modeling) with an assessment of spatial association. Mantel's tests revealed significant spatial autocorrelation in species richness at four of the five sites sampled, indicating that richness in a plot correlated with the richness of nearby plots. We subsequently considered the degree to which spatial autocorrelations in richness could be explained by spatial autocorrelations in environmental conditions. Once data were corrected for environmental correlations, spatial autocorrelation in residual species richness could not be detected at any site. Based on these results, we conclude that in this coastal wetland, there appears to be a fine-scale mapping of diversity to microgradients in environmental conditions.

  1. Ecophysiological adjustment of two Sphagnum species in response to anthropogenic nitrogen deposition.

    PubMed

    Wiedermann, Magdalena M; Gunnarsson, Urban; Ericson, Lars; Nordin, Annika

    2009-01-01

    Here, it was investigated whether Sphagnum species have adjusted their nitrogen (N) uptake in response to the anthropogenic N deposition that has drastically altered N-limited ecosystems, including peatlands, worldwide. A lawn species, Sphagnum balticum, and a hummock species, Sphagnum fuscum, were collected from three peatlands along a gradient of N deposition (2, 8 and 12 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)). The mosses were subjected to solutions containing a mixture of four N forms. In each solution one of these N forms was labeled with (15)N (namely (15)NH(+)(4), (15)NO(-)(3) and the amino acids [(15)N]alanine (Ala) and [(15)N]glutamic acid (Glu)). It was found that for both species most of the N taken up was from , followed by Ala, Glu, and very small amounts from NO(-)(3). At the highest N deposition site N uptake was reduced, but this did not prevent N accumulation as free amino acids in the Sphagnum tissues. The reduced N uptake may have been genetically selected for under the relatively short period with elevated N exposure from anthropogenic sources, or may have been the result of plasticity in the Sphagnum physiological response. The negligible Sphagnum NO(-)(3) uptake may make any NO(-)(3) deposited readily available to co-occurring vascular plants.

  2. Frog species richness, composition and beta-diversity in coastal Brazilian restinga habitats.

    PubMed

    Rocha, C F D; Hatano, F H; Vrcibradic, D; Van Sluys, M

    2008-02-01

    We studied the species richness and composition of frogs in 10 restinga habitats (sand dune environments dominated by herbaceous and shrubby vegetation) along approximately 1500 km of coastal areas of three Brazilian States: Rio de Janeiro (Grumari, Maricá, Massambaba, Jurubatiba and Grussaí), Espírito Santo (Praia das Neves and Setiba) and Bahia (Prado and Trancoso). We estimated beta-diversity and similarity among areas and related these parameters to geographic distance between areas. All areas were surveyed with a similar sampling procedure. We found 28 frog species belonging to the families Hylidae, Microhylidae, Leptodactylidae and Bufonidae. Frogs in restingas were in general nocturnal with no strictly diurnal species. The richest restinga was Praia das Neves (13 species), followed by Grussaí and Trancoso (eight species in each). The commonest species in the restingas was Scinax alter (found in eight restingas), followed by Aparasphenodon brunoi (seven areas). Our data shows that richness and composition of frog communities vary consistently along the eastern Brazilian coast and, in part, the rate of species turnover is affected by the distance among areas. Geographic distance explained approximately 12% of species turnover in restingas and about 9.5% of similarity among frog assemblages. Although geographic distance somewhat affects frog assemblages, other factors (e.g. historical factors, disturbances) seem to be also involved in explaining present frog assemblage composition in each area and species turnover among areas. The frog fauna along restinga habitats was significantly nested (matrix community temperature = 26.13 degrees; p = 0.007). Our data also showed that the most hospitable restinga was Praia das Neves and indicated that this area should be protected as a conservation unit. Frog assemblage of each area seems to partially represent a nested subset of the original assemblage, although we should not ignore the importance of historical

  3. Contrasting impacts of different-sized herbivores on species richness of Mediterranean annual pastures differing in primary productivity.

    PubMed

    Rueda, Marta; Rebollo, Salvador; García-Salgado, Gonzalo

    2013-06-01

    Vertebrate herbivores can be key determinants of grassland plant species richness, although the magnitude of their effects can largely depend on ecosystem and herbivore characteristics. It has been demonstrated that the combined effect of primary productivity and body size is critical when assessing the impact of herbivores on plant richness of perennial-dominated grasslands; however, the interaction of site productivity and herbivore size as determinants of plant richness in annual-dominated pastures remains unknown. We experimentally partitioned primary productivity and herbivore body size (sheep and wild rabbits) to study the effect of herbivores on the plant species richness of a Mediterranean semiarid annual plant community in central Spain over six years. We also analyzed the effect of grazing and productivity on the evenness and species composition of the plant community, and green cover, litter, and plant height. We found that plant richness was higher where the large herbivore was present at high-productivity sites but barely changed at low productivity. The small herbivore did not affect species richness at either productivity site despite its large effects on species composition. We propose that adaptations to resource scarcity and herbivory prevented plant richness changes at low-productivity sites, whereas litter accumulation in the absence of herbivores decreased plant richness at high productivity. Our results are consistent with predictions arising from a long history of grazing and highlight the importance of both large and small herbivores to the maintenance of plant diversity of Mediterranean annual-dominated pastures.

  4. Life history correlates of fecal bacterial species richness in a wild population of the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus.

    PubMed

    Benskin, Clare McW H; Rhodes, Glenn; Pickup, Roger W; Mainwaring, Mark C; Wilson, Kenneth; Hartley, Ian R

    2015-02-01

    Very little is known about the normal gastrointestinal flora of wild birds, or how it might affect or reflect the host's life-history traits. The aim of this study was to survey the species richness of bacteria in the feces of a wild population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus and to explore the relationships between bacterial species richness and various life-history traits, such as age, sex, and reproductive success. Using PCR-TGGE, 55 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified in blue tit feces. DNA sequencing revealed that the 16S rRNA gene was amplified from a diverse range of bacteria, including those that shared closest homology with Bacillus licheniformis, Campylobacter lari, Pseudomonas spp., and Salmonella spp. For adults, there was a significant negative relationship between bacterial species richness and the likelihood of being detected alive the following breeding season; bacterial richness was consistent across years but declined through the breeding season; and breeding pairs had significantly more similar bacterial richness than expected by chance alone. Reduced adult survival was correlated with the presence of an OTU most closely resembling C. lari; enhanced adult survival was associated with an OTU most similar to Arthrobacter spp. For nestlings, there was no significant change in bacterial species richness between the first and second week after hatching, and nestlings sharing the same nest had significantly more similar bacterial richness. Collectively, these results provide compelling evidence that bacterial species richness was associated with several aspects of the life history of their hosts.

  5. Estimation of avian population sizes and species richness across a boreal landscape in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Handel, C.M.; Swanson, S.A.; Nigro, Debora A.; Matsuoka, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    We studied the distribution of birds breeding within five ecological landforms in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, a 10,194-km2 roadless conservation unit on the Alaska-Canada border in the boreal forest zone. Passerines dominated the avifauna numerically, comprising 97% of individuals surveyed but less than half of the 115 species recorded in the Preserve. We used distance-sampling and discrete-removal models to estimate detection probabilities, densities, and population sizes across the Preserve for 23 species of migrant passerines and five species of resident passerines. Yellow-rumped Warblers (Dendroica coronata) and Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) were the most abundant species, together accounting for 41% of the migrant passerine populations estimated. White-winged Crossbills (Loxia leucoptera), Boreal Chickadees (Poecile hudsonica), and Gray Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) were the most abundant residents. Species richness was greatest in the Floodplain/Terrace landform flanking the Yukon River but densities were highest in the Subalpine landform. Species composition was related to past glacial history and current physiography of the region and differed notably from other areas of the northwestern boreal forest. Point-transect surveys, augmented with auxiliary observations, were well suited to sampling the largely passerine avifauna across this rugged landscape and could be used across the boreal forest region to monitor changes in northern bird distribution and abundance. ?? 2009 The Wilson Ornithological Society.

  6. First record of bat-pollination in the species-rich genus Tillandsia (Bromeliaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar-Rodríguez, Pedro Adrián; MacSwiney G., M. Cristina; Krömer, Thorsten; García-Franco, José G.; Knauer, Anina; Kessler, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Bromeliaceae is a species-rich neotropical plant family that uses a variety of pollinators, principally vertebrates. Tillandsia is the most diverse genus, and includes more than one-third of all bromeliad species. Within this genus, the majority of species rely on diurnal pollination by hummingbirds; however, the flowers of some Tillandsia species show some characteristics typical for pollination by nocturnal animals, particularly bats and moths. In this study an examination is made of the floral and reproductive biology of the epiphytic bromeliad Tillandsia macropetala in a fragment of humid montane forest in central Veracruz, Mexico. Methods The reproductive system of the species, duration of anthesis, production of nectar and floral scent, as well as diurnal and nocturnal floral visitors and their effectiveness in pollination were determined. Key Results Tillandsia macropetala is a self-compatible species that achieves a higher fruit production through outcrossing. Nectar production is restricted to the night, and only nocturnal visits result in the development of fruits. The most frequent visitor (75 % of visits) and the only pollinator of this bromeliad (in 96 % of visits) was the nectarivorous bat Anoura geoffroyi (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae). Conclusions This is the first report of chiropterophily within the genus Tillandsia. The results on the pollination biology of this bromeliad suggest an ongoing evolutionary switch from pollination by birds or moths to bats. PMID:24651370

  7. How do climate warming and species richness affect CO2 fluxes in experimental grasslands?

    PubMed

    De Boeck, Hans J; Lemmens, Catherine M H M; Vicca, Sara; Van den Berge, Joke; Van Dongen, Stefan; Janssens, Ivan A; Ceulemans, Reinhart; Nijs, Ivan

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents the results of 2 yr of CO(2) flux measurements on grassland communities of varying species richness, exposed to either the current or a warmer climate. We grew experimental plant communities containing one, three or nine grassland species in 12 sunlit, climate-controlled chambers. Half of these chambers were exposed to ambient air temperatures, while the other half were warmed by 3 degrees C. Equal amounts of water were added to heated and unheated communities, implying drier soils if warming increased evapotranspiration. Three main CO(2) fluxes (gross photosynthesis, above-ground and below-ground respiration) were measured multiple times per year and reconstructed hourly or half-hourly by relating them to their most important environmental driver. While CO(2) outputs through respiration were largely unchanged under warming, CO(2) inputs through photosynthesis were lowered, especially in summer, when heat and drought stress were higher. Above-ground CO(2) fluxes were significantly increased in multispecies communities, as more complementary resource use stimulated productivity. Finally, effects of warming appeared to be smallest in monocultures. This study shows that in a future warmer climate the CO(2) sink capacity of temperate grasslands could decline, and that such adverse effects are not likely to be mitigated by efforts to maintain or increase species richness.

  8. Local and Landscape Correlates of Spider Activity Density and Species Richness in Urban Gardens.

    PubMed

    Otoshi, Michelle D; Bichier, Peter; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Urbanization is a major threat to arthropod biodiversity and abundance due to reduction and loss of suitable natural habitat. Green spaces and small-scale agricultural areas may provide habitat and resources for arthropods within densely developed cities. We studied spider activity density (a measure of both abundance and degree of movement) and diversity in urban gardens in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey counties in central California, USA. We sampled for spiders with pitfall traps and sampled 38 local site characteristics for 5 mo in 19 garden sites to determine the relative importance of individual local factors. We also analyzed 16 landscape variables at 500-m and 1-km buffers surrounding each garden to determine the significance of landscape factors. We identified individuals from the most common families to species and identified individuals from other families to morphospecies. Species from the families Lycosidae and Gnaphosidae composed 81% of total adult spider individuals. Most of the significant factors that correlated with spider activity density and richness were local rather than landscape factors. Spider activity density and richness increased with mulch cover and flowering plant species, and decreased with bare soil. Thus, changes in local garden management have the potential to promote diversity of functionally important spiders in urban environments.

  9. Bathymetric patterns of polychaete (Annelida) species richness in the continental shelf of the Gulf of California, Eastern Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández-Alcántara, Pablo; Salas-de León, David Alberto; Solís-Weiss, Vivianne; Monreal-Gómez, María Adela

    2014-08-01

    The mid-domain effect was tested to evaluate the bathymetric patterns of the polychaete species richness in the Upper and Lower Gulf of California as a possible hypothesis to explain the species richness gradient, exploring the overlapping of species depth ranges towards the middle continental shelf. The bathymetric gradient of the number of species was estimated with the depth ranges of 554 polychaete species, and the mid-domain effect was tested using a Monte Carlo simulation program at bands of 10 m depth. The Upper (251 species) and Lower (491 species) Gulf regions showed clear differences in their faunal composition (Jaccard similarity index = 0.34); the species richness pattern was characterized by a highly significant presence of polychaetes with short depth ranges (< 10 m). The richness distribution could be described as a cubic polynomial curve, but the maximum values in both Gulf regions (141 and 317 species, respectively for Upper and Lower Gulf regions) are strongly biased to shallow waters (40 m). This is not consistent with the peak of diversity at 60-70 m predicted by the model. The observed patterns cannot be reproduced by the mid-domain effect, suggesting the existence of non-random factors affecting the species richness gradients in the Gulf.

  10. Large-scale patterns of epiphytic lichen species richness: photobiont-dependent response to climate and forest structure.

    PubMed

    Marini, Lorenzo; Nascimbene, Juri; Nimis, Pier Luigi

    2011-09-15

    Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic association of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner. Although the photobiont type is a key life-history trait, tests of the potential differential role of the main photobiont types in shaping large-scale patterns of lichen species richness are still absent. The aim of the study was to test the influences of forest structure and climate on epiphytic lichen species richness across Italy and to see whether these relationships change for groups of species sharing different photobiont types. Regional species richness of epiphytic lichens divided into three main photobiont types (i.e. chlorococcoid green algae, cyanobacteria, and Trentepohlia algae) was retrieved for each of the 20 administrative regions. Multiple linear regression was used to quantify the effect of climate and forest structure, and their potential interaction, on the regional species richness for the three photobiont types, accounting also for the effect of regional area. Regional species richness was associated with both climate and forest structure variables but the relationships with both factors were largely photobiont dependent. Regional area and precipitation were the only predictors included in all the models, confirming the strong dependence of lichens on atmospheric water supply, irrespective of the photobiont type. Number of species with chlorococcoid green algae were further positively associated with cover of high forest, whilst lichens with Trentepohlia were further enhanced by warm temperatures. Cyanolichen species richness was only related to area and precipitation. Our study shed light on the relative importance of climate and forest structure on lichen species richness patterns at the macroscale, showing a differential response of the photobiont types to various environmental determinants. This differential response suggested that the current and future impacts of global change on lichens cannot be generalized and that species

  11. Elucidation of the chemical environment for zinc species in an electron-rich zinc-incorporated zeolite

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jing-Feng; Wang, Kai-Xue; Wang, Jian-Qiang; Li, Lu; Jiang, Yan-Mei; Guo, Xing-Xing; Chen, Jie-Sheng

    2013-06-15

    An electron-rich zinc-modified zeolite has been prepared by the incorporation of zinc vapor into the channels of a dehydrated HY (protonated zeolite Y). The chemical environment of the zinc species in the electron-rich zeolite has been elucidated on the basis of X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The formation of univalent zinc (Zn{sup +}) within the electron-rich zeolite was observed upon the irradiation of X-ray from either a synchrotron radiation source or a conventional X-ray diffractometer. The X-ray irradiation initiated the electron transfer from the electron-rich framework of zeolite Y to the nearby Zn{sup 2+} cations, generating Zn{sup +} species. The variation of the coordination environment of the zinc species upon interaction with water molecules has also been investigated. - Graphical abstract: The chemical environment of the zinc species in an electorn-rich zeolite has been elucidated on the basis of X-ray absorption spectroscopy. - Highlights: • An electron-rich zinc-incorporated zeolite has been prepared by chemical vapor reaction. • Univalent zinc is detected after the electron-rich zeolite is irradiated with X-ray. • The chemical environment of the zinc species is elucidated by X-ray absorption spectroscopy. • The coordination environment of the zinc species changes upon interaction with water molecules.

  12. Plant species richness drives the density and diversity of Collembola in temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-05-01

    Declining biodiversity is one of the most important aspects of anthropogenic global change phenomena, but the implications of plant species loss for soil decomposers are little understood. We used the experimental grassland community of the Jena Experiment to assess the response of density and diversity of Collembola to varying plant species richness, plant functional group richness and plant functional group identity. We sampled the experimental plots in spring and autumn four years after establishment of the experimental plant communities. Collembola density and diversity significantly increased with plant species and plant functional group richness highlighting the importance of the singular hypothesis for soil invertebrates. Generally, grasses and legumes beneficially affected Collembola density and diversity, whereas effects of small herbs usually were detrimental. These impacts were largely consistent in spring and autumn. By contrast, in the presence of small herbs the density of hemiedaphic Collembola and the diversity of Isotomidae increased in spring whereas they decreased in autumn. Beneficial impacts of plant diversity as well as those of grasses and legumes were likely due to increased root and microbial biomass, and elevated quantity and quality of plant residues serving as food resources for Collembola. By contrast, beneficial impacts of small herbs in spring probably reflect differences in microclimatic conditions, and detrimental effects in autumn likely were due to low quantity and quality of resources. The results point to an intimate relationship between plants and the diversity of belowground biota, even at small spatial scales, contrasting the findings of previous studies. The pronounced response of soil animals in the present study was presumably due to the fact that plant communities had established over several years. As decomposer invertebrates significantly impact plant performance, changes in soil biota density and diversity are likely

  13. Species richness and trait composition of butterfly assemblages change along an altitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Leingärtner, Annette; Krauss, Jochen; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2014-06-01

    Species richness patterns along altitudinal gradients are well-documented ecological phenomena, yet very little data are available on how environmental filtering processes influence the composition and traits of butterfly assemblages at high altitudes. We have studied the diversity patterns of butterfly species at 34 sites along an altitudinal gradient ranging from 600 to 2,000 m a.s.l. in the National Park Berchtesgaden (Germany) and analysed traits of butterfly assemblages associated with dispersal capacity, reproductive strategies and developmental time from lowlands to highlands, including phylogenetic analyses. We found a linear decline in butterfly species richness along the altitudinal gradient, but the phylogenetic relatedness of the butterfly assemblages did not increase with altitude. Compared to butterfly assemblages at lower altitudes, those at higher altitudes were composed of species with larger wings (on average 9%) which laid an average of 68% more eggs. In contrast, egg maturation time in butterfly assemblages decreased by about 22% along the altitudinal gradient. Further, butterfly assemblages at higher altitudes were increasingly dominated by less widespread species. Based on our abundance data, but not on data in the literature, population density increased with altitude, suggesting a reversed density-distribution relationship, with higher population densities of habitat specialists in harsh environments. In conclusion, our data provide evidence for significant shifts in the composition of butterfly assemblages and for the dominance of different traits along the altitudinal gradient. In our study, these changes were mainly driven by environmental factors, whereas phylogenetic filtering played a minor role along the studied altitudinal range.

  14. Environmental correlates for tree occurrences, species distribution and richness on a high-elevation tropical island

    PubMed Central

    Birnbaum, Philippe; Ibanez, Thomas; Pouteau, Robin; Vandrot, Hervé; Hequet, Vanessa; Blanchard, Elodie; Jaffré, Tanguy

    2015-01-01

    High-elevation tropical islands are ideally suited for examining the factors that determine species distribution, given the complex topographies and climatic gradients that create a wide variety of habitats within relatively small areas. New Caledonia, a megadiverse Pacific archipelago, has long focussed the attention of botanists working on the spatial and environmental ranges of specific groups, but few studies have embraced the entire tree flora of the archipelago. In this study we analyse the distribution of 702 native species of rainforest trees of New Caledonia, belonging to 195 genera and 80 families, along elevation and rainfall gradients on ultramafic (UM) and non-ultramafic (non-UM) substrates. We compiled four complementary data sources: (i) herbarium specimens, (ii) plots, (iii) photographs and (iv) observations, totalling 38 936 unique occurrences distributed across the main island. Compiled into a regular 1-min grid (1.852 × 1.852 km), this dataset covered ∼22 % of the island. The studied rainforest species exhibited high environmental tolerance; 56 % of them were not affiliated to a substrate type and they exhibited wide elevation (average 891 ± 332 m) and rainfall (average 2.2 ± 0.8 m year−1) ranges. Conversely their spatial distribution was highly aggregated, which suggests dispersal limitation. The observed species richness was driven mainly by the density of occurrences. However, at the highest elevations or rainfalls, and particularly on UM, the observed richness tends to be lower, independently of the sampling effort. The study highlights the imbalance of the dataset in favour of higher values of rainfall and of elevation. Projected onto a map, under-represented areas are a guide as to where future sampling efforts are most required to complete our understanding of rainforest tree species distribution. PMID:26162898

  15. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants.

    PubMed

    Ossola, Alessandro; Nash, Michael A; Christie, Fiona J; Hahs, Amy K; Livesley, Stephen J

    2015-01-01

    Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size.

  16. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

    PubMed Central

    Nash, Michael A.; Christie, Fiona J.; Hahs, Amy K.; Livesley, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416

  17. Groundwater discharge creates hotspots of riparian plant species richness in a boreal forest stream network.

    PubMed

    Kuglerová, Lenka; Jansson, Roland; Agren, Anneli; Laudon, Hjalmar; Malm-Renöfält, Birgitta

    2014-03-01

    Riparian vegetation research has traditionally focused on channel-related processes because riparian areas are situated on the edge of aquatic ecosystems and are therefore greatly affected by the flow regime of streams and rivers. However, due to their low topographic position in the landscape, riparian areas receive significant inputs of water and nutrients from uplands. These inputs may be important for riparian vegetation, but their role for riparian plant diversity is poorly known. We studied the relationship between the influx of groundwater (GW) from upland areas and riparian plant diversity and composition along a stream size gradient, ranging from small basins lacking permanent streams to a seventh-order river in northern Sweden. We selected riparian sites with and without GW discharge using a hydrological model describing GW flow accumulation to test the hypothesis that riparian sites with GW discharge harbor plant communities with higher species richness. We further investigated several environmental factors to detect habitat differences between sites differing in GW discharge conditions. Vascular plant species richness was between 15% and 20% higher, depending on the spatial scale sampled, at riparian sites with GW discharge in comparison to non-discharge sites, a pattern that was consistent across all stream sizes. The elevated species richness was best explained by higher soil pH and higher nitrogen availability (manifested as lower soil C/N ratio), conditions which were positively correlated with GW discharge. Base cations and possibly nitrogen transported by groundwater may therefore act as a terrestrial subsidy of riparian vegetation. The stable isotopes 15N and 13C were depleted in soils from GW discharge compared to non-discharge sites, suggesting that GW inputs might also affect nitrogen and carbon dynamics in riparian soils. Despite the fact that many flows of water and nutrients reaching streams are filtered through riparian zones, the

  18. Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania)

    PubMed Central

    Ardelean, Ioana Violeta; Keller, Christine; Scheidegger, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth’s ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future. PMID:26717517

  19. Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania).

    PubMed

    Ardelean, Ioana Violeta; Keller, Christine; Scheidegger, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth's ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future.

  20. Effects of plant species richness on 13C assimilate partitioning in artificial grasslands of different established ages

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Longhua; Yao, Buqing; Wang, Wenying; Wang, Fangping; Zhou, Huakun; Shi, Jianjun; Zhao, Xinquan

    2017-01-01

    Artificial grasslands play a role in carbon storage on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. The artificial grasslands exhibit decreased proportions of graminate and increased species richness with age. However, the effect of the graminate proportions and species richness on ecosystem C stocks in artificial grasslands have not been elucidated. We conducted an in situ13C pulse-labeling experiment in August 2012 using artificial grasslands that had been established for two years (2Y), five years (5Y), and twelve years (12Y). Each region was plowed fallow from severely degraded alpine meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The 12Y grassland had moderate proportions of graminate and the highest species richness. This region showed more recovered 13C in soil and a longer mean residence time, which suggests species richness controls the ecosystem C stock. The loss rate of leaf-assimilated C of the graminate-dominant plant species Elymus nutans in artificial grasslands of different ages was lowest in the 12Y grassland, which also had the highest species richness. Thus the lower loss rate of leaf-assimilated C can be partially responsible for the larger ecosystem carbon stocks in the 12Y grassland. This finding is a novel mechanism for the effects of species richness on the increase in ecosystem functioning. PMID:28067300

  1. Correlation between the habitats productivity and species richness (amphibians and reptiles) in Portugal through remote sensed data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodoro, A. C.; Sillero, N.; Alves, S.; Duarte, L.

    2013-10-01

    Several biogeographic theories propose that the species richness depends on the structure and ecosystems diversity. The habitat productivity, a surrogate for these variables, can be evaluated through satellite imagery, namely using vegetation indexes (e.g. NDVI). We analyzed the correlation between species richness (from the Portuguese Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles) and NDVI (from Landsat, MODIS, and Vegetation images). The species richness database contains more than 80000 records, collected from bibliographic sources (at 1 or 10 km of spatial resolution) and fieldwork sampling stations (recorded with GPS devices). Several study areas were chosen for Landsat images (three subsets), and all Portugal for MODIS and Vegetation images. The Landsat subareas had different climatic and habitat characteristics, located in the north, center and south of Portugal. Different species richness datasets were used depending on the image spatial resolution: data with metric resolution were used for Landsat, and with 1 km resolution, for MODIS and Vegetation images. The NDVI indexes and all the images were calculated/processed in an open source software (Quantum GIS). Several plug-ins were applied in order to automatize several procedures. We did not find any correlation between the species richness of amphibians and reptiles (not even after separating both groups by species of Atlantic and Mediterranean affinity) and the NDVI calculated with Landsat, MODIS and Vegetation images. Our results may fail to find a relationship because as the species richness is not correlated with only one variable (NDVI), and thus other environmental variables must be considered.

  2. Effects of plant species richness on 13C assimilate partitioning in artificial grasslands of different established ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Longhua; Yao, Buqing; Wang, Wenying; Wang, Fangping; Zhou, Huakun; Shi, Jianjun; Zhao, Xinquan

    2017-01-01

    Artificial grasslands play a role in carbon storage on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. The artificial grasslands exhibit decreased proportions of graminate and increased species richness with age. However, the effect of the graminate proportions and species richness on ecosystem C stocks in artificial grasslands have not been elucidated. We conducted an in situ13C pulse-labeling experiment in August 2012 using artificial grasslands that had been established for two years (2Y), five years (5Y), and twelve years (12Y). Each region was plowed fallow from severely degraded alpine meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The 12Y grassland had moderate proportions of graminate and the highest species richness. This region showed more recovered 13C in soil and a longer mean residence time, which suggests species richness controls the ecosystem C stock. The loss rate of leaf-assimilated C of the graminate-dominant plant species Elymus nutans in artificial grasslands of different ages was lowest in the 12Y grassland, which also had the highest species richness. Thus the lower loss rate of leaf-assimilated C can be partially responsible for the larger ecosystem carbon stocks in the 12Y grassland. This finding is a novel mechanism for the effects of species richness on the increase in ecosystem functioning.

  3. Evaluating changes in stream fish species richness over a 50-year time-period within a landscape context

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Midway, Stephen R.; Wagner, Tyler; Tracy, Bryn H.; Hogue, Gabriela M.; Starnes, Wayne C.

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide, streams and rivers are facing a suite of pressures that alter water quality and degrade physical habitat, both of which can lead to changes in the composition and richness of fish populations. These potential changes are of particular importance in the Southeast USA, home to one of the richest stream fish assemblages in North America. Using data from 83 stream sites in North Carolina sampled in the 1960’s and the past decade, we used hierarchical Bayesian models to evaluate relationships between species richness and catchment land use and land cover (e.g., agriculture and forest cover). In addition, we examined how the rate of change in species richness over 50 years was related to catchment land use and land cover. We found a negative and positive correlation between forest land cover and agricultural land use and average species richness, respectively. After controlling for introduced species, most (66 %) stream sites showed an increase in native fish species richness, and the magnitude of the rate of increase was positively correlated to the amount of forested land cover in the catchment. Site-specific trends in species richness were not positive, on average, until the percentage forest cover in the network catchment exceeded about 55 %. These results suggest that streams with catchments that have moderate to high (>55 %) levels of forested land in upstream network catchments may be better able to increase the number of native species at a faster rate compared to less-forested catchments.

  4. Effects of plant species richness on (13)C assimilate partitioning in artificial grasslands of different established ages.

    PubMed

    Xu, Longhua; Yao, Buqing; Wang, Wenying; Wang, Fangping; Zhou, Huakun; Shi, Jianjun; Zhao, Xinquan

    2017-01-09

    Artificial grasslands play a role in carbon storage on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The artificial grasslands exhibit decreased proportions of graminate and increased species richness with age. However, the effect of the graminate proportions and species richness on ecosystem C stocks in artificial grasslands have not been elucidated. We conducted an in situ(13)C pulse-labeling experiment in August 2012 using artificial grasslands that had been established for two years (2Y), five years (5Y), and twelve years (12Y). Each region was plowed fallow from severely degraded alpine meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The 12Y grassland had moderate proportions of graminate and the highest species richness. This region showed more recovered (13)C in soil and a longer mean residence time, which suggests species richness controls the ecosystem C stock. The loss rate of leaf-assimilated C of the graminate-dominant plant species Elymus nutans in artificial grasslands of different ages was lowest in the 12Y grassland, which also had the highest species richness. Thus the lower loss rate of leaf-assimilated C can be partially responsible for the larger ecosystem carbon stocks in the 12Y grassland. This finding is a novel mechanism for the effects of species richness on the increase in ecosystem functioning.

  5. Water Mites (Acari: Hydrachnida) of Ozark Streams - Abundance, Species Richness, and Potential as Environmental Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radwell, A. J.; Brown, A. V.

    2005-05-01

    Because water mites are tightly linked to other stream metazoans through parasitism and predation, they are potentially effective indicators of environmental quality. Meiofauna (80 μm to 1 mm) were sampled from headwater riffles of 11 Ozark streams to determine relative abundance and densities of major meiofauna taxa. Water mites comprised 15.3% of the organisms collected exceeded only by chironomids (50.2%) and oligochaetes (17.8%), and mean water mite density among the 11 streams was 265 organisms per liter. The two streams that differed the most in environmental quality were sampled using techniques suitable for identification of species. An estimated 32 species from 20 genera and 13 families were found in the least disturbed stream; an estimated 19 species from 13 genera and 8 families were found in the most disturbed stream. This preliminary finding supports the notion that water mite species richness declines in response to environmental disturbance. Many species could only be identified as morphospecies of particular genera, but the ongoing taxonomic revision of Hydrachnida is expected to provide needed information. A collaborative effort between those interested in taxonomy/systematics of water mites and ecologists interested in the significance of water mites in aquatic communities could prove mutually beneficial.

  6. Contributions of Dryland Forest (Caatinga) to Species Composition, Richness and Diversity of Drosophilidae.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, G F; Rohde, C; Garcia, A C L; Montes, M A; Valente, V L S

    2016-10-01

    In this study, semi-arid environments were tested to see if they support insect diversity. This was evaluated through the structure of the composition of assemblies of drosophilids in three conservation units placed in three different ecoregions in the dryland forests, Caatinga. This is a unique biome in northeast Brazil, comprising approximately 10% of the country. Species richness was investigated over 2 years during a prolonged drought, considered the worst affliction the Caatinga ecosystem had experienced in the last 50 years. Alpha diversity indices and the ecological similarity between the samples were calculated to determine how the environments drive the composition of Drosophilidae in such semi-arid places. A total of 7352 specimens were sampled. They were classified into 20 species belonging to four genera: Drosophila, Rhinoleucophenga, Scaptodrosophila, and Zaprionus. Drosophila nebulosa Sturtevant (44.5%) and Drosophila cardini Sturtevant (12.5%) were the most abundant species. The occurrences and abundances of all the species differed greatly between sites. These results and other ecological analyses indicate that although placed in the same biome, there are great variability in the drosophilid species and abundance among the three protected and conserved dryland environments.

  7. Environmental DNA metabarcoding reveals local fish communities in a species-rich coastal sea

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Satoshi; Masuda, Reiji; Sato, Yukuto; Sado, Tetsuya; Araki, Hitoshi; Kondoh, Michio; Minamoto, Toshifumi; Miya, Masaki

    2017-01-01

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding has emerged as a potentially powerful tool to assess aquatic community structures. However, the method has hitherto lacked field tests that evaluate its effectiveness and practical properties as a biodiversity monitoring tool. Here, we evaluated the ability of eDNA metabarcoding to reveal fish community structures in species-rich coastal waters. High-performance fish-universal primers and systematic spatial water sampling at 47 stations covering ~11 km2 revealed the fish community structure at a species resolution. The eDNA metabarcoding based on a 6-h collection of water samples detected 128 fish species, of which 62.5% (40 species) were also observed by underwater visual censuses conducted over a 14-year period. This method also detected other local fishes (≥23 species) that were not observed by the visual censuses. These eDNA metabarcoding features will enhance marine ecosystem-related research, and the method will potentially become a standard tool for surveying fish communities. PMID:28079122

  8. Environmental DNA metabarcoding reveals local fish communities in a species-rich coastal sea.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Satoshi; Masuda, Reiji; Sato, Yukuto; Sado, Tetsuya; Araki, Hitoshi; Kondoh, Michio; Minamoto, Toshifumi; Miya, Masaki

    2017-01-12

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding has emerged as a potentially powerful tool to assess aquatic community structures. However, the method has hitherto lacked field tests that evaluate its effectiveness and practical properties as a biodiversity monitoring tool. Here, we evaluated the ability of eDNA metabarcoding to reveal fish community structures in species-rich coastal waters. High-performance fish-universal primers and systematic spatial water sampling at 47 stations covering ~11 km(2) revealed the fish community structure at a species resolution. The eDNA metabarcoding based on a 6-h collection of water samples detected 128 fish species, of which 62.5% (40 species) were also observed by underwater visual censuses conducted over a 14-year period. This method also detected other local fishes (≥23 species) that were not observed by the visual censuses. These eDNA metabarcoding features will enhance marine ecosystem-related research, and the method will potentially become a standard tool for surveying fish communities.

  9. Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness.

    PubMed

    Maron, John L; Auge, Harald; Pearson, Dean E; Korell, Lotte; Hensen, Isabell; Suding, Katharine N; Stein, Claudia

    2014-04-01

    Exotic plant invasions are thought to alter productivity and species richness, yet these patterns are typically correlative. Few studies have experimentally invaded sites and asked how addition of novel species influences ecosystem function and community structure and examined the role of competitors and/or consumers in mediating these patterns. We invaded disturbed and undisturbed subplots in and out of rodent exclosures with seeds of native or exotic species in grasslands in Montana, California and Germany. Seed addition enhanced aboveground biomass and species richness compared with no-seeds-added controls, with exotics having disproportionate effects on productivity compared with natives. Disturbance enhanced the effects of seed addition on productivity and species richness, whereas rodents reduced productivity, but only in Germany and California. Our results demonstrate that experimental introduction of novel species can alter ecosystem function and community structure, but that local filters such as competition and herbivory influence the magnitude of these impacts.

  10. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands.

    PubMed

    Gaitán, Juan J; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T; Aguiar, Martín R; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-10-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning.

  11. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands

    PubMed Central

    Gaitán, Juan J.; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T.; Aguiar, Martín R.; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-01-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning. PMID:25339654

  12. Two common species dominate the species-rich Euglossine bee fauna of an Atlantic Rainforest remnant in Pernambuco, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R; Pinto, C E; Schlindwein, C

    2015-11-01

    Nowadays, the northern part of the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil is largely destroyed and forest remnants rarely exceed 100 ha. In a 118 ha forest fragment within a state nature reserve of Pernambuco (Reserva Ecológica Gurjaú), we surveyed the orchid bee fauna (Apidae, Euglossini) using eight different scent baits to attract males. Once a month during one year, the bees were actively collected with entomological nets, from November 2002 to October 2003 by two collectors. We collected 2,908 orchid bee males belonging to 23 species, one of the highest richness values of the Northern Atlantic Rainforest. Bees of only two species, Euglossa carolina (50%) and Eulaema nigrita (25%), which occurred throughout the year, accounted for three quarter of the collected individuals. Both species are typical for open or disturbed areas. Rainforest remnants like those of Gurjaú within the predominant sugar cane monocultures in the coastal plains of the northern Atlantic Rainforest play an important role in orchid bee conservation and maintenance of biodiversity.

  13. Woody plant phylogenetic diversity mediates bottom-up control of arthropod biomass in species-rich forests.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Baruffol, Martin; Bruelheide, Helge; Chen, Simon; Chi, Xiulian; Wall, Marcus; Assmann, Thorsten

    2014-09-01

    Global change is predicted to cause non-random species loss in plant communities, with consequences for ecosystem functioning. However, beyond the simple effects of plant species richness, little is known about how plant diversity and its loss influence higher trophic levels, which are crucial to the functioning of many species-rich ecosystems. We analyzed to what extent woody plant phylogenetic diversity and species richness contribute to explaining the biomass and abundance of herbivorous and predatory arthropods in a species-rich forest in subtropical China. The biomass and abundance of leaf-chewing herbivores, and the biomass dispersion of herbivores within plots, increased with woody plant phylogenetic diversity. Woody plant species richness had much weaker effects on arthropods, but interacted with plant phylogenetic diversity to negatively affect the ratio of predator to herbivore biomass. Overall, our results point to a strong bottom-up control of functionally important herbivores mediated particularly by plant phylogenetic diversity, but do not support the general expectation that top-down predator effects increase with plant diversity. The observed effects appear to be driven primarily by increasing resource diversity rather than diversity-dependent primary productivity, as the latter did not affect arthropods. The strong effects of plant phylogenetic diversity and the overall weaker effects of plant species richness show that the diversity-dependence of ecosystem processes and interactions across trophic levels can depend fundamentally on non-random species associations. This has important implications for the regulation of ecosystem functions via trophic interaction pathways and for the way species loss may impact these pathways in species-rich forests.

  14. Untangling human and environmental effects on geographical gradients of mammal species richness: a global and regional evaluation.

    PubMed

    Torres-Romero, Erik Joaquín; Olalla-Tárraga, Miguel Á

    2015-05-01

    Different hypotheses (geographical, ecological, evolutionary or a combination of them) have been suggested to account for the spatial variation in species richness. However, the relative importance of environment and human impacts in explaining these patterns, either globally or at the biogeographical region level, remains largely unexplored. Here, we jointly evaluate how current environmental conditions and human impacts shape global and regional gradients of species richness in terrestrial mammals. We processed IUCN global distributional data for 3939 mammal species and a set of seven environmental and two human impact variables at a spatial resolution of 96.5 × 96.5 km. We used simple, multiple and partial regression techniques to evaluate environmental and human effects on species richness. Actual evapotranspiration (AET) is the main driver of mammal species richness globally. Together with our results at the biogeographical realm level, this lends strong support for the water-energy hypothesis (i.e. global diversity gradients are best explained by the interaction of water and energy, with a latitudinal shift in the relative importance of ambient energy vs. water availability as we move from the poles to the equator). While human effects on species richness are not easily detected at a global scale due to the large proportion of shared variance with the environment, these effects significantly emerge at the regional level. In the Nearctic, Palearctic and Oriental regions, the independent contribution of human impacts is almost as important as current environmental conditions in explaining richness patterns. The intersection of human impacts with climate drives the geographical variation in mammal species richness in the Palearctic, Nearctic and Oriental regions. Using a human accessibility variable, we show, for the first time, that the zones most accessible to humans are often those where we find lower mammal species richness.

  15. The drivers of woody species richness and density in a Neotropical savannah.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Gustavo Henrique; Batalha, Marco Antônio

    2013-01-01

    Environmental filtering prevents species without certain attributes from occurring in local communities. Traits respond differently to different abiotic factors, assembling communities with varying composition along environmental gradients. Here, we measured proxies of soil fertility, disturbance by fire, response and physiological traits to assess how these variables interact to determine woody species richness and density in a Neotropical savannah. We explicitly incorporated our assumptions about how different abiotic filters influence different subsets of traits into a statistical model using structural equation modelling, yielding a more accurate representation of the assembly process. Fire had an effect on resistance traits, whereas soil fertility influenced physiological traits. Resistance traits explained both the richness and density of plots, whereas physiological traits explained only the density. Fewer fire events led to richer and denser plots. Similarly, areas with lower cation exchange capacity assembled less dense communities. Furthermore, we showed that structural equation modelling yielded a realistic representation of the bivariate interactions of distinct environmental filters with different subsets of traits.

  16. Roles of Spatial Scale and Rarity on the Relationship between Butterfly Species Richness and Human Density in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mecenero, Silvia; Altwegg, Res; Colville, Jonathan F; Beale, Colin M

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife and humans tend to prefer the same productive environments, yet high human densities often lead to reduced biodiversity. Species richness is often positively correlated with human population density at broad scales, but this correlation could also be caused by unequal sampling effort leading to higher species tallies in areas of dense human activity. We examined the relationships between butterfly species richness and human population density at five spatial resolutions ranging from 2' to 60' across South Africa. We used atlas-type data and spatial interpolation techniques aimed at reducing the effect of unequal spatial sampling. Our results confirm the general positive correlation between total species richness and human population density. Contrary to our expectations, the strength of this positive correlation did not weaken at finer spatial resolutions. The patterns observed using total species richness were driven mostly by common species. The richness of threatened and restricted range species was not correlated to human population density. None of the correlations we examined were particularly strong, with much unexplained variance remaining, suggesting that the overlap between butterflies and humans is not strong compared to other factors not accounted for in our analyses. Special consideration needs to be made regarding conservation goals and variables used when investigating the overlap between species and humans for biodiversity conservation.

  17. Roles of Spatial Scale and Rarity on the Relationship between Butterfly Species Richness and Human Density in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mecenero, Silvia; Altwegg, Res; Colville, Jonathan F.; Beale, Colin M.

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife and humans tend to prefer the same productive environments, yet high human densities often lead to reduced biodiversity. Species richness is often positively correlated with human population density at broad scales, but this correlation could also be caused by unequal sampling effort leading to higher species tallies in areas of dense human activity. We examined the relationships between butterfly species richness and human population density at five spatial resolutions ranging from 2' to 60' across South Africa. We used atlas-type data and spatial interpolation techniques aimed at reducing the effect of unequal spatial sampling. Our results confirm the general positive correlation between total species richness and human population density. Contrary to our expectations, the strength of this positive correlation did not weaken at finer spatial resolutions. The patterns observed using total species richness were driven mostly by common species. The richness of threatened and restricted range species was not correlated to human population density. None of the correlations we examined were particularly strong, with much unexplained variance remaining, suggesting that the overlap between butterflies and humans is not strong compared to other factors not accounted for in our analyses. Special consideration needs to be made regarding conservation goals and variables used when investigating the overlap between species and humans for biodiversity conservation. PMID:25915899

  18. Patterns in species richness and assemblage structure of native mussels in the Upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zigler, Steven J.; Newton, Teresa J.; Davis, Mike; Rogala, James T.

    2012-01-01

    1. To evaluate patterns in mussel assemblages in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR), data from systematic surveys of mussels conducted in three large reaches (Navigation Pools 5, 6, and 18) from 2005–2007 were analysed. 2. Nonmetric multi-dimensional scaling analyses and permutation tests indicated that assemblages differed among reaches. The mussel assemblage in Pool 18 was substantially different from the assemblage in Pool 5 and moderately different from the assemblage in Pool 6, whereas assemblages in Pools 5 and 6 were similar. Assemblages in broadly defined, flowing aquatic habitats did not substantially differ. 3. The dissimilarity of Pool 18 was primarily the result of Pool 18 having higher abundances of three Quadrula species (Q. quadrula, Q. pustulosa, and Q. nodulata), and lower abundances of Amblema plicata and Fusconaia flava. 4. Rarefaction analyses showed that species richness and species density were higher in Pool 18 compared with the other two pools. 5. Large-scale patterns in mussel assemblages may be related to other longitudinal trends in the system including geomorphology, water quality, and abundances of fish species that serve as hosts for glochidial larvae. 6. The results suggest that management goals and actions in the UMR may need to account for important differences in mussel assemblages that occur among reaches.

  19. Relative abundance and species richness of cerambycid beetles in partial cut and uncut bottomland hardwood forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newell, P.; King, S.

    2009-01-01

    Partial cutting techniques are increasingly advocated and used to create habitat for priority wildlife. However, partial cutting may or may not benefit species dependent on deadwood; harvesting can supplement coarse woody debris in the form of logging slash, but standing dead trees may be targeted for removal. We sampled cerambycid beetles during the spring and summer of 2006 and 2007 with canopy malaise traps in 1- and 2-year-old partial cut and uncut bottomland hardwood forests of Louisiana. We captured a total of 4195 cerambycid beetles representing 65 species. Relative abundance was higher in recent partial cuts than in uncut controls and with more dead trees in a plot. Total species richness and species composition were not different between treatments. The results suggest partial cuts with logging slash left on site increase the abundance of cerambycid beetles in the first few years after partial cutting and that both partial cuts and uncut forest should be included in the bottomland hardwood forest landscape.

  20. What determines species richness of parasitic organisms? A meta-analysis across animal, plant and fungal hosts.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, Tsukushi; O'Dwyer, Katie; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Poulin, Robert

    2014-02-01

    Although a small set of external factors account for much of the spatial variation in plant and animal diversity, the search continues for general drivers of variation in parasite species richness among host species. Qualitative reviews of existing evidence suggest idiosyncrasies and inconsistent predictive power for all proposed determinants of parasite richness. Here, we provide the first quantitative synthesis of the evidence using a meta-analysis of 62 original studies testing the relationship between parasite richness across animal, plant and fungal hosts, and each of its four most widely used presumed predictors: host body size, host geographical range size, host population density, and latitude. We uncover three universal predictors of parasite richness across host species, namely host body size, geographical range size and population density, applicable regardless of the taxa considered and independently of most aspects of study design. A proper match in the primary studies between the focal predictor and both the spatial scale of study and the level at which parasite species richness was quantified (i.e. within host populations or tallied across a host species' entire range) also affected the magnitude of effect sizes. By contrast, except for a couple of indicative trends in subsets of the full dataset, there was no strong evidence for an effect of latitude on parasite species richness; where found, this effect ran counter to the general latitude gradient in diversity, with parasite species richness tending to be higher further from the equator. Finally, the meta-analysis also revealed a negative relationship between the magnitude of effect sizes and the year of publication of original studies (i.e. a time-lag bias). This temporal bias may be due to the increasing use of phylogenetic correction in comparative analyses of parasite richness over time, as this correction yields more conservative effect sizes. Overall, these findings point to common underlying

  1. Nutrient enrichment increased species richness of leaf litter fungal assemblages in a tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Kerekes, Jennifer; Kaspari, Michael; Stevenson, Bradley; Nilsson, R Henrik; Hartmann, Martin; Amend, Anthony; Bruns, Thomas D

    2013-05-01

    Microbial communities play a major role in terrestrial ecosystem functioning, but the determinates of their diversity and functional interactions are not well known. In this study, we explored leaf litter fungal diversity in a diverse Panama lowland tropical forest in which a replicated factorial N, P, K and micronutrient fertilization experiment of 40 × 40 m plots had been ongoing for nine years. We extracted DNA from leaf litter samples and used fungal-specific amplification and a 454 pyrosequencing approach to sequence two loci, the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and the nuclear ribosomal large subunit (LSU) D1 region. Using a 95% sequence similarity threshold for ITS1 spacer recovered a total of 2523 OTUs, and the number of unique ITS1 OTUs per 0.5-1.0 g leaf litter sample ranged from 55 to 177. Ascomycota were the dominant phylum among the leaf litter fungi (71% of the OTUs), followed by Basidiomycota (26% of the OTUs). In contrast to our expectations based on temperate ecosystems, long-term addition of nutrients increased, rather than decreased, species richness relative to controls. Effect of individual nutrients was more subtle and seen primarily as changes in community compositions especially at lower taxonomic levels, rather than as significant changes in species richness. For example, plots receiving P tended to show a greater similarity in community composition compared to the other nutrient treatments, the +PK, +NK and +NPK plots appeared to be more dominated by the Nectriaceae than other treatments, and indicator species for particular nutrient combinations were identified.

  2. Evaluating effects of habitat loss and land-use continuity on ant species richness in seminatural grassland remnants.

    PubMed

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

    Seminatural grasslands in Europe are susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation that result in negative effects on biodiversity because of increased isolation and area effects on extinction rate. However even small habitatpatches of seminatural grasslands might be of value for conservation and restoration of species richness in a landscape with a long history of management, which has been argued to lead to high species richness. We tested whether ant communities have been negatively affected by habitat loss and increased isolation of seminatural grasslands during the twentieth century. We examined species richness and community composition in seminatural grasslands of different size in a mosaic landscape in Central Sweden. Grasslands managed continuously over centuries harbored species-rich and ecologically diverse ant communities. Grassland remnant size had no effect on ant species richness. Small grassland remnants did not harbor a nested subset of the ant species of larger habitats. Community composition of ants was mainly affected by habitat conditions. Our results suggest that the abandonment of traditional land use and the encroachment of trees, rather than the effects of fragmentation, are important for species composition in seminatural grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of considering land-use continuity and dispersal ability of thefocal organisms when examining the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. Landscape history should be considered in conservation programs focusing on effects of land-use change.

  3. Logging impacts on avian species richness and composition differ across latitudes relative to foraging and breeding habitat preferences

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaManna, Joseph A.; Martin, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the causes underlying changes in species diversity is a fundamental pursuit of ecology. Animal species richness and composition often change with decreased forest structural complexity associated with logging. Yet differences in latitude and forest type may strongly influence how species diversity responds to logging. We performed a meta-analysis of logging effects on local species richness and composition of birds across the world and assessed responses by different guilds (nesting strata, foraging strata, diet, and body size). This approach allowed identification of species attributes that might underlie responses to this anthropogenic disturbance. We only examined studies that allowed forests to regrow naturally following logging, and accounted for logging intensity, spatial extent, successional regrowth after logging, and the change in species composition expected due to random assembly from regional species pools. Selective logging in the tropics and clearcut logging in temperate latitudes caused loss of species from nearly all forest strata (ground to canopy), leading to substantial declines in species richness (up to 27% of species). Few species were lost or gained following any intensity of logging in lower-latitude temperate forests, but the relative abundances of these species changed substantially. Selective logging at higher-temperate latitudes generally replaced late-successional specialists with early-successional specialists, leading to no net changes in species richness but large changes in species composition. Removing less basal area during logging mitigated the loss of avian species from all forests and, in some cases, increased diversity in temperate forests. This meta-analysis provides insights into the important role of habitat specialization in determining differential responses of animal communities to logging across tropical and temperate latitudes.

  4. Logging impacts on avian species richness and composition differ across latitudes and foraging and breeding habitat preferences.

    PubMed

    LaManna, Joseph A; Martin, Thomas E

    2016-10-10

    Understanding the causes underlying changes in species diversity is a fundamental pursuit of ecology. Animal species richness and composition often change with decreased forest structural complexity associated with logging. Yet differences in latitude and forest type may strongly influence how species diversity responds to logging. We performed a meta-analysis of logging effects on local species richness and composition of birds across the world and assessed responses by different guilds (nesting strata, foraging strata, diet, and body size). This approach allowed identification of species attributes that might underlie responses to this anthropogenic disturbance. We only examined studies that allowed forests to regrow naturally following logging, and accounted for logging intensity, spatial extent, successional regrowth after logging, and the change in species composition expected due to random assembly from regional species pools. Selective logging in the tropics and clearcut logging in temperate latitudes caused loss of species from nearly all forest strata (ground to canopy), leading to substantial declines in species richness (up to 27% of species). Few species were lost or gained following any intensity of logging in lower-latitude temperate forests, but the relative abundances of these species changed substantially. Selective logging at higher-temperate latitudes generally replaced late-successional specialists with early-successional specialists, leading to no net changes in species richness but large changes in species composition. Removing less basal area during logging mitigated the loss of avian species from all forests and, in some cases, increased diversity in temperate forests. This meta-analysis provides insights into the important role of habitat specialization in determining differential responses of animal communities to logging across tropical and temperate latitudes.

  5. Adjustable built-in resistor on oxygen-vacancy-rich electrode-capped resistance random access memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Chih-Hung; Chang, Ting-Chang; Tsai, Tsung-Ming; Chang, Kuan-Chang; Chu, Tian-Jian; Chen, Po-Hsun; Chen, Min-Chen; Sze, Simon M.

    2016-10-01

    In this study, an adjustable built-in resistor was observed on an indium-tin oxide (ITO)-capped resistance random access memory (RRAM) device, which has the potential to reduce operating power. Quite notably, the high-resistance state (HRS) current of the device decreased with decreasing current compliance, and a special situation, that is, a gradual change in current always appears and climbs slowly to reach the compliance current in the set process even when the compliance current decreases, was observed. Owing to this observed phenomenon, the device is regarded to be equipped with an adjustable built-in resistor, which has the potential for low-power device application.

  6. Bryophyte species richness and composition along an altitudinal gradient in Gongga Mountain, China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shou-Qin; Wu, Yan-Hong; Wang, Gen-Xu; Zhou, Jun; Yu, Dong; Bing, Hai-Jian; Luo, Ji

    2013-01-01

    An investigation of terrestrial bryophyte species diversity and community structure along an altitudinal gradient from 2,001 to 4,221 m a.s.l. in Gongga Mountain in Sichuan, China was carried out in June 2010. Factors which might affect bryophyte species composition and diversity, including climate, elevation, slope, depth of litter, vegetation type, soil pH and soil Eh, were examined to understand the altitudinal feature of bryophyte distribution. A total of 14 representative elevations were chosen along an altitudinal gradient, with study sites at each elevation chosen according to habitat type (forests, grasslands) and accessibility. At each elevation, three 100 m × 2 m transects that are 50 m apart were set along the contour line, and three 50 cm × 50 cm quadrats were set along each transect at an interval of 30 m. Species diversity, cover, biomass, and thickness of terrestrial bryophytes were examined. A total of 165 species, including 42 liverworts and 123 mosses, are recorded in Gongga mountain. Ground bryophyte species richness does not show any clear elevation trend. The terrestrial bryophyte cover increases with elevation. The terrestrial bryophyte biomass and thickness display a clear humped relationship with the elevation, with the maximum around 3,758 m. At this altitude, biomass is 700.3 g m(-2) and the maximum thickness is 8 cm. Bryophyte distribution is primarily associated with the depth of litter, the air temperature and the precipitation. Further studies are necessary to include other epiphytes types and vascular vegetation in a larger altitudinal range.

  7. Bryophyte Species Richness and Composition along an Altitudinal Gradient in Gongga Mountain, China

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Shou-Qin; Wu, Yan-Hong; Wang, Gen-Xu; Zhou, Jun; Yu, Dong; Bing, Hai-Jian; Luo, Ji

    2013-01-01

    An investigation of terrestrial bryophyte species diversity and community structure along an altitudinal gradient from 2,001 to 4,221 m a.s.l. in Gongga Mountain in Sichuan, China was carried out in June 2010. Factors which might affect bryophyte species composition and diversity, including climate, elevation, slope, depth of litter, vegetation type, soil pH and soil Eh, were examined to understand the altitudinal feature of bryophyte distribution. A total of 14 representative elevations were chosen along an altitudinal gradient, with study sites at each elevation chosen according to habitat type (forests, grasslands) and accessibility. At each elevation, three 100 m × 2 m transects that are 50 m apart were set along the contour line, and three 50 cm × 50 cm quadrats were set along each transect at an interval of 30 m. Species diversity, cover, biomass, and thickness of terrestrial bryophytes were examined. A total of 165 species, including 42 liverworts and 123 mosses, are recorded in Gongga mountain. Ground bryophyte species richness does not show any clear elevation trend. The terrestrial bryophyte cover increases with elevation. The terrestrial bryophyte biomass and thickness display a clear humped relationship with the elevation, with the maximum around 3,758 m. At this altitude, biomass is 700.3 g m−2 and the maximum thickness is 8 cm. Bryophyte distribution is primarily associated with the depth of litter, the air temperature and the precipitation. Further studies are necessary to include other epiphytes types and vascular vegetation in a larger altitudinal range. PMID:23472146

  8. Stream salamander species richness and abundance in relation to environmental factors in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Jung, Robin E.; Rice, Karen C.

    2005-01-01

    Stream salamanders are sensitive to acid mine drainage and may be sensitive to acidification and low acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of a watershed. Streams in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, are subject to episodic acidification from precipitation events. We surveyed 25 m by 2 m transects located on the stream bank adjacent to the water channel in Shenandoah National Park for salamanders using a stratified random sampling design based on elevation, aspect and bedrock geology. We investigated the relationships of four species (Eurycea bislineata, Desmognathus fuscus, D. monticola and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) to habitat and water quality variables. We did not find overwhelming evidence that stream salamanders are affected by the acid-base status of streams in Shenandoah National Park. Desmognathus fuscus and D. monticola abundance was greater both in streams that had a higher potential to neutralize acidification, and in higher elevation (>700 m) streams. Neither abundance of E. bislineata nor species richness were related to any of the habitat variables. Our sampling method preferentially detected the adult age class of the study species and did not allow us to estimate population sizes. We suggest that continued monitoring of stream salamander populations in SNP will determine the effects of stream acidification on these taxa.

  9. Seed plant phylogenetic diversity and species richness in conservation planning within a global biodiversity hotspot in eastern Asia.

    PubMed

    Li, Rong; Kraft, Nathan J B; Yu, Haiying; Li, Heng

    2015-12-01

    One of the main goals of conservation biology is to understand the factors shaping variation in biodiversity across the planet. This understanding is critical for conservation planners to be able to develop effective conservation strategies. Although many studies have focused on species richness and the protection of rare and endemic species, less attention has been paid to the protection of the phylogenetic dimension of biodiversity. We explored how phylogenetic diversity, species richness, and phylogenetic community structure vary in seed plant communities along an elevational gradient in a relatively understudied high mountain region, the Dulong Valley, in southeastern Tibet, China. As expected, phylogenetic diversity was well correlated with species richness among the elevational bands and among communities. At the community level, evergreen broad-leaved forests had the highest levels of species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Using null model analyses, we found evidence of nonrandom phylogenetic structure across the region. Evergreen broad-leaved forests were phylogenetically overdispersed, whereas other vegetation types tended to be phylogenetically clustered. We suggest that communities with high species richness or overdispersed phylogenetic structure should be a focus for biodiversity conservation within the Dulong Valley because these areas may help maximize the potential of this flora to respond to future global change. In biodiversity hotspots worldwide, we suggest that the phylogenetic structure of a community may serve as a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity in the context of conservation planning.

  10. Species richness in Atlantic deep-sea fishes assessed in terms of the mid-domain effect and Rapoport's rule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendall, Valerie J.; Haedrich, Richard L.

    2006-03-01

    A decrease in species richness with increasing latitude has been documented for a broad range of taxonomic groups. A number of hypotheses relating to biological, environmental, and historical factors have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, and the mid-domain effect (MDE) has been proposed in the form of a null model. This model considers only the geometry of spatial gradients and species' range extents, excluding any assumptions of environmental, biological or historical causes, and predicts that species richness will peak in the centre of a domain in which species occur when their ranges are randomly distributed. This model has been applied to observed latitudinal, elevational and depth gradients as a test to quantify the extent to which non-random processes influence species richness patterns in comparison to those based on geographical boundary constraints alone. We apply the MDE model to empirical datasets for the ranges of the bottom-living fish species occurring in the Faroe-Iceland Ridge, Denmark Strait, Southern New England and Northern Gulf of Mexico regions of the North Atlantic Ocean. The observed patterns show a decline in richness with depth, and do not match the richness patterns produced by the null model. Therefore it can be said that non-random processes have resulted in the observed patterns. Applied to bathymetric ranges, Rapoport's rule predicts that richness decreases and range size increases with depth and latitude. The rule explained decreasing fish species richness with depth and between latitudes, but did not appear to explain increasing range size with depth.

  11. Fish composition and species richness in eastern South American coastal lagoons: additional support for the freshwater ecoregions of the world.

    PubMed

    Petry, A C; Guimarães, T F R; Vasconcellos, F M; Hartz, S M; Becker, F G; Rosa, R S; Goyenola, G; Caramaschi, E P; Díaz de Astarloa, J M; Sarmento-Soares, L M; Vieira, J P; Garcia, A M; Teixeira de Mello, F; de Melo, F A G; Meerhoff, M; Attayde, J L; Menezes, R F; Mazzeo, N; Di Dario, F

    2016-07-01

    The relationships between fish composition, connectivity and morphometry of 103 lagoons in nine freshwater ecoregions (FEOW) between 2·83° S and 37·64° S were evaluated in order to detect possible congruence between the gradient of species richness and similarities of assemblage co