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Sample records for adjusted species richness

  1. Species richness changes lag behind climate change.

    PubMed

    Menéndez, Rosa; Megías, Adela González; Hill, Jane K; Braschler, Brigitte; Willis, Stephen G; Collingham, Yvonne; Fox, Richard; Roy, David B; Thomas, Chris D

    2006-06-22

    Species-energy theory indicates that recent climate warming should have driven increases in species richness in cool and species-poor parts of the Northern Hemisphere. We confirm that the average species richness of British butterflies has increased since 1970-82, but much more slowly than predicted from changes of climate: on average, only one-third of the predicted increase has taken place. The resultant species assemblages are increasingly dominated by generalist species that were able to respond quickly. The time lag is confirmed by the successful introduction of many species to climatically suitable areas beyond their ranges. Our results imply that it may be decades or centuries before the species richness and composition of biological communities adjusts to the current climate. PMID:16777739

  2. Estimating species richness: The importance of heterogeneity in species detectability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

    Estimating species richness (i.e. the actual number of species present in a given area) is a basic objective of many field studies carried out in community ecology and is also of crucial concern when dealing with the conservation and management of biodiversity. In most studies, the total number of species recorded in an area at a given time is taken as a measure of species richness. Here we use a capture-recapture approach to species richness estimation with North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data in order to estimate species detectability and thus gain insight about its importance. We carried out analyses on all survey routes of four states, Arizona, Maryland, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, in two years, 1970 and 1990. These states were chosen to provide contrasting habitats, bird species composition and survey quality. We investigated the effect of state, year and observer ability on the proportions of different models selected, and on estimates of detectability and species richness. Our results indicate that model Mh, which assumes heterogeneous detection probability among species, is frequently appropriate for estimating species richness from BBS data. Species detectability varied among states and was higher for the more skilled observers. These results emphasize the need to take into account potential heterogeneities in detectability among species in studies of factors affecting species richness.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Estimating species richness using environmental DNA.

    PubMed

    Olds, Brett P; Jerde, Christopher L; Renshaw, Mark A; Li, Yiyuan; Evans, Nathan T; Turner, Cameron R; Deiner, Kristy; Mahon, Andrew R; Brueseke, Michael A; Shirey, Patrick D; Pfrender, Michael E; Lodge, David M; Lamberti, Gary A

    2016-06-01

    The foundation for any ecological study and for the effective management of biodiversity in natural systems requires knowing what species are present in an ecosystem. We assessed fish communities in a stream using two methods, depletion-based electrofishing and environmental DNA metabarcoding (eDNA) from water samples, to test the hypothesis that eDNA provides an alternative means of determining species richness and species identities for a natural ecosystem. In a northern Indiana stream, electrofishing yielded a direct estimate of 12 species and a mean estimated richness (Chao II estimator) of 16.6 species with a 95% confidence interval from 12.8 to 42.2. eDNA sampling detected an additional four species, congruent with the mean Chao II estimate from electrofishing. This increased detection rate for fish species between methods suggests that eDNA sampling can enhance estimation of fish fauna in flowing waters while having minimal sampling impacts on fish and their habitat. Modern genetic approaches therefore have the potential to transform our ability to build a more complete list of species for ecological investigations and inform management of aquatic ecosystems. PMID:27516876

  7. Estimating species richness using environmental DNA.

    PubMed

    Olds, Brett P; Jerde, Christopher L; Renshaw, Mark A; Li, Yiyuan; Evans, Nathan T; Turner, Cameron R; Deiner, Kristy; Mahon, Andrew R; Brueseke, Michael A; Shirey, Patrick D; Pfrender, Michael E; Lodge, David M; Lamberti, Gary A

    2016-06-01

    The foundation for any ecological study and for the effective management of biodiversity in natural systems requires knowing what species are present in an ecosystem. We assessed fish communities in a stream using two methods, depletion-based electrofishing and environmental DNA metabarcoding (eDNA) from water samples, to test the hypothesis that eDNA provides an alternative means of determining species richness and species identities for a natural ecosystem. In a northern Indiana stream, electrofishing yielded a direct estimate of 12 species and a mean estimated richness (Chao II estimator) of 16.6 species with a 95% confidence interval from 12.8 to 42.2. eDNA sampling detected an additional four species, congruent with the mean Chao II estimate from electrofishing. This increased detection rate for fish species between methods suggests that eDNA sampling can enhance estimation of fish fauna in flowing waters while having minimal sampling impacts on fish and their habitat. Modern genetic approaches therefore have the potential to transform our ability to build a more complete list of species for ecological investigations and inform management of aquatic ecosystems.

  8. Kin selection, species richness and community.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Kazuki

    2013-01-01

    Can evolutionary and ecological dynamics operating at one level of the biological hierarchy affect the dynamics and structure at other levels? In social insects, strong hostility towards unrelated individuals can evolve as a kin-selected counter-adaptation to intraspecific social parasitism. This aggression in turn might cause intraspecific competition to predominate over interspecific competition, permitting coexistence with other social insect species. In other words, kin selection-a form of intra-population dynamics-might enhance the species richness of the community, a higher-level structure. The converse effect, from higher to lower levels, might also operate, whereby strong interspecific competition may limit the evolution of selfish individual traits. If the latter effect were to prove more important, it would challenge the common view that intra-population dynamics (via individual or gene selection) is the main driver of evolution.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

    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 nonsignificantly, 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

    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 nonsignificantly, 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.

  11. 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.

  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. PMID:27028083

  13. 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, ...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:25705854

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Plant species richness enhanced the methane emission in experimental microcosms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chong-Bang; Sun, Hong-Ying; Ge, Ying; Gu, Bao-Jing; Wang, Hai; Chang, Jie

    2012-12-01

    Effect of plant species richness on the methane (CH4) flux was investigated in vertical flow microcosms fed with the modified Hoagland solution. The CH4 flux increased significantly with the plant species richness (Linear regression analysis, r2 = 0.203, P = 0.010), with an average range from 1.59 to 4.30 mg m-2 d-1. Above-ground plant biomass followed the CH4 flux trend with the plant species richness (r2 = 0.108, P = 0.023), but both methanogenic number and activity decreased to different extents with the plant species richness (r2 = 0.103, P = 0.023; r2 = 0.020, P = 0.337), respectively. Accordingly, the present study highlights the significance of plant species diversity and its biomass production in manipulating the CH4 flux in the constructed wetlands.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26831107

  9. 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 ...

  10. Body size and species-richness in carnivores and primates.

    PubMed

    Gittleman, J L; Purvis, A

    1998-01-22

    We use complete species-level phylogenies of extant Carnivora and Primates to perform the first thorough phylogenetic tests, in mammals, of the hypothesis that small body size is associated with species-richness. Our overall results, based on comparisons between sister clades, indicate a weak tendency for lineages with smaller bodies to contain more species. The tendency is much stronger within caniform carnivores (canids, procyonids, pinnipeds, ursids and mustelids), perhaps relating to the dietary flexibility and hence lower extinction rates in small, meat-eating species. We find significant heterogeneity in the size-diversity relationship within and among carnivore families. There is no significant association between body mass and species-richness in primates or feliform carnivores. Although body size is implicated as a correlate of species-richness in mammals, much of the variation in diversity cannot be attributed to size differences. PMID:9474795

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:23198795

  13. 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

  14. Does climate limit species richness by limiting individual species’ ranges?

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24352946

  15. 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.

  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. PMID:27605507

  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. Species richness and morphological diversity of passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Ricklefs, Robert E

    2012-09-01

    The relationship between species richness and the occupation of niche space can provide insight into the processes that shape patterns of biodiversity. For example, if species interactions constrained coexistence, one might expect tendencies toward even spacing within niche space and positive relationships between diversity and total niche volume. I use morphological diversity of passerine birds as a proxy for diet, foraging maneuvers, and foraging substrates and examine the morphological space occupied by regional and local passerine avifaunas. Although independently diversified regional faunas exhibit convergent morphology, species are clustered rather than evenly distributed, the volume of the morphological space is weakly related to number of species per taxonomic family, and morphological volume is unrelated to number of species within both regional avifaunas and local assemblages. These results seemingly contradict patterns expected when species interactions constrain regional or local diversity, and they suggest a larger role for diversification, extinction, and dispersal limitation in shaping species richness.

  19. Species richness and morphological diversity of passerine birds

    PubMed Central

    Ricklefs, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    The relationship between species richness and the occupation of niche space can provide insight into the processes that shape patterns of biodiversity. For example, if species interactions constrained coexistence, one might expect tendencies toward even spacing within niche space and positive relationships between diversity and total niche volume. I use morphological diversity of passerine birds as a proxy for diet, foraging maneuvers, and foraging substrates and examine the morphological space occupied by regional and local passerine avifaunas. Although independently diversified regional faunas exhibit convergent morphology, species are clustered rather than evenly distributed, the volume of the morphological space is weakly related to number of species per taxonomic family, and morphological volume is unrelated to number of species within both regional avifaunas and local assemblages. These results seemingly contradict patterns expected when species interactions constrain regional or local diversity, and they suggest a larger role for diversification, extinction, and dispersal limitation in shaping species richness. PMID:22908271

  20. Species richness and morphological diversity of passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Ricklefs, Robert E

    2012-09-01

    The relationship between species richness and the occupation of niche space can provide insight into the processes that shape patterns of biodiversity. For example, if species interactions constrained coexistence, one might expect tendencies toward even spacing within niche space and positive relationships between diversity and total niche volume. I use morphological diversity of passerine birds as a proxy for diet, foraging maneuvers, and foraging substrates and examine the morphological space occupied by regional and local passerine avifaunas. Although independently diversified regional faunas exhibit convergent morphology, species are clustered rather than evenly distributed, the volume of the morphological space is weakly related to number of species per taxonomic family, and morphological volume is unrelated to number of species within both regional avifaunas and local assemblages. These results seemingly contradict patterns expected when species interactions constrain regional or local diversity, and they suggest a larger role for diversification, extinction, and dispersal limitation in shaping species richness. PMID:22908271

  1. 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

  2. Drivers of species richness in European Tenebrionidae (Coleoptera)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fattorini, Simone; Ulrich, Werner

    2012-08-01

    The species-area relationship (SAR) and the latitudinal gradient in species richness are the most widespread and best-documented patterns in ecology, yet few studies have explored how the two patterns are interrelated. We used tenebrionid beetles as a species rich invertebrate group to investigate how area, habitat heterogeneity, climate, and ecological history act together in shaping species richness across Europe. We tested the effects of various climatic gradients on tenebrionid richness, with separate analyses for endemics and non-endemics. To take into account differences in area size among geographical units, we included species-area relationships using simultaneous autoregressive models. Although area had a significant effect on richness, the signal associated with temperature is so strong that it is still evident as a major driver. Also, the effect of area was only apparent when the effect of spatial coordinates had been accounted for, which has important implications for the use of SARs to locate diversity hotspots. The influence of latitude was mainly explained by a temperature gradient. Our findings support a postglacial European colonisation mainly from glacial southern refuges. Large Mediterranean islands were also important refugial areas.

  3. Species richness at continental scales is dominated by ecological limits.

    PubMed

    Rabosky, Daniel L; Hurlbert, Allen H

    2015-05-01

    Explaining variation in species richness among provinces and other large geographic regions remains one of the most challenging problems at the intersection of ecology and evolution. Here we argue that empirical evidence supports a model whereby ecological factors associated with resource availability regulate species richness at continental scales. Any large-scale predictive model for biological diversity must explain three robust patterns in the natural world. First, species richness for evolutionary biotas is highly correlated with resource-associated surrogate variables, including area, temperature, and productivity. Second, species richness across epochal timescales is largely stationary in time. Third, the dynamics of diversity exhibit clear and predictable responses to mass extinctions, key innovations, and other perturbations. Collectively, these patterns are readily explained by a model in which species richness is regulated by diversity-dependent feedback mechanisms. We argue that many purported tests of the ecological limits hypothesis, including branching patterns in molecular phylogenies, are inherently weak and distract from these three core patterns. We have much to learn about the complex hierarchy of processes by which local ecological interactions lead to diversity dependence at the continental scale, but the empirical evidence overwhelmingly suggests that they do.

  4. 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. PMID:27428738

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Tree species richness affecting fine root biomass in European forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Fine roots are an important factor in the forest carbon cycle, contributing significantly to below-ground biomass and soil carbon storage. Therefore it is essential to understand the role of the forest structure, indicated by tree species diversity in controlling below-ground biomass and managing the carbon pools of forest soils. We studied how tree species richness would affect fine root biomass and its distribution in the soil profile and biomass above- and below-ground allocation patterns of different tree species. Our main hypothesis was that increasing tree species richness would lead to below-ground niche differentiation and more efficient soil exploitation by the roots, resulting in a higher fine root biomass in the soil. We sampled fine roots of trees and understorey vegetation in six European forest types in Finland, Poland, Germany, Romania, Italy and Spain, representing boreal, temperate and Mediterranean forests, established within the FunDivEUROPE project for studying the effects of tree species diversity on forest functioning. After determining fine root biomasses, we identified the percentages of different tree species in the fine root samples using the near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) method. Opposite to our hypothesis we did not find any general positive relationship between tree species richness and fine root biomass. A weak positive response found in Italy and Spain seemed to be related to dry environmental conditions during Mediterranean summers. At the Polish site where we could sample deeper soil layers (down to 40 cm), we found more tree fine roots in the deeper layers under species-rich forests, as compared to the monocultures, indicating the ability of trees to explore more resources and to increase soil carbon stocks. Tree species richness did not affect biomass allocation patterns between above- and below-ground parts of the trees.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:25959973

  12. On age and species richness of higher taxa.

    PubMed

    Stadler, Tanja; Rabosky, Daniel L; Ricklefs, Robert E; Bokma, Folmer

    2014-10-01

    Many studies have tried to identify factors that explain differences in numbers of species between clades against the background assumption that older clades contain more species because they have had more time for diversity to accumulate. The finding in several recent studies that species richness of clades is decoupled from stem age has been interpreted as evidence for ecological limits to species richness. Here we demonstrate that the absence of a positive age-diversity relationship, or even a negative relationship, may also occur when taxa are defined based on time or some correlate of time such as genetic distance or perhaps morphological distinctness. Thus, inferring underlying processes from distributions of species across higher taxa requires caution concerning the way in which higher taxa are defined. When this definition is unclear, crown age is superior to stem age as a measure of clade age. PMID:25226180

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:27372733

  15. Environmental correlates of species richness of European springtails (Hexapoda: Collembola)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulrich, Werner; Fiera, Cristina

    2009-01-01

    Our knowledge about environmental correlates of the spatial distribution of animal species stems mostly from the study of well known vertebrate and a few invertebrate taxa. The poor spatial resolution of faunistic data and undersampling prohibit detailed spatial modeling for the vast majority of arthropods. However, many such models are necessary for a comparative approach to the impact of environmental factors on the spatial distribution of species of different taxa. Here we use recent compilations of species richness of 35 European countries and larger islands and linear spatial autocorrelation modeling to infer the influence of area and environmental variables on the number of springtail (Collembola) species in Europe. We show that area, winter length and annual temperature difference are major predictors of species richness. We also detected a significant negative longitudinal gradient in the number of springtail species towards Eastern Europe that might be caused by postglacial colonization. In turn, environmental heterogeneity and vascular plant species richness did not significantly contribute to model performance. Contrary to theoretical expectations, climate and longitude corrected species-area relationships of Collembola did not significantly differ between islands and mainlands.

  16. 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. PMID:27069596

  17. 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.

  18. Species richness of tropical wood-inhabiting macrofungi provides support for species-energy theory.

    PubMed

    Schmit, John Paul

    2005-01-01

    A study was undertaken at the El Verde Field Station in Puerto Rico to determine the effect of energy available from newly dead trees on the species richness of macrofungal communities that inhabit them. It is hypothesized that there is a positive relationship between available energy and species richness. Energy was measured using the volume of the dead trees and the wood density of living trees of the same species. One hundred ninety-four logs of known tree species were surveyed 1 y for fruiting bodies of macrofungi at monthly intervals. For individual logs, log volume had a significant positive effect on macrofungal species richness. Younger logs had significantly higher species richness than older logs, and those with less apparent decay had more species than those with more decay. When logs were grouped by tree species, total wood volume and density of live wood had a significant positive effect and average log diameter had a negative effect on total species richness and abundance of the wood-inhabiting macrofungi. Macrofungal richness and abundance constantly increased with initial wood density; there was no evidence for a unimodal relationship. These results support the proposed relationship between species richness and energy.

  19. [Relationships between Kobresia's species richness and climatic factors in China].

    PubMed

    Wu, Jian-Guo; Zhou, Qiao-Fu

    2012-04-01

    Based on the information from collected literatures, this paper defined the geographical distribution of Kobresia in China, and analyzed the relationships between the Kobresia's species richness and climatic factors. The Kobresia in China had higher species richness on the borders of Yunnan Province, Sichuan Province, and Tibet Autonomous Region and in the southeast Qinghai Province and Himalayas, with a denser and wider distribution in the areas of < 40 degrees N, 85 degrees-105 degrees E and > altitude 2500 m, or the areas of lower or medium thermal factors, medium precipitation, medium aridity and humidity, or medium sunshine duration. The species richness was significantly negatively correlated with the mean, maximum, and minimum air temperature in July and the mean air temperature in summer (P < 0.05), and well corresponded to the isolines of warmth index, annual biotemperature, extreme maximum air temperature, air temperature in summer, and mean, maximum, and minimum air temperature in July. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that the maximum air temperature in July and the precipitation in spring had significant effects on the species richness (P<0.05) , with the greatest contribution of the maximum air temperature in July. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that the mean air temperature in July and the mean annual maximum and extreme maximum air temperature had significant effects on the species richness (P < 0.05), and the principal component regression analysis indicated that the extreme maximum air temperature, air temperature in July and summer, Thornthwaite aridity index, sunshine hours in April-October, precipitation in summer and autumn, and annual precipitation had greater effects on the richness. The air temperature, precipitation, and sunshine hours in growth season as well as the extreme maximum air temperature, annual precipitation, and soil moisture content were the main factors affecting the geographical distribution of Kobresia

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Grassland invader responses to realistic changes in native species richness.

    PubMed

    Rinella, Matthew J; Pokorny, Monica L; Rekaya, Romdhane

    2007-09-01

    The importance of species richness for repelling exotic plant invasions varies from ecosystem to ecosystem. Thus, in order to prioritize conservation objectives, it is critical to identify those ecosystems where decreasing richness will most greatly magnify invasion risks. Our goal was to determine if invasion risks greatly increase in response to common reductions in grassland species richness. We imposed treatments that mimic management-induced reductions in grassland species richness (i.e., removal of shallow- and/or deep-rooted forbs and/or grasses and/or cryptogam layers). Then we introduced and monitored the performance of a notorious invasive species (i.e., Centaurea maculosa). We found that, on a per-gram-of-biomass basis, each resident plant group similarly suppressed invader growth. Hence, with respect to preventing C. maculosa invasions, maintaining overall productivity is probably more important than maintaining the productivity of particular plant groups or species. But at the sites we studied, all plant groups may be needed to maintain overall productivity because removing forbs decreased overall productivity in two of three years. Alternatively, removing forbs increased productivity in another year, and this led us to posit that removing forbs may inflate the temporal productivity variance as opposed to greatly affecting time-averaged productivity. In either case, overall productivity responses to single plant group removals were inconsistent and fairly modest, and only when all plant groups were removed did C. maculosa growth increase substantially over a no-removal treatment. As such, it seems that intense disturbances (e.g., prolonged drought, overgrazing) that deplete multiple plant groups may often be a prerequisite for C. maculosa invasion. PMID:17913143

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Image texture predicts avian density and species richness.

    PubMed

    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 (R(2) = 0.52, p-value <0.001), and avian species richness among habitats (R(2)= 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 (R(2)= 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, R(2)= 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

  9. Do Phages influence Species Richness of Prokaryotic Communities?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, C.; Smit, A.; Herndl, G. J.; Weinbauer, M. G.

    2003-04-01

    The aim of the study was to follow the potential influence of phage infection on the species richness of their pelagic prokaryotic hosts. Experiments were conducted during cruises in the tropical Atlantic and the southern North Sea. Concentrates of bacteria and viruses were obtained by ultrafiltration. An aliquot of the bacterial concentrate was inoculated in virus-free seawater and varying amounts of viral concentrate were added. Batch cultures with microwave-inactivated viruses and without virus amendment served as controls. Species richness of the domains Bacteria and Archaea was determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of PCR amplified 16S rDNA fragments collected every 24 hrs for up to four days. The time courses of viral abundance in the cultures amended with viral concentrates were comparable to each other. However, the observed oscillations in bacterial and viral numbers appeared to increase in magnitude with increasing initial viral abundance. Differences between the microbial communities of the various treatments increased with increasing initial viral abundance for Bacteria and Archaea, regardless of the initial bacterial abundance. The results show that bacteriophages are affecting the species richness of pelagic Bacteria and Archaea under non-steady state conditions.

  10. 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

  11. Sampling environmental acoustic recordings to determine bird species richness.

    PubMed

    Wimmer, Jason; Towsey, Michael; Roe, Paul; Williamson, Ian

    2013-09-01

    Acoustic sensors can be used to estimate species richness for vocal species such as birds. They can continuously and passively record large volumes of data over extended periods. These data must subsequently be analyzed to detect the presence of vocal species. Automated analysis of acoustic data for large numbers of species is complex and can be subject to high levels of false positive and false negative results. Manual analysis by experienced surveyors can produce accurate results; however the time and effort required to process even small volumes of data can make manual analysis prohibitive. This study examined the use of sampling methods to reduce the cost of analyzing large volumes of acoustic sensor data, while retaining high levels of species detection accuracy. Utilizing five days of manually analyzed acoustic sensor data from four sites, we examined a range of sampling frequencies and methods including random, stratified, and biologically informed. We found that randomly selecting 120 one-minute samples from the three hours immediately following dawn over five days of recordings, detected the highest number of species. On average, this method detected 62% of total species from 120 one-minute samples, compared to 34% of total species detected from traditional area search methods. Our results demonstrate that targeted sampling methods can provide an effective means for analyzing large volumes of acoustic sensor data efficiently and accurately. Development of automated and semi-automated techniques is required to assist in analyzing large volumes of acoustic sensor data.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Grace, James B; Anderson, T Michael; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Adler, Peter B; Harpole, W Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M; Pärtel, Meelis; Bakker, Jonathan D; Buckley, Yvonne M; Crawley, Michael J; Damschen, Ellen I; Davies, Kendi F; Fay, Philip A; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S; Hector, Andy; Knops, Johannes M H; MacDougall, Andrew S; Melbourne, Brett A; Morgan, John W; Orrock, John L; Prober, Suzanne M; Smith, Melinda D

    2016-01-21

    How ecosystem productivity and species richness are interrelated is one of the most debated subjects in the history of ecology. Decades of intensive study have yet to discern the actual mechanisms behind observed global patterns. Here, by integrating the predictions from multiple theories into a single model and using data from 1,126 grassland plots spanning five continents, we detect the clear signals of numerous underlying mechanisms linking productivity and richness. We find that an integrative model has substantially higher explanatory power than traditional bivariate analyses. In addition, the specific results unveil several surprising findings that conflict with classical models. These include the isolation of a strong and consistent enhancement of productivity by richness, an effect in striking contrast with superficial data patterns. Also revealed is a consistent importance of competition across the full range of productivity values, in direct conflict with some (but not all) proposed models. The promotion of local richness by macroecological gradients in climatic favourability, generally seen as a competing hypothesis, is also found to be important in our analysis. The results demonstrate that an integrative modelling approach leads to a major advance in our ability to discern the underlying processes operating in ecological systems. PMID:26760203

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Adler, Peter B.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M.; Pärtel, Meelis; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen I.; Davies, Kendi F.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hector, Andy; Knops, Johannes M. H.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Morgan, John W.; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Smith, Melinda D.

    2016-01-01

    How ecosystem productivity and species richness are interrelated is one of the most debated subjects in the history of ecology. Decades of intensive study have yet to discern the actual mechanisms behind observed global patterns. Here, by integrating the predictions from multiple theories into a single model and using data from 1,126 grassland plots spanning five continents, we detect the clear signals of numerous underlying mechanisms linking productivity and richness. We find that an integrative model has substantially higher explanatory power than traditional bivariate analyses. In addition, the specific results unveil several surprising findings that conflict with classical models. These include the isolation of a strong and consistent enhancement of productivity by richness, an effect in striking contrast with superficial data patterns. Also revealed is a consistent importance of competition across the full range of productivity values, in direct conflict with some (but not all) proposed models. The promotion of local richness by macroecological gradients in climatic favourability, generally seen as a competing hypothesis, is also found to be important in our analysis. The results demonstrate that an integrative modelling approach leads to a major advance in our ability to discern the underlying processes operating in ecological systems.

  16. On the estimation of species richness based on the accumulation of previously unrecorded species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cam, E.; Nichols, J.D.; Sauer, J.R.; Hines, J.E.

    2002-01-01

    Estimation of species richness of local communities has become an important topic in community ecology and monitoring. Investigators can seldom enumerate all the species present in the area of interest during sampling sessions. If the location of interest is sampled repeatedly within a short time period, the number of new species recorded is typically largest in the initial sample and decreases as sampling proceeds, but new species may be detected if sampling sessions are added. The question is how to estimate the total number of species. The data collected by sampling the area of interest repeatedly can be used to build species-accumulation curves: the cumulative number of species recorded as a function of the number of sampling sessions (which we refer to as ?species-accumulation data?). A classic approach used to compute total species richness is to fit curves to the data on species accumulation with sampling effort. This approach does not rest on direct estimation of the probability of detecting species during sampling sessions and has no underlying basis regarding the sampling process that gave rise to the data. Here we recommend a probabilistic, nonparametric estimator for species richness for use with species-accumulation data. We use estimators of population size that were developed for capture-recapture data, but that can be used to estimate the size of species assemblages using species-accumulation data. Models of detection probability account for the underlying sampling process. They permit variation in detection probability among species. We illustrate this approach using data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). We describe other situations where species accumulation data are collected under different designs (e.g., over longer periods of time, or over spatial replicates) and that lend themselves to use of capture-recapture models for estimating the size of the community of interest. We discuss the assumptions and interpretations

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

    PubMed

    Fraser, Lauchlan H; Pärtel, Meelis; Pither, Jason; Jentsch, Anke; Sternberg, Marcelo; Zobel, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Laanisto and Hutchings claim that the local species pool is a more important predictor of local plant species richness than biomass and that when the species pool is considered, there is no hump-backed relationship between biomass and richness. However, we show that by calculating a more appropriate measure of species pool, community completeness, both regional and local processes shape local richness.

  18. 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

  19. Does plant species richness guarantee the resilience of local medical systems? A perspective from utilitarian redundancy.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Flávia Rosa; Ferreira Júnior, Washington Soares; Araújo, Thiago Antônio de Souza; Ladio, Ana Haydée; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    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 should be

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Collembola, the biological species concept and the underestimation of global species richness.

    PubMed

    Cicconardi, Francesco; Fanciulli, Pietro P; Emerson, Brent C

    2013-11-01

    Despite its ancient origin, global distribution and abundance in nearly all habitats, the class Collembola is comprised of only 8000 described species and is estimated to number no more than 50,000. Many morphologically defined species have broad geographical ranges that span continents, and recent molecular work has revealed high genetic diversity within species. However, the evolutionary significance of this genetic diversity is unknown. In this study, we sample five morphological species of the globally distributed genus Lepidocyrtus from 14 Panamanian sampling sites to characterize genetic diversity and test morphospecies against the biological species concept. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data were analysed and a total of 58 molecular lineages revealed. Deep lineage diversification was recovered, with 30 molecular lineages estimated to have established more than 10 million years ago, and the origin almost all contemporary lineages preceding the onset of the Pleistocene (~2 Mya). Thirty-four lineages were sampled in sympatry revealing unambiguous cosegregation of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence variation, consistent with biological species. Species richness within the class Collembola and the geographical structure of this diversity are substantially misrepresented components of terrestrial animal biodiversity. We speculate that global species richness of Collembola could be at least an order of magnitude greater than a previous estimate of 50,000 species.

  7. Tree species richness promotes productivity in temperate forests through strong complementarity between species.

    PubMed

    Morin, Xavier; Fahse, Lorenz; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Bugmann, Harald

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is pivotal in the context of global biodiversity loss. Yet, long-term effects have been explored only weakly, especially for forests, and no clear evidence has been found regarding the underlying mechanisms. We explore the long-term relationship between diversity and productivity using a forest succession model. Extensive simulations show that tree species richness promotes productivity in European temperate forests across a large climatic gradient, mostly through strong complementarity between species. We show that this biodiversity effect emerges because increasing species richness promotes higher diversity in shade tolerance and growth ability, which results in forests responding faster to small-scale mortality events. Our study generalises results from short-term experiments in grasslands to forest ecosystems and demonstrates that competition for light alone induces a positive effect of biodiversity on productivity, thus providing a new angle for explaining BEF relationships. PMID:21955682

  8. Sampling effort and estimates of species richness based on prepositioned area electrofisher samples

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowen, Z.H.; Freeman, Mary C.

    1998-01-01

    Estimates of species richness based on electrofishing data are commonly used to describe the structure of fish communities. One electrofishing method for sampling riverine fishes that has become popular in the last decade is the prepositioned area electrofisher (PAE). We investigated the relationship between sampling effort and fish species richness at seven sites in the Tallapoosa River system, USA based on 1,400 PAE samples collected during 1994 and 1995. First, we estimated species richness at each site using the first-order jackknife and compared observed values for species richness and jackknife estimates of species richness to estimates based on historical collection data. Second, we used a permutation procedure and nonlinear regression to examine rates of species accumulation. Third, we used regression to predict the number of PAE samples required to collect the jackknife estimate of species richness at each site during 1994 and 1995. We found that jackknife estimates of species richness generally were less than or equal to estimates based on historical collection data. The relationship between PAE electrofishing effort and species richness in the Tallapoosa River was described by a positive asymptotic curve as found in other studies using different electrofishing gears in wadable streams. Results from nonlinear regression analyses indicted that rates of species accumulation were variable among sites and between years. Across sites and years, predictions of sampling effort required to collect jackknife estimates of species richness suggested that doubling sampling effort (to 200 PAEs) would typically increase observed species richness by not more than six species. However, sampling effort beyond about 60 PAE samples typically increased observed species richness by < 10%. We recommend using historical collection data in conjunction with a preliminary sample size of at least 70 PAE samples to evaluate estimates of species richness in medium-sized rivers

  9. Application of species richness estimators for the assessment of fungal diversity.

    PubMed

    Unterseher, Martin; Schnittler, Martin; Dormann, Carsten; Sickert, Andreas

    2008-05-01

    Species richness and distribution patterns of wood-inhabiting fungi and mycetozoans (slime moulds) were investigated in the canopy of a Central European temperate mixed deciduous forest. Species richness was described with diversity indices and species-accumulation curves. Nonmetrical multidimensional scaling was used to assess fungal species composition on different tree species. Different species richness estimators were used to extrapolate species richness beyond our own data. The reliability of the abundance-based coverage estimator, Chao, Jackknife and other estimators of species richness was evaluated for mycological surveys. While the species-accumulation curve of mycetozoans came close to saturation, that of wood-inhabiting fungi was continuously rising. The Chao 2 richness estimator was considered most appropriate to predict the number of species at the investigation site if sampling were continued. Gray's predictor of species richness should be used if statements of the number of species in larger areas are required. Multivariate analysis revealed the importance of different tree species for the conservation and maintenance of fungal diversity within forests, because each tree species possessed a characteristic fungal community. The described mathematical approaches of estimating species richness possess great potential to address fungal diversity on a regional, national, and global scale. PMID:18355274

  10. Application of species richness estimators for the assessment of fungal diversity.

    PubMed

    Unterseher, Martin; Schnittler, Martin; Dormann, Carsten; Sickert, Andreas

    2008-05-01

    Species richness and distribution patterns of wood-inhabiting fungi and mycetozoans (slime moulds) were investigated in the canopy of a Central European temperate mixed deciduous forest. Species richness was described with diversity indices and species-accumulation curves. Nonmetrical multidimensional scaling was used to assess fungal species composition on different tree species. Different species richness estimators were used to extrapolate species richness beyond our own data. The reliability of the abundance-based coverage estimator, Chao, Jackknife and other estimators of species richness was evaluated for mycological surveys. While the species-accumulation curve of mycetozoans came close to saturation, that of wood-inhabiting fungi was continuously rising. The Chao 2 richness estimator was considered most appropriate to predict the number of species at the investigation site if sampling were continued. Gray's predictor of species richness should be used if statements of the number of species in larger areas are required. Multivariate analysis revealed the importance of different tree species for the conservation and maintenance of fungal diversity within forests, because each tree species possessed a characteristic fungal community. The described mathematical approaches of estimating species richness possess great potential to address fungal diversity on a regional, national, and global scale.

  11. Opposing mechanisms drive richness patterns of core and transient bird species.

    PubMed

    Coyle, Jessica R; Hurlbert, Allen H; White, Ethan P

    2013-04-01

    Studies of biodiversity typically assume that all species are equivalent. However, some species in a community maintain viable populations in the study area, while others occur only occasionally as transient individuals. Here we show that North American bird communities can reliably be divided into core and transient species groups and that the richness of each group is driven by different processes. The richness of core species is influenced primarily by local environmental conditions, while the richness of transient species is influenced primarily by the heterogeneity of the surrounding landscape. This demonstrates that the well-known effects of the local environment and landscape heterogeneity on overall species richness are the result of two sets of processes operating differentially on core and transient species. Models of species richness should focus on explaining two distinct patterns, those of core and transient species, rather than a single pattern for the community as a whole.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:25469873

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Endoparasite species richness of new caledonian butterfly fishes: host density and diet matter.

    PubMed

    Morand, S; Cribb, T H; Kulbicki, M; Rigby, M C; Chauvet, C; Dufour, V; Faliex, E; Galzin, R; Lo, C M; Lo-Yat, A; Pichelin, S; Sasal, P

    2000-07-01

    Ecological factors may influence the number of parasites encountered and, thus, parasite species richness. These factors include diet, gregarity, conspecific and total host density, habitat, body size, vagility, and migration. One means of examining the influence of these factors on parasite species richness is through a comparative analysis of the parasites of different, but related, host species. In contrast to most comparative studies of parasite species richness of fish, which have been conducted by using data from the literature, the present study uses data obtained by the investigators. Coral reef fishes vary widely in the above ecological factors and are frequently parasitized by a diverse array of parasites. We, therefore, chose to investigate how the above ecological factors influence parasite species richness in coral reef fishes. We investigated the endoparasite species richness of 21 species of butterfly fishes (Chaetodontidae) of New Caledonia. We mapped the diet characters on the existing butterfly fish phylogeny and found that omnivory appears to be ancestral. We also mapped the estimated endoparasite species richness, coded from low to high parasite species richness, on the existing butterfly fish phylogeny and found that low parasite species richness appears to be associated with the ancestral state of omnivory. Different dietary and social strategies appear to have evolved more than once, with the exception of obligate coralivory, which appears to have evolved only once. Finally, after controlling for phylogenetic relationships, we found that only the percentage of plankton in the diet and conspecific host density were positively correlated with endoparasite species richness.

  19. Species richness and wood production: a positive association in Mediterranean forests.

    PubMed

    Vilà, Montserrat; Vayreda, Jordi; Comas, Lluís; Ibáñez, Joan Josep; Mata, Teresa; Obón, Berta

    2007-03-01

    A major debate in the study of biodiversity concerns its influence on ecosystem functioning. We compared whether wood production in forests was associated with tree functional group identity (i.e. deciduous, conifer or sclerophylous), tree species richness (1-> or = 5) and tree functional group richness (1-3) by comparing more than 5000 permanent plots distributed across Catalonia (NE Spain). Deciduous forests were more productive than coniferous and sclerophylous forests. Wood production increased with tree species richness. However, functional group richness increased wood production only in sclerophylous forests. When other forest structure, environmental variables and management practices were included in the analysis, tree functional group identity and species richness still remained significant, while functional species richness did not. Our survey indicates that across a regional scale, and across a broad range of environmental conditions, a significant positive association exists between local tree species richness and wood production at least in typical early successional Mediterranean-type forests.

  20. Relative species richness and community completeness: avian communities and urbanization in the mid-Atlantic states

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cam, E.; Nichols, J.D.; Sauer, J.R.; Hines, J.E.; Flather, C.H.

    2000-01-01

    The idea that local factors govern local richness has been dominant for years, but recent theoretical and empirical studies have stressed the influence of regional factors on local richness. Fewer species at a site could reflect not only the influence of local factors, but also a smaller regional pool. The possible dependency of local richness on the regional pool should be taken into account when addressing the influence of local factors on local richness. It is possible to account for this potential dependency by comparing relative species richness among sites, rather than species richness per se. We consider estimation of a metric permitting assessment of relative species richness in a typical situation in which not all species are detected during sampling sessions. In this situation, estimates of absolute or relative species richness need to account for variation in species detection probability if they are to be unbiased. We present a method to estimate relative species richness based on capture-recapture models. This approach involves definition of a species list from regional data, and estimation of the number of species in that list that are present at a site-year of interest. We use this approach to address the influence of urbanization on relative richness of avian communities in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. There is a negative relationship between relative richness and landscape variables describing the level of urban development. We believe that this metric should prove very useful for conservation and management purposes because it is based on an estimator of species richness that both accounts for potential variation in species detection probability and allows flexibility in the specification of a 'reference community.' This metric can be used to assess ecological integrity, the richness of the community of interest relative to that of the 'original' community, or to assess change since some previous time in a community.

  1. [Increasing pattern of phytoplankton biomass with species richness and tests of sampling and complementary effects].

    PubMed

    Wang, Zong-Ling; Qu, Ning; Dai, Fei-Fei

    2010-08-01

    A total of eighteen common phytoplankton species in China coastal waters were divided into different assemblages to investigate the increasing pattern of the assemblage biomass with species richness. The sampling effect was studied by multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) method, and the complementary effect was explored by over-yielding analysis, relative yield total (RYT) index, and subset approach. It was shown that the increasing pattern of assemblage biomass with species richness was not unitary. When the species number was lower than 5, the assemblage biomass increased with increasing species richness; when the species number was higher than 5, there were no obvious relationships between assemblage biomass and species richness. A stronger complementary effect was observed inside the assemblage, presenting a hump-shaped variation with increasing species richness. The sampling effect of the assemblages occurred at stable growth phase.

  2. The relationship between species richness and community biomass: the importance of environmental variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gough, L.; Grace, J.B.; Taylor, K.L.

    1994-01-01

    Several studies have used plant community biomass to predict species richness with varying success. In this study we examined the relationship between species richness and biomass for 36 marsh communities from two different watersheds. In addition, we measured several environmental variables and estimated the potential richness (the total number of species known to be able to occur in a community type) for each community. Above ground living and dead biomass combined was found to be weakly correlated with species richness (R2=0.02). Instead, a multiple regression model based on elevation (R2=0.47), salinity (R2=0.30), soil organic matter (R2=0.18), and biomass was able to explain 82% of the variance in species richness. It was found that environmental conditions could explain 89% of the variation in potential richness. Biomass had no relation to potential richness. When used as a predictor variable, potential richness was found to explain 72% of the variation in realized (observed) richness and biomass explained an addition 9% of the variance in realized richness. This finding suggests that realized richness in our system was controlled primarily by environmental regulation of potential richness and secondarily by biomass (as an indicator of competition). Further examination of the data revealed that when sites exposed to extreme environmental conditons were eliminated from the analysis, biomass became the primary predictor of realized richness and potential richness was of secondary importance. We conclude that community biomass has a limited capacity to predict species richness across a broad range of habitat conditions. Of particular importance is the inability of biomass to indicate the effect of environmental factors and evolutionary history on the potential species richness at a site.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Species-rich ecosystems are vulnerable to cascading extinctions in an increasingly variable world.

    PubMed

    Kaneryd, Linda; Borrvall, Charlotte; Berg, Sofia; Curtsdotter, Alva; Eklöf, Anna; Hauzy, Céline; Jonsson, Tomas; Münger, Peter; Setzer, Malin; Säterberg, Torbjörn; Ebenman, Bo

    2012-04-01

    Global warming leads to increased intensity and frequency of weather extremes. Such increased environmental variability might in turn result in increased variation in the demographic rates of interacting species with potentially important consequences for the dynamics of food webs. Using a theoretical approach, we here explore the response of food webs to a highly variable environment. We investigate how species richness and correlation in the responses of species to environmental fluctuations affect the risk of extinction cascades. We find that the risk of extinction cascades increases with increasing species richness, especially when correlation among species is low. Initial extinctions of primary producer species unleash bottom-up extinction cascades, especially in webs with specialist consumers. In this sense, species-rich ecosystems are less robust to increasing levels of environmental variability than species-poor ones. Our study thus suggests that highly species-rich ecosystems such as coral reefs and tropical rainforests might be particularly vulnerable to increased climate variability. PMID:22837831

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. The role of time and species identities in spatial patterns of species richness and conservation.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Judi E; Thrush, Simon F; Ellingsen, Kari E

    2016-10-01

    Many conservation actions are justified on the basis of managing biodiversity. Biodiversity, in terms of species richness, is largely the product of rare species. This is problematic because the intensity of sampling needed to characterize communities and patterns of rarity or to justify the use of surrogates has biased sampling in favor of space over time. However, environmental fluctuations interacting with community dynamics lead to temporal variations in where and when species occur, potentially affecting conservation planning by generating uncertainty about results of species distribution modeling (including range determinations), selection of surrogates for biodiversity, and the proportion of biodiversity composed of rare species. To have confidence in the evidence base for conservation actions, one must consider whether temporal replication is necessary to produce broad inferences. Using approximately 20 years of macrofaunal data from tidal flats in 2 harbors, we explored variation in the identity of rare, common, restricted range, and widespread species over time and space. Over time, rare taxa were more likely to increase in abundance or occurrence than to remain rare or disappear and to exhibit temporal patterns in their occurrence. Space-time congruency in ranges (i.e., spatially widespread taxa were also temporally widespread) was observed only where samples were collected across an environmental gradient. Fifteen percent of the taxa in both harbors changed over time from having spatially restricted ranges to having widespread ranges. Our findings suggest that rare species can provide stability against environmental change, because the majority of species were not random transients, but that selection of biodiversity surrogates requires temporal validation. Rarity needs to be considered both spatially and temporally, as species that occur randomly over time are likely to play a different role in ecosystem functioning than those exhibiting temporal

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26823418

  16. 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...

  17. Species richness patterns and water-energy dynamics in the drylands of Northwest China.

    PubMed

    Li, Liping; Wang, Zhiheng; 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.

  18. 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

  19. High species richness of Chironomidae (Diptera) in temporary flooded wetlands associated with high species turn-over rates.

    PubMed

    Lundström, J O; Brodin, Y; Schäfer, M L; Vinnersten, T Z Persson; Ostman, O

    2010-08-01

    Species richness and species turn-over of Chironomidae was studied in irregularly flooded wetlands of the River Dalälven flood-plains in central Sweden. The chironomid fauna, sampled with emergence traps in six wetlands over six summers, contained as much as 135 species, and the cumulative species curves indicated that the regional species pool contain several more species. Recurrent irregular floods may have induced this high chironomid species richness and the high species turn-over in the temporary wetlands, as the dominance between terrestrial and aquatic species shifted between years. Half of the wetlands were treated with Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) against larvae of the flood-water mosquito Aedes sticticus. These treatments had no significant effect on chironomid species richness, but there was a higher species turn-over between years of primarily low abundance species in the treated wetlands. The cumulative number of species was also higher in the Bti-treated experimental wetlands than in the untreated reference wetlands. Thus, Bti treatment against mosquito larvae seemed to have only small effects on chironomid species richness but seemed to increase the colonisation-extinction dynamics.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:24096740

  2. 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...

  3. 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. PMID:26629903

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:24907938

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Marraffini, M L; Geller, J B

    2015-08-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Lima, Élison Fabrício B; Mound, Laurence A

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27615957

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26865971

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. Species richness-environment relationships of European arthropods at two spatial grains: habitats and countries.

    PubMed

    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 (PET(min)) on species richness and turnover. Spatial environmental heterogeneity within countries was considered by including the ranges of NPP, T, R and PET(min). 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Species richness-environment relationships of European arthropods at two spatial grains: habitats and countries.

    PubMed

    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 (PET(min)) on species richness and turnover. Spatial environmental heterogeneity within countries was considered by including the ranges of NPP, T, R and PET(min). 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

  5. 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

  6. Butterfly Species Richness and Diversity in the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in South Asia

    PubMed Central

    Majumder, Joydeb; Lodh, Rahul; Agarwala, B. K.

    2013-01-01

    Several wildlife sanctuaries in the world are home to the surviving populations of many endemic species. Trishna wildlife sanctuary in northeast India is protected by law, and is home to the last surviving populations of Asian bison (Bos gorus Smith), spectacle monkey (Trachypithecus phayrie Blyth), capped langur (Trachypithecus pileatus Blyth), slow loris (Nycticebus coucang Boddaert), wild cat (Felis chaus Schreber), and wild boars (Sus scrofa L.), among many other animals and plants. The sanctuary was explored for species richness and diversity of butterflies. A six-month-long study revealed the occurrence of 59 butterfly species that included 21 unique species and 9 species listed in the threatened category. The mixed moist deciduous mature forest of the sanctuary harbored greater species richness and species diversity (39 species under 31 genera) than other parts of the sanctuary, which is comprised of regenerated secondary mixed deciduous forest (37 species under 32 genera), degraded forests (32 species under 28 genera), and open grassland with patches of plantations and artificial lakes (24 species under 17 genera). The majority of these species showed a distribution range throughout the Indo-Malayan region and Australasia tropics, and eight species were distributed in the eastern parts of South Asia, including one species, Labadea martha (F.), which is distributed in the eastern Himalayas alone. Estimator Chao 2 provided the best-predicted value of species richness. The steep slope of the species accumulation curve suggested the occurrence of a large number of rare species, and a prolonged gentle slope suggested a higher species richness at a higher sample abundance. The species composition of vegetation-rich habitats showed high similarity in comparison to vegetation-poor habitats. PMID:24219624

  7. Butterfly species richness and diversity in the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in South Asia.

    PubMed

    Majumder, Joydeb; Lodh, Rahul; Agarwala, B K

    2013-01-01

    Several wildlife sanctuaries in the world are home to the surviving populations of many endemic species. Trishna wildlife sanctuary in northeast India is protected by law, and is home to the last surviving populations of Asian bison (Bos gorus Smith), spectacle monkey (Trachypithecus phayrie Blyth), capped langur (Trachypithecus pileatus Blyth), slow loris (Nycticebus coucang Boddaert), wild cat (Felis chaus Schreber), and wild boars (Sus scrofa L.), among many other animals and plants. The sanctuary was explored for species richness and diversity of butterflies. A six-month-long study revealed the occurrence of 59 butterfly species that included 21 unique species and 9 species listed in the threatened category. The mixed moist deciduous mature forest of the sanctuary harbored greater species richness and species diversity (39 species under 31 genera) than other parts of the sanctuary, which is comprised of regenerated secondary mixed deciduous forest (37 species under 32 genera), degraded forests (32 species under 28 genera), and open grassland with patches of plantations and artificial lakes (24 species under 17 genera). The majority of these species showed a distribution range throughout the Indo-Malayan region and Australasia tropics, and eight species were distributed in the eastern parts of South Asia, including one species, Labadea martha (F.), which is distributed in the eastern Himalayas alone. Estimator Chao 2 provided the best-predicted value of species richness. The steep slope of the species accumulation curve suggested the occurrence of a large number of rare species, and a prolonged gentle slope suggested a higher species richness at a higher sample abundance. The species composition of vegetation-rich habitats showed high similarity in comparison to vegetation-poor habitats.

  8. 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.

  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. Species associations in a species-rich subtropical forest were not well-explained by stochastic geometry of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Species associations in a species-rich subtropical forest were not well-explained by stochastic geometry of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    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

  12. Geographic differences between functional groups in patterns of bird species richness in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carnicer, Jofre; Díaz-Delgado, Ricardo

    2008-03-01

    Geographic divergences in patterns of species richness were studied for the terrestrial birds of North America using Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) census data subdivided for guild and migratory groups. Our aim was to study if species richness patterns for North American birds were best viewed as the convergent response of different groups to a common mechanism or as the result of several different processes. We observed opposite geographical patterns of species richness and differences in the variables associated with species richness depending on the guild or migratory status considered. Several ecological variables seem to regulate large-scale patterns of terrestrial bird species richness in North America, mainly temperature-, productivity- and landscape habitat structure-related variables. These variables are diverse and group-specific. For instance, the results supported the productivity hypothesis in migratory and frugivore groups and the winter tolerance hypothesis in residents. Habitat structure was also identified as an important factor driving species richness, total abundance and community body mass variation. Overall, our results indicate that the large-scale patterns of bird species richness are the result of several divergent, group-specific processes, and that understanding diversity gradients requires the identification of the functional ecological groups included.

  13. Clade age and species richness are decoupled across the eukaryotic tree of life.

    PubMed

    Rabosky, Daniel L; Slater, Graham J; Alfaro, Michael E

    2012-08-01

    Explaining the dramatic variation in species richness across the tree of life remains a key challenge in evolutionary biology. At the largest phylogenetic scales, the extreme heterogeneity in species richness observed among different groups of organisms is almost certainly a function of many complex and interdependent factors. However, the most fundamental expectation in macroevolutionary studies is simply that species richness in extant clades should be correlated with clade age: all things being equal, older clades will have had more time for diversity to accumulate than younger clades. Here, we test the relationship between stem clade age and species richness across 1,397 major clades of multicellular eukaryotes that collectively account for more than 1.2 million described species. We find no evidence that clade age predicts species richness at this scale. We demonstrate that this decoupling of age and richness is unlikely to result from variation in net diversification rates among clades. At the largest phylogenetic scales, contemporary patterns of species richness are inconsistent with unbounded diversity increase through time. These results imply that a fundamentally different interpretative paradigm may be needed in the study of phylogenetic diversity patterns in many groups of organisms. PMID:22969411

  14. Clade Age and Species Richness Are Decoupled Across the Eukaryotic Tree of Life

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Explaining the dramatic variation in species richness across the tree of life remains a key challenge in evolutionary biology. At the largest phylogenetic scales, the extreme heterogeneity in species richness observed among different groups of organisms is almost certainly a function of many complex and interdependent factors. However, the most fundamental expectation in macroevolutionary studies is simply that species richness in extant clades should be correlated with clade age: all things being equal, older clades will have had more time for diversity to accumulate than younger clades. Here, we test the relationship between stem clade age and species richness across 1,397 major clades of multicellular eukaryotes that collectively account for more than 1.2 million described species. We find no evidence that clade age predicts species richness at this scale. We demonstrate that this decoupling of age and richness is unlikely to result from variation in net diversification rates among clades. At the largest phylogenetic scales, contemporary patterns of species richness are inconsistent with unbounded diversity increase through time. These results imply that a fundamentally different interpretative paradigm may be needed in the study of phylogenetic diversity patterns in many groups of organisms. PMID:22969411

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Graffis, Andrea M; Kneitel, Jamie M

    2015-08-24

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Assessing the influence of environmental and human factors on native and exotic species richness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Albuquerque, Fábio Suzart; Castro-Díez, Pilar; Rodríguez, Miguel Á.; Cayuela, Luis

    2011-03-01

    Understanding the ecological determinants of biological invasions is a key issue for predicting the spread of exotic species over broad geographical extents. The goal of this study was to investigate independent and combined effects of climatic and human-related factors on native and exotic plant species richness in Great Britain. We used multiple and partial regression techniques and spatial methods to investigate the effect of these variables on species richness. The highest plant richness was found in southeastern Great Britain and the lowest in the North for both native and exotic species. We found that energy input was the best predictor of either native or exotic plant richness, followed by water availability. Richness increased linearly with energy input for native plants, but exponentially for exotics. This is probably due to the lower chances of exotic species to succeed in low-energy sites, and/or to the lower species saturation of more productive ecosystems. The low portion of richness variance explained by human footprint was probably due to the study scale and to the overlapping between climatic and human factors. We conclude that the environment-human models are robust to enhance our understanding of the factors controlling the distribution of exotic species. Models containing water-energy measures can be a key component for explaining the broad-scale patterns of exotic species.

  1. Why does grassland productivity increase with species richness? Disentangling species richness and composition with tests for overyielding and superyielding in biodiversity experiments.

    PubMed

    Drake, John M

    2003-08-22

    The causal relationship between the biodiversity of natural and modified environments and their net primary production has been a topic of significant scientific controversy and scrutiny. Early theoretical and empirical results indicated that production was sometimes significantly correlated with species richness when species richness was directly manipulated in experimental systems. Possible mechanisms for this phenomenon include statistical sampling effects, complementary resource use and mutualistic interactions. However, the interpretation of experimental results has sometimes confounded species richness with species composition, and disentangling the effects of species diversity from species identity has proved a formidable challenge. Here, I present a statistical method that is based on simple probability models and does not rely on the species composition of individual plots to distinguish among three phenomena that occur in biodiversity-production experiments: underyielding, overyielding and (a new concept) superyielding. In some cases, distinguishing these phenomena will provide evidence for underlying mechanisms. As a proof-of-concept, I first applied this technique to a simulated dataset, indicating the strengths of the method with both clear and ambiguous cases. I then analysed data from the BIODEPTH experimental biodiversity manipulations. No evidence of either overyielding or superyielding was detected in the BIODEPTH experiment.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:27358193

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The Influence of Vegetation Height Heterogeneity on Forest and Woodland Bird Species Richness across the United States

    PubMed Central

    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 (r2 = ∼0.53 for the parametric models, 0.63 the non-parametric models) and the forest edge guild models (r2 = ∼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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Host preferences and differential contributions of deciduous tree species shape mycorrhizal species richness in a mixed Central European forest.

    PubMed

    Lang, Christa; Seven, Jasmin; Polle, Andrea

    2011-05-01

    Mycorrhizal species richness and host ranges were investigated in mixed deciduous stands composed of Fagus sylvatica, Tilia spp., Carpinus betulus, Acer spp., and Fraxinus excelsior. Acer and Fraxinus were colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizas and contributed 5% to total stand mycorrhizal fungal species richness. Tilia hosted similar and Carpinus half the number of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal taxa compared with Fagus (75 putative taxa). The relative abundance of the host tree the EM fungal richness decreased in the order Fagus > Tilia > Carpinus. After correction for similar sampling intensities, EM fungal species richness of Carpinus was still about 30-40% lower than that of Fagus and Tilia. About 10% of the mycorrhizal species were shared among the EM forming trees; 29% were associated with two host tree species and 61% with only one of the hosts. The latter group consisted mainly of rare EM fungal species colonizing about 20% of the root tips and included known specialists but also putative non-host associations such as conifer or shrub mycorrhizas. Our data indicate that EM fungal species richness was associated with tree identity and suggest that Fagus secures EM fungal diversity in an ecosystem since it shared more common EM fungi with Tilia and Carpinus than the latter two among each other.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Are parasite richness and abundance linked to prey species richness and individual feeding preferences in fish hosts?

    PubMed

    Cirtwill, Alyssa R; Stouffer, Daniel B; Poulin, Robert; Lagrue, Clément

    2016-01-01

    Variations in levels of parasitism among individuals in a population of hosts underpin the importance of parasites as an evolutionary or ecological force. Factors influencing parasite richness (number of parasite species) and load (abundance and biomass) at the individual host level ultimately form the basis of parasite infection patterns. In fish, diet range (number of prey taxa consumed) and prey selectivity (proportion of a particular prey taxon in the diet) have been shown to influence parasite infection levels. However, fish diet is most often characterized at the species or fish population level, thus ignoring variation among conspecific individuals and its potential effects on infection patterns among individuals. Here, we examined parasite infections and stomach contents of New Zealand freshwater fish at the individual level. We tested for potential links between the richness, abundance and biomass of helminth parasites and the diet range and prey selectivity of individual fish hosts. There was no obvious link between individual fish host diet and helminth infection levels. Our results were consistent across multiple fish host and parasite species and contrast with those of earlier studies in which fish diet and parasite infection were linked, hinting at a true disconnect between host diet and measures of parasite infections in our study systems. This absence of relationship between host diet and infection levels may be due to the relatively low richness of freshwater helminth parasites in New Zealand and high host-parasite specificity. PMID:26573385

  14. Are parasite richness and abundance linked to prey species richness and individual feeding preferences in fish hosts?

    PubMed

    Cirtwill, Alyssa R; Stouffer, Daniel B; Poulin, Robert; Lagrue, Clément

    2016-01-01

    Variations in levels of parasitism among individuals in a population of hosts underpin the importance of parasites as an evolutionary or ecological force. Factors influencing parasite richness (number of parasite species) and load (abundance and biomass) at the individual host level ultimately form the basis of parasite infection patterns. In fish, diet range (number of prey taxa consumed) and prey selectivity (proportion of a particular prey taxon in the diet) have been shown to influence parasite infection levels. However, fish diet is most often characterized at the species or fish population level, thus ignoring variation among conspecific individuals and its potential effects on infection patterns among individuals. Here, we examined parasite infections and stomach contents of New Zealand freshwater fish at the individual level. We tested for potential links between the richness, abundance and biomass of helminth parasites and the diet range and prey selectivity of individual fish hosts. There was no obvious link between individual fish host diet and helminth infection levels. Our results were consistent across multiple fish host and parasite species and contrast with those of earlier studies in which fish diet and parasite infection were linked, hinting at a true disconnect between host diet and measures of parasite infections in our study systems. This absence of relationship between host diet and infection levels may be due to the relatively low richness of freshwater helminth parasites in New Zealand and high host-parasite specificity.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. ELECTROFISHING EFFORT REQUIREMENTS FOR ASSESSING SPECIES RICHNESS AND BIOTIC INTEGRITY IN WESTERN OREGON STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We empirically examined the sampling effort required to adequately represent species richness and proportionate abundance when backpack electrofishing western Oregon streams. When sampling, we separately recorded data for each habitat unit. In data analyses, we repositioned each...

  2. 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.

  3. Nested species-rich networks of scavenging vertebrates support high levels of interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Sebastián-González, Esther; Moleón, Marcos; Gibert, Jean P; Botella, Francisco; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P; Guimarães, Paulo R; Sánchez-Zapata, José A

    2016-01-01

    Disentangling the processes that shape the organization of ecological assemblages and its implications for species coexistence is one of the foremost challenges of ecology. Although insightful advances have recently related community composition and structure with species coexistence in mutualistic and antagonistic networks, little is known regarding other species assemblages, such as those of scavengers exploiting carrion. Here we studied seven assemblages of scavengers feeding on ungulate carcasses in mainland Spain. We used dynamical models to investigate if community composition, species richness and structure (nestedness) affect species coexistence at carcasses. Scavenging networks showed a nested pattern in sites where highly efficient, obligate scavengers (i.e., vultures) were present and a non-nested pattern everywhere else. Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) and certain meso-facultative mammalian scavengers (i.e., red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and stone marten, Martes foina) were the main species contributing to nestedness. Assemblages with vultures were also the richest ones in species. Nested species-rich assemblages with vulture presence were associated with high carcass consumption rates, indicating higher interspecific competition at the local scale. However, the proportion of species stopping the consumption of carrion (as derived from the competitive dynamic model) stabilized at high richness and nestedness levels. This suggests that high species richness and nestedness may characterize scavenging networks that are robust to high levels of interspecific competition for carrion. Some facilitative interactions driven by vultures and major facultative scavengers could be behind these observations. Our findings are relevant for understanding species' coexistence in highly competitive systems.

  4. Nested species-rich networks of scavenging vertebrates support high levels of interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Sebastián-González, Esther; Moleón, Marcos; Gibert, Jean P; Botella, Francisco; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P; Guimarães, Paulo R; Sánchez-Zapata, José A

    2016-01-01

    Disentangling the processes that shape the organization of ecological assemblages and its implications for species coexistence is one of the foremost challenges of ecology. Although insightful advances have recently related community composition and structure with species coexistence in mutualistic and antagonistic networks, little is known regarding other species assemblages, such as those of scavengers exploiting carrion. Here we studied seven assemblages of scavengers feeding on ungulate carcasses in mainland Spain. We used dynamical models to investigate if community composition, species richness and structure (nestedness) affect species coexistence at carcasses. Scavenging networks showed a nested pattern in sites where highly efficient, obligate scavengers (i.e., vultures) were present and a non-nested pattern everywhere else. Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) and certain meso-facultative mammalian scavengers (i.e., red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and stone marten, Martes foina) were the main species contributing to nestedness. Assemblages with vultures were also the richest ones in species. Nested species-rich assemblages with vulture presence were associated with high carcass consumption rates, indicating higher interspecific competition at the local scale. However, the proportion of species stopping the consumption of carrion (as derived from the competitive dynamic model) stabilized at high richness and nestedness levels. This suggests that high species richness and nestedness may characterize scavenging networks that are robust to high levels of interspecific competition for carrion. Some facilitative interactions driven by vultures and major facultative scavengers could be behind these observations. Our findings are relevant for understanding species' coexistence in highly competitive systems. PMID:27008779

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26380684

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26380684

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Does pH affect fish species richness when lake area is considered?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rago, P.J.; Wiener, J.G.

    1986-01-01

    Numerous surveys have shown that fish species richness (number of species) is positively correlated with lake pH. However, species richness of fish communities is also correlated with lake size, and low-pH lakes are often small. Thus, conclusions drawn from examination of fish community structure relative to spatial (among- lake) variation in pH have been limited by uncertainties regarding the confounded effects of lake area. The authors used two statistical methods, analysis of covariance and a nonparametric blocked comparison test, to remove effects of lake area and compare fish species richness in low-pH and high-pH lakes. Data from six previous surveys of water chemistry and fish communities in lakes of Ontario and northern Wisconsin were examined. Lakes with low pH ( less than or equal to 6.0) contained significantly fewer fish species than lakes with high pH (> 6.0) when the effect of lake area was considered. A simple probabilistic model showed that the ability to detect differences in species richness is low when lake areas and the pool of potential colonizing species are small. The authors recommend the blocked comparison test for separating the effects of lake area and pH on species richness.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25249265

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 (103–104 km2), factors correlating with productivity play only a minor role in species richness patterns, while in large ecoregions (>105 km2), 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. PMID:25249265

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:23840898

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Native Macrophyte Density and Richness Affect the Invasiveness of a Tropical Poaceae Species

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23536902

  9. 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. PMID:23536902

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

    2014-12-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:25692000

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26644988

  5. 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. PMID:26644988

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:27408587

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Limited sampling hampers “big data” estimation of species richness in a tropical biodiversity hotspot

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25692000

  11. A unified model of avian species richness on islands and continents.

    PubMed

    Kalmar, Attila; Currie, David J

    2007-05-01

    How many species in a given taxon should be found in a delimited area in a specified place in the world? Some recent literature suggests that the answer to this question depends strongly on the geographical, evolutionary, and ecological context. For example, current theory suggests that species accumulate as a function of area differently on continents and islands. Species richness-climate relationships have been examined separately on continents and on islands. This study tests the hypotheses that (1) the functional relationship between richness and climate is the same on continents and islands; (2) the species-area slope depends on distance-based isolation; (3) species-area relationships differ among land bridge islands, oceanic islands, and continents; (4) richness differs among biogeographic regions independently of climate and isolation. We related bird species numbers in a worldwide sample of 240 continental parcels and 346 islands to several environmental variables. We found that breeding bird richness varies similarly on islands and on continents as a function of mean annual temperature, an area x precipitation interaction, and the distance separating insular samples from the nearest continent (R2 = 0.86). Most studies to date have postulated that the slope of the species-area relationship depends upon isolation. In contrast, we found no such interaction. A richness-environment relationship derived using Old World sites accurately predicts patterns of richness in the New World and vice versa (R2 = 0.85). Our results suggest that most of the global variation in richness is not strongly context-specific; rather, it reflects a small number of general environmental constraints operating on both continents and islands.

  12. 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 ...

  13. Effects of ‘Target’ Plant Species Body Size on Neighbourhood Species Richness and Composition in Old-Field Vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Schamp, Brandon S.; Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Wight, Stephanie

    2013-01-01

    Competition is generally regarded as an important force in organizing the structure of vegetation, and evidence from several experimental studies of species mixtures suggests that larger mature plant size elicits a competitive advantage. However, these findings are at odds with the fact that large and small plant species generally coexist, and relatively smaller species are more common in virtually all plant communities. Here, we use replicates of ten relatively large old-field plant species to explore the competitive impact of target individual size on their surrounding neighbourhoods compared to nearby neighbourhoods of the same size that are not centred by a large target individual. While target individuals of the largest of our test species, Centaurea jacea L., had a strong impact on neighbouring species, in general, target species size was a weak predictor of the number of other resident species growing within its immediate neighbourhood, as well as the number of resident species that were reproductive. Thus, the presence of a large competitor did not restrict the ability of neighbouring species to reproduce. Lastly, target species size did not have any impact on the species size structure of neighbouring species; i.e. they did not restrict smaller, supposedly poorer competitors, from growing and reproducing close by. Taken together, these results provide no support for a size-advantage in competition restricting local species richness or the ability of small species to coexist and successfully reproduce in the immediate neighbourhood of a large species. PMID:24349177

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:27278857

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

    PubMed

    Turvey, Samuel T; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2014-12-01

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:26646571

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lekve, Kyrre; Boulinier, Thierry; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Gjøsaeter, Jakob; Fromentin, Jean-Marc; Hines, James E; Nichols, James 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 spatio-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. PMID:12350265

  6. Interactive effects of elevation, species richness and extreme climatic events on plant-pollinator networks.

    PubMed

    Hoiss, Bernhard; Krauss, Jochen; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2015-11-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions are essential for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, but are increasingly affected by global change. The risks to such mutualistic interactions from increasing temperature and more frequent extreme climatic events such as drought or advanced snow melt are assumed to depend on network specialization, species richness, local climate and associated parameters such as the amplitude of extreme events. Even though elevational gradients provide valuable model systems for climate change and are accompanied by changes in species richness, responses of plant-pollinator networks to climatic extreme events under different environmental and biotic conditions are currently unknown. Here, we show that elevational climatic gradients, species richness and experimentally simulated extreme events interactively change the structure of mutualistic networks in alpine grasslands. We found that the degree of specialization in plant-pollinator networks (H2') decreased with elevation. Nonetheless, network specialization increased after advanced snow melt at high elevations, whereas changes in network specialization after drought were most pronounced at sites with low species richness. Thus, changes in network specialization after extreme climatic events depended on climatic context and were buffered by high species richness. In our experiment, only generalized plant-pollinator networks changed in their degree of specialization after climatic extreme events. This indicates that contrary to our assumptions, network generalization may not always foster stability of mutualistic interaction networks.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Species richness and temperature influence mussel biomass: a partitioning approach applied to natural communities.

    PubMed

    Spooner, Daniel E; Vaughn, Caryn C

    2009-03-01

    To increase the generality of biodiversity-ecosystem function theory, studies must be expanded to include real communities in a variety of systems. We modified J. W. Fox's approach to partition the influence of species richness on standing crop biomass (net biodiversity effect) of 21 freshwater mussel communities into trait-independent complementarity, trait-dependent complementarity (species with particular traits dominate without impacting other species), and dominance effects (species with particular traits dominate at the expense of others). Overall, species-rich mussel communities have greater biomass than predicted based on average biomass across the region. This effect is largely due to trait-independent complementarity with less abundant species having higher body condition and reduced metabolic rates in species-rich communities. These measures are positively correlated with spatial and temporal thermal variation, suggesting that use of thermal niches as habitat may be important to species coexistence and performance, and emphasizing that knowledge of species traits and environmental context are important to understanding biodiversity-ecosystem function dynamics.

  10. Effects of earthworm invasion on plant species richness in northern hardwood forests.

    PubMed

    Holdsworth, Andrew R; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2007-08-01

    The invasion of non-native earthworms (Lumbricus spp.) into a small number of intensively studied stands of northern hardwood forest has been linked to declines in plant diversity and the local extirpation of one threatened species. It is unknown, however, whether these changes have occurred across larger regions of hardwood forests, which plant species are most vulnerable, or with which earthworm species such changes are associated most closely. To address these issues we conducted a regional survey in the Chippewa and Chequamegon national forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin (U.S.A.), respectively. We sampled earthworms, soils, and vegetation, examined deer browse in 20 mature, sugar-maple-dominated forest stands in each national forest, and analyzed the relationship between invasive earthworms and vascular plant species richness and composition. Invasion by Lumbricus was a strong indicator of reduced plant richness in both national forests. The mass of Lumbricus juveniles was significantly and negatively related to plant-species richness in both forests. In addition, Lumbricus was a significant factor affecting plant richness in a full model that included multiple variables. In the Chequamegon National Forest earthworm mass was associated with higher sedge cover and lower cover of sugar maple seedlings and several forb species. The trends were similar but not as pronounced in Chippewa, perhaps due to lower deer densities and different earthworm species composition. Our results provide regional evidence that invasion by Lumbricus species may be an important mechanism in reduced plant-species richness and changes in plant communities in mature forests dominated by sugar maples.

  11. 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. PMID:19769107

  12. 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. PMID:25579021

  13. Cenozoic macroevolution in the deep-sea microfossil record: can we let go of species richness?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannisdal, Bjarte; Liow, Lee Hsiang

    2014-05-01

    The deep-sea microfossil record is an outstanding resource for the study of macroevolutionary changes in planktonic groups. Studies of plankton evolution and its possible link to climate changes over the Cenozoic have typically targeted apparent trends in species richness. However, most species are rare, and fossil richness is particularly vulnerable to the imperfections (incompleteness, reworking, age and taxonomic errors) of existing microfossil occurrence databases. Here we use an alternative macroevolutionary quantity: Summed Common Species Occurrence Rate (SCOR). By focusing on the most commonly occurring species, SCOR is decoupled from species richness, robust to preservation/sampling variability, yet sensitive to relative changes in the overall abundance of a group. Numerical experiments are used to illustrate the sampling behavior of SCOR and its relationship to (sampling-standardized) species richness. We further show how SCOR estimated from the NEPTUNE database (ODP/DSDP) can provide a new perspective on long-term evolutionary and ecological changes in major planktonic groups (e.g. coccolithophores and forams). Finally, we test possible linkages between planktonic SCOR records and proxy reconstructions of climate changes over the Cenozoic.

  14. Subtropical reservoir shorelines have reduced plant species and functional richness compared with adjacent riparian wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Wenzhi; Liu, Guihua; Liu, Hui; Song, Yu; Zhang, Quanfa

    2013-12-01

    Dam construction has large negative effects on biodiversity in river and riparian ecosystems worldwide. This study aimed to determine whether reservoir shorelines had lower plant species diversity and functional diversity than unregulated or lightly regulated riparian wetlands and to examine the responses of plant diversity and functional traits to reservoir shoreline environmental gradients. We surveyed 146, 44, and 67 plots on reservoir shorelines and in mainstem and tributary riparian wetlands, respectively, in a subtropical river-reservoir system. Species richness, functional richness, evenness, and divergence were calculated to reflect the species and functional diversity of plant communities. Environmental factors including elevation above water level, slope, landform type, substrate, disturbance, and cover were measured. The results showed that both species and functional richness were significantly lower on reservoir shorelines than in riparian wetlands. The relative species number of clonal plants and relative cover of annual plants were both negatively related to slope and elevation. Structural equation modeling and other statistical analyses indicated that most environmental factors had significant effects on species and functional richness on reservoir shorelines but had no significant effect on functional evenness and divergence. Our findings suggest that reservoir shoreline wetlands formed by damming rivers and inundating pre-existing riparian wetlands can be a biodiversity coldspot in regulated rivers at the plot level. Topographic factors are important in determining the plant diversity and vegetation establishment on reservoir shorelines in the Yangtze River basin.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:26032242

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Global correlations in tropical tree species richness and abundance reject neutrality.

    PubMed

    Ricklefs, Robert E; Renner, Susanne S

    2012-01-27

    Patterns of species richness and relative abundance at some scales cannot be distinguished from predictions of null models, including zero-sum neutral models of population change and random speciation-extinction models of evolutionary diversification. Both models predict that species richness or population abundance produced by independent iterations of the same processes in different regions should be uncorrelated. We find instead that the number of species and individuals in families of trees in forest plots are strongly correlated across Southeast Asia, Africa, and tropical America. These correlations imply that deterministic processes influenced by evolutionarily conservative family-level traits constrain the number of confamilial tree species and individuals that can be supported in regional species pools and local assemblages in humid tropical forests.

  2. Effects of macrophyte species richness on wetland ecosystem functioning and services.

    PubMed

    Engelhardt, K A; Ritchie, M E

    2001-06-01

    Wetlands provide many important ecosystem services to human society, which may depend on how plant diversity influences biomass production and nutrient retention. Vascular aquatic plant diversity may not necessarily enhance wetland ecosystem functioning, however, because competition among these plant species can be strong, often resulting in the local dominance of a single species. Here we have manipulated the species richness of rooted, submerged aquatic plant (macrophyte) communities in experimental wetland mesocosms. We found higher algal and total plant (algal plus macrophyte) biomass, as well as lower loss of total phosphorus, in mesocosms with a greater richness of macrophyte species. Greater plant biomass resulted from a sampling effect; that is, the increased chance in species mixtures that algal production would be facilitated by the presence of a less competitive species-in this case, crisped pondweed. Lower losses of total phosphorus resulted from the greater chance in species mixtures of a high algal biomass and the presence of sago pondweed, which physically filter particulate phosphorus from the water. These indirect and direct effects of macrophyte species richness on algal production, total plant biomass and phosphorus loss suggest that management practices that maintain macrophyte diversity may enhance the functioning and associated services of wetland ecosystems.

  3. Decreased competitive interactions drive a reverse species richness latitudinal gradient in subarctic forests.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Katie E; Baltzer, Jennifer L

    2015-02-01

    The tendency for species richness to decrease toward the poles is one of the best-characterized patterns in biogeography. The mechanisms behind this pattern have received much attention, yet very few studies have investigated very high-latitude communities. Here, using data from 134 permanent sample plots from 60 degrees to 68 degrees N, we show that boreal forest plant communities in northwestern Canada increase in richness toward the poles, despite a strong increase in climatic harshness. We hypothesized three possible explanations for this pattern: (1) historical biogeography, (2) reduced competition for light at high latitudes (biotic interactions), and (3) changes in soil characteristics with latitude. We used multidimensional scaling to investigate the community composition at each site and found no clustering of communities by latitude, suggesting that historical biogeography was not constraining site diversity. We then investigated the mechanisms behind this gradient using both abiotic (climate and soil) and biotic (tree stand characteristics) variables in a multiple factor analysis. We found that the best predictor of species richness is an environmental gradient that describes an inverse relationship between temperature and tree-stand density, suggesting that reduced competition for light due to reduced tree growth at low temperatures at higher latitudes allows greater species richness. This study shows that low energy availability and climatic harshness may not be limiting species richness toward the poles, rather, abiotic effects act instead on the strength of biotic interactions. PMID:26240867

  4. Decreased competitive interactions drive a reverse species richness latitudinal gradient in subarctic forests.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Katie E; Baltzer, Jennifer L

    2015-02-01

    The tendency for species richness to decrease toward the poles is one of the best-characterized patterns in biogeography. The mechanisms behind this pattern have received much attention, yet very few studies have investigated very high-latitude communities. Here, using data from 134 permanent sample plots from 60 degrees to 68 degrees N, we show that boreal forest plant communities in northwestern Canada increase in richness toward the poles, despite a strong increase in climatic harshness. We hypothesized three possible explanations for this pattern: (1) historical biogeography, (2) reduced competition for light at high latitudes (biotic interactions), and (3) changes in soil characteristics with latitude. We used multidimensional scaling to investigate the community composition at each site and found no clustering of communities by latitude, suggesting that historical biogeography was not constraining site diversity. We then investigated the mechanisms behind this gradient using both abiotic (climate and soil) and biotic (tree stand characteristics) variables in a multiple factor analysis. We found that the best predictor of species richness is an environmental gradient that describes an inverse relationship between temperature and tree-stand density, suggesting that reduced competition for light due to reduced tree growth at low temperatures at higher latitudes allows greater species richness. This study shows that low energy availability and climatic harshness may not be limiting species richness toward the poles, rather, abiotic effects act instead on the strength of biotic interactions.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Global patterns in sandy beach macrofauna: Species richness, abundance, biomass and body size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defeo, Omar; McLachlan, Anton

    2013-10-01

    Global patterns in species richness in sandy beach ecosystems have been poorly understood until comparatively recently, because of the difficulty of compiling high-resolution databases at continental scales. We analyze information from more than 200 sandy beaches around the world, which harbor hundreds of macrofauna species, and explore latitudinal trends in species richness, abundance and biomass. Species richness increases from temperate to tropical sites. Abundance follows contrasting trends depending on the slope of the beach: in gentle slope beaches, it is higher at temperate sites, whereas in steep-slope beaches it is higher at the tropics. Biomass follows identical negative trends for both climatic regions at the whole range of beach slopes, suggesting decreasing rates in carrying capacity of the environment towards reflective beaches. Various morphodynamic variables determine global trends in beach macrofauna. Species richness, abundance and biomass are higher at dissipative than at reflective beaches, whereas a body size follows the reverse pattern. A generalized linear model showed that large tidal range (which determines the vertical dimension of the intertidal habitat), small size of sand particles and flat beach slope (a product of the interaction among wave energy, tidal range and grain size) are correlated with high species richness, suggesting that these parameters represent the most parsimonious variables for modelling patterns in sandy beach macrofauna. Large-scale patterns indicate a scaling of abundance to a body size, suggesting that dissipative beaches harbor communities with highest abundance and species with the smallest body sizes. Additional information for tropical and northern hemisphere sandy beaches (underrepresented in our compilation) is required to decipher more conclusive trends, particularly in abundance, biomass and body size. Further research should integrate meaningful oceanographic variables, such as temperature and primary

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Comparison of species composition and richness of fish assemblages in altered and unaltered littoral habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poe, T.P.; Hatcher, C.O.; Brown, C.L.; Schloesser, D.W.

    1986-01-01

    Species composition and richness of fish assemblages in altered and unaltered littoral habitats in Lake St. Clair, Michigan, differed between areas. A percid-cyprinid-cyprinodontid assemblage dominated in the unaltered area, Muscamoot Bay, which has a natural shoreline (with almost no alteration due to dredging or bulkheading), high water quality, and high species richness of aquatic macrophytes. A centrarchid assemblage dominated in the altered area, Belvidere Bay, which has a bulkheaded shoreline, many dredged areas, reduced water quality due to inputs of nutrients from a nearby river, and relatively low species richness of aquatic macrophytes. Habitat factors, species richness and abundance of aquatic macrophytes, had the most influence on fish community structure in both areas. The percid-cyprinid-cyprinodontid assemblage was significantly correlated with six species of macrophytes whereas the centrarchid assemblage was significantly correlated with only four. These patterns suggest that preference for diverse habitats was higher, and tolerance to habitat alteration lower, in percid-cyprinid-cyprinodontid assemblages than in centrarchid assemblages.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Interaction between microalgal species richness and environmental variables in Peringalkuthu Reservoir, Western Ghats, Kerala.

    PubMed

    Nasser, K M Mohamed; Sureshkumar, S

    2013-11-01

    Microalgae are the most diverse group of aquatic organisms and are the primary food source for animals of higher trophic levels in the aquatic food web. Biomonitoring the fresh water habitats in terms of phycological evaluation provide useful information about the pollution status of the water body. The present investigation aimed to delineate the interaction between microalgal species richness and environmental variables in Peringalkuthu Reservoir of Western Ghats, Kerala. Samples were collected during 2009-2011 for the analysis of environmental variables and microalgal community. Ninety four species of microalgae belonged to 42 genera under the classes Chlorophyceae, Desmidiaceae, Bacillariophyceae, Cyanophyceae and Euglenophycea were recorded from the samples. The dominant groups were desmids followed by diatoms. Factor analysis and multivariate analysis were applied to evaluate the extent of interaction between the microalgal species richness and the environmental variables. Temperature, total alkalinity, BOD, phosphate, silicate and chloride showed positive relationship with the species richness of the microalgae. While pH, total hardness, nitrate, fluoride, calcium and magnesium hinder the microalgal species richness. Elucidation of the interactions between microalgae and various environmental parameters suggested a control over the anthropogenic interventions to the reservoir to check the conversion of the lake oligotrophic to eutrophic condition. PMID:24555328

  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 the influence of environmental heterogeneity on fish species richness in two biogeographic provinces

    PubMed Central

    Proulx, Raphaël; Cabana, Gilbert; Rodríguez, Marco A.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental homogenization in coastal ecosystems impacted by human activities may be an important factor explaining the observed decline in fish species richness. We used fish community data (>200 species) from extensive surveys conducted in two biogeographic provinces (extent >1,000 km) in North America to quantify the relationship between fish species richness and local (grain <10 km2) environmental heterogeneity. Our analyses are based on samples collected at nearly 800 stations over a period of five years. We demonstrate that fish species richness in coastal ecosystems is associated locally with the spatial heterogeneity of environmental variables but not with their magnitude. The observed effect of heterogeneity on species richness was substantially greater than that generated by simulations from a random placement model of community assembly, indicating that the observed relationship is unlikely to arise from veil or sampling effects. Our results suggest that restoring or actively protecting areas of high habitat heterogeneity may be of great importance for slowing current trends of decreasing biodiversity in coastal ecosystems. PMID:25699209

  16. Laser Remote Sensing of Canopy Habitat Heterogeneity as a Predictor of Bird Species Richness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinberg, D.; Goetz, S.; Dubayah, R.; Blair, B.; Jantz, P.

    2006-12-01

    Habitat heterogeneity has long been recognized as a fundamental variable indicative of species diversity, in terms of both richness and abundance. Satellite remote sensing data sets can be useful for quantifying habitat heterogeneity across a range of spatial scales. Past remote sensing analyses of species diversity have largely been limited to correlative studies based on the use of vegetation indices or derived land cover maps. A relatively new form of laser remote sensing (lidar) provides another means to acquire information on habitat heterogeneity. Here we examine the efficacy of lidar metrics of canopy structural diversity as predictors of bird species richness and abundance in the temperate forests of Maryland. Canopy height, topography and the vertical distribution of biomass were derived from lidar imagery of the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge and compared to bird survey data collected at referenced grid locations. The vertical distribution of canopy elements was found to be the strongest predictor of both total richness and abundance. Species richness was predicted best when stratified by guilds dominated by forest, scrub, suburban and wetland species, with similar lidar variables selected as primary predictors across guilds. Generalized linear and additive models, as well as binary hierarchical regression trees produced similar results. The lidar metrics were consistently better predictors than traditional remotely sensed variables such as canopy cover, suggesting that lidar provides a valuable resource for biodiversity research applications. Recently available global lidar data sets permit extension of this analysis to broader spatial scales for which biodiversity observations exist.

  17. Repeated sampling reveals differential variability in measures of species richness and community composition in planktonic protists.

    PubMed

    Dolan, John R; Stoeck, Thorsten

    2011-12-01

    Diversity metrics and descriptors of protistan community structure were calculated from 12 samples of 10 l each collected from the Bay of Villefranche in the NW Mediterranean Sea. Variability of the sampling was on scales of minutes and meters. The individual samples were compared with each other and compared with a pooled data set from the total volume of 120 l, considered as the 'true' community. We focused on a single group of planktonic protists, tintinnids, a coherent functional and phylogenetic group in which morpho-species identifications by light microscopy are unambiguous. Tintinnid abundance in the samples ranged from 217 to 321 cells of 16-21 species with the number of rare species in a sample (< 1% of abundance) positively related to species richness of the sample. Rarefaction estimates of total species richness in the 12 samples ranged from 21 ± 3.5 to 37 ± 3.6 compared with the 34 species of the pooled data set. The measures of similarity reflected the differences between samples in both the numbers and identities of the least abundant or rare species. The species abundance distribution using pooled data was best fit by a log-series or geometric distribution; eight species accounted for about 90% of total cells and most species, the remaining 22 out of 34, were 'rare' (concentration < 1% of total cells). Among the samples, 5 were best fit by a geometric model, 1 by a log-series distribution, 2 by a log-normal or log-series model, and 4 could not be clearly assigned a particular distribution. Our results suggest that single sample estimates of species richness are relatively robust compared with measures of taxonomic similarity and species abundance distribution. When measuring differences among populations sample variability should be considered.

  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. 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. PMID:26560968

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. Using host associations to predict spatial patterns in the species richness of the parasites of North American carnivores.

    PubMed

    Harris, Nyeema C; Dunn, Robert R

    2010-11-01

    Despite the central theme in ecology of evaluating determinants of species richness, little effort has been focused on parasites. Here, we developed a parasite diversity model based on known host associations with 29 North American carnivores to investigate the spatial heterogeneity of parasite richness, its relationship to carnivore richness, and how host composition and specificity influenced these patterns. Patterns in parasite species richness closely tracked carnivore species richness across space and this relationship was robust to deviations from the assumption that parasites match the distribution of their hosts. Because wide-ranging hosts disproportionately contributed to total and specialist parasite species richness, conservation programmes that focus on these common hosts may capture not only much of biological diversity, but also unwittingly sources of human diseases. We supply the first parasite diversity model to understand broad-scale patterns in species richness patterns for North American carnivores, which can inform both future parasite conservation and disease management.

  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. Global mismatch between species richness and vulnerability of reef fish assemblages.

    PubMed

    Parravicini, Valeriano; Villéger, Sébastien; McClanahan, Tim R; Arias-González, Jesus Ernesto; Bellwood, David R; Belmaker, Jonathan; Chabanet, Pascale; Floeter, Sergio R; Friedlander, Alan M; Guilhaumon, François; Vigliola, Laurent; Kulbicki, Michel; Mouillot, David

    2014-09-01

    The impact of anthropogenic activity on ecosystems has highlighted the need to move beyond the biogeographical delineation of species richness patterns to understanding the vulnerability of species assemblages, including the functional components that are linked to the processes they support. We developed a decision theory framework to quantitatively assess the global taxonomic and functional vulnerability of fish assemblages on tropical reefs using a combination of sensitivity to species loss, exposure to threats and extent of protection. Fish assemblages with high taxonomic and functional sensitivity are often exposed to threats but are largely missed by the global network of marine protected areas. We found that areas of high species richness spatially mismatch areas of high taxonomic and functional vulnerability. Nevertheless, there is strong spatial match between taxonomic and functional vulnerabilities suggesting a potential win-win conservation-ecosystem service strategy if more protection is set in these locations. PMID:24985880

  7. Lactobacillus and Pediococcus species richness and relative abundance in the vagina of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

    PubMed Central

    Gravett, Michael G.; Jin, Ling; Pavlova, Sylvia I.; Tao, Lin

    2012-01-01

    Background The rhesus monkey is an important animal model to study human vaginal health to which lactic acid bacteria play a significant role. However, the vaginal lactic acid bacterial species richness and relative abundance in rhesus monkeys is largely unknown. Methods Vaginal swab samples were aseptically obtained from 200 reproductive aged female rhesus monkeys. Following Rogosa agar plating, single bacterial colonies representing different morphotypes were isolated and analyzed for whole-cell protein profile, species-specifc PCR, and 16S rRNA gene sequence. Results A total of 510 Lactobacillus strains of 17 species and one Pediococcus acidilactici were identified. The most abundant species was L. reuteri, which colonized the vaginas of 86% monkeys. L. johnsonii was the second most abundant species, which colonized 36% of monkeys. The majority of monkeys were colonized by multiple Lactobacillus species. Conclusions The vaginas of rhesus monkeys are frequently colonized by multiple Lactobacillus species, dominated by L. reuteri. PMID:22429090

  8. Patterns of species richness in relation to temperature, taxonomy and spatial scale in eastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiang; Wang, Zhiqiang; Ji, Mingfei; Fan, Zhexuan; Deng, Jianming

    2011-07-01

    The species richness increases with area is well known in ecology. However, the Metabolic Theory of Biodiversity (MTB) is used to predict diversity patterns without taking account of the area covered by the community addressed. In this study, we developed a new model to integrate the temperature and community area based on the MTB. We collected plant species distribution information from 270 natural reserves and 11 floristic regions in eastern China, including that of three main plant divisions: pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms, and five broadly distributed angiosperm families, to explore the patterns of species richness in relation to temperature and community area size at two spatial scales (floristic region and nature reserve). Our results show that at the floristic region scale, the species richness is independent of the area size of the community and the regression slopes of the natural logarithm of richness vs. the inverse transformed temperature are close to the theoretical value of -0.65 for the three main plant divisions as well as the five angiosperm families. However, at the nature reserve scale, the number of species depends significantly upon the area size of nature reserves, and the regression slopes deviate strongly from the expected slope for all the taxonomic groups, except the pteridophyte division. Therefore, the MTB would be fairly robust only under a presumption that the area size of the community addressed has no significant effect on species richness (e.g. at the floristic region scale). Otherwise, the predictions of diversity patterns by MTB tend to be inaccurate (e.g. at the nature reserve scale).

  9. 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. PMID:24393362

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:27651991

  16. 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.

  17. Climate and Species Richness Predict the Phylogenetic Structure of African Mammal Communities

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25875361

  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. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:25412524

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:25054806

  4. Plant DNA Barcodes Can Accurately Estimate Species Richness in Poorly Known Floras

    PubMed Central

    Costion, Craig; Ford, Andrew; Cross, Hugh; Crayn, Darren; Harrington, Mark; Lowe, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Background Widespread uptake of DNA barcoding technology for vascular plants has been slow due to the relatively poor resolution of species discrimination (∼70%) and low sequencing and amplification success of one of the two official barcoding loci, matK. Studies to date have mostly focused on finding a solution to these intrinsic limitations of the markers, rather than posing questions that can maximize the utility of DNA barcodes for plants with the current technology. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we test the ability of plant DNA barcodes using the two official barcoding loci, rbcLa and matK, plus an alternative barcoding locus, trnH-psbA, to estimate the species diversity of trees in a tropical rainforest plot. Species discrimination accuracy was similar to findings from previous studies but species richness estimation accuracy proved higher, up to 89%. All combinations which included the trnH-psbA locus performed better at both species discrimination and richness estimation than matK, which showed little enhanced species discriminatory power when concatenated with rbcLa. The utility of the trnH-psbA locus is limited however, by the occurrence of intraspecific variation observed in some angiosperm families to occur as an inversion that obscures the monophyly of species. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate for the first time, using a case study, the potential of plant DNA barcodes for the rapid estimation of species richness in taxonomically poorly known areas or cryptic populations revealing a powerful new tool for rapid biodiversity assessment. The combination of the rbcLa and trnH-psbA loci performed better for this purpose than any two-locus combination that included matK. We show that although DNA barcodes fail to discriminate all species of plants, new perspectives and methods on biodiversity value and quantification may overshadow some of these shortcomings by applying barcode data in new ways. PMID:22096501

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:27114580

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:25275484

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-04

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Herbivore species richness and feeding complementarity affect community structure and function on a coral reef

    PubMed Central

    Burkepile, Deron E.; Hay, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

    Consumer effects on prey are well known for cascading through food webs and producing dramatic top-down effects on community structure and ecosystem function. Bottom-up effects of prey (primary producer) biodiversity are also well known. However, the role of consumer diversity in affecting community structure or ecosystem function is not well understood. Here, we show that herbivore species richness can be critical for maintaining the structure and function of coral reefs. In two experiments over 2 years, we constructed large cages enclosing single herbivore species, equal densities of mixed species of herbivores, or excluding herbivores and assessed effects on both seaweeds and corals. When compared with single-herbivore treatments, mixed-herbivore treatments lowered macroalgal abundance by 54–76%, enhanced cover of crustose coralline algae (preferred recruitment sites for corals) by 52–64%, increased coral cover by 22%, and prevented coral mortality. Complementary feeding by herbivorous fishes drove the herbivore richness effects, because macroalgae were unable to effectively deter fishes with different feeding strategies. Maintaining herbivore species richness appears critical for preserving coral reefs, because complementary feeding by diverse herbivores produces positive, but indirect, effects on corals, the foundation species for the ecosystem. PMID:18845686

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:27114575

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26686194

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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.

  9. Contrasting structure and composition of the understory in species-rich tropical rain forests.

    PubMed

    LaFrankie, James V; Ashton, Peter S; Chuyong, George B; Co, Leonardo; Condit, Richard; Davies, Stuart J; Foster, Robin; Hubbell, Stephen P; Kenfack, David; Lagunzad, Daniel; Losos, Elizabeth C; Nor, Noor Supardi Md; Tan, Sylvester; Thomas, Duncan W; Valencia, Renato; Villa, Gorky

    2006-09-01

    In large samples of trees > or = 1 cm dbh (more than 1 million trees and 3000 species), in six lowland tropical forests on three continents, we assigned species with >30 individuals to one of six classes of stature at maturity (SAM). We then compared the proportional representation of understory trees (1-2 cm dbh) among these classes. The understory of the three Asian sites was predominantly composed of the saplings of large-canopy trees whereas the African and American sites were more richly stocked with trees of the smaller SAM classes. Differences in class representation were related to taxonomic families that were present exclusively in one continent or another. Families found in the Asian plots but not in the American plot (e.g., Dipterocarpaceae, Fagaceae) were predominantly species of the largest SAM classes, whereas families exclusive to the American plots (e.g., Melastomataceae sensu stricto, Piperaceae, and Malvaceae [Bombacacoidea]) were predominantly species of small classes. The African plot was similar to Asia in the absence of those American families rich in understory species, while similar to America in lacking the Asian families rich in canopy species. The numerous understory species of Africa were chiefly derived from families shared with Asia and/or America. The ratio of saplings (1-2 cm dbh) to conspecific canopy trees (>40 cm dbh) was lower in American plots than in the Asian plots. Possible explanations for these differences include phenology, moisture and soil fertility regimes, phyletic constraints, and the role of early successional plants in forest development. These results demonstrate that tropical forests that appear similar in tree number, basal area, and the family taxonomy of canopy trees nonetheless differ in ecological structure in ways that may impact the ecology of pollinators, dispersers, and herbivores and might reflect fundamental differences in canopy tree regeneration. PMID:16995630

  10. 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.

  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. Species richness and selenium accumulation of plants in soils with elevated concentration of selenium and salinity.

    PubMed

    Huang, Z Z; Wu, L

    1991-12-01

    Field studies were conducted in soils with elevated concentrations of Se and salinity at Kesterson, California. Biomass distribution, species richness, and selenium accumulation of plants were examined for two sites where 15 cm of surface soil was removed and replaced with fill dirt in the fall of 1989, and two sites were native soil cover. The Se concentrations in the top 15 cm of fill dirt ranged from undetectable to 36 ng g-1. For the native soil sites, Se levels ranged from 75 to 550 ng g-1. Soil Se concentrations below 15 cm ranged from 300 to 700 ng g-1 and were comparable between the fill dirt and the native soil sites. At least 20 different plant species were brought into the two fill dirt sites with the top soil. Avena fatua L., Bassia hyssopifolia Kuntze Rev. Gen. Pl., Centaurea solstitialis L., Erysimum officianale L., Franseria acanthicarpa Cav. Icon., and Melilotus indica (L.) All. contributed over 60% of the total biomass. Only 5 species were found in the native soil sites, and salt grass (Distichlis spicata L.) was the predominant species and accounted for over 80% of the total biomass. Between 1989 and 1990, two years after the surface soil replacement, the two fill dirt sites had a 70% reduction in species richness. Plant tissue selenium concentrations were found to be quite variable between plant species and between sites of sampling. At the fill dirt sites, the plant species with deep root systems accumulated greater amounts of selenium than the shallow-rooted species. The soil selenium concentration of the field soil had no negative effect on pollen fertility, seed set, and seed germination for the plant species examined. However, seedling growth was impaired by the soil selenium concentrations. This suggests that a selection pressure of soil Se concentration may have been imposed on plant species such as M. indica in an early stage of its life cycle.

  13. Soil warming increases plant species richness but decreases germination from the alpine soil seed bank.

    PubMed

    Hoyle, Gemma L; Venn, Susanna E; Steadman, Kathryn J; Good, Roger B; McAuliffe, Edward J; Williams, Emlyn R; Nicotra, Adrienne B

    2013-05-01

    Global warming is occurring more rapidly above the treeline than at lower elevations and alpine areas are predicted to experience above average warming in the future. Temperature is a primary factor in stimulating seed germination and regulating changes in seed dormancy status. Thus, plant regeneration from seed will be crucial to the persistence, migration and post disturbance recruitment of alpine plants in future climates. Here, we present the first assessment of the impact of soil warming on germination from the persistent alpine soil seed bank. Contrary to expectations, soil warming lead to reduced overall germination from the soil seed bank. However, germination response to soil temperature was species specific such that total species richness actually increased by nine with soil warming. We further explored the system by assessing the prevalence of seed dormancy and germination response to soil disturbance, the frequency of which is predicted to increase under climate change. Seeds of a significant proportion of species demonstrated physiological dormancy mechanisms and germination of several species appeared to be intrinsically linked to soil disturbance. In addition, we found no evidence of subalpine species and little evidence of exotic weed species in the soil, suggesting that the soil seed bank will not facilitate their invasion of the alpine zone. In conclusion, changes in recruitment via the alpine soil seed bank can be expected under climate change, as a result of altered dormancy alleviation and germination cues. Furthermore, the alpine soil seed bank, and the species richness therein, has the potential to help maintain local species diversity, support species range shift and moderate species dominance. Implications for alpine management and areas for further study are also discussed.

  14. 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. PMID:27008770

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:26486313

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:25714432

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Late wisconsin climate of northern Florida and the origin of species-rich deciduous forest.

    PubMed

    Watts, W A; Stuiver, M

    1980-10-17

    Species-rich mesic forest covered northern Florida as early as 14,000 radiocarbon years before present. It probably originated in deciduous tree populations already present locally in conifer forest between 24,000 and 18,600 years before present. The cold, dry Late Wisconsin climate ended before 14,600 years before present. A transitional warm, dry phase preceded a precipitation increase at 14,000 years before present.

  9. Bryophyte Species Richness on Retention Aspens Recovers in Time but Community Structure Does Not

    PubMed Central

    Oldén, Anna; Ovaskainen, Otso; Kotiaho, Janne S.; Laaka-Lindberg, Sanna; Halme, Panu

    2014-01-01

    Green-tree retention is a forest management method in which some living trees are left on a logged area. The aim is to offer ‘lifeboats’ to support species immediately after logging and to provide microhabitats during and after forest re-establishment. Several studies have shown immediate decline in bryophyte diversity after retention logging and thus questioned the effectiveness of this method, but longer term studies are lacking. Here we studied the epiphytic bryophytes on European aspen (Populus tremula L.) retention trees along a 30-year chronosequence. We compared the bryophyte flora of 102 ‘retention aspens’ on 14 differently aged retention sites with 102 ‘conservation aspens’ on 14 differently aged conservation sites. We used a Bayesian community-level modelling approach to estimate the changes in bryophyte species richness, abundance (area covered) and community structure during 30 years after logging. Using the fitted model, we estimated that two years after logging both species richness and abundance of bryophytes declined, but during the following 20–30 years both recovered to the level of conservation aspens. However, logging-induced changes in bryophyte community structure did not fully recover over the same time period. Liverwort species showed some or low potential to benefit from lifeboating and high potential to re-colonise as time since logging increases. Most moss species responded similarly, but two cushion-forming mosses benefited from the logging disturbance while several weft- or mat-forming mosses declined and did not re-colonise in 20–30 years. We conclude that retention trees do not function as equally effective lifeboats for all bryophyte species but are successful in providing suitable habitats for many species in the long-term. To be most effective, retention cuts should be located adjacent to conservation sites, which may function as sources of re-colonisation and support the populations of species that require old

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

    PubMed Central

    Convertino, Matteo; Mangoubi, Rami S.; Linkov, Igor; Lowry, Nathan C.; Desai, Mukund

    2012-01-01

    Background The quantification of species-richness and species-turnover is essential to effective monitoring of ecosystems. Wetland ecosystems are particularly in need of such monitoring due to their sensitivity to rainfall, water management and other external factors that affect hydrology, soil, and species patterns. A key challenge for environmental scientists is determining the linkage between natural and human stressors, and the effect of that linkage at the species level in space and time. We propose pixel intensity based Shannon entropy for estimating species-richness, and introduce a method based on statistical wavelet multiresolution texture analysis to quantitatively assess interseasonal and interannual species turnover. Methodology/Principal Findings We model satellite images of regions of interest as textures. We define a texture in an image as a spatial domain where the variations in pixel intensity across the image are both stochastic and multiscale. To compare two textures quantitatively, we first obtain a multiresolution wavelet decomposition of each. Either an appropriate probability density function (pdf) model for the coefficients at each subband is selected, and its parameters estimated, or, a non-parametric approach using histograms is adopted. We choose the former, where the wavelet coefficients of the multiresolution decomposition at each subband are modeled as samples from the generalized Gaussian pdf. We then obtain the joint pdf for the coefficients for all subbands, assuming independence across subbands; an approximation that simplifies the computational burden significantly without sacrificing the ability to statistically distinguish textures. We measure the difference between two textures' representative pdf's via the Kullback-Leibler divergence (KL). Species turnover, or diversity, is estimated using both this KL divergence and the difference in Shannon entropy. Additionally, we predict species richness, or diversity, based on the

  11. 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

  12. Unimodal Latitudinal Pattern of Land-Snail Species Richness across Northern Eurasian Lowlands

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Recruitment limitation constrains local species richness and productivity in dry grassland.

    PubMed

    Zeiter, M; Stampfli, A; Newbery, D M

    2006-04-01

    Species coexistence and local-scale species richness are limited by the availability of seeds and microsites for germination and establishment. We conducted a seed addition experiment in seminatural grassland at three sites in southern Switzerland and repeated the experiment in two successive years to evaluate various circumstances under which seed limitation and establishment success affect community functioning. A collection of 144,000 seeds of 22 meadow species including grasses and forbs of local provenance was gathered, and seeds were individually sown in a density that resembled natural seed rain. The three communities were seed limited. Three years after sowing, single species varied in emergence (0-50%), survival (0-69%), and establishment rates (0-27%). One annual and 13 perennial species reached reproductive stage. Low establishment at one site and reduced growth at another site indicated stronger microsite limitation compared to the third site. Recruitment was influenced by differences in abiotic environmental conditions between sites (water availability, soil minerals) and by within-site differences in biotic interaction (competition). At the least water-limited site, sowing resulted in an increase in phytomass due to establishment of short-lived perennials in the second and third years after sowing. This increase persisted over the following two years due to establishment of longer-lived perennials. After sowing in a wetter year with higher phytomass, however, productivity did not increase, because higher intensity of competition in an early phase of establishment resulted in less vigorous plants later on. Due to the generally favorable weather conditions during this study, sowing year had a small effect on numbers of established individuals over all species. Recruitment limitation can thus constrain local-scale species richness and productivity, either by a lack of seeds or by reduced seedling growth, likely due to competition from the established

  18. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance. PMID:27114578

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Ecological impacts of tropical forest fragmentation: how consistent are patterns in species richness and nestedness?

    PubMed

    Hill, Jane K; Gray, Michael A; Khen, Chey Vun; Benedick, Suzan; Tawatao, Noel; Hamer, Keith C

    2011-11-27

    Large areas of tropical forest now exist as remnants scattered across agricultural landscapes, and so understanding the impacts of forest fragmentation is important for biodiversity conservation. We examined species richness and nestedness among tropical forest remnants in birds (meta-analysis of published studies) and insects (field data for fruit-feeding Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and ants). Species-area relationships were evident in all four taxa, and avian and insect assemblages in remnants typically were nested subsets of those in larger areas. Avian carnivores and nectarivores and predatory ants were more nested than other guilds, implying that the sequential loss of species was more predictable in these groups, and that fragmentation alters the trophic organization of communities. For butterflies, the ordering of fragments to achieve maximum nestedness was by fragment area, suggesting that differences among fragments were driven mainly by extinction. In contrast for moths, maximum nestedness was achieved by ordering species by wing length; species with longer wings (implying better dispersal) were more likely to occur at all sites, including low diversity sites, suggesting that differences among fragments were driven more strongly by colonization. Although all four taxa exhibited high levels of nestedness, patterns of species turnover were also idiosyncratic, and thus even species-poor sites contributed to landscape-scale biodiversity, particularly for insects.

  5. Proteome profile of salt gland-rich epidermis extracted from a salt-tolerant tree species.

    PubMed

    Tan, Wee-Kee; Ang, Yiqian; Lim, Teck-Kwang; Lim, Tit-Meng; Kumar, Prakash; Loh, Chiang-Shiong; Lin, Qingsong

    2015-10-01

    Preparation of proteins from salt-gland-rich tissues of mangrove plant is necessary for a systematic study of proteins involved in the plant's unique desalination mechanism. Extraction of high-quality proteins from the leaves of mangrove tree species, however, is difficult due to the presence of high levels of endogenous phenolic compounds. In our study, preparation of proteins from only a part of the leaf tissues (i.e. salt gland-rich epidermal layers) was required, rendering extraction even more challenging. By comparing several extraction methods, we developed a reliable procedure for obtaining proteins from salt gland-rich tissues of the mangrove species Avicennia officinalis. Protein extraction was markedly improved using a phenol-based extraction method. Greater resolution 1D protein gel profiles could be obtained. More promising proteome profiles could be obtained through 1D-LC-MS/MS. The number of proteins detected was twice as much as compared to TUTS extraction method. Focusing on proteins that were solely present in each extraction method, phenol-based extracts contained nearly ten times more proteins than those in the extracts without using phenol. The approach could thus be applied for downstream high-throughput proteomic analyses involving LC-MS/MS or equivalent. The proteomics data presented herein are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001691.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Exploring Genetic Divergence in a Species-Rich Insect Genus Using 2790 DNA Barcodes.

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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

  10. Exploring Genetic Divergence in a Species-Rich Insect Genus Using 2790 DNA Barcodes.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Chytrid fungus acts as a generalist pathogen infecting species-rich amphibian families in Brazilian rainforests.

    PubMed

    Valencia-Aguilar, Anyelet; Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Lambertini, Carolina; da Silva Leite, Domingos; Toledo, Luís Felipe; Mott, Tamí

    2015-05-11

    The fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is among the main causes of declines in amphibian populations. This fungus is considered a generalist pathogen because it infects several species and spreads rapidly in the wild. To date, Bd has been detected in more than 100 anuran species in Brazil, mostly in the southern portion of the Atlantic forest. Here, we report survey data from some poorly explored regions; these data considerably extend current information on the distribution of Bd in the northern Atlantic forest region. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that Bd is a generalist pathogen in this biome. We also report the first positive record for Bd in an anuran caught in the wild in Amazonia. In total, we screened 90 individuals (from 27 species), of which 39 individuals (from 22 species) were Bd-positive. All samples collected in Bahia (2 individuals), Pernambuco (3 individuals), Pará (1 individual), and Minas Gerais (1 individual) showed positive results for Bd. We found a positive correlation between anuran richness per family and the number of infected species in the Atlantic forest, supporting previous observations that Bd lacks strong host specificity; of 38% of the anuran species in the Atlantic forest that were tested for Bd infection, 25% showed positive results. The results of our study exemplify the pandemic and widespread nature of Bd infection in amphibians. PMID:25958806

  17. Chytrid fungus acts as a generalist pathogen infecting species-rich amphibian families in Brazilian rainforests.

    PubMed

    Valencia-Aguilar, Anyelet; Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Lambertini, Carolina; da Silva Leite, Domingos; Toledo, Luís Felipe; Mott, Tamí

    2015-05-11

    The fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is among the main causes of declines in amphibian populations. This fungus is considered a generalist pathogen because it infects several species and spreads rapidly in the wild. To date, Bd has been detected in more than 100 anuran species in Brazil, mostly in the southern portion of the Atlantic forest. Here, we report survey data from some poorly explored regions; these data considerably extend current information on the distribution of Bd in the northern Atlantic forest region. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that Bd is a generalist pathogen in this biome. We also report the first positive record for Bd in an anuran caught in the wild in Amazonia. In total, we screened 90 individuals (from 27 species), of which 39 individuals (from 22 species) were Bd-positive. All samples collected in Bahia (2 individuals), Pernambuco (3 individuals), Pará (1 individual), and Minas Gerais (1 individual) showed positive results for Bd. We found a positive correlation between anuran richness per family and the number of infected species in the Atlantic forest, supporting previous observations that Bd lacks strong host specificity; of 38% of the anuran species in the Atlantic forest that were tested for Bd infection, 25% showed positive results. The results of our study exemplify the pandemic and widespread nature of Bd infection in amphibians.

  18. Ecological impacts of tropical forest fragmentation: how consistent are patterns in species richness and nestedness?

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Jane K.; Gray, Michael A.; Khen, Chey Vun; Benedick, Suzan; Tawatao, Noel; Hamer, Keith C.

    2011-01-01

    Large areas of tropical forest now exist as remnants scattered across agricultural landscapes, and so understanding the impacts of forest fragmentation is important for biodiversity conservation. We examined species richness and nestedness among tropical forest remnants in birds (meta-analysis of published studies) and insects (field data for fruit-feeding Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and ants). Species–area relationships were evident in all four taxa, and avian and insect assemblages in remnants typically were nested subsets of those in larger areas. Avian carnivores and nectarivores and predatory ants were more nested than other guilds, implying that the sequential loss of species was more predictable in these groups, and that fragmentation alters the trophic organization of communities. For butterflies, the ordering of fragments to achieve maximum nestedness was by fragment area, suggesting that differences among fragments were driven mainly by extinction. In contrast for moths, maximum nestedness was achieved by ordering species by wing length; species with longer wings (implying better dispersal) were more likely to occur at all sites, including low diversity sites, suggesting that differences among fragments were driven more strongly by colonization. Although all four taxa exhibited high levels of nestedness, patterns of species turnover were also idiosyncratic, and thus even species-poor sites contributed to landscape-scale biodiversity, particularly for insects. PMID:22006967

  19. Species richness and relative abundance of birds in natural and anthropogenic fragments of Brazilian Atlantic forest.

    PubMed

    dos Anjos, Luiz

    2004-06-01

    Bird communities were studied in two types of fragmented habitat of Atlantic forest in the State of Paraná, southern Brazil; one consisted of forest fragments that were created as a result of human activities (forest remnants), the other consisted of a set of naturally occurring forest fragments (forest patches). Using quantitative data obtained by the point counts method in 3 forest patches and 3 forest remnants during one year, species richness and relative abundance were compared in those habitats, considering species groups according to their general feeding habits. Insectivores, omnivores, and frugivores presented similar general tendencies in both habitats (decrease of species number with decreasing size and increasing isolation of forest fragment). However, these tendencies were different, when considering the relative abundance data: the trunk insectivores presented the highest value in the smallest patch while the lowest relative abundance was in the smallest remnant. In the naturally fragmented landscape, time permitted that the loss of some species of trunk insectivores be compensated for the increase in abundance of other species. In contrast, the remnants essentially represented newly formed islands that are not yet at equilibrium and where future species losses would make them similar to the patches.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:26314049

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26528416

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:24668013

  11. Environmental correlates for tree occurrences, species distribution and richness on a high-elevation tropical island.

    PubMed

    Birnbaum, Philippe; Ibanez, Thomas; Pouteau, Robin; Vandrot, Hervé; Hequet, Vanessa; Blanchard, Elodie; Jaffré, Tanguy

    2015-07-10

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Effects of monocot and dicot types and species richness in mesocosm constructed wetlands on removal of pollutants from wastewater.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chong-Bang; Liu, Wen-Li; Wang, Jiang; Ge, Yong; Ge, Ying; Chang, Scott X; Chang, Jie

    2011-11-01

    The effects of planting type and species richness on removal of BOD5, COD, nitrogen and phosphorus were studied in mesocosms with monocot alone (M), dicot alone (D) and mixed planting of M+D, where each planting type had four species richness levels. Above- and below-ground plant biomasses increased with the M and M+D species richness as shown by one-way ANOVA. The M+D type had the highest above-ground biomass, whereas the M type had the highest below-ground biomass among planting types. Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in the microbial biomass increased with the richness of the M and M+D type. Removals of BOD5, COD, inorganic P and total P did not change with the richness, but removals of NH4-N, NO3-N increased. Planting type impacted only removal of inorganic P, with higher removal of inorganic P in the M type.

  15. Functional traits and environmental filtering drive community assembly in a species-rich tropical system.

    PubMed

    Lebrija-Trejos, Edwin; Pérez-García, Eduardo A; Meave, Jorge A; Bongers, Frans; Poorter, Lourens

    2010-02-01

    Mechanistic models of community assembly state that biotic and abiotic filters constrain species establishment through selection on their functional traits. Predicting this assembly process is hampered because few studies directly incorporate environmental measurements and scale up from species to community level and because the functional traits' significance is environment dependent. We analyzed community assembly by measuring structure, environmental conditions, and species traits of secondary forests in a species-rich tropical system. We found, as hypothesized, that community structure shaped the local environment and that strong relationships existed between this environment and the traits of the most successful species of the regeneration communities. Path and multivariate analyses showed that temperature and leaf traits that regulate it were the most important factors of community differentiation. Comparisons between the trait composition of the forest's regeneration, juvenile, and adult communities showed a consistent community assembly pattern. These results allowed us to identify the major functional traits and environmental factors involved in the assembly of dry-forest communities and demonstrate that environmental filtering is a predictable and fundamental process of community assembly, even in a complex system such as a tropical forest.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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. 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. 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.