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Sample records for alien species richness

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Cross-scale modelling of alien and native vascular plant species richness in Great Britain: where is geodiversity information most relevant?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Joseph; Field, Richard; Boyd, Doreen

    2016-04-01

    We assess the scale-dependency of the relationship between biodiversity and novel geodiversity information by studying spatial patterns of native and alien (archaeophytes and neophytes) vascular plant species richness at varying spatial scales across Great Britain. Instead of using a compound geodiversity metric, we study individual geodiversity components (GDCs) to advance our understanding of which aspects of 'geodiversity' are most important and at what scale. Terrestrial native (n = 1,490) and alien (n = 1,331) vascular plant species richness was modelled across the island of Great Britain at two grain sizes and several extent radii. Various GDCs (landforms, hydrology, geology) were compiled from existing national datasets and automatically extracted landform coverage information (e.g. hollows, valleys, peaks), the latter using a digital elevation model (DEM) and geomorphometric techniques. More traditional predictors of species richness (climate, widely-used topography metrics, land cover diversity, and human population) were also incorporated. Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) models were produced at all grain sizes and extents for each species group and the dominant predictors were assessed. Models with and without geodiversity data were compared. Overarching patterns indicated a clear dominance of geodiversity information at the smallest study extent (12.5km radius) and finest grain size (1x1km), which substantially decreased for each increase in extent as the contribution of climatic variables increased. The contribution of GDCs to biodiversity models was chiefly driven by landform information from geomorphometry, but hydrology (rivers and lakes), and to a lesser extent materials (soil, superficial deposits, and geology), were important, also. GDCs added significantly to vascular plant biodiversity models in Great Britain, independently of widely-used topographic metrics, particularly for native species. The wider consideration of geodiversity alongside

  4. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  5. Index of Alien Impact: A method for evaluating potential ecological impact of alien plant species

    EPA Science Inventory

    Alien plant species are stressors to ecosystems and indicators of reduced ecosystem integrity. The magnitude of the stress reflects not only the quantity of aliens present, but also the quality of their interactions with native ecosystems. We develop an Index of Alien Impact (IAI...

  6. Spatial scale and species identity influence the indigenous-alien diversity relationship in springtails.

    PubMed

    Terauds, Aleks; Chown, Steven L; Bergstrom, Dana M

    2011-07-01

    Although theory underlying the invasion paradox, or the change in the relationship between the richness of alien and indigenous species from negative to positive with increasing spatial scale, is well developed and much empirical work on the subject has been undertaken, most of the latter has concerned plants and to a lesser extent marine invertebrates. Here we therefore examine the extent to which the relationships between indigenous and alien species richness change from the local metacommunity to the interaction neighborhood scales, and the influences of abundance, species identity, and environmental favorability thereon, in springtails, a significant component of the soil fauna. Using a suite of modeling techniques, including generalized least squares and geographically weighted regressions to account for spatial autocorrelation or nonstationarity of the data, we show that the abundance and species richness of both indigenous and alien species at the metacommunity scale respond strongly to declining environmental favorability, represented here by altitude. Consequently, alien and indigenous diversity covary positively at this scale. By contrast, relationships are more complex at the interaction neighborhood scale, with the relationship among alien species richness and/or density and the density of indigenous species varying between habitats, being negative in some, but positive in others. Additional analyses demonstrated a strong influence of species identity, with negative relationships identified at the interaction neighborhood scale involving alien hypogastrurid springtails, a group known from elsewhere to have negative effects on indigenous species in areas where they have been introduced. By contrast, diversity relationships were positive with the other alien species. These results are consistent with both theory and previous empirical findings for other taxa, that interactions among indigenous and alien species change substantially with spatial scale and

  7. Species pools, community completeness and invasion: disentangling diversity effects on the establishment of native and alien species.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Jonathan A; Riibak, Kersti; Kook, Ene; Reier, Ülle; Tamme, Riin; Guillermo Bueno, C; Pärtel, Meelis

    2016-12-01

    Invasion should decline with species richness, yet the relationship is inconsistent. Species richness, however, is a product of species pool size and biotic filtering. Invasion may increase with richness if large species pools represent weaker environmental filters. Measuring species pool size and the proportion realised locally (completeness) may clarify diversity-invasion relationships by separating environmental and biotic effects, especially if species' life-history stage and origin are accounted for. To test these relationships, we added seeds and transplants of 15 native and alien species into 29 grasslands. Species pool size and completeness explained more variation in invasion than richness alone. Although results varied between native and alien species, seed establishment and biotic resistance to transplants increased with species pool size, whereas transplant growth and biotic resistance to seeds increased with completeness. Consequently, species pools and completeness represent multiple independent processes affecting invasion; accounting for these processes improves our understanding of invasion.

  8. Alien species as a driver of recent extinctions.

    PubMed

    Bellard, Céline; Cassey, Phillip; Blackburn, Tim M

    2016-02-01

    We assessed the prevalence of alien species as a driver of recent extinctions in five major taxa (plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals), using data from the IUCN Red List. Our results show that alien species are the second most common threat associated with species that have gone completely extinct from these taxa since AD 1500. Aliens are the most common threat associated with extinctions in three of the five taxa analysed, and for vertebrate extinctions overall.

  9. Alien species as a driver of recent extinctions

    PubMed Central

    Bellard, Céline; Cassey, Phillip

    2016-01-01

    We assessed the prevalence of alien species as a driver of recent extinctions in five major taxa (plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals), using data from the IUCN Red List. Our results show that alien species are the second most common threat associated with species that have gone completely extinct from these taxa since AD 1500. Aliens are the most common threat associated with extinctions in three of the five taxa analysed, and for vertebrate extinctions overall. PMID:26888913

  10. Widespread plant species: natives vs. aliens in our changing world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Pyšek, Petr; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Pauchard, Aníbal; Winter, Marten; Pino, Joan; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R.U.; Murray, Brad R.; Phillips, Megan L.; Ming-yang, Li; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Font, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments.

  11. Widespread plant species: Natives versus aliens in our changing world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Pysek, P.; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Pauchard, A.; Winter, M.; Pino, J.; Richardson, D.M.; Wilson, J.R.U.; Murray, B.R.; Phillips, M.L.; Ming-yang, L.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Font, X.

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  12. Mycorrhizal status helps explain invasion success of alien plant species.

    PubMed

    Menzel, Andreas; Hempel, Stefan; Klotz, Stefan; Moora, Mari; Pyšek, Petr; Rillig, Matthias C; Zobel, Martin; Kühn, Ingolf

    2017-01-01

    It is still debated whether alien plants benefit from being mycorrhizal, or if engaging in the symbiosis constrains their establishment and spread in new regions. We analyzed the association between mycorrhizal status of alien plant species in Germany and their invasion success. We compared whether the representation of species with different mycorrhizal status (obligate, facultative, or non-mycorrhizal) differed at several stages of the invasion process. We used generalized linear models to explain the occupied geographical range of alien plants, incorporating interactions of mycorrhizal status with plant traits related to morphology, reproduction, and life-history. Non-naturalized aliens did not differ from naturalized aliens in the relative frequency of different mycorrhizal status categories. Mycorrhizal status significantly explained the occupied range of alien plants; with facultative mycorrhizal species inhabiting a larger range than non-mycorrhizal aliens and obligate mycorrhizal plant species taking an intermediate position. Aliens with storage organs, shoot metamorphoses, or specialized structures promoting vegetative dispersal occupied a larger range when being facultative mycorrhizal. We conclude that being mycorrhizal is important for the persistence of aliens in Germany and constitutes an advantage compared to being non-mycorrhizal. Being facultative mycorrhizal seems to be especially advantageous for successful spread, as the flexibility of this mycorrhizal status may enable plants to use a broader set of ecological strategies.

  13. Origin matters: diversity affects the performance of alien invasive species but not of native species.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Maron, John L; Schaffner, Urs

    2015-06-01

    At local scales, it has often been found that invasibility decreases with increasing resident plant diversity. However, whether resident community diversity similarly resists invasion by alien versus native species is seldom studied. We examined this issue by invading constructed native plant assemblages that varied in species and functional richness with invasive alien or native Asteraceae species. Assemblages were also invaded with spotted knapweed, Centaurea stoebe, a native European aster that has been previously used in diversity-invasibility experiments in North America. We also conducted a field survey to explore the generality of the patterns generated from our experimental study. Both experimental and observational work revealed that increasing diversity reduced the performance of alien but not native invaders. Centaurea stoebe invading its native community performed poorly regardless of resident diversity, whereas in a parallel, previously published study conducted in North America, C. stoebe easily invaded low-diversity but not high-diversity assemblages. Our results suggest that diversity is an attribute of resident communities that makes them more or less susceptible to invasion by novel invasive alien but not native plant species.

  14. No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide.

    PubMed

    Seebens, Hanno; Blackburn, Tim M; Dyer, Ellie E; Genovesi, Piero; Hulme, Philip E; Jeschke, Jonathan M; Pagad, Shyama; Pyšek, Petr; Winter, Marten; Arianoutsou, Margarita; Bacher, Sven; Blasius, Bernd; Brundu, Giuseppe; Capinha, César; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Dawson, Wayne; Dullinger, Stefan; Fuentes, Nicol; Jäger, Heinke; Kartesz, John; Kenis, Marc; Kreft, Holger; Kühn, Ingolf; Lenzner, Bernd; Liebhold, Andrew; Mosena, Alexander; Moser, Dietmar; Nishino, Misako; Pearman, David; Pergl, Jan; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Roques, Alain; Rorke, Stephanie; Rossinelli, Silvia; Roy, Helen E; Scalera, Riccardo; Schindler, Stefan; Štajerová, Kateřina; Tokarska-Guzik, Barbara; van Kleunen, Mark; Walker, Kevin; Weigelt, Patrick; Yamanaka, Takehiko; Essl, Franz

    2017-02-15

    Although research on human-mediated exchanges of species has substantially intensified during the last centuries, we know surprisingly little about temporal dynamics of alien species accumulations across regions and taxa. Using a novel database of 45,813 first records of 16,926 established alien species, we show that the annual rate of first records worldwide has increased during the last 200 years, with 37% of all first records reported most recently (1970-2014). Inter-continental and inter-taxonomic variation can be largely attributed to the diaspora of European settlers in the nineteenth century and to the acceleration in trade in the twentieth century. For all taxonomic groups, the increase in numbers of alien species does not show any sign of saturation and most taxa even show increases in the rate of first records over time. This highlights that past efforts to mitigate invasions have not been effective enough to keep up with increasing globalization.

  15. No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Seebens, Hanno; Blackburn, Tim M.; Dyer, Ellie E.; Genovesi, Piero; Hulme, Philip E.; Jeschke, Jonathan M.; Pagad, Shyama; Pyšek, Petr; Winter, Marten; Arianoutsou, Margarita; Bacher, Sven; Blasius, Bernd; Brundu, Giuseppe; Capinha, César; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Dawson, Wayne; Dullinger, Stefan; Fuentes, Nicol; Jäger, Heinke; Kartesz, John; Kenis, Marc; Kreft, Holger; Kühn, Ingolf; Lenzner, Bernd; Liebhold, Andrew; Mosena, Alexander; Moser, Dietmar; Nishino, Misako; Pearman, David; Pergl, Jan; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Roques, Alain; Rorke, Stephanie; Rossinelli, Silvia; Roy, Helen E.; Scalera, Riccardo; Schindler, Stefan; Štajerová, Kateřina; Tokarska-Guzik, Barbara; van Kleunen, Mark; Walker, Kevin; Weigelt, Patrick; Yamanaka, Takehiko; Essl, Franz

    2017-01-01

    Although research on human-mediated exchanges of species has substantially intensified during the last centuries, we know surprisingly little about temporal dynamics of alien species accumulations across regions and taxa. Using a novel database of 45,813 first records of 16,926 established alien species, we show that the annual rate of first records worldwide has increased during the last 200 years, with 37% of all first records reported most recently (1970–2014). Inter-continental and inter-taxonomic variation can be largely attributed to the diaspora of European settlers in the nineteenth century and to the acceleration in trade in the twentieth century. For all taxonomic groups, the increase in numbers of alien species does not show any sign of saturation and most taxa even show increases in the rate of first records over time. This highlights that past efforts to mitigate invasions have not been effective enough to keep up with increasing globalization. PMID:28198420

  16. RELATIONSHIPS OF ALIEN PLANT SPECIES ABUNDANCE TO RIPARIAN VEGETATION, ENVIRONMENT, AND DISTURBANCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Riparian ecosystems are often invaded by alien species. We evaluated vegetation, environment, and disturbance conditions and their interrelationships with alien species abundance along reaches of 29 streams in eastern Oregon, USA. Using flexible-BETA clustering, indicator species...

  17. Introduced Terrestrial Species Richness

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  18. Global change and marine communities: alien species and climate change.

    PubMed

    Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna

    2007-01-01

    Anthropogenic influences on the biosphere since the advent of the industrial age are increasingly causing global changes. Climatic change and the rising concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are ranking high in scientific and public agendas, and other components of global change are also frequently addressed, among which are the introductions of non indigenous species (NIS) in biogeographic regions well separated from the donor region, often followed by spectacular invasions. In the marine environment, both climatic change and spread of alien species have been studied extensively; this review is aimed at examining the main responses of ecosystems to climatic change, taking into account the increasing importance of biological invasions. Some general principles on NIS introductions in the marine environment are recalled, such as the importance of propagule pressure and of development stages during the time course of an invasion. Climatic change is known to affect many ecological properties; it interacts also with NIS in many possible ways. Direct (proximate) effects on individuals and populations of altered physical-chemical conditions are distinguished from indirect effects on emergent properties (species distribution, diversity, and production). Climatically driven changes may affect both local dispersal mechanisms, due to the alteration of current patterns, and competitive interactions between NIS and native species, due to the onset of new thermal optima and/or different carbonate chemistry. As well as latitudinal range expansions of species correlated with changing temperature conditions, and effects on species richness and the correlated extinction of native species, some invasions may provoke multiple effects which involve overall ecosystem functioning (material flow between trophic groups, primary production, relative extent of organic material decomposition, extent of benthic-pelagic coupling). Some examples are given, including a special

  19. Alien Roadside Species More Easily Invade Alpine than Lowland Plant Communities in a Subarctic Mountain Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment. PMID:24586947

  20. Floristic characteristics of alien invasive seed plant species in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Congyan; Liu, Jun; Xiao, Hongguang; Zhou, Jiawei; DU, Daolin

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to determine the floristic characteristics of alien invasive seed plant species (AISPS) in China. There are a total of five hundred and thirteen AISPS, belonging to seventy families and two hundred and eighty-three genera. Seventy families were classified into nine areal types at the family level, and "Cosmopolitan" and "Pantropic" are the two main types. Two hundred and eighty-three genera were classified into twelve areal types at the genus level, and "Pantropic", "Trop. Asia & Amer. disjuncted", and "Cosmopolitan" are the three main types. These results reveal a certain degree of diversity among AISPS in China. The floristic characteristics at the family level exhibit strong pantropic characteristics. Two possible reasons for this are as follows. Firstly, southeastern China is heavily invaded by alien invasive plant species and this region has a mild climate. Secondly, southeastern China is more disturbed by human activities than other regions in China. The floristic characteristics at the genus level display strong pantropic but with abundant temperate characteristics. This may be due to that China across five climatic zones and the ecosystems in which the most alien invasive plant species occur have the same or similar climate with their natural habitat.

  1. Differences in leaf construction cost between alien and native mangrove species in Futian, Shenzhen, China: implications for invasiveness of alien species.

    PubMed

    Li, Fenglan; Yang, Qiong; Zan, Qijie; Tam, Nora F Y; Shin, Paul K S; Vrijmoed, Lilian L P; Cheung, S G

    2011-09-01

    Construction cost (CC) is a quantifiable measure of energy demand for biomass production, and low CC is hypothesized to give an alien plant growth advantages and increase its potential to be an invader. Comparison of leaf CC and growth traits between alien and native mangroves in Shenzhen Futian Nature Reserve showed CC per unit mass (CC(mass)), carbon concentration and gross and ash-free caloric values of alien mangroves were significantly lower than those of native species, while the height and chest circumference were just the opposite. Alien species Sonneratia apetala had the lowest CC(mass) while Sonneratia caseolaris had the lowest CC(area), and were 8.99% and 32.17% lower than those of native species, respectively. Conversely, specific leaf area (SLA) of these two Sonneratia species was significantly higher than native species. Lower CC and higher SLA make the two Sonneratia species grow and spread faster than other mangroves and enhance their invasive potential.

  2. A new species of the genus Alienates Barber (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Enicocephalidae: Alienatinae) from Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Baňař, Petr; Štys, Pavel; Kolesnichenko, Yuliya

    2015-09-03

    New species Alienates thomasi sp. nov. Baňař & Štys is described from Venezuela based on a single female. It is the first species recorded from South America, and is illustrated and compared with other Caribbean and Central American Alienates species.

  3. DEVELOPMENT OF AN INDEX OF ALIEN SPECIES INVASIVENESS: AN AID TO ASSESSING RIPARIAN VEGETATION CONDITION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many riparian areas are invaded by alien plant species that negatively affect native species composition, community dynamics and ecosystem properties. We sampled vegetation along reaches of 31 low order streams in eastern Oregon, and characterized species assemblages at patch an...

  4. Essential elements of online information networks on invasive alien species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simpson, A.; Sellers, E.; Grosse, A.; Xie, Y.

    2006-01-01

    In order to be effective, information must be placed in the proper context and organized in a manner that is logical and (preferably) standardized. Recently, invasive alien species (IAS) scientists have begun to create online networks to share their information concerning IAS prevention and control. At a special networking session at the Beijing International Symposium on Biological Invasions, an online Eastern Asia-North American IAS Information Network (EA-NA Network) was proposed. To prepare for the development of this network, and to provide models for other regional collaborations, we compare four examples of global, regional, and national online IAS information networks: the Global Invasive Species Information Network, the Invasives Information Network of the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network, the Chinese Species Information System, and the Invasive Species Information Node of the US National Biological Information Infrastructure. We conclude that IAS networks require a common goal, dedicated leaders, effective communication, and broad endorsement, in order to obtain sustainable, long-term funding and long-term stability. They need to start small, use the experience of other networks, partner with others, and showcase benefits. Global integration and synergy among invasive species networks will succeed with contributions from both the top-down and the bottom-up. ?? 2006 Springer.

  5. Variation in the strength of reproductive interference from an alien congener to a native species in Taraxacum.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Sachiko; Hashimoto, Keisuke; Kanaoka, Masahiro M; Takakura, Ko-Ichi; Nishida, Takayoshi

    2017-01-01

    Reproductive interference (RI) may be a contributing factor to the displacement of native species by an alien congener, and RI strength has been shown theoretically to affect distributional relationships between species. Thus, variations in RI strength from alien to native species result in different consequences of invasions and efforts to conserve native species, but the variations have seldom been examined empirically. We therefore investigated RI strength variations from the alien species Taraxacum officinale and its hybrids to eight populations of native dandelions, four T. japonicum populations and two populations each of two subspecies of T. platycarpum. We examined the association between alien relative abundance and native seed set in field surveys, and we also performed hand-pollination experiments to investigate directly the sensitivity of native flowers to alien pollen. We found that the effect of alien relative abundance on native seed set of even the same native species could differ greatly in different regions, and that the sensitivity of native flowers to alien pollen was also dependent on region. Our results, together with those of previous studies, show that RI from the alien to the native species is strong in regions where the alien species outnumbers the native species and marginal where it does not; this result suggests that alien RI can critically affect distributional relationships between native and alien species. Our study highlights the importance of performing additional empirical investigations of RI strength variation and of giving due attention to alien RI in efforts to conserve regional native biodiversity.

  6. Tree species richness of upper Amazonian forests

    PubMed Central

    Gentry, Alwyn H.

    1988-01-01

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

  7. Drowned, buried and carried away: effects of plant traits on the distribution of native and alien species in riparian ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Catford, Jane A; Jansson, Roland

    2014-10-01

    Riparian vegetation is exposed to stress from inundation and hydraulic disturbance, and is often rich in native and alien plant species. We describe 35 traits that enable plants to cope with riparian conditions. These include traits for tolerating or avoiding anoxia and enabling underwater photosynthesis, traits that confer resistance and resilience to hydraulic disturbance, and attributes that facilitate dispersal, such as floating propagules. This diversity of life-history strategies illustrates that there are many ways of sustaining life in riparian zones, which helps to explain high riparian biodiversity. Using community assembly theory, we examine how adaptations to inundation, disturbance and dispersal shape plant community composition along key environmental gradients, and how human actions have modified communities. Dispersal-related processes seem to explain many patterns, highlighting the influence of regional processes on local species assemblages. Using alien plant invasions like an (uncontrolled) experiment in community assembly, we use an Australian and a global dataset to examine possible causes of high degrees of riparian invasion. We found that high proportions of alien species in the regional species pools have invaded riparian zones, despite not being riparian specialists, and that riparian invaders disperse in more ways, including by water and humans, than species invading other ecosystems.

  8. Alien species of mammals and their impact on natural ecosystems in the biosphere reserves of Russia.

    PubMed

    Neronov, Valery M; Khlyap, Ludmila A; Bobrov, Vladimir V; Warshavsky, Andrey A

    2008-06-01

    The paper analyses the results of a survey of 37 Russian biosphere reserves using questionnaires concerning the presence of alien species of mammals, their pathways of penetration, and their impacts on protected ecosystems. The penetration of alien mammals into terrestrial ecosystems of Russia is extensive, both in places with maximum human environmental impact (inhabited areas and agricultural lands) and in biosphere reserves with minimal human impact. There are 62 mammal species registered as alien in Russian ecosystems and they account for 22% of the terrestrial mammal fauna of Russia. The percentage of alien species in biosphere reserves is 32.6% at most. In most regions, Castor fiber, Ondatra zibethicus, Nyctereutes procyonoides, Canis familiaris, Neovison vison and Sus scrofa are very dangerous, and both Castor fiber and Sus scrofa can have environment-forming impacts.

  9. Native Terrestrial Animal Species Richness

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  10. Alien species and their zoonotic parasites in native and introduced ranges: The raccoon dog example.

    PubMed

    Laurimaa, Leidi; Süld, Karmen; Davison, John; Moks, Epp; Valdmann, Harri; Saarma, Urmas

    2016-03-30

    The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) is a canid that is indigenous in East Asia and alien in Europe, where it was introduced more than half a century ago. The aim of this study was to compare the parasite faunas associated with raccoon dogs in their native and introduced ranges, and to identify zoonotic parasite species. We examined 255 carcasses of hunted raccoon dogs from Estonia and recorded a total of 17 helminth species: 4 trematodes, 4 cestodes and 9 nematodes. The most prevalent parasite species were Uncinaria stenocephala (97.6%) and Alaria alata (68.3%). Average parasite species richness was 2.86 (the highest was 9) and only two animals were not parasitized at all. Although the infection intensity was determined by weight and not by sex, all animals infected with more than five helminth species were males. We also found that animals infected with higher numbers of helminth species fed significantly more on natural plants. Intentional consumption of grass may represent a self-medicating behaviour among raccoon dogs. We included the Estonian data into a wider comparison of raccoon dog parasite faunas and found a total of 54 helminth taxa, including 28 of zoonotic potential. In Europe, raccoon dogs are infected with a minimum of 32 helminth species of which 19 are zoonotic; in the native range they are infected with 26 species of which 17 are zoonotic. Most species were nematodes or trematodes, with fewer cestodes described. The recent increase in the number and range of raccoon dogs in Europe and the relatively high number of zoonotic parasite taxa that it harbours suggests that this species should be considered an important source of environmental contamination with zoonotic agents in Europe.

  11. Antagonistic interactions between an invasive alien and a native coccinellid species may promote coexistence.

    PubMed

    Hentley, William T; Vanbergen, Adam J; Beckerman, Andrew P; Brien, Melanie N; Hails, Rosemary S; Jones, T Hefin; Johnson, Scott N

    2016-07-01

    Despite the capacity of invasive alien species to alter ecosystems, the mechanisms underlying their impact remain only partly understood. Invasive alien predators, for example, can significantly disrupt recipient communities by consuming prey species or acting as an intraguild predator (IGP). Behavioural interactions are key components of interspecific competition between predators, yet these are often overlooked invasion processes. Here, we show how behavioural, non-lethal IGP interactions might facilitate the establishment success of an invading alien species. We experimentally assessed changes in feeding behaviour (prey preference and consumption rate) of native UK coccinellid species (Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella septempunctata), whose populations are, respectively, declining and stable, when exposed to the invasive intraguild predator, Harmonia axyridis. Using a population dynamics model parameterized with these experimental data, we predicted how intraguild predation, accommodating interspecific behavioural interactions, might impact the abundance of the native and invasive alien species over time. When competing for the same aphid resource, the feeding rate of A. bipunctata significantly increased compared to the feeding in isolation, while the feeding rate of H. axyridis significantly decreased. This suggests that despite significant declines in the UK, A. bipunctata is a superior competitor to the intraguild predator H. axyridis. In contrast, the behaviour of non-declining C. septempunctata was unaltered by the presence of H. axyridis. Our experimental data show the differential behavioural plasticity of competing native and invasive alien predators, but do not explain A. bipunctata declines observed in the UK. Using behavioural plasticity as a parameter in a population dynamic model for A. bipunctata and H. axyridis, coexistence is predicted between the native and invasive alien following an initial period of decline in the native species. We

  12. Effect of the Internet Commerce on Dispersal Modes of Invasive Alien Species

    PubMed Central

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Moroń, Dawid; Sutherland, William J.; Kuszewska, Karolina; Woyciechowski, Michał

    2014-01-01

    The spread of invasive alien plants has considerable environmental and economic consequences, and is one of the most challenging ecological problems. The spread of invasive alien plant species depends largely on long-distance dispersal, which is typically linked with human activity. The increasing domination of the internet will have impacts upon almost all components of our lives, including potential consequences for the spread of invasive species. To determine whether the rise of Internet commerce has any consequences for the spread of invasive alien plant species, we studied the sale of thirteen of some of the most harmful Europe invasive alien plant species sold as decorative plants from twenty-eight large, well known gardening shops in Poland that sold both via the Internet and through traditional customer sales. We also analyzed temporal changes in the number of invasive plants sold in the largest Polish internet auction portal. When sold through the Internet invasive alien plant species were transported considerably longer distances than for traditional sales. For internet sales, seeds of invasive alien plant species were transported further than were live plants saplings; this was not the case for traditional sales. Also, with e-commerce the shape of distance distribution were flattened with low skewness comparing with traditional sale where the distributions were peaked and right-skewed. Thus, e-commerce created novel modes of long-distance dispersal, while traditional sale resembled more natural dispersal modes. Moreover, analysis of sale in the biggest Polish internet auction portal showed that the number of alien specimens sold via the internet has increased markedly over recent years. Therefore internet commerce is likely to increase the rate at which ecological communities become homogenized and increase spread of invasive species by increasing the rate of long distance dispersal. PMID:24932498

  13. Effect of the internet commerce on dispersal modes of invasive alien species.

    PubMed

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr; Knops, Johannes M H; Moroń, Dawid; Sutherland, William J; Kuszewska, Karolina; Woyciechowski, Michał

    2014-01-01

    The spread of invasive alien plants has considerable environmental and economic consequences, and is one of the most challenging ecological problems. The spread of invasive alien plant species depends largely on long-distance dispersal, which is typically linked with human activity. The increasing domination of the internet will have impacts upon almost all components of our lives, including potential consequences for the spread of invasive species. To determine whether the rise of Internet commerce has any consequences for the spread of invasive alien plant species, we studied the sale of thirteen of some of the most harmful Europe invasive alien plant species sold as decorative plants from twenty-eight large, well known gardening shops in Poland that sold both via the Internet and through traditional customer sales. We also analyzed temporal changes in the number of invasive plants sold in the largest Polish internet auction portal. When sold through the Internet invasive alien plant species were transported considerably longer distances than for traditional sales. For internet sales, seeds of invasive alien plant species were transported further than were live plants saplings; this was not the case for traditional sales. Also, with e-commerce the shape of distance distribution were flattened with low skewness comparing with traditional sale where the distributions were peaked and right-skewed. Thus, e-commerce created novel modes of long-distance dispersal, while traditional sale resembled more natural dispersal modes. Moreover, analysis of sale in the biggest Polish internet auction portal showed that the number of alien specimens sold via the internet has increased markedly over recent years. Therefore internet commerce is likely to increase the rate at which ecological communities become homogenized and increase spread of invasive species by increasing the rate of long distance dispersal.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-07

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

  16. The generic impact scoring system (GISS): a standardized tool to quantify the impacts of alien species.

    PubMed

    Nentwig, Wolfgang; Bacher, Sven; Pyšek, Petr; Vilà, Montserrat; Kumschick, Sabrina

    2016-05-01

    Alien species can exert negative environmental and socio-economic impacts. Therefore, administrations from different sectors are trying to prevent further introductions, stop the spread of established species, and apply or develop programs to mitigate their impact, to contain the most harmful species, or to eradicate them if possible. Often it is not clear which of the numerous alien species are most important in terms of damage, and therefore, impact scoring systems have been developed to allow a comparison and thus prioritization of species. Here, we present the generic impact scoring system (GISS), which relies on published evidence of environmental and socio-economic impact of alien species. We developed a system of 12 impact categories, for environmental and socio-economic impact, comprising all kinds of impacts that an alien species may exert. In each category, the intensity of impact is quantified by a six-level scale ranging from 0 (no impact detectable) to 5 (the highest impact possible). Such an approach, where impacts are grouped based on mechanisms for environmental impacts and receiving sectors for socio-economy, allows for cross-taxa comparisons and prioritization of the most damaging species. The GISS is simple and transparent, can be conducted with limited funds, and can be applied to a large number of alien species across taxa and environments. Meanwhile, the system was applied to 349 alien animal and plant species. In a comparison with 22 other impact assessment methods, the combination of environmental and socio-economic impact, as well as the possibility of weighting and ranking of the scoring results make GISS the most broadly applicable system.

  17. 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.

  18. How can alien species inventories and interception data help us prevent insect invasions?

    PubMed

    Kenis, M; Rabitsch, W; Auger-Rozenberg, M-A; Roques, A

    2007-10-01

    Information relevant to invasion processes and invasive alien insect species management in Central Europe was extracted from two databases: a compilation of two inventories of alien insects in Austria and Switzerland, and a list of interceptions of non-indigenous plant pests in Europe gathered by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) for the period 1995-2004. For one-third of the insects established in Switzerland and Austria, the region of origin is unclear. Others come mainly from North America, Asia and the Mediterranean region. Among the intercepted insects, 40% were associated with commodities from Asia, 32% from Europe and only 2% from North America. Sternorrhyncha, Coleoptera and Psocoptera were particularly well represented in the alien fauna compared to the native fauna. In the interception database, Sternorrhyncha were also well represented but Diptera accounted for the highest number of records. Sap feeders and detritivores were the dominant feeding niches in the alien insect fauna. In contrast, external defoliators, stem borers, gall makers, root feeders, predators and parasitoids were underrepresented. Nearly 40% of the alien insects in Switzerland and Austria live only indoors. Another 15% live outdoors but exclusively or predominantly on exotic plants. Less than 20% are found mainly in 'natural' environments. The majority of introductions of alien insects in Europe are associated with the international trade in ornamental plants. An economic impact was found for 40% of the alien insects in Switzerland and Austria, whereas none is known to have an ecological impact. The implications of these observations for further studies and the management of alien species in Europe are discussed.

  19. Evaluation of Online Information Sources on Alien Species in Europe: The Need of Harmonization and Integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gatto, Francesca; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Vandekerkhove, Jochen; Zenetos, Argyro; Cardoso, Ana Cristina

    2013-06-01

    Europe is severely affected by alien invasions, which impact biodiversity, ecosystem services, economy, and human health. A large number of national, regional, and global online databases provide information on the distribution, pathways of introduction, and impacts of alien species. The sufficiency and efficiency of the current online information systems to assist the European policy on alien species was investigated by a comparative analysis of occurrence data across 43 online databases. Large differences among databases were found which are partially explained by variations in their taxonomical, environmental, and geographical scopes but also by the variable efforts for continuous updates and by inconsistencies on the definition of "alien" or "invasive" species. No single database covered all European environments, countries, and taxonomic groups. In many European countries national databases do not exist, which greatly affects the quality of reported information. To be operational and useful to scientists, managers, and policy makers, online information systems need to be regularly updated through continuous monitoring on a country or regional level. We propose the creation of a network of online interoperable web services through which information in distributed resources can be accessed, aggregated and then used for reporting and further analysis at different geographical and political scales, as an efficient approach to increase the accessibility of information. Harmonization, standardization, conformity on international standards for nomenclature, and agreement on common definitions of alien and invasive species are among the necessary prerequisites.

  20. Evaluation of online information sources on alien species in Europe: the need of harmonization and integration.

    PubMed

    Gatto, Francesca; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Vandekerkhove, Jochen; Zenetos, Argyro; Cardoso, Ana Cristina

    2013-06-01

    Europe is severely affected by alien invasions, which impact biodiversity, ecosystem services, economy, and human health. A large number of national, regional, and global online databases provide information on the distribution, pathways of introduction, and impacts of alien species. The sufficiency and efficiency of the current online information systems to assist the European policy on alien species was investigated by a comparative analysis of occurrence data across 43 online databases. Large differences among databases were found which are partially explained by variations in their taxonomical, environmental, and geographical scopes but also by the variable efforts for continuous updates and by inconsistencies on the definition of "alien" or "invasive" species. No single database covered all European environments, countries, and taxonomic groups. In many European countries national databases do not exist, which greatly affects the quality of reported information. To be operational and useful to scientists, managers, and policy makers, online information systems need to be regularly updated through continuous monitoring on a country or regional level. We propose the creation of a network of online interoperable web services through which information in distributed resources can be accessed, aggregated and then used for reporting and further analysis at different geographical and political scales, as an efficient approach to increase the accessibility of information. Harmonization, standardization, conformity on international standards for nomenclature, and agreement on common definitions of alien and invasive species are among the necessary prerequisites.

  1. Impact of an Alien Invasive Shrub on Ecology of Native and Alien Invasive Mosquito Species (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Muturi, Ephantus J; Gardner, Allison M; Bara, Jeffrey J

    2015-10-01

    We examined how leaf litter of alien invasive honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii Rupr.) either alone or in combination with leaf litter of one of two native tree species, sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marshall) and northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), affects the ecology of Culex restuans Theobald, Ochlerotatus triseriatus Say, and Ochlerotatus japonicus Theobald. Experimental mesocosms containing single species litter or a mixture of honeysuckle and one of two native tree species litter were established at South Farms and Trelease Woods study sites in Urbana, IL, and examined for their effect on 1) oviposition site selection by the three mosquito species, and 2) adult production and body size of Oc. triseriatus and Oc. japonicus. There were no significant effects of study site and leaf treatment on Oc. japonicus and Oc. triseriatus oviposition preference and adult production. In contrast, significantly more Cx. restuans eggs rafts were collected at South Farms relative to Trelease Woods and in honeysuckle litter relative to native tree species litter. Significantly larger adult females of Oc. japonicus and Oc. triseriatus were collected at South Farms relative to Trelease Woods and in honeysuckle litter relative to native tree species litter. Combining honeysuckle litter with native tree species litter had additive effects on Cx. restuans oviposition preference and Oc. japonicus and Oc. triseriatus body size, with the exception of honeysuckle and northern red oak litter combination, which had antagonistic effects on Oc. triseriatus body size. We conclude that input of honeysuckle litter into container aquatic habitats may alter the life history traits of vector mosquito species.

  2. Preventing, controlling, and managing alien species introduction for the health of aquatic and marine ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, C.I.; Gross, S.K.; Wilkinson, D.

    2004-01-01

    The introduction and spread of invasive species is an emerging global problem. As economic and ecological impacts continue to grow, there will be an increasing need to develop innovative solutions and global partnerships to combat the increasing rate of invasions and their accompanying impacts. Threats to sustainable fisheries in North America associated with alien species come from many global directions and sources and can be deliberate or the unintended consequence of other actions. Decisions about the role of sustainable fisheries in protecting and restoring the health of aquatic ecosystems become even more complex when economic and social factors are considered along with environmental impacts, because many intentionally introduced species also have associated economic and community costs and benefits. Actions designed to prevent or control alien species in an aquatic ecosystem are often complicated by these nonenvironmental factors as well as public perception and opinion. Aquatic ecosystems are disturbed to varying degrees by alien species, including disease organisms. Prevention is the first and best line of defense. Determining likely pathways and effective countermeasures is more cost-effective than either eradication or control. Our ability to quickly identify new species and their associated risk to ecosystems is critical in designing and implementing effective control and management actions. Lack of infrastructure and necessary resources, clear-cut authority for regulation and action, and scientific information about the biology of alien species and effective control techniques are often limiting factors that prevent the needed action to protect aquatic ecosystems.

  3. Alien molluscan species established along the Italian shores: an update, with discussions on some Mediterranean “alien species” categories

    PubMed Central

    Crocetta, Fabio; Macali, Armando; Furfaro, Giulia; Cooke, Samantha; Guido Villani; Valdés, Ángel

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The state of knowledge of the alien marine Mollusca in Italy is reviewed and updated. Littorina saxatilis (Olivi, 1792), Polycera hedgpethi Er. Marcus, 1964 and Haminoea japonica Pilsbry, 1895are here considered as established on the basis of published and unpublished data, and recent records of the latter considerably expand its known Mediterranean range to the Tyrrhenian Sea. COI sequences obtained indicate that a comprehensive survey of additional European localities is needed to elucidate the dispersal pathways of Haminoea japonica.Recent records and interpretation of several molluscan taxa as alien are discussed both in light of new Mediterranean (published and unpublished) records and of four categories previously excluded from alien species lists. Within this framework, ten taxa are no longer considered as alien species, or their records from Italy are refuted. Furthermore, Trochocochlea castriotae Bellini, 1903 is considered a new synonym for Gibbula albida (Gmelin, 1791). Data provided here leave unchanged as 35 the number of alien molluscan taxa recorded from Italy as well as the percentage of the most plausible vectors of introduction, but raise to 22 the number of established species along the Italian shores during the 2005–2010 period, and backdate to 1792 the first introduction of an alien molluscan species (Littorina saxatilis) to the Italian shores. PMID:23794825

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Missing the Boat on Invasive Alien Species: A Review of Post-Secondary Curricula in Canada

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Andrea L.; Bazely, Dawn R.; Yan, Norman D.

    2011-01-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) cause major environmental and economic damage worldwide, and also threaten human food security and health. The impacts of IAS are expected to rise with continued globalization, land use modification, and climate change. Developing effective strategies to deal with IAS requires a collaborative, interdisciplinary…

  6. ALIEN SPECIES IMPORTANTANCE IN NATIVE VEGETATION ALONG WADEABLE STREAMS, JOHN DAY RIVER BASIN, OREGON, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    We evaluated the importance of alien species in existing vegetation along wadeable streams of a large, topographically diverse river basin in eastern Oregon, USA; sampling 165 plots (30 × 30 m) across 29 randomly selected 1-km stream reaches. Plots represented eight streamside co...

  7. Flowering phenology of invasive alien plant species compared with native species in three Mediterranean-type ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Godoy, Oscar; Richardson, David M.; Valladares, Fernando; Castro-Díez, Pilar

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Flowering phenology is a potentially important component of success of alien species, since elevated fecundity may enhance invasiveness. The flowering patterns of invasive alien plant species and related natives were studied in three regions with Mediterranean-type climate: California, Spain and South Africa's Cape region. Methods A total of 227 invasive–native pairs were compared for seven character types across the regions, with each pair selected on the basis that they shared the same habitat type within a region, had a common growth form and pollination type, and belonged to the same family or genus. Key Results Invasive alien plant species have different patterns of flowering phenology from native species in the three regions. Whether the alien species flower earlier, later or at the same time as natives depends on the climatic regime in the native range of the aliens and the proportion of species in the invasive floras originating from different regions. Species invading at least two of the regions displayed the same flowering pattern, showing that flowering phenology is a conservative trait. Invasive species with native ranges in temperate climates flower earlier than natives, those from Mediterranean-type climates at the same time, and species from tropical climates flower later. In California, where the proportion of invaders from the Mediterranean Basin is high, the flowering pattern did not differ between invasive and native species, whereas in Spain the high proportion of tropical species results in a later flowering than natives, and in the Cape region early flowering than natives was the result of a high proportion of temperate invaders. Conclusions Observed patterns are due to the human-induced sympatry of species with different evolutionary histories whose flowering phenology evolved under different climatic regimes. The severity of the main abiotic filters imposed by the invaded regions (e.g. summer drought) has not been

  8. Are Photosynthetic Characteristics and Energetic Cost Important Invasive Traits for Alien Sonneratia Species in South China?

    PubMed Central

    Li, Feng-Lan; Zan, Qi-Jie; Hu, Zheng-Yu; Shin, Paul-K. S.; Cheung, Siu-Gin; Wong, Yuk-Shan; Tam, Nora Fung-Yee; Lei, An-Ping

    2016-01-01

    A higher photosynthesis and lower energetic cost are recognized as important characteristics for invasive species, but whether these traits are also important for the ability of alien mangrove species to become invasive has seldom been reported. A microcosm study was conducted to compare the photosynthetic characteristics, energetic cost indices and other growth traits between two alien species (Sonneratia apetala and S. caseolaris) and four native mangrove species over four seasons in a subtropical mangrove nature reserve in Shenzhen, South China. The aim of the study was to evaluate the invasive potential of Sonneratia based on these physiological responses. The annual average net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs) and total carbon assimilation per unit leaf area (Atotal) of the two alien Sonneratia species were significantly higher than the values of the native mangroves. In contrast, the opposite results were obtained for the leaf construction cost (CC) per unit dry mass (CCM) and CC per unit area (CCA) values. The higher Atotal and lower CC values resulted in a 72% higher photosynthetic energy-use efficiency (PEUE) for Sonneratia compared to native mangroves, leading to a higher relative growth rate (RGR) of the biomass and height of Sonneratia with the respective values being 51% and 119% higher than those of the native species. Higher photosynthetic indices for Sonneratia compared to native species were found in all seasons except winter, whereas lower CC values were found in all four seasons. The present findings reveal that alien Sonneratia species may adapt well and become invasive in subtropical mangrove wetlands in Shenzhen due to their higher photosynthetic characteristics coupled with lower costs in energy use, leading to a higher PEUE. The comparison of these physiological responses between S. apetala and S. caseolaris reveal that the former species is more invasive than the latter one, thus requiring more attention in future. PMID

  9. Are Photosynthetic Characteristics and Energetic Cost Important Invasive Traits for Alien Sonneratia Species in South China?

    PubMed

    Li, Feng-Lan; Zan, Qi-Jie; Hu, Zheng-Yu; Shin, Paul-K S; Cheung, Siu-Gin; Wong, Yuk-Shan; Tam, Nora Fung-Yee; Lei, An-Ping

    2016-01-01

    A higher photosynthesis and lower energetic cost are recognized as important characteristics for invasive species, but whether these traits are also important for the ability of alien mangrove species to become invasive has seldom been reported. A microcosm study was conducted to compare the photosynthetic characteristics, energetic cost indices and other growth traits between two alien species (Sonneratia apetala and S. caseolaris) and four native mangrove species over four seasons in a subtropical mangrove nature reserve in Shenzhen, South China. The aim of the study was to evaluate the invasive potential of Sonneratia based on these physiological responses. The annual average net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs) and total carbon assimilation per unit leaf area (Atotal) of the two alien Sonneratia species were significantly higher than the values of the native mangroves. In contrast, the opposite results were obtained for the leaf construction cost (CC) per unit dry mass (CCM) and CC per unit area (CCA) values. The higher Atotal and lower CC values resulted in a 72% higher photosynthetic energy-use efficiency (PEUE) for Sonneratia compared to native mangroves, leading to a higher relative growth rate (RGR) of the biomass and height of Sonneratia with the respective values being 51% and 119% higher than those of the native species. Higher photosynthetic indices for Sonneratia compared to native species were found in all seasons except winter, whereas lower CC values were found in all four seasons. The present findings reveal that alien Sonneratia species may adapt well and become invasive in subtropical mangrove wetlands in Shenzhen due to their higher photosynthetic characteristics coupled with lower costs in energy use, leading to a higher PEUE. The comparison of these physiological responses between S. apetala and S. caseolaris reveal that the former species is more invasive than the latter one, thus requiring more attention in future.

  10. A unified classification of alien species based on the magnitude of their environmental impacts.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Tim M; Essl, Franz; Evans, Thomas; Hulme, Philip E; Jeschke, Jonathan M; Kühn, Ingolf; Kumschick, Sabrina; Marková, Zuzana; Mrugała, Agata; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Ricciardi, Anthony; Richardson, David M; Sendek, Agnieszka; Vilà, Montserrat; Wilson, John R U; Winter, Marten; Genovesi, Piero; Bacher, Sven

    2014-05-01

    Species moved by human activities beyond the limits of their native geographic ranges into areas in which they do not naturally occur (termed aliens) can cause a broad range of significant changes to recipient ecosystems; however, their impacts vary greatly across species and the ecosystems into which they are introduced. There is therefore a critical need for a standardised method to evaluate, compare, and eventually predict the magnitudes of these different impacts. Here, we propose a straightforward system for classifying alien species according to the magnitude of their environmental impacts, based on the mechanisms of impact used to code species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Invasive Species Database, which are presented here for the first time. The classification system uses five semi-quantitative scenarios describing impacts under each mechanism to assign species to different levels of impact-ranging from Minimal to Massive-with assignment corresponding to the highest level of deleterious impact associated with any of the mechanisms. The scheme also includes categories for species that are Not Evaluated, have No Alien Population, or are Data Deficient, and a method for assigning uncertainty to all the classifications. We show how this classification system is applicable at different levels of ecological complexity and different spatial and temporal scales, and embraces existing impact metrics. In fact, the scheme is analogous to the already widely adopted and accepted Red List approach to categorising extinction risk, and so could conceivably be readily integrated with existing practices and policies in many regions.

  11. Urban Power Line Corridors as Novel Habitats for Grassland and Alien Plant Species in South-Western Finland

    PubMed Central

    Lampinen, Jussi; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Huhta, Ari-Pekka

    2015-01-01

    Regularly managed electric power line corridors may provide habitats for both early-successional grassland plant species and disturbance-dependent alien plant species. These habitats are especially important in urban areas, where they can help conserve native grassland species and communities in urban greenspace. However, they can also provide further footholds for potentially invasive alien species that already characterize urban areas. In order to implement power line corridors into urban conservation, it is important to understand which environmental conditions in the corridors favor grassland species and which alien species. Likewise it is important to know whether similar environmental factors in the corridors control the species composition of the two groups. We conducted a vegetation study in a 43 kilometer long urban power line corridor network in south-western Finland, and used generalized linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis to determine which environmental factors best predict the occurrence and composition of grassland and alien plant species in the corridors. The results imply that old corridors on dry soils and steep slopes characterized by a history as open areas and pastures are especially suitable for grassland species. Corridors suitable for alien species, in turn, are characterized by productive soils and abundant light and are surrounded by a dense urban fabric. Factors controlling species composition in the two groups are somewhat correlated, with the most important factors including light abundance, soil moisture, soil calcium concentration and soil productivity. The results have implications for grassland conservation and invasive alien species control in urban areas. PMID:26565700

  12. Urban Power Line Corridors as Novel Habitats for Grassland and Alien Plant Species in South-Western Finland.

    PubMed

    Lampinen, Jussi; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Huhta, Ari-Pekka

    2015-01-01

    Regularly managed electric power line corridors may provide habitats for both early-successional grassland plant species and disturbance-dependent alien plant species. These habitats are especially important in urban areas, where they can help conserve native grassland species and communities in urban greenspace. However, they can also provide further footholds for potentially invasive alien species that already characterize urban areas. In order to implement power line corridors into urban conservation, it is important to understand which environmental conditions in the corridors favor grassland species and which alien species. Likewise it is important to know whether similar environmental factors in the corridors control the species composition of the two groups. We conducted a vegetation study in a 43 kilometer long urban power line corridor network in south-western Finland, and used generalized linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis to determine which environmental factors best predict the occurrence and composition of grassland and alien plant species in the corridors. The results imply that old corridors on dry soils and steep slopes characterized by a history as open areas and pastures are especially suitable for grassland species. Corridors suitable for alien species, in turn, are characterized by productive soils and abundant light and are surrounded by a dense urban fabric. Factors controlling species composition in the two groups are somewhat correlated, with the most important factors including light abundance, soil moisture, soil calcium concentration and soil productivity. The results have implications for grassland conservation and invasive alien species control in urban areas.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  14. Fire and grazing impacts on plant diversity and alien plant invasions in the southern Sierra Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Lubin, Daniel; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2003-01-01

    Patterns of native and alien plant diversity in response to disturbance were examined along an elevational gradient in blue oak savanna, chaparral, and coniferous forests. Total species richness, alien species richness, and alien cover declined with elevation, at scales from 1 to 1000 m2. We found no support for the hypothesis that community diversity inhibits alien invasion. At the 1-m2 point scale, where we would expect competitive interactions between the largely herbaceous flora to be most intense, alien species richness as well as alien cover increased with increasing native species richness in all communities. This suggests that aliens are limited not by the number of native competitors, but by resources that affect establishment of both natives and aliens.Blue oak savannas were heavily dominated by alien species and consistently had more alien than native species at the 1-m2 scale. All of these aliens are annuals, and it is widely thought that they have displaced native bunchgrasses. If true, this means that aliens have greatly increased species richness. Alternatively, there is a rich regional flora of native annual forbs that could have dominated these grasslands prior to displacement by alien grasses. On our sites, livestock grazing increased the number of alien species and alien cover only slightly over that of sites free of livestock grazing for more than a century, indicating some level of permanency to this invasion.In chaparral, both diversity and aliens increased markedly several years after fire. Invasive species are rare in undisturbed shrublands, and alien propagules fail to survive the natural crown fires in these ecosystems. Thus, aliens necessarily must colonize after fire and, as a consequence, time since fire is an important determinant of invasive presence. Blue oak savannas are an important propagule source for alien species because they maintain permanent populations of all alien species encountered in postfire chaparral, and because the

  15. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Alien Plant Species Detection and Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dvořák, P.; Müllerová, J.; Bartaloš, T.; Brůna, J.

    2015-08-01

    Invasive species spread rapidly and their eradication is difficult. New methods enabling fast and efficient monitoring are urgently needed for their successful control. Remote sensing can improve early detection of invading plants and make their management more efficient and less expensive. In an ongoing project in the Czech Republic, we aim at developing innovative methods of mapping invasive plant species (semi-automatic detection algorithms) by using purposely designed unmanned aircraft (UAV). We examine possibilities for detection of two tree and two herb invasive species. Our aim is to establish fast, repeatable and efficient computer-assisted method of timely monitoring, reducing the costs of extensive field campaigns. For finding the best detection algorithm we test various classification approaches (object-, pixel-based and hybrid). Thanks to its flexibility and low cost, UAV enables assessing the effect of phenological stage and spatial resolution, and is most suitable for monitoring the efficiency of eradication efforts. However, several challenges exist in UAV application, such as geometrical and radiometric distortions, high amount of data to be processed and legal constrains for the UAV flight missions over urban areas (often highly invaded). The newly proposed UAV approach shall serve invasive species researchers, management practitioners and policy makers.

  16. Insect Eradication and Containment of Invasive Alien Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect eradication programs are nearly always targeted at recently arrived invasive species with significant pest potential. They attempt to contain a pest to a defined area and then completely eliminate the pest from that area. From a Federal regulatory standpoint, eradication programs are undert...

  17. Screening Allelochemical-Resistant Species of the Alien Invasive Mikania micrantha for Restoration in South China

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ai-Ping; Li, Zi-Li; He, Fei-Fei; Wang, Yan-Hong; Dong, Ming

    2015-01-01

    To screen allelochemical-resistant species of the alien invasive weed Mikania micrantha, we studied the allelopathic inhibition effects of the leaf aqueous extract (LAE) of Mikania on seed germination and seedling growth of the 26 species native or naturalized in the invaded region in South China. Seed germination was more strongly negatively affected by LAE than seedling growth. Responses of seed germination and seed growth to LAE differed differently among the target species. LAE more strongly negatively affected seed germination, but less strongly negatively affected seedling growth, in non-legume species than in legume species. LAE more strongly negatively affected seed germination and seedling growth in native species than naturalized exotic species. Therefore, naturalized exotic non-legume seedlings are more suitable than seeds of native legume species for restoration of Mikania-invaded habitats. PMID:26177031

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Dispersal limitation does not control high elevational distribution of alien plant species in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rundel, Philip W.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2016-01-01

    Patterns of elevational distribution of alien plant species in the southern Sierra Nevada of California were used to test the hypothesis that alien plant species invading high elevations around the world are typically climate generalists capable of growing across a wide elevational range. The Sierra Nevada has been heavily impacted for more than a century and a half, first by heavy grazing up into high elevation meadows, followed by major logging, and finally, by impacts associated with recreational use. The comparative elevational patterns of distribution and growth form were compared for native and alien plant species in the four families (Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Fabaceae, and Poaceae) that contribute the majority of naturalized aliens in the study area. The distribution of realized climatic niche breadth, as measured by elevational range of occurrence, was virtually identical for alien and native species, with both groups showing a roughly Gaussian distribution peaking with species whose range covers a span of 1500–1999 m. In contrast to alien species, which only rarely occurred at higher elevations, native species showed a distribution of upper elevation limits peaking at 3000–3499 m, an elevation that corresponds to the zone of upper montane and subalpine forests. Consistent with a hypothesis of abiotic limitations, only a few alien species have been ecologically successful invaders at subalpine and alpine elevations above 2500 m. The low diversity of aliens able to become established in these habitats is unlikely due to dispersal limitations, given the long history of heavy grazing pressure at high elevations across this region. Instead, this low diversity is hypothesized to be a function of life history traits and multiple abiotic stresses that include extremes of cold air and soil temperature, heavy snowfall, short growing seasons, and low resource availability. These findings have significant implications for resource managers.

  20. 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.

  1. A Unified Classification of Alien Species Based on the Magnitude of their Environmental Impacts

    PubMed Central

    Blackburn, Tim M.; Essl, Franz; Evans, Thomas; Hulme, Philip E.; Jeschke, Jonathan M.; Kühn, Ingolf; Kumschick, Sabrina; Marková, Zuzana; Mrugała, Agata; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Ricciardi, Anthony; Richardson, David M.; Sendek, Agnieszka; Vilà, Montserrat; Wilson, John R. U.; Winter, Marten; Genovesi, Piero; Bacher, Sven

    2014-01-01

    Species moved by human activities beyond the limits of their native geographic ranges into areas in which they do not naturally occur (termed aliens) can cause a broad range of significant changes to recipient ecosystems; however, their impacts vary greatly across species and the ecosystems into which they are introduced. There is therefore a critical need for a standardised method to evaluate, compare, and eventually predict the magnitudes of these different impacts. Here, we propose a straightforward system for classifying alien species according to the magnitude of their environmental impacts, based on the mechanisms of impact used to code species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Invasive Species Database, which are presented here for the first time. The classification system uses five semi-quantitative scenarios describing impacts under each mechanism to assign species to different levels of impact—ranging from Minimal to Massive—with assignment corresponding to the highest level of deleterious impact associated with any of the mechanisms. The scheme also includes categories for species that are Not Evaluated, have No Alien Population, or are Data Deficient, and a method for assigning uncertainty to all the classifications. We show how this classification system is applicable at different levels of ecological complexity and different spatial and temporal scales, and embraces existing impact metrics. In fact, the scheme is analogous to the already widely adopted and accepted Red List approach to categorising extinction risk, and so could conceivably be readily integrated with existing practices and policies in many regions. PMID:24802715

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  3. Niche dynamics of alien species do not differ among sexual and apomictic flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Dellinger, Agnes S; Essl, Franz; Hojsgaard, Diego; Kirchheimer, Bernhard; Klatt, Simone; Dawson, Wayne; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; van Kleunen, Mark; Weber, Ewald; Winter, Marten; Hörandl, Elvira; Dullinger, Stefan

    2016-02-01

    Biological invasions can be associated with shifts of the species' climatic niches but the incidence of such shifts is under debate. The reproductive system might be a key factor controlling such shifts because it influences a species' evolutionary flexibility. However, the link between reproductive systems and niche dynamics in plant invasions has been little studied so far. We compiled global occurrence data sets of 13 congeneric sexual and apomictic species pairs, and used principal components analysis (PCA) and kernel smoothers to compare changes in climatic niche optima, breadths and unfilling/expansion between native and alien ranges. Niche change metrics were compared between sexual and apomictic species. All 26 species showed changes in niche optima and/or breadth and 14 species significantly expanded their climatic niches. However, we found no effect of the reproductive system on niche dynamics. Instead, species with narrower native niches showed higher rates of niche expansion in the alien ranges. Our results suggest that niche shifts are frequent in plant invasions but evolutionary potential may not be of major importance for such shifts. Niche dynamics rather appear to be driven by changes of the realized niche without adaptive change of the fundamental climatic niche.

  4. 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, ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Estimating bird species richness from capture and count data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

  8. Recreational trails as corridors for alien plants in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wells, Floye H.; Lauenroth, William K.; Bradford, John B.

    2012-01-01

    Alien plant species often use areas of heavy human activity for habitat and dispersal. Roads and utility corridors have been shown to harbor more alien species than the surrounding vegetation and are therefore believed to contribute to alien plant persistence and spread. Recreational trails represent another corridor that could harbor alien species and aid their spread. Effective management of invasive species requires understanding how alien plants are distributed at trailheads and trails and how their dispersal may be influenced by native vegetation. Our overall goal was to investigate the distribution of alien plants at trailheads and trails in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. At trailheads, we found that although the number of alien species was less than the number of native species, alien plant cover ( x̄=50%) did not differ from native plant cover, and we observed a large number of alien seedlings in the soil seed bank, suggesting that alien plants are a large component of trailhead communities and will continue to be so in the future. Along trails, we found higher alien species richness and cover on trail (as opposed to 4 m from the trail) in 3 out of 4 vegetation types, and we observed higher alien richness and cover in meadows than in other vegetation types. Plant communities at both trailheads and trails, as well as seed banks at trailheads, contain substantial diversity and abundance of alien plants. These results suggest that recreational trails in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado may function as corridors that facilitate the spread of alien species into wildlands. Our results suggest that control of alien plants should begin at trailheads where there are large numbers of aliens and that control efforts on trails should be prioritized by vegetation type.

  9. Invasive species information networks: Collaboration at multiple scales for prevention, early detection, and rapid response to invasive alien species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simpson, Annie; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Madsen, John; Westbrooks, Randy G.; Fournier, Christine; Mehrhoff, Les; Browne, Michael; Graham, Jim; Sellers, Elizabeth A.

    2009-01-01

    Accurate analysis of present distributions and effective modeling of future distributions of invasive alien species (IAS) are both highly dependent on the availability and accessibility of occurrence data and natural history information about the species. Invasive alien species monitoring and detection networks (such as the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England and the Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth) generate occurrence data at local and regional levels within the United States, which are shared through the US National Institute of Invasive Species Science. The Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network's Invasives Information Network (I3N), facilitates cooperation on sharing invasive species occurrence data throughout the Western Hemisphere. The I3N and other national and regional networks expose their data globally via the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN). International and interdisciplinary cooperation on data sharing strengthens cooperation on strategies and responses to invasions. However, limitations to effective collaboration among invasive species networks leading to successful early detection and rapid response to invasive species include: lack of interoperability; data accessibility; funding; and technical expertise. This paper proposes various solutions to these obstacles at different geographic levels and briefly describes success stories from the invasive species information networks mentioned above. Using biological informatics to facilitate global information sharing is especially critical in invasive species science, as research has shown that one of the best indicators of the invasiveness of a species is whether it has been invasive elsewhere. Data must also be shared across disciplines because natural history information (e.g. diet, predators, habitat requirements, etc.) about a species in its native range is vital for effective prevention, detection, and rapid response to an invasion. Finally, it has been our

  10. Hybridization between alien species Rumex obtusifolius and closely related native vulnerable species R. longifolius in a mountain tourist destination

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Koichi; Hanyu, Masaaki

    2015-01-01

    Alien species expand their distribution by transportation network development. Hybridization between alien species Rumex obtusifolius and closely related native vulnerable species R. longifolius was examined in a mountain tourist destination in central Japan. The three taxa were morphologically identified in the field. Stem height and leaf area were greater in R. longifolius than R. obtusifolius; hybrids were intermediate between the two Rumex species. R. longifolius and the hybrids grew mainly in wet land and the river tributary; R. obtusifolius grew mainly at the roadside and in meadows. Hybrid germination rates of pollen and seeds were much lower than for the two Rumex species. Clustering analysis showed the three taxa each formed a cluster. Most hybrids were F1 generation; the possibility was low of introgression into the two Rumex species by backcross. This study clarified that (1) hybridization occurred between R. obtusifolius and R. longifolius because they occurred together in a small area, but grew in different water habitat conditions, and (2) hybridization was mostly F1 generation because hybrid pollen and seed fertility was low. However, we need caution about introgression into R. longifolius by R. obtusifolius in this area because of the slight possibility of F2 generation and backcrosses. PMID:26354180

  11. Hybridization between alien species Rumex obtusifolius and closely related native vulnerable species R. longifolius in a mountain tourist destination.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Koichi; Hanyu, Masaaki

    2015-09-10

    Alien species expand their distribution by transportation network development. Hybridization between alien species Rumex obtusifolius and closely related native vulnerable species R. longifolius was examined in a mountain tourist destination in central Japan. The three taxa were morphologically identified in the field. Stem height and leaf area were greater in R. longifolius than R. obtusifolius; hybrids were intermediate between the two Rumex species. R. longifolius and the hybrids grew mainly in wet land and the river tributary; R. obtusifolius grew mainly at the roadside and in meadows. Hybrid germination rates of pollen and seeds were much lower than for the two Rumex species. Clustering analysis showed the three taxa each formed a cluster. Most hybrids were F1 generation; the possibility was low of introgression into the two Rumex species by backcross. This study clarified that (1) hybridization occurred between R. obtusifolius and R. longifolius because they occurred together in a small area, but grew in different water habitat conditions, and (2) hybridization was mostly F1 generation because hybrid pollen and seed fertility was low. However, we need caution about introgression into R. longifolius by R. obtusifolius in this area because of the slight possibility of F2 generation and backcrosses.

  12. When does an alien become a native species? A vulnerable native mammal recognizes and responds to its long-term alien predator.

    PubMed

    Carthey, Alexandra J R; Banks, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The impact of alien predators on native prey populations is often attributed to prey naiveté towards a novel threat. Yet evolutionary theory predicts that alien predators cannot remain eternally novel; prey species must either become extinct or learn and adapt to the new threat. As local enemies lose their naiveté and coexistence becomes possible, an introduced species must eventually become 'native'. But when exactly does an alien become a native species? The dingo (Canis lupus dingo) was introduced to Australia about 4000 years ago, yet its native status remains disputed. To determine whether a vulnerable native mammal (Perameles nasuta) recognizes the close relative of the dingo, the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris), we surveyed local residents to determine levels of bandicoot visitation to yards with and without resident dogs. Bandicoots in this area regularly emerge from bushland to forage in residential yards at night, leaving behind tell-tale deep, conical diggings in lawns and garden beds. These diggings were less likely to appear at all, and appeared less frequently and in smaller quantities in yards with dogs than in yards with either resident cats (Felis catus) or no pets. Most dogs were kept indoors at night, meaning that bandicoots were not simply chased out of the yards or killed before they could leave diggings, but rather they recognized the threat posed by dogs and avoided those yards. Native Australian mammals have had thousands of years experience with wild dingoes, which are very closely related to domestic dogs. Our study suggests that these bandicoots may no longer be naïve towards dogs. We argue that the logical criterion for determining native status of a long-term alien species must be once its native enemies are no longer naïve.

  13. Effects of livestock watering sites on alien and native plants in the Mojave Desert, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.; Matchett, J.R.; Berry, K.H.

    2006-01-01

    Increased livestock densities near artificial watering sites create disturbance gradients called piospheres. We studied responses of alien and native annual plants and native perennial plants within 9 piospheres in the Mojave Desert of North America. Absolute and proportional cover of alien annual plants increased with proximity to watering sites, whereas cover and species richness of native annual plants decreased. Not all alien species responded the same, as the alien forb Erodium cicutarium and the alien grass Schismus spp. increased with proximity to watering sites, and the alien annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens decreased. Perennial plant cover and species richness also declined with proximity to watering sites, as did the structural diversity of perennial plant cover classes. Significant effects were focused within 200 m of the watering sites, suggesting that control efforts for alien annual plants and restoration efforts for native plants should optimally be focused within this central part of the piosphere gradient.

  14. Germination Response of Four Alien Congeneric Amaranthus Species to Environmental Factors.

    PubMed

    Hao, Jian-Hua; Lv, Shuang-Shuang; Bhattacharya, Saurav; Fu, Jian-Guo

    2017-01-01

    Seed germination is the key step for successful establishment, growth and further expansion of population especially for alien plants with annual life cycle. Traits like better adaptability and germination response were thought to be associated with plant invasion. However, there are not enough empirical studies correlating adaptation to environmental factors with germination response of alien invasive plants. In this study, we conducted congeneric comparisons of germination response to different environmental factors such as light, pH, NaCl, osmotic and soil burials among four alien amaranths that differ in invasiveness and have sympatric distribution in Jiangsu Province, China. The data were used to create three-parameter sigmoid and exponential decay models, which were fitted to cumulative germination and emergence curves. The results showed higher maximum Germination (Gmax), shorter time for 50% germination (G50) and the rapid slope (Grate) for Amaranthus blitum (low-invasive) and A. retroflexus (high-invasive) compare to intermediately invasive A. spinosus and A. viridis in all experimental regimes. It indicated that germination potential does not necessarily constitute a trait that can efficiently distinguish highly invasive and low invasive congeners in four Amaranthus species. However, it was showed that the germination performances of four amaranth species were more or less correlated with their worldwide distribution area. Therefore, the germination performance can be used as a reference indicator, but not an absolute trait for invasiveness. Our results also confirmed that superior germination performance in wide environmental conditions supplementing high seed productivity in highly invasive A. retroflexus might be one of the reasons for its prolific growth and wide distribution. These findings lay the foundation to develop more efficient weed management practice like deep burial of seeds by turning over soil and use of tillage agriculture to control

  15. Germination Response of Four Alien Congeneric Amaranthus Species to Environmental Factors

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Jian-Hua; Lv, Shuang-Shuang; Bhattacharya, Saurav; Fu, Jian-Guo

    2017-01-01

    Seed germination is the key step for successful establishment, growth and further expansion of population especially for alien plants with annual life cycle. Traits like better adaptability and germination response were thought to be associated with plant invasion. However, there are not enough empirical studies correlating adaptation to environmental factors with germination response of alien invasive plants. In this study, we conducted congeneric comparisons of germination response to different environmental factors such as light, pH, NaCl, osmotic and soil burials among four alien amaranths that differ in invasiveness and have sympatric distribution in Jiangsu Province, China. The data were used to create three-parameter sigmoid and exponential decay models, which were fitted to cumulative germination and emergence curves. The results showed higher maximum Germination (Gmax), shorter time for 50% germination (G50) and the rapid slope (Grate) for Amaranthus blitum (low-invasive) and A. retroflexus (high-invasive) compare to intermediately invasive A. spinosus and A. viridis in all experimental regimes. It indicated that germination potential does not necessarily constitute a trait that can efficiently distinguish highly invasive and low invasive congeners in four Amaranthus species. However, it was showed that the germination performances of four amaranth species were more or less correlated with their worldwide distribution area. Therefore, the germination performance can be used as a reference indicator, but not an absolute trait for invasiveness. Our results also confirmed that superior germination performance in wide environmental conditions supplementing high seed productivity in highly invasive A. retroflexus might be one of the reasons for its prolific growth and wide distribution. These findings lay the foundation to develop more efficient weed management practice like deep burial of seeds by turning over soil and use of tillage agriculture to control

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-04

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Canopy and knowledge gaps when invasive alien insects remove foundation species.

    PubMed

    Marler, Thomas E; Lawrence, John H

    2013-01-01

    The armored scale Aulacaspis yasumatsui invaded the northern range of the cycad Cycas micronesica in 2003, and epidemic tree mortality ensued due to a lack of natural enemies of the insect. We quantified cycad demographic responses to the invasion, but the ecological responses to the selective removal of this foundation species have not been addressed. We use this case to highlight information gaps in our understanding of how alien invasive phytophagous insects force cascading adverse ecosystem changes. The mechanistic role of unique canopy gaps, oceanic island examples and threatened foundation species with distinctive traits are three issues that deserve research efforts in a quest to understand this facet of ecosystem change occurring across multiple settings globally.

  1. Global threats from invasive alien species in the twenty-first century and national response capacities

    PubMed Central

    Early, Regan; Bradley, Bethany A.; Dukes, Jeffrey S.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Olden, Julian D.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Gonzalez, Patrick; Grosholz, Edwin D.; Ibañez, Ines; Miller, Luke P.; Sorte, Cascade J. B.; Tatem, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) threaten human livelihoods and biodiversity globally. Increasing globalization facilitates IAS arrival, and environmental changes, including climate change, facilitate IAS establishment. Here we provide the first global, spatial analysis of the terrestrial threat from IAS in light of twenty-first century globalization and environmental change, and evaluate national capacities to prevent and manage species invasions. We find that one-sixth of the global land surface is highly vulnerable to invasion, including substantial areas in developing economies and biodiversity hotspots. The dominant invasion vectors differ between high-income countries (imports, particularly of plants and pets) and low-income countries (air travel). Uniting data on the causes of introduction and establishment can improve early-warning and eradication schemes. Most countries have limited capacity to act against invasions. In particular, we reveal a clear need for proactive invasion strategies in areas with high poverty levels, high biodiversity and low historical levels of invasion. PMID:27549569

  2. BIOGEOGRAPHY. The dispersal of alien species redefines biogeography in the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Capinha, César; Essl, Franz; Seebens, Hanno; Moser, Dietmar; Pereira, Henrique Miguel

    2015-06-12

    It has been argued that globalization in human-mediated dispersal of species breaks down biogeographic boundaries, yet empirical tests are still missing. We used data on native and alien ranges of terrestrial gastropods to analyze dissimilarities in species composition among 56 globally distributed regions. We found that native ranges confirm the traditional biogeographic realms, reflecting natural dispersal limitations. However, the distributions of gastropods after human transport are primarily explained by the prevailing climate and, to a smaller extent, by distance and trade relationships. Our findings show that human-mediated dispersal is causing a breakdown of biogeographic barriers, and that climate and to some extent socioeconomic relationships will define biogeography in an era of global change.

  3. Global threats from invasive alien species in the twenty-first century and national response capacities.

    PubMed

    Early, Regan; Bradley, Bethany A; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Lawler, Joshua J; Olden, Julian D; Blumenthal, Dana M; Gonzalez, Patrick; Grosholz, Edwin D; Ibañez, Ines; Miller, Luke P; Sorte, Cascade J B; Tatem, Andrew J

    2016-08-23

    Invasive alien species (IAS) threaten human livelihoods and biodiversity globally. Increasing globalization facilitates IAS arrival, and environmental changes, including climate change, facilitate IAS establishment. Here we provide the first global, spatial analysis of the terrestrial threat from IAS in light of twenty-first century globalization and environmental change, and evaluate national capacities to prevent and manage species invasions. We find that one-sixth of the global land surface is highly vulnerable to invasion, including substantial areas in developing economies and biodiversity hotspots. The dominant invasion vectors differ between high-income countries (imports, particularly of plants and pets) and low-income countries (air travel). Uniting data on the causes of introduction and establishment can improve early-warning and eradication schemes. Most countries have limited capacity to act against invasions. In particular, we reveal a clear need for proactive invasion strategies in areas with high poverty levels, high biodiversity and low historical levels of invasion.

  4. Impacts of invading alien plant species on water flows at stand and catchment scales

    PubMed Central

    Le Maitre, D. C.; Gush, M. B.; Dzikiti, S.

    2015-01-01

    There have been many studies of the diverse impacts of invasions by alien plants but few have assessed impacts on water resources. We reviewed the information on the impacts of invasions on surface runoff and groundwater resources at stand to catchment scales and covering a full annual cycle. Most of the research is South African so the emphasis is on South Africa's major invaders with data from commercial forest plantations where relevant. Catchment studies worldwide have shown that changes in vegetation structure and the physiology of the dominant plant species result in changes in surface runoff and groundwater discharge, whether they involve native or alien plant species. Where there is little change in vegetation structure [e.g. leaf area (index), height, rooting depth and seasonality] the effects of invasions generally are small or undetectable. In South Africa, the most important woody invaders typically are taller and deeper rooted than the native species. The impacts of changes in evaporation (and thus runoff) in dryland settings are constrained by water availability to the plants and, thus, by rainfall. Where the dryland invaders are evergreen and the native vegetation (grass) is seasonal, the increases can reach 300–400 mm/year. Where the native vegetation is evergreen (shrublands) the increases are ∼200–300 mm/year. Where water availability is greater (riparian settings or shallow water tables), invading tree water-use can reach 1.5–2.0 times that of the same species in a dryland setting. So, riparian invasions have a much greater impact per unit area invaded than dryland invasions. The available data are scattered and incomplete, and there are many gaps and issues that must be addressed before a thorough understanding of the impacts at the site scale can be gained and used in extrapolating to watershed scales, and in converting changes in flows to water supply system yields. PMID:25935861

  5. 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.

  6. Which Factors Affect the Success or Failure of Eradication Campaigns against Alien Species?

    PubMed Central

    Pluess, Therese; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr; Cannon, Ray; Pergl, Jan; Breukers, Annemarie; Bacher, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Although issues related to the management of invasive alien species are receiving increasing attention, little is known about which factors affect the likelihood of success of management measures. We applied two data mining techniques, classification trees and boosted trees, to identify factors that relate to the success of management campaigns aimed at eradicating invasive alien invertebrates, plants and plant pathogens. We assembled a dataset of 173 different eradication campaigns against 94 species worldwide, about a half of which (50.9%) were successful. Eradications in man-made habitats, greenhouses in particular, were more likely to succeed than those in (semi-)natural habitats. In man-made habitats the probability of success was generally high in Australasia, while in Europe and the Americas it was higher for local infestations that are easier to deal with, and for international campaigns that are likely to profit from cross-border cooperation. In (semi-) natural habitats, eradication campaigns were more likely to succeed for plants introduced as an ornamental and escaped from cultivation prior to invasion. Averaging out all other factors in boosted trees, pathogens, bacteria and viruses were most, and fungi the least likely to be eradicated; for plants and invertebrates the probability was intermediate. Our analysis indicates that initiating the campaign before the extent of infestation reaches the critical threshold, starting to eradicate within the first four years since the problem has been noticed, paying special attention to species introduced by the cultivation pathway, and applying sanitary measures can substantially increase the probability of eradication success. Our investigations also revealed that information on socioeconomic factors, which are often considered to be crucial for eradication success, is rarely available, and thus their relative importance cannot be evaluated. Future campaigns should carefully document socioeconomic factors to

  7. Which factors affect the success or failure of eradication campaigns against alien species?

    PubMed

    Pluess, Therese; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr; Cannon, Ray; Pergl, Jan; Breukers, Annemarie; Bacher, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Although issues related to the management of invasive alien species are receiving increasing attention, little is known about which factors affect the likelihood of success of management measures. We applied two data mining techniques, classification trees and boosted trees, to identify factors that relate to the success of management campaigns aimed at eradicating invasive alien invertebrates, plants and plant pathogens. We assembled a dataset of 173 different eradication campaigns against 94 species worldwide, about a half of which (50.9%) were successful. Eradications in man-made habitats, greenhouses in particular, were more likely to succeed than those in (semi-)natural habitats. In man-made habitats the probability of success was generally high in Australasia, while in Europe and the Americas it was higher for local infestations that are easier to deal with, and for international campaigns that are likely to profit from cross-border cooperation. In (semi-) natural habitats, eradication campaigns were more likely to succeed for plants introduced as an ornamental and escaped from cultivation prior to invasion. Averaging out all other factors in boosted trees, pathogens, bacteria and viruses were most, and fungi the least likely to be eradicated; for plants and invertebrates the probability was intermediate. Our analysis indicates that initiating the campaign before the extent of infestation reaches the critical threshold, starting to eradicate within the first four years since the problem has been noticed, paying special attention to species introduced by the cultivation pathway, and applying sanitary measures can substantially increase the probability of eradication success. Our investigations also revealed that information on socioeconomic factors, which are often considered to be crucial for eradication success, is rarely available, and thus their relative importance cannot be evaluated. Future campaigns should carefully document socioeconomic factors to

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steck, Claude E.; Pautasso, Marco

    2008-11-01

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

  9. Geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-16

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

  11. Effects of invasive alien kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) on native plant species regeneration in a Hawaiian rainforest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Minden, V.; Jacobi, J.D.; Porembski, S.; Boehmer, H.J.

    2010-01-01

    Questions: Does the invasive alien Hedychium gardnerianum (1) replace native understory species, (2) suppress natural regeneration of native plant species, (3) increase the invasiveness of other non-native plants and (4) are native forests are able to recover after removal of H. gardnerianum. Location: A mature rainforest in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai'i (about 1200 m. a.s.l.; precipitation approximately 2770mm yr-1). Study sites included natural plots without effects of alien plants, ginger plots with a H. gardnerianum-domimted herb layer and cleared plots treated with herbicide to remove alien plants. Methods: Counting mature trees, saplings and seedlings of native and alien plant species. Using nonparametric H-tests to compare impact of H. gardnerianum on the structure of different sites. Results: Results confirmed the hypothesis that H. gardnerianum has negative effects on natural forest dynamics. Lower numbers of native tree seedlings and saplings were found on ginger-dominated plots. Furthermore, H. gardnerianum did not show negative effects on the invasive alien tree species Psidium cattleianum. Conclusions: This study reveals that where dominance of H. gardnerianum persists, regeneration of the forest by native species will be inhibited. Furthermore, these areas might experience invasion by P. cattleianum, resulting in displacement of native canopy species in the future, leading to a change in forest structure and loss of other species dependent on natural rainforest, such as endemic birds. However, if H. gardnerianum is removed the native Hawaiian forest is likely to regenerate and regain its natural structure. ?? 2009 International Association for Vegetation Science.

  12. 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 ...

  13. Dynamics and species richness of tropical rain forests.

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Foliar mono- and sesquiterpene contents in relation to leaf economic spectrum in native and alien species in Oahu (Hawai'i).

    PubMed

    Sardans, Jordi; Llusià, Joan; Niinemets, Ulo; Owen, Sue; Peñuelas, Josep

    2010-02-01

    Capacity for terpene production may confer advantage in protection against abiotic stresses such as heat and drought, and also against herbivore and pathogen attack. Plant invasive success has been intense in the Hawaiian islands, but little is known about terpene content in native and alien plant species on these islands. We conducted a screening of leaf terpene concentrations in 35 native and 38 alien dominant plant species on Oahu island. Ten (29%) of the 35 native species and 15 (39%) of the 38 alien species contained terpenes in the leaves. This is the first report of terpene content for the ten native species, and for 10 of the 15 alien species. A total of 156 different terpenes (54 monoterpenes and 102 sesquiterpenes) were detected. Terpene content had no phylogenetic significance among the studied species. Alien species contained significantly more terpenes in leaves (average+/-SE=1965+/-367 microg g(-1)) than native species (830+/-227 microg g(-1)). Alien species showed significantly higher photosynthetic capacity, N content, and lower Leaf Mass Area (LMA) than native species, and showed higher total terpene leaf content per N and P leaf content. Alien species, thus, did not follow the expected pattern of "excess carbon" in comparison with native species. Instead, patterns were consistent with the "nutrient driven synthesis" hypothesis. Comparing alien and native species, the results also support the modified Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) hypothesis that suggests that alien success may be favored by a defense system based on an increase in concentrations of less costly defenses (terpenes) against generalist herbivores.

  16. Native Freshwater Fish and Mussel Species Richness

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  17. Jack-of-all-trades: phenotypic plasticity facilitates the invasion of an alien slug species

    PubMed Central

    Knop, Eva; Reusser, Nik

    2012-01-01

    Invasive alien species might benefit from phenotypic plasticity by being able to (i) maintain fitness in stressful environments (‘robust’), (ii) increase fitness in favourable environments (‘opportunistic’), or (iii) combine both abilities (‘robust and opportunistic’). Here, we applied this framework, for the first time, to an animal, the invasive slug, Arion lusitanicus, and tested (i) whether it has a more adaptive phenotypic plasticity compared with a congeneric native slug, Arion fuscus, and (ii) whether it is robust, opportunistic or both. During one year, we exposed specimens of both species to a range of temperatures along an altitudinal gradient (700–2400 m a.s.l.) and to high and low food levels, and we compared the responsiveness of two fitness traits: survival and egg production. During summer, the invasive species had a more adaptive phenotypic plasticity, and at high temperatures and low food levels, it survived better and produced more eggs than A. fuscus, representing the robust phenotype. During winter, A. lusitanicus displayed a less adaptive phenotype than A. fuscus. We show that the framework developed for plants is also very useful for a better mechanistic understanding of animal invasions. Warmer summers and milder winters might lead to an expansion of this invasive species to higher altitudes and enhance its spread in the lowlands, supporting the concern that global climate change will increase biological invasions. PMID:23015630

  18. Modeling potential habitats for alien species Dreissena polymorpha in continental USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mingyang, Li; Yunwei, Ju; Kumar, Sunil; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    The effective measure to minimize the damage of invasive species is to block the potential invasive species to enter into suitable areas. 1864 occurrence points with GPS coordinates and 34 environmental variables from Daymet datasets were gathered, and 4 modeling methods, i.e., Logistic Regression (LR), Classification and Regression Trees (CART), Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Prediction (GARP), and maximum entropy method (Maxent), were introduced to generate potential geographic distributions for invasive species Dreissena polymorpha in Continental USA. Then 3 statistical criteria of the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (AUC), Pearson correlation (COR) and Kappa value were calculated to evaluate the performance of the models, followed by analyses on major contribution variables. Results showed that in terms of the 3 statistical criteria, the prediction results of the 4 ecological niche models were either excellent or outstanding, in which Maxent outperformed the others in 3 aspects of predicting current distribution habitats, selecting major contribution factors, and quantifying the influence of environmental variables on habitats. Distance to water, elevation, frequency of precipitation and solar radiation were 4 environmental forcing factors. The method suggested in the paper can have some reference meaning for modeling habitats of alien species in China and provide a direction to prevent Mytilopsis sallei on the Chinese coast line.

  19. Jack-of-all-trades: phenotypic plasticity facilitates the invasion of an alien slug species.

    PubMed

    Knop, Eva; Reusser, Nik

    2012-11-22

    Invasive alien species might benefit from phenotypic plasticity by being able to (i) maintain fitness in stressful environments ('robust'), (ii) increase fitness in favourable environments ('opportunistic'), or (iii) combine both abilities ('robust and opportunistic'). Here, we applied this framework, for the first time, to an animal, the invasive slug, Arion lusitanicus, and tested (i) whether it has a more adaptive phenotypic plasticity compared with a congeneric native slug, Arion fuscus, and (ii) whether it is robust, opportunistic or both. During one year, we exposed specimens of both species to a range of temperatures along an altitudinal gradient (700-2400 m a.s.l.) and to high and low food levels, and we compared the responsiveness of two fitness traits: survival and egg production. During summer, the invasive species had a more adaptive phenotypic plasticity, and at high temperatures and low food levels, it survived better and produced more eggs than A. fuscus, representing the robust phenotype. During winter, A. lusitanicus displayed a less adaptive phenotype than A. fuscus. We show that the framework developed for plants is also very useful for a better mechanistic understanding of animal invasions. Warmer summers and milder winters might lead to an expansion of this invasive species to higher altitudes and enhance its spread in the lowlands, supporting the concern that global climate change will increase biological invasions.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Horizon scanning for invasive alien species with the potential to threaten biodiversity in Great Britain

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Helen E; Peyton, Jodey; Aldridge, David C; Bantock, Tristan; Blackburn, Tim M; Britton, Robert; Clark, Paul; Cook, Elizabeth; Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina; Dines, Trevor; Dobson, Michael; Edwards, François; Harrower, Colin; Harvey, Martin C; Minchin, Dan; Noble, David G; Parrott, Dave; Pocock, Michael J O; Preston, Chris D; Roy, Sugoto; Salisbury, Andrew; Schönrogge, Karsten; Sewell, Jack; Shaw, Richard H; Stebbing, Paul; Stewart, Alan J A; Walker, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, particularly through their interactions with other drivers of change. Horizon scanning, the systematic examination of future potential threats and opportunities, leading to prioritization of IAS threats is seen as an essential component of IAS management. Our aim was to consider IAS that were likely to impact on native biodiversity but were not yet established in the wild in Great Britain. To achieve this, we developed an approach which coupled consensus methods (which have previously been used for collaboratively identifying priorities in other contexts) with rapid risk assessment. The process involved two distinct phases: Preliminary consultation with experts within five groups (plants, terrestrial invertebrates, freshwater invertebrates, vertebrates and marine species) to derive ranked lists of potential IAS.Consensus-building across expert groups to compile and rank the entire list of potential IAS. Five hundred and ninety-one species not native to Great Britain were considered. Ninety-three of these species were agreed to constitute at least a medium risk (based on score and consensus) with respect to them arriving, establishing and posing a threat to native biodiversity. The quagga mussel, Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, received maximum scores for risk of arrival, establishment and impact; following discussions the unanimous consensus was to rank it in the top position. A further 29 species were considered to constitute a high risk and were grouped according to their ranked risk. The remaining 63 species were considered as medium risk, and included in an unranked long list. The information collated through this novel extension of the consensus method for horizon scanning provides evidence for underpinning and prioritizing management both for the species and, perhaps more importantly, their pathways of arrival. Although our study focused on Great Britain, we suggest that

  4. Horizon scanning for invasive alien species with the potential to threaten biodiversity in Great Britain.

    PubMed

    Roy, Helen E; Peyton, Jodey; Aldridge, David C; Bantock, Tristan; Blackburn, Tim M; Britton, Robert; Clark, Paul; Cook, Elizabeth; Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina; Dines, Trevor; Dobson, Michael; Edwards, François; Harrower, Colin; Harvey, Martin C; Minchin, Dan; Noble, David G; Parrott, Dave; Pocock, Michael J O; Preston, Chris D; Roy, Sugoto; Salisbury, Andrew; Schönrogge, Karsten; Sewell, Jack; Shaw, Richard H; Stebbing, Paul; Stewart, Alan J A; Walker, Kevin J

    2014-12-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, particularly through their interactions with other drivers of change. Horizon scanning, the systematic examination of future potential threats and opportunities, leading to prioritization of IAS threats is seen as an essential component of IAS management. Our aim was to consider IAS that were likely to impact on native biodiversity but were not yet established in the wild in Great Britain. To achieve this, we developed an approach which coupled consensus methods (which have previously been used for collaboratively identifying priorities in other contexts) with rapid risk assessment. The process involved two distinct phases: Preliminary consultation with experts within five groups (plants, terrestrial invertebrates, freshwater invertebrates, vertebrates and marine species) to derive ranked lists of potential IAS. Consensus-building across expert groups to compile and rank the entire list of potential IAS. Five hundred and ninety-one species not native to Great Britain were considered. Ninety-three of these species were agreed to constitute at least a medium risk (based on score and consensus) with respect to them arriving, establishing and posing a threat to native biodiversity. The quagga mussel, Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, received maximum scores for risk of arrival, establishment and impact; following discussions the unanimous consensus was to rank it in the top position. A further 29 species were considered to constitute a high risk and were grouped according to their ranked risk. The remaining 63 species were considered as medium risk, and included in an unranked long list. The information collated through this novel extension of the consensus method for horizon scanning provides evidence for underpinning and prioritizing management both for the species and, perhaps more importantly, their pathways of arrival. Although our study focused on Great Britain, we suggest

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

    PubMed

    Kozak, Kenneth H; Wiens, John J

    2016-11-01

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

  6. Newly emergent and future threats of alien species to Pacific birds and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Howarth, Francis G.; Kraus, Frederick; Pratt, Thane K.

    2001-01-01

    Although the devastating effects of established alien species to Pacific birds and ecosystems are generally well recognized by the avian conservation community, we raise the under appreciated issue of effects of incipient and future invasions. Although special attention to Pacific bird species “on the brink” is to a certain extent appropriate and necessary, a comparable focus on stopping new invasions appears desperately needed. All indications suggest that introductions will escalate with the trend toward ever increasing commerce and unrestricted trade unless stronger preventative measures are implemented very soon. The threat to Pacific island avifaunas from the brown tree snake (Bniga irregularis) is well-known, but as many as several hundred of the world’s snake species, some of which are repeatedly smuggled illegally as pets, might have similar impacts on native birds if transported to Pacific islands. We touch upon a sampling of obviously severe potential future threats, with the hope of raising awareness and resolve to fix the current woefully inadequate system for prevention of and rapid response to new invasions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Contrasting impacts of climate-driven flowering phenology on changes in alien and native plant species distributions.

    PubMed

    Hulme, Philip E

    2011-01-01

    • Plant phenology is particularly sensitive to climate and a key indicator of environmental change. Globally, first flowering dates (FFDs) have advanced by several days per decade in response to recent climate warming, but, while earlier flowering should allow plant distributions to increase, a link between FFD and range changes has not been observed. • Here I show for 347 species that the extent to which FFD has responded to climate warming is linked to the degree to which their relative distributions have changed over 30 yr across the British Isles. • Native plant species whose phenology did not track climate change declined in distribution, whereas species that became more widespread all exhibited earlier flowering. In contrast, alien neophytes showed both a stronger phenological response to warming and a more marked increase in distribution, but no link between the two. • These trends were consistent both for relative changes in the national distribution and for local abundance. At the national scale, the more recently an alien species became established in Britain, the more likely it was to increase in distribution irrespective of FFD, suggesting that recent changes in alien species distributions are decoupled from climate and driven by other factors.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-13

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmermann, A.; Zimmermann, B.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Johnson, Catherine; Schweinhart, Shelbye; Buffam, Ishi

    2016-10-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  3. Extinction of an introduced warm-climate alien species, Xenopus laevis, by extreme weather events.

    PubMed

    Tinsley, Richard C; Stott, Lucy C; Viney, Mark E; Mable, Barbara K; Tinsley, Matthew C

    Invasive, non-native species represent a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. The African amphibian Xenopus laevis is widely regarded as an invasive species and a threat to local faunas. Populations originating at the Western Cape, South Africa, have been introduced on four continents, mostly in areas with a similar Mediterranean climate. Some introduced populations are also established in cooler environments where persistence for many decades suggests a capacity for long-term adaptation. In these cases, recent climate warming might enhance invasion ability, favouring range expansion, population growth and negative effects on native faunas. In the cool temperate UK, populations have been established for about 50 years in Wales and for an unknown period, probably >20 years, in England (Lincolnshire). Our field studies over 30 and 10 years, respectively, show that in favourable conditions there may be good recruitment, fast individual growth rates and large body size; maximum longevity exceeds 23 years. Nevertheless, areas of distribution remained limited, with numbers <500 in each population. In 2010, only a single individual was captured at each locality and further searching failed to record any others in repeated sampling up to 2014. We conclude that both populations are now extinct. The winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 experienced extreme cold and drought (December 2010 was the coldest in 120 years and the third driest in 100 years). The extinction of X. laevis in these areas indicates that even relatively long-established alien species remain vulnerable to rare extreme weather conditions.

  4. Perception and Understanding of Invasive Alien Species Issues by Nature Conservation and Horticulture Professionals in Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Piqueray, Julien; Halford, Mathieu; Nulens, Greet; Vincke, Jan; Mahy, Grégory

    2011-03-01

    We conducted a survey to determine how two professional sectors in Belgium, horticulture professionals and nature reserve managers (those directly involved in conservation), view the issues associated with invasive plant species. We developed and utilized a questionnaire that addressed the themes of awareness, concept and use of language, availability of information, impacts and, finally, control and available solutions. Using co-inertia analyses, we tested to what extent the perception of invasive alien species (IAS) was dependent upon the perception of Nature in general. Only forty-two percent of respondent horticulture professionals and eighty-two percent of nature reserve managers had a general knowledge of IAS. Many individuals in both target groups nonetheless had an accurate understanding of the scientific issues. Our results therefore suggest that the manner in which individuals within the two groups view, or perceive, the IAS issue was more the result of lack of information than simply biased perceptions of target groups. Though IAS perceptions by the two groups diverged, they were on par with how they viewed Nature in general. The descriptions of IAS by participants converged with the ideas and concepts frequently found in the scientific literature. Both managers and horticulture professionals expressed a strong willingness to participate in programs designed to prevent the spread of, and damage caused by, IAS. Despite this, the continued commercial availability of many invasive species highlighted the necessity to use both mandatory and voluntary approaches to reduce their re-introduction and spread. The results of this study provide stakeholders and conservation managers with practical information on which communication and management strategies can be based.

  5. Salmonella infection in green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), an invasive alien species on Chichi Island of the Ogasawara archipelago in Japan.

    PubMed

    Sumiyama, Daisuke; Izumiya, Hidemasa; Kanazawa, Tomoko; Murata, Koichi

    2014-03-01

    We investigated the presence of Salmonella in the green anole (Anolis carolinensis), an invasive alien species on Chichi Island, Japan. Samples were also collected from feral goats and public toilets on the island to examine infectious routes. Salmonellae were isolated from 27.1% of 199 samples; 32.6% of 141 cloacal samples from anoles, 62.5% of 8 intestinal samples from anole carcasses, 16.7% of 12 fecal samples from goats and 2.6% of 38 toilet bowl swabs. The serotype of most isolates was Salmonella Oranienburg (94.4% of 54). Although we did not confirm the infection pathways, our results indicated that green anoles are a risk factor as a source of Salmonella for public health. It is important to consider endemic pathogens that may be amplified by alien species within their introduced areas.

  6. Analyzing the social factors that influence willingness to pay for invasive alien species management under two different strategies: eradication and prevention.

    PubMed

    García-Llorente, Marina; Martín-López, Berta; Nunes, Paulo A L D; González, José A; Alcorlo, Paloma; Montes, Carlos

    2011-09-01

    Biological invasions occur worldwide, and have been the object of ecological and socio-economic research for decades. However, the manner in which different stakeholder groups identify the problems associated with invasive species and confront invasive species management under different policies remains poorly understood. In this study, we conducted an econometric analysis of the social factors influencing willingness to pay for invasive alien species management under two different regimes: eradication and prevention in the Doñana Natural Protected Area (SW Spain). Controlling for the participation of local residents, tourists and conservationists, email and face-to-face questionnaires were conducted. Results indicated that respondents were more willing to pay for eradication than prevention; and public support for invasive alien species management was influenced by an individual's knowledge and perception of invasive alien species, active interest in nature, and socio-demographic attributes. We concluded that invasive alien species management research should confront the challenges to engage stakeholders and accept any tradeoffs necessary to modify different conservation policies to ensure effective management is implemented. Finally, our willingness to pay estimates suggest the Department of Environment of Andalusian Government has suitable social support to meet the budgetary expenditures required for invasive alien species plans and adequate resources to justify an increase in the invasive alien species management budget.

  7. Analyzing the Social Factors That Influence Willingness to Pay for Invasive Alien Species Management Under Two Different Strategies: Eradication and Prevention

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Llorente, Marina; Martín-López, Berta; Nunes, Paulo A. L. D.; González, José A.; Alcorlo, Paloma; Montes, Carlos

    2011-09-01

    Biological invasions occur worldwide, and have been the object of ecological and socio-economic research for decades. However, the manner in which different stakeholder groups identify the problems associated with invasive species and confront invasive species management under different policies remains poorly understood. In this study, we conducted an econometric analysis of the social factors influencing willingness to pay for invasive alien species management under two different regimes: eradication and prevention in the Doñana Natural Protected Area (SW Spain). Controlling for the participation of local residents, tourists and conservationists, email and face-to-face questionnaires were conducted. Results indicated that respondents were more willing to pay for eradication than prevention; and public support for invasive alien species management was influenced by an individual's knowledge and perception of invasive alien species, active interest in nature, and socio-demographic attributes. We concluded that invasive alien species management research should confront the challenges to engage stakeholders and accept any tradeoffs necessary to modify different conservation policies to ensure effective management is implemented. Finally, our willingness to pay estimates suggest the Department of Environment of Andalusian Government has suitable social support to meet the budgetary expenditures required for invasive alien species plans and adequate resources to justify an increase in the invasive alien species management budget.

  8. The large‐scale removal of mammalian invasive alien species in Northern Europe

    PubMed Central

    Adriaens, Tim; Lambin, Xavier; Mill, Aileen; Roy, Sugoto; Shuttleworth, Craig M; Sutton‐Croft, Mike

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Numerous examples exist of successful mammalian invasive alien species (IAS) eradications from small islands (<10 km2), but few from more extensive areas. We review 15 large‐scale removals (mean area 2627 km2) from Northern Europe since 1900, including edible dormouse, muskrat, coypu, Himalayan porcupine, Pallas' and grey squirrels and American mink, each primarily based on daily checking of static traps. Objectives included true eradication or complete removal to a buffer zone, as distinct from other programmes that involved local control to limit damage or spread. Twelve eradication/removal programmes (80%) were successful. Cost increased with and was best predicted by area, while the cost per unit area decreased; the number of individual animals removed did not add significantly to the model. Doubling the area controlled reduced cost per unit area by 10%, but there was no evidence that cost effectiveness had increased through time. Compared with small islands, larger‐scale programmes followed similar patterns of effort in relation to area. However, they brought challenges when defining boundaries and consequent uncertainties around costs, the definition of their objectives, confirmation of success and different considerations for managing recolonisation. Novel technologies or increased use of volunteers may reduce costs. Rapid response to new incursions is recommended as best practice rather than large‐scale control to reduce the environmental, financial and welfare costs. © 2016 Crown copyright. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry. PMID:26733319

  9. The large-scale removal of mammalian invasive alien species in Northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Peter A; Adriaens, Tim; Lambin, Xavier; Mill, Aileen; Roy, Sugoto; Shuttleworth, Craig M; Sutton-Croft, Mike

    2017-02-01

    Numerous examples exist of successful mammalian invasive alien species (IAS) eradications from small islands (<10 km(2) ), but few from more extensive areas. We review 15 large-scale removals (mean area 2627 km(2) ) from Northern Europe since 1900, including edible dormouse, muskrat, coypu, Himalayan porcupine, Pallas' and grey squirrels and American mink, each primarily based on daily checking of static traps. Objectives included true eradication or complete removal to a buffer zone, as distinct from other programmes that involved local control to limit damage or spread. Twelve eradication/removal programmes (80%) were successful. Cost increased with and was best predicted by area, while the cost per unit area decreased; the number of individual animals removed did not add significantly to the model. Doubling the area controlled reduced cost per unit area by 10%, but there was no evidence that cost effectiveness had increased through time. Compared with small islands, larger-scale programmes followed similar patterns of effort in relation to area. However, they brought challenges when defining boundaries and consequent uncertainties around costs, the definition of their objectives, confirmation of success and different considerations for managing recolonisation. Novel technologies or increased use of volunteers may reduce costs. Rapid response to new incursions is recommended as best practice rather than large-scale control to reduce the environmental, financial and welfare costs. © 2016 Crown copyright. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

  10. Optimal and robust control of invasive alien species spreading in homogeneous landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Carrasco, L. R.; Baker, R.; MacLeod, A.; Knight, J. D.; Mumford, J. D.

    2010-01-01

    Government agencies lack robust modelling tools to manage the spread of invasive alien species (IAS). In this paper, we combine optimal control and simulation methods with biological invasion spread theory to estimate the type of optimal policy and switching point of control efforts against a spreading IAS. We employ information-gap (info-gap) theory to assess how the optimal solutions differ from a policy that is most robustly immune to unacceptable outcomes. The model is applied to the potential invasion of the Colorado potato beetle in the UK. Under no uncertainty, we demonstrate that for many of the parameter combinations the optimal control policy corresponds to slowing down the invasion. The info-gap analysis shows that eradication policies identified as optimal under no uncertainty are robustly the best policies even under severe uncertainty, i.e. even if they are likely to turn into slowing down policies. We also show that the control of satellite colonies, if identified as optimal under no uncertainty, will also be a robust slowing down policy for IAS that can spread by long distance dispersal even for relatively ineffective control measures. The results suggest that agencies adopt management strategies that are robustly optimal, despite the severe uncertainties they face. PMID:19740923

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Ecological impacts of invasive alien species along temperature gradients: testing the role of environmental matching.

    PubMed

    Iacarella, Josephine C; Dick, Jaimie T A; Alexander, Mhairi E; Ricciardi, Anthony

    2015-04-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) can cause substantive ecological impacts, and the role of temperature in mediating these impacts may become increasingly significant in a changing climate. Habitat conditions and physiological optima offer predictive information for IAS impacts in novel environments. Here, using meta-analysis and laboratory experiments, we tested the hypothesis that the impacts of IAS in the field are inversely correlated with the difference in their ambient and optimal temperatures. A meta-analysis of 29 studies of consumptive impacts of IAS in inland waters revealed that the impacts of fishes and crustaceans are higher at temperatures that more closely match their thermal growth optima. In particular, the maximum impact potential was constrained by increased differences between ambient and optimal temperatures, as indicated by the steeper slope of a quantile regression on the upper 25th percentile of impact data compared to that of a weighted linear regression on all data with measured variances. We complemented this study with an experimental analysis of the functional response (the relationship between predation rate and prey supply) of two invasive predators (freshwater mysid shrimp, Hemimysis anomala and Mysis diluviana) across. relevant temperature gradients; both of these species have previously been found to exert strong community-level impacts that are corroborated by their functional responses to different prey items. The functional response experiments showed that maximum feeding rates of H. anomala and M. diluviana have distinct peaks near their respective thermal optima. Although variation in impacts may be caused by numerous abiotic or biotic habitat characteristics, both our analyses point to temperature as a key mediator of IAS impact levels in inland waters and suggest that IAS management should prioritize habitats in the invaded range that more closely match the thermal optima of targeted invaders.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raibaut, André; Combes, Claude; Benoit, Françoise

    1998-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wilby, Andrew; Orwin, Kate H

    2013-08-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. The amathiiform Ctenostomata (phylum Bryozoa) of New Zealand--including four new species, two of them of probable alien origin.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Dennis P; Spencer-Jones, Mary

    2013-01-01

    The status of the vesiculariid ctenostome genus Amathia in New Zealand has been evaluated on the basis of all known material, including historic specimens in museums and those newly collected during formal surveillance of ports, harbours and vessels for possible alien species. Eight species are recognised, four of them new to science. Amathia gracei n. sp. and Amathia zealandica n. sp. are the only apparently endemic species. Amathia chimonidesi n. sp. appears to be a previously unrecognised alien species and is known only from shipping harbours and/or yacht marinas and some nearby beaches. Amathia similis n. sp. has been known in the Auckland area since the 1960s but was confused with A. distans Busk. Amathia bicornis (Tenison-Woods), A. biseriata Krauss, A. lamourouxi Chimonides and A. wilsoni Kirkpatrick are Australasian species that occur naturally on both sides of the Tasman Sea. Of this latter group, A. bicornis was discovered only at a single locality on the southwest coast of North Island in 1983 on a fucoid seaweed and it may be relatively re-cently self-introduced. A specimen of A. lendigera (Linnaeus) in the Museum of New Zealand, purportedly from Napier, is considered to be based on a misunderstanding or a labelling error and does not represent a failed alien introduction. The Amathia-like vesiculariid Bowerbankia citrina (Hincks) sensu lato is newly recorded for New Zealand. Keys are provided to the amathiiform (i.e. Amathia and Amathia-like) Ctenostomata of New Zealand and to the worldwide species of Amathia and Bowerbankia with zooid clusters spiralled on stoloniform axes.

  19. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Regional diversity reverses the negative impacts of an alien predator on local species-poor communities.

    PubMed

    Loewen, Charlie J G; Vinebrooke, Rolf D

    2016-10-01

    Species diversity is often an implicit source of biological insurance for communities against the impacts of novel perturbations, such as the introduction of an invasive species. High environmental heterogeneity (e.g., a mountainous gradient) is expected to beget greater regional species diversity and variation in functional traits related to environmental tolerances. Thus, heterogeneous metacommunities are expected to provide more tolerant colonists that buffer stressed local communities in the absence of dispersal limitation. We tested the hypothesis that importation of a regional zooplankton pool assembled from a diverse array of lakes and ponds lessens the impacts of a novel predator on local species-poor alpine communities by increasing response diversity (i.e., diversity of tolerances to environmental change) as mediated by variation in functional traits related to predator evasion. We also tested whether impacts varied with temperature, as warming may modify (e.g., dampen or amplify) invasion effects. An eight-week factorial experiment ([fishless vs. introduced Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout)] × [ambient temperature vs. heated] × [local vs. local + regional species pool]) was conducted using 32 1,000-L mesocosms. Associations between experimental treatments and species functional traits were tested by R-mode linked to Q-mode (RLQ) and fourth-corner analyses. Although the introduced predator suppressed local species richness and community biomass, colonization by several montane zooplankters reversed these negative effects, resulting in increased species diversity and production. Invasion resistance was unaffected by higher temperatures, which failed to elicit any significance impacts on the community. We discovered that the smaller body sizes of imported species drove functional overcompensation (i.e., increased production) in invaded communities. The observed ecological surprise showed how regionally sourced biodiversity from a highly

  2. 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

  3. Spatial distribution and temporal trends of soft-bottom marine benthic alien species collected during the period 1989-2008 in the Nervión estuary (southeastern Bay of Biscay)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zorita, Izaskun; Solaun, Oihana; Borja, Angel; Franco, Javier; Muxika, Iñigo; Pascual, Marta

    2013-10-01

    As the introduction of alien species represents one of the most important causes of biodiversity loss, it is crucial to study the distribution of alien species in order to control or eradicate their introduction and spread. Thus, the present study aimed to analyse the spatial distribution and temporal trends of soft-bottom marine benthic alien species collected during 20 years in the Nervión estuary, southeastern Bay of Biscay. Results indicated that, from a total of 6688 species records, 117 corresponded to alien species. Likewise, from a total of 742 different species identified, 23 species were classified as alien species. The two most frequently recorded alien species, Pseudopolydora paucibranchiata and Monocorophium acherusicum, appeared mainly at the intermediate part of the estuary that suffered historically an intense pollution. The presence and abundance of soft-bottom alien species became more evident since the mid-nineties, when the widening of the Bilbao Harbour occurred, together with a water quality improvement and the industry decline. Finally, although the identified alien species are considered as not invasive, the spread of alien species in the estuary might be considered as a threat.

  4. 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

  5. Dominance and environmental correlates of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.; Berry, K.H.

    2006-01-01

    Land managers are concerned about the negative effects of alien annual plants on native plants, threatened and endangered species such as the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), and ecosystem integrity in the Mojave Desert. Management of alien plants is hampered by a lack of information regarding the dominance and environmental correlates of these species. The results of this study indicate that alien plant species comprised a small fraction of the total annual plant flora, but most of the annual plant community biomass. When rainfall was high in 1995, aliens comprised 6% of the flora and 66% of the biomass. When rainfall was low in 1999, aliens comprised 27% of the flora and 91% of the biomass. Bromus rubens, Schismus spp. (S. arabicus and S. barbatus), and Erodium cicutarium were the predominant alien species during both years, comprising 99% of the alien biomass. B. rubens was more abundant in relatively mesic microhabitats beneath shrub canopies and at higher elevations above 800-1000 m, whereas Schismus spp. and E. cicutarium were more abundant in the relatively arid interspaces between shrubs, and, for Schismus spp., at lower elevations as well. Disturbance variables were more reliable indicators of alien dominance than were productivity or native plant diversity variables, although relationships often varied between years of contrasting rainfall. The strongest environmental correlates occurred between dirt road density and alien species richness and biomass of E. cicutarium, and between frequency and size of fires and biomass of B. rubens.

  6. Alien plant dynamics following fire in mediterranean-climate California shrublands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Baer-Keeley, M.; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2005-01-01

    Over 75 species of alien plants were recorded during the first five years after fire in southern California shrublands, most of which were European annuals. Both cover and richness of aliens varied between years and plant association. Alien cover was lowest in the first postfire year in all plant associations and remained low during succession in chaparral but increased in sage scrub. Alien cover and richness were significantly correlated with year (time since disturbance) and with precipitation in both coastal and interior sage scrub associations. Hypothesized factors determining alien dominance were tested with structural equation modeling. Models that included nitrogen deposition and distance from the coast were not significant, but with those variables removed we obtained a significant model that gave an R2 = 0.60 for the response variable of fifth year alien dominance. Factors directly affecting alien dominance were (1) woody canopy closure and (2) alien seed banks. Significant indirect effects were (3) fire intensity, (4) fire history, (5) prefire stand structure, (6) aridity, and (7) community type. According to this model the most critical factor influencing aliens is the rapid return of the shrub and subshrub canopy. Thus, in these communities a single functional type (woody plants) appears to the most critical element controlling alien invasion and persistence. Fire history is an important indirect factor because it affects both prefire stand structure and postfire alien seed banks. Despite being fire-prone ecosystems, these shrublands are not adapted to fire per se, but rather to a particular fire regime. Alterations in the fire regime produce a very different selective environment, and high fire frequency changes the selective regime to favor aliens. This study does not support the widely held belief that prescription burning is a viable management practice for controlling alien species on semiarid landscapes. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of

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

    PubMed

    Stirling, G; Wilsey, B

    2001-09-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Temperature and species richness effects in phytoplankton communities.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  10. Impact of alien pines on local arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities-evidence from two continents.

    PubMed

    Gazol, Antonio; Zobel, Martin; Cantero, Juan José; Davison, John; Esler, Karen J; Jairus, Teele; Öpik, Maarja; Vasar, Martti; Moora, Mari

    2016-06-01

    The introduction of alien plants can influence biodiversity and ecosystems. However, its consequences for soil microbial communities remain poorly understood. We addressed the impact of alien ectomycorrhizal (EcM) pines on local arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities in two regions with contrasting biogeographic histories: in South Africa, where no native EcM plant species are present; and in Argentina, where EcM trees occur naturally. The effect of alien pines on AM fungal communities differed between these regions. In South Africa, plantations of alien EcM pines exhibited lower AM fungal richness and significantly altered community composition, compared with native fynbos. In Argentina, the richness and composition of local AM fungal communities were similar in plantations of alien EcM pines and native forest. However, the presence of alien pines resulted in slight changes to the phylogenetic structure of root AM fungal communities in both regions. In pine clearcut areas in South Africa, the richness and composition of AM fungal communities were intermediate between the native fynbos and the alien pine plantation, which is consistent with natural regeneration of former AM fungal communities following pine removal. We conclude that the response of local AM fungal communities to alien EcM pines differs between biogeographic regions with different histories of species coexistence.

  11. 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

  12. Thermal pollution and settlement of new tropical alien species: The case of Grateloupia yinggehaiensis (Rhodophyta) in the Venice Lagoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, M. A.; Sfriso, A.; Moro, I.

    2014-06-01

    The Venice Lagoon has become increasingly affected by the introduction of allochthonous macroalgae mainly coming from the Indo-Pacific area. In consequence to the recent climate changes and temperature increase, such species could simply find numerous habitats suitable for their growth. One local process that contributes to water temperature changes is thermal pollution. In this study we used the DNA barcoding method to identify a new alien macroalgal species, Grateloupia yinggehaiensis Wang et Luan (Rhodophyta), found near the industrial area of Porto Marghera (Venice, Italy) hosting the Fusina thermoelectric power plant. The microclimate of this area has enabled the spread of this species native of the tropical area of the Hainan Province (China) and probably introduced in the Mediterranean Sea via shellfish transfers.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Groendahl, Sophie; Fink, Patrick

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Macroparasite fauna of alien grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis): composition, variability and implications for native species.

    PubMed

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A; Ferrari, Nicola; Lanfranchi, Paolo; Martinoli, Adriano; Pisanu, Benoît; Preatoni, Damiano G; Saino, Nicola

    2014-01-01

    Introduced hosts populations may benefit of an "enemy release" through impoverishment of parasite communities made of both few imported species and few acquired local ones. Moreover, closely related competing native hosts can be affected by acquiring introduced taxa (spillover) and by increased transmission risk of native parasites (spillback). We determined the macroparasite fauna of invasive grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy to detect any diversity loss, introduction of novel parasites or acquisition of local ones, and analysed variation in parasite burdens to identify factors that may increase transmission risk for native red squirrels (S. vulgaris). Based on 277 grey squirrels sampled from 7 populations characterised by different time scales in introduction events, we identified 7 gastro-intestinal helminths and 4 parasite arthropods. Parasite richness is lower than in grey squirrel's native range and independent from introduction time lags. The most common parasites are Nearctic nematodes Strongyloides robustus (prevalence: 56.6%) and Trichostrongylus calcaratus (6.5%), red squirrel flea Ceratophyllus sciurorum (26.0%) and Holarctic sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri (17.7%). All other parasites are European or cosmopolitan species with prevalence below 5%. S. robustus abundance is positively affected by host density and body mass, C. sciurorum abundance increases with host density and varies with seasons. Overall, we show that grey squirrels in Italy may benefit of an enemy release, and both spillback and spillover processes towards native red squirrels may occur.

  17. Macroparasite Fauna of Alien Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis): Composition, Variability and Implications for Native Species

    PubMed Central

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A.; Ferrari, Nicola; Lanfranchi, Paolo; Martinoli, Adriano; Pisanu, Benoît; Preatoni, Damiano G.; Saino, Nicola

    2014-01-01

    Introduced hosts populations may benefit of an "enemy release" through impoverishment of parasite communities made of both few imported species and few acquired local ones. Moreover, closely related competing native hosts can be affected by acquiring introduced taxa (spillover) and by increased transmission risk of native parasites (spillback). We determined the macroparasite fauna of invasive grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy to detect any diversity loss, introduction of novel parasites or acquisition of local ones, and analysed variation in parasite burdens to identify factors that may increase transmission risk for native red squirrels (S. vulgaris). Based on 277 grey squirrels sampled from 7 populations characterised by different time scales in introduction events, we identified 7 gastro-intestinal helminths and 4 parasite arthropods. Parasite richness is lower than in grey squirrel's native range and independent from introduction time lags. The most common parasites are Nearctic nematodes Strongyloides robustus (prevalence: 56.6%) and Trichostrongylus calcaratus (6.5%), red squirrel flea Ceratophyllus sciurorum (26.0%) and Holarctic sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri (17.7%). All other parasites are European or cosmopolitan species with prevalence below 5%. S. robustus abundance is positively affected by host density and body mass, C. sciurorum abundance increases with host density and varies with seasons. Overall, we show that grey squirrels in Italy may benefit of an enemy release, and both spillback and spillover processes towards native red squirrels may occur. PMID:24505348

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-05-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Does coevolution promote species richness in parasitic cuckoos?

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. The invasion of five alien species in the Delta do Parnaíba Environmental Protection Area, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Loebmann, Daniel; Mai, Ana Cecília G; Lee, James T

    2010-09-01

    Marine biological invasions have been regarded as one of the major causes of native biodiversity loss, with shipping and aquaculture being the leading contributors for the introductions of alien species in aquatic ecosystems. In the present study, five aquatic alien species (one mollusk, three crustaceans and one fish species) were detected during dives, shore searches and from the fisheries on the coast of the Delta do Parnaíba Environmental Protection Area, in the States of Piauí and Maranhão, Northeastern Brazil. The species were the bicolor purse-oyster Isognomon bicolor, the whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei, the giant river prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii, the Indo-Pacific swimming crab Charybdis hellerii and, the muzzled blenny Omobranchus punctatus. Ballast water (I. bicolor, C. hellerii, and O. punctatus) and aquaculture activities (L. vannamei and M. rosenbergii) in adjacent areas are the most likely vectors of introduction. All exotic species found have potential impact risks to the environment because they are able to compete against native species for resources (food and habitat). Isognomon bicolor share the same habitat and food items with the native bivalve species of mussels and barnacles. Litopenaeus vannamei share the same habitat and food items with the native penaeids such as the pinkspot shrimp Farfantepenaeus brasiliensis, the Southern brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus subtilis, and the Southern white shrimp Litopenaeus schmitti, and in the past few years L. vannamei was responsible for a viral epidemics in the cultivation tanks that could be transmitted to native penaeid shrimps. Charybdis hellerii is also able to cause impacts on the local fisheries as the species can decrease the populations of native portunid crabs which are commercialized in the studied region. Macrobrachium rosenbergii may be sharing natural resources with the Amazon River prawn Macrobrachium amazonicum. Omobranchus punctatus shares habit with the native redlip blenny

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  6. Recovery of endemic dragonflies after removal of invasive alien trees.

    PubMed

    Samways, Michael J; Sharratt, Norma J

    2010-02-01

    Because dragonflies are very sensitive to alien trees, we assessed their response to large-scale restoration of riparian corridors. We compared three types of disturbance regime--alien invaded, cleared of alien vegetation, and natural vegetation (control)--and recorded data on 22 environmental variables. The most significant variables in determining dragonfly assemblages were percentage of bank cover and tree canopy cover, which indicates the importance of vegetation architecture for these dragonflies. This finding suggests that it is important to restore appropriate marginal vegetation and sunlight conditions. Recovery of dragonfly assemblages after the clearing of alien trees was substantial. Species richness and abundance at restored sites matched those at control sites. Dragonfly assemblage patterns reflected vegetation succession. Thus, initially eurytopic, widespread species were the main beneficiaries of the removal of alien trees, and stenotopic, endemic species appeared after indigenous vegetation recovered over time. Important indicator species were the two national endemics (Allocnemis leucosticta and Pseudagrion furcigerum), which, along with vegetation type, can be used to monitor return of overall integrity of riparian ecology and to make management decisions. Endemic species as a whole responded positively to restoration, which suggests that indigenous vegetation recovery has major benefits for irreplaceable and widespread generalist species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Root-inhabiting fungi in alien plant species in relation to invasion status and soil chemical properties.

    PubMed

    Majewska, Marta L; Błaszkowski, Janusz; Nobis, Marcin; Rola, Kaja; Nobis, Agnieszka; Łakomiec, Daria; Czachura, Paweł; Zubek, Szymon

    In order to recognize interactions between alien vascular plants and soil microorganisms and thus better understand the mechanisms of plant invasions, we examined the mycorrhizal status, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonization rate, arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) morphology and presence of fungal root endophytes in 37 non-native species in Central Europe. We also studied the AMF diversity and chemical properties of soils from under these species. The plant and soil materials were collected in southern Poland. We found that 35 of the species formed AM and their mycorrhizal status depended on species identity. Thirty-three taxa had AM of Arum-type alone. Lycopersicon esculentum showed intermediate AM morphology and Eragrostis albensis developed both Arum and Paris. The mycelia of dark septate endophytes (DSE) were observed in 32 of the species, while sporangia of Olpidium spp. were found in the roots of 10. Thirteen common and worldwide occurring AMF species as well as three unidentified spore morphotypes were isolated from trap cultures established with the soils from under the plant species. Claroideoglomus claroideum, Funneliformis mosseae and Septoglomus constrictum were found the most frequently. The presence of root-inhabiting fungi and the intensity of their colonization were not correlated with soil chemical properties, plant invasion status, their local abundance and habitat type. No relationships were also found between the presence of AMF, DSE and Olpidium spp. These suggest that other edaphic conditions, plant and fungal species identity or the abundance of these fungi in soils might have an impact on the occurrence and intensity of fungal root colonization in the plants under study.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Richards, Zoe T; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Regional climate model downscaling may improve the prediction of alien plant species distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shuyan; Liang, Xin-Zhong; Gao, Wei; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2014-12-01

    Distributions of invasive species are commonly predicted with species distribution models that build upon the statistical relationships between observed species presence data and climate data. We used field observations, climate station data, and Maximum Entropy species distribution models for 13 invasive plant species in the United States, and then compared the models with inputs from a General Circulation Model (hereafter GCM-based models) and a downscaled Regional Climate Model (hereafter, RCM-based models).We also compared species distributions based on either GCM-based or RCM-based models for the present (1990-1999) to the future (2046-2055). RCM-based species distribution models replicated observed distributions remarkably better than GCM-based models for all invasive species under the current climate. This was shown for the presence locations of the species, and by using four common statistical metrics to compare modeled distributions. For two widespread invasive taxa ( Bromus tectorum or cheatgrass, and Tamarix spp. or tamarisk), GCM-based models failed miserably to reproduce observed species distributions. In contrast, RCM-based species distribution models closely matched observations. Future species distributions may be significantly affected by using GCM-based inputs. Because invasive plants species often show high resilience and low rates of local extinction, RCM-based species distribution models may perform better than GCM-based species distribution models for planning containment programs for invasive species.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Quantifying the Establishment Likelihood of Invasive Alien Species Introductions Through Ports with Application to Honeybees in Australia.

    PubMed

    Heersink, Daniel K; Caley, Peter; Paini, Dean R; Barry, Simon C

    2016-05-01

    The cost of an uncontrolled incursion of invasive alien species (IAS) arising from undetected entry through ports can be substantial, and knowledge of port-specific risks is needed to help allocate limited surveillance resources. Quantifying the establishment likelihood of such an incursion requires quantifying the ability of a species to enter, establish, and spread. Estimation of the approach rate of IAS into ports provides a measure of likelihood of entry. Data on the approach rate of IAS are typically sparse, and the combinations of risk factors relating to country of origin and port of arrival diverse. This presents challenges to making formal statistical inference on establishment likelihood. Here we demonstrate how these challenges can be overcome with judicious use of mixed-effects models when estimating the incursion likelihood into Australia of the European (Apis mellifera) and Asian (A. cerana) honeybees, along with the invasive parasites of biosecurity concern they host (e.g., Varroa destructor). Our results demonstrate how skewed the establishment likelihood is, with one-tenth of the ports accounting for 80% or more of the likelihood for both species. These results have been utilized by biosecurity agencies in the allocation of resources to the surveillance of maritime ports.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Introgression of chromosome segments from multiple alien species in wheat breeding lines with wheat streak mosaic virus resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pyramiding of alien-derived Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) resistance and resistance enhancing genes in wheat is a costeffective and environmentally safe strategy for disease control. PCR-based markers and cytogenetic analysis with genomic in situ hybridisation were applied to identify alien chrom...

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  5. Characteristics of successful alien plants.

    PubMed

    van Kleunen, M; Dawson, W; Maurel, N

    2015-05-01

    Herbert Baker arguably initiated the search for species characteristics determining alien plant invasion success, with his formulation of the 'ideal weed'. Today, a profusion of studies has tested a myriad of traits for their importance in explaining success of alien plants, but the multiple, not always appropriate, approaches used have led to some confusion and criticism. We argue that a greater understanding of the characteristics explaining alien plant success requires a refined approach that respects the multistage, multiscale nature of the invasion process. We present a schema of questions we can ask regarding the success of alien species, with the answering of one question in the schema being conditional on the answer of preceding questions (thus acknowledging the nested nature of invasion stages). For each question, we identify traits and attributes of species we believe are likely to be most important in explaining species success, and we make predictions as to how we expect successful aliens to differ from natives and from unsuccessful aliens in their characteristics. We organize the findings of empirical studies according to the questions in our schema that they have addressed, to assess the extent to which they support our predictions. We believe that research on plant traits of alien species has already told us a lot about why some alien species become successful after introduction. However, if we ask the right questions at the appropriate scale and use appropriate comparators, research on traits may tell us whether they are really important or not, and if so under which conditions.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  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 prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli in two species of invasive alien mammals in Japan.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Ichiro; Obi, Takeshi; Sakemi, Yoko; Nakayama, Ayano; Miyazaki, Kei; Ogura, Go; Tamaki, Masanobu; Oka, Tatsuzo; Takase, Kozo; Miyamoto, Atsushi; Kawamoto, Yasuhiro

    2011-08-01

    The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in 128 Escherichia coli isolates was investigated in two species of invasive alien mammals (IAMs): the small Asian mongoose (SAM) and Japanese weasel (JW). The SAM is found on the main island of Okinawa, Japan, where a large number of livestock is available, and the JW is present on a small island, where is isolated from the main island, and have a small number of livestock. We focused on the two IAMs, inhabiting under the different environments, and compared their prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli. In the comparison of the frequencies of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli isolates between the SAM and JW, JW showed significantly higher prevalence of resistance against three drugs, ampicillin, chlortetracycline and nalidixic acid, compared with SAM's test results (P<0.05). The bla(TEM) gene and the aph1 gene were detected in 35 subjects (91%) of ampicillin-resistant isolates and 6 subjects (100%) of kanamycin-resistant isolates, respectively. The tet (A) gene was detected in 62 subjects (46%) of CTC-resistant isolates, and the tet (B) gene was detected in 25 subjects (8%) of those in IAM. The present results suggest that some IAMs were the carrier of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and their genes, and the frequencies of these resistances were different between two IAM species.

  13. Differential parasitism of seed-feeding Cydia (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) by native and alien wasp species relative to elevation in subalpine Sophora (Fabaceae) forests on Mauna Kea, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oboyski, P.T.; Slotterback, J.W.; Banko, P.C.

    2004-01-01

    Alien parasitic wasps, including accidental introductions and purposefully released biological control agents, have been implicated in the decline of native Hawaiian Lepidoptera. Understanding the potential impacts of alien wasps requires knowledge of ecological parameters that influence parasitism rates for species in their new environment. Sophora seed-feeding Cydia spp. (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) were surveyed for larval parasitoids to determine how native and alien wasps are partitioned over an elevation gradient (2200-2800 m) on Hawaii Island, Hawaii. Parasitism rate of native Euderus metallicus (Eulophidae) increased with increased elevation, while parasitism rate by immigrant Calliephialtes grapholithae (Ichneumonidae) decreased. Parasitism by Pristomerus hawaiiensis (Ichneumonidae), origins uncertain, also decreased with increased elevation. Two other species, Diadegma blackburni (Ichneumonidae), origins uncertain, and Brasema cushmani (Eupelmidae), a purposefully introduced biological control agent for pepper weevil, did not vary significantly with elevation. Results are contrasted with a previous study of this system with implications for the conservation of an endangered bird species that feed on Cydia larvae. Interpretation of results is hindered by lack of knowledge of autecology of moths and wasps, origins, phylogeny, systematics, competitive ability, and physiological limitations of each wasp species. These factors should be incorporated into risk analysis for biological control introductions and invasive species programs. ?? 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  14. Alien and endangered plants in the Brazilian Cerrado exhibit contrasting relationships with vegetation biomass and N : P stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Lannes, Luciola S; Bustamante, Mercedes M C; Edwards, Peter J; Venterink, Harry Olde

    2012-11-01

    Although endangered and alien invasive plants are commonly assumed to persist under different environmental conditions, surprisingly few studies have investigated whether this is the case. We examined how endangered and alien species are distributed in relation to community biomass and N : P ratio in the above-ground community biomass in savanna vegetation in the Brazilian Cerrado. For 60 plots, we related the occurrence of endangered (Red List) and alien invasive species to plant species richness, vegetation biomass and N : P ratio, and soil variables. Endangered plants occurred mainly in plots with relatively low above-ground biomass and high N : P ratios, whereas alien invasive species occurred in plots with intermediate to high biomass and low N : P ratios. Occurrences of endangered or alien plants were unrelated to extractable N and P concentrations in the soil. These contrasting distributions in the Cerrado imply that alien species only pose a threat to endangered species if they are able to invade sites occupied by these species and increase the above-ground biomass and/or decrease the N : P ratio of the vegetation. We found some evidence that alien species do increase above-ground community biomass in the Cerrado, but their possible effect on N : P stoichiometry requires further study.

  15. Evaluating the "recovery level" of endangered species without prior information before alien invasion.

    PubMed

    Watari, Yuya; Nishijima, Shota; Fukasawa, Marina; Yamada, Fumio; Abe, Shintaro; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2013-11-01

    For maintaining social and financial support for eradication programs of invasive species, quantitative assessment of recovery of native species or ecosystems is important because it provides a measurable parameter of success. However, setting a concrete goal for recovery is often difficult owing to lack of information prior to the introduction of invaders. Here, we present a novel approach to evaluate the achievement level of invasive predator management based on the carrying capacity of endangered species estimated using long-term monitoring data. In Amami-Oshima Island, Japan, where the eradication project of introduced small Indian mongoose is ongoing since 2000, we surveyed the population densities of four endangered species threatened by the mongoose (Amami rabbit, the Otton frog, Amami tip-nosed frog, and Amami Ishikawa's frog) at four time points ranging from 2003 to 2011. We estimated the carrying capacities of these species using the logistic growth model combined with the effects of mongoose predation and environmental heterogeneity. All species showed clear tendencies toward increasing their density in line with decreased mongoose density, and they exhibited density-dependent population growth. The estimated carrying capacities of three endangered species had small confidence intervals enough to measure recovery levels by the mongoose management. The population density of each endangered species has recovered to the level of the carrying capacity at about 20-40% of all sites, whereas no individuals were observed at more than 25% of all sites. We propose that the present approach involving appropriate monitoring data of native organism populations will be widely applicable to various eradication projects and provide unambiguous goals for management of invasive species.

  16. Discovery of an alien species of mayfly in South America (Ephemeroptera)

    PubMed Central

    Salles, Frederico F.; Gattolliat, Jean-Luc; Angeli, Kamila B.; De-Souza, Márcia R.; Gonçalves, Inês C.; Nessimian, Jorge L.; Sartori, Michel

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Despite its wide, almost worldwide distribution, the mayfly genus Cloeon Leach, 1815 (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae) is restricted in the Western hemisphere to North America, where a single species is reported. In the Neotropics, except for some species wrongly attributed to the genus in the past, there are no records of Cloeon. Recently, however, specimens of true Cloeon were collected along the coast of Espírito Santo, Southeastern Brazil. In order to verify the hypothesis that this species was recently introduced to Brazil, our aim was to identify the species based on morphological and molecular characters and to confirm the presence of true representatives of the genus in the Neotropics. Our results revealed that the specimens found in Brazil belong to the Afrotropical species C. smaeleni Lestage, 1924. The identity of the species, its distribution, along with its previous absence in regularly sampled sites, is a clear sign that the specimens of C. smaeleni found in Espírito Santo are introduced, well established, and that the colonization took place very recently. PMID:24843249

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-10-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-29

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. A review of invasive alien species impacts on eucalypt stands and citrus orchards ecosystem services: towards an integrated management approach.

    PubMed

    Branco, Sofia; Videira, Nuno; Branco, Manuela; Paiva, Maria Rosa

    2015-02-01

    Multidisciplinary knowledge on the impact caused by invasive alien species (IAS) on ecosystems is crucial for guiding policy makers in the adoption of sustainable management measures. This research was focused on insect IAS impacts on two managed ecosystems: eucalypt plantations and citrus orchards. It begins with an identification of the wide range of ecosystem services (ES) and disservices provided by each of these managed ecosystems, according to the methodology proposed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Subsequently, a comprehensive review of studies that promoted the identification and valuation of direct and indirect impacts IAS impacts on these ecosystems was performed. From the synthesis of previous findings, an integrative management framework is advanced. This links the identification of ES, drivers of change and development of IAS management strategies by means of assessment processes that account for multiple dimensions of ES values. The article concludes with a discussion on the challenges underpinning assessment and valuation approaches that inform the design of inclusive strategies and interventions to tackle IAS impacts.

  5. First Introduction of Two Australian Temnocephalan Species into Africa with an Alien Host: Double Trouble.

    PubMed

    Tavakol, Sareh; Luus-Powell, Wilmien J; Smit, Willem J; Baker, Chantélle; Hoffman, Andre; Halajian, Ali

    2016-12-01

    The redclaw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus (Decapoda: Parastacidae), is native to Australia but has been introduced to South Africa as a warm-water aquaculture species. In a South African natural waterbody, examined crayfish had high-intensity infections of 3 temnocephalan species on their body surfaces and within the branchial chambers. Temnocephalans were characterized using light and scanning electron microscopy and identified as Craspedella pedum, Diceratocephala boschmai, and Didymorchis sp. This is the first report of the introduction of Australian temnocephalans, C. pedum and Didymorchis sp., to Africa and expands the known distribution of these species beyond their presumptive native range. The present study also documents a naturalized population of C. quadricarinatus from a natural water body in South Africa, comprising a new geographical locality record.

  6. Spatial Pattern and Determinants of the First Detection Locations of Invasive Alien Species in Mainland China

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Dingcheng; Zhang, Runzhi; Kim, Ke Chung; Suarez, Andrew V.

    2012-01-01

    Background The unintentional transport of species as a result of human activities has reached unprecedented rates. Once established, introduced species can be nearly impossible to eradicate. It is therefore essential to identify and monitor locations where invaders are most likely to establish new populations. Despite the obvious value of early detection, how does an agency identify areas that are most vulnerable to new invaders? Here we propose a novel approach by using the “first detection location” (FDL) of introduced species in China to quantify characteristics of areas where introduced species are first reported. Methodology/Principal Findings We obtained FDLs for 166 species (primarily agricultural and forestry pests) that were unintentionally introduced into China prior to 2008 from literature searches. The spatial pattern and determinants of FDLs were examined at the provincial level. The spatial pattern of FDLs varied among provinces with more commerce and trade and economically developed provinces in coastal regions having more FDLs than interior provinces. For example, 74.6% of FDLs were distributed in coastal regions despite that they only cover 15.6% of the total area in China. Variables that may be indicators of “introduction pressure” (e.g. the amount of received commerce) had an overwhelming effect on the number of FDLs in each province (R2 = 0.760). Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that “introduction pressure” may be one of the most important factors that determine the locations where newly-introduced species are first detected, and that open and developed provinces in China should be prioritized when developing monitoring programs that focus on locating and managing new introductions. Our study illustrates that FDL approaches can contribute to the study and management of biological invasions not only for China but also for elsewhere. PMID:22363715

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Downing, Amy L; Leibold, Mathew A

    2002-04-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Marraffini, M L; Geller, J B

    2015-08-07

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Queiroz, A C M; Ribas, C R

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  4. Alien associations.

    PubMed

    Planck, Brenda L

    2007-01-01

    This story is a highly fictionalized account of events that took place during a year of Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry, 1997-1998, at the Yale University School of Medicine, Division of Psychiatry and the Law. It is dedicated to my co-fellow, Theresa Stathas, MD, whose kindness, warmth, and support were appreciated during my fellowship year. She generously provided me with alien-themed items, such as a ballpoint pen decorated with 23 alien heads and 56 alien eyes, throughout that year.

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Jeremy L.; Camp, Carlos D.

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

  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. Salinity and temperature tolerance of an emergent alien species, the Amazon fish Astronotus ocellatus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gutierrel, Silvia M M; Schofield, Pam; Prodocimo, Viviane

    2016-01-01

    Astronotus ocellatus (oscar), is native to the Amazon basin and, although it has been introduced to many countries, little is known regarding its tolerances for salinity and temperature. In this report, we provide data on the tolerance of A. ocellatus to abrupt and gradual changes in salinity, its high and low temperature tolerance, and information on how salinity, temperature, and fish size interact to affect survival. Fish were able to survive abrupt transfer to salinities as high as 16 ppt with no mortality. When salinity change was gradual (2 ppt/day), fish in the warm-temperature experiment (28°C) survived longer than fish in the cool-temperature experiment (18°C). Larger fish survived longer than smaller ones at the higher salinities when the temperature was warm, but when the temperature was cool fish size had little effect on survival. In the temperature-tolerance experiments, fish survived from 9 to 41°C for short periods of time. Overall, the species showed a wide range of temperature and salinity tolerance. Thus, in spite of the tropical freshwater origin of this species, physiological stress is not likely to hinder its dispersal to brackish waters, especially when temperatures are warm.

  17. Border control for stowaway alien species should be prioritised based on variations in establishment debt.

    PubMed

    Faulkner, Katelyn T; Robertson, Mark P; Rouget, Mathieu; Wilson, John R U

    2016-09-15

    Border control is one of the major approaches used by countries to limit the number of organisms introduced as stowaways. However, it is not feasible to inspect all passengers, cargo and vehicles entering a country, and so efforts need to be prioritised. Here we use South Africa as a case study to assess, based on tourism and trade data and climate matching techniques, the number of stowaway species that might be introduced ('colonisation pressure') and the likelihood that once introduced, these organisms will establish ('likelihood of establishment'). These results were used to explore how the number of species that are likely to establish ('establishment debt') varies across donor regions and seasons. A simple theoretical model was then used to compare four strategies for prioritising border control inspections: no prioritisation; based on colonisation pressure; based on likelihood of establishment; and based on both colonisation pressure and likelihood of establishment. Establishment debt was greatest in southern hemisphere spring and autumn when South Africa is climatically similar to northern hemisphere countries with which there are strong, consistent trade and tourism links (i.e. colonisation pressure varied little seasonally, but likelihood of establishment did vary across the seasons). Prioritising inspections based on both colonisation pressure and the likelihood of establishment was clearly the most effective strategy, with this strategy detecting at least 6% more potential invaders than the other strategies. While there are many practical limitations to the implementation of such prioritised inspection strategies, the results highlight the importance of national and regional studies of establishment debt.

  18. Alienation Incident.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasserman, Louis

    1979-01-01

    Critiques Marxian "cures" for alienation as discussed in Karl Marx's "Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts." Also traces the activity of a former student who joined the revolution in Cuba. Journal available from 7 Harwood Drive, Amherst, New York, 14226. (KC)

  19. 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.

  20. Long-term differences in annual litter production between alien (Sonneratia apetala) and native (Kandelia obovata) mangrove species in Futian, Shenzhen, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lina; Li, Fenglan; Yang, Qiong; Tam, Nora F Y; Liao, Wenbo; Zan, Qijie

    2014-08-30

    Annual litter production in alien (Sonneratia apetala) and native (Kandelia obovata) mangrove forests in Shenzhen, China were compared from 1999 to 2010. S. apetala had significantly higher litter production than K. obovata, with mean annual total litter of 18.1 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and 15.2 t ha(-1) yr(-1), respectively. The higher litter production in S. apetala forest indicates higher productivity and consequently more nutrient supply to the estuarine ecosystems but may be more invasive due to positive plant-soil feedbacks and nutrient availability to this alien species. Two peaks were recorded in S. apetala (May and October), while only one peak was observed in K. obovata, in early spring (March and April). Leaf and reproductive materials were the main contributors to litter production (>80%) in both forests. These results suggest that the ecological function of S. apetala and its invasive potential can be better understood based on a long-term litter fall analysis.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Alien genes introgression and development of alien monosomic addition lines from a threatened species, Allium roylei Stearn, to Allium cepa L.

    PubMed

    Vu, Hoa Q; Yoshimatsu, Yasuyuki; Khrustaleva, Ludmila I; Yamauchi, Naoki; Shigyo, Masayoshi

    2012-05-01

    To produce alien monosomic addition lines (AMALs) of Allium cepa (genomes CC, 2n = 2x = 16) carrying extrachromosomes from Allium roylei (RR, 2n = 2x = 16), reciprocal backcrossing of allotriploids (2n = 24, CCR) with diploids (2n = 16, CC) and selfing of a single allotriploid were carried out. The chromosome numbers in the BC(2)F(1) and BC(1)F(2) progenies ranged from 16 to 32. Forty-eight plants were recorded to possess 2n = 17 among a total of 169 plants in observation. Through the analyses of isozymes, expressed sequence tag (EST) markers, and karyotypes, all eight possible types of A. cepa-A. roylei monosomic addition lines (CC+1R-CC+8R) could be identified. Seven types of representative AMALs (without CC+2R) were used for the GISH analysis of somatic chromosomes. Except for CC+6R, all AMALs showed an entire (unrecombined) extrachromosome from A. roylei in the integral diploid background of A. cepa. A single recombination between A. cepa and A. roylei was observed on the extrachromosome in the remaining type. All alloplasmic AMALs possessing A. roylei cytoplasm showed high or complete pollen sterility. Only the autoplasmic CC+4R with A. cepa cytoplasm possessed relatively high pollen fertility. The bulbs of CC+4R displayed the distinct ovoid shape that discriminates them from spherical or oval ones in other AMALs. Downy mildew screening in the field showed higher resistance in A. roylei, a hypo-allotriploid (CCR-nR, 2n = 23), and an allotriploid (CCR, 2n = 24). Meanwhile, no complete resistance was found in some AMALs examined. This was the first trial toward the establishment of a complete set of A. cepa-A. roylei monosomic additions.

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

    PubMed

    Quinn, James F; Harrison, Susan P

    1988-02-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

  7. Ornamental plants as invasive aliens: problems and solutions in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Foxcroft, Llewellyn C; Richardson, David M; Wilson, John R U

    2008-01-01

    The most widespread invasive alien plant species in South Africa's Kruger National Park (KNP) were either introduced unintentionally along rivers and roads, or intentionally for use as ornamentals. We examine the spatial distribution of ornamental alien plants in KNP, look at the link between human population size, history, and species richness, and show how the distribution of particular species reflects the likely history of ornamental plantings. Results are used to assess whether past management actions have been appropriately directed. Two hundred and fifty-eight alien species have been recorded in the 36 tourist camps and staff villages. The number of staff housed in villages explains much of the diversity of cultivated alien plant species. Older camps also tend to have more ornamental alien plant species. However, the lack of a strong link between camp age and number of cultivated species suggests that ornamental plants have been widely spread around the KNP by humans. We also show that increased camp activity (either size or age) has led to more ornamental species, while, with the notable exception of Skukuza, camp activity has had a much smaller effect on the number of noncultivated species. Noncultivated species tend to be naturally dispersed, as opposed to directly spread by humans between camps. Past management prioritized certain species on the basis of their potential to invade KNP and on the prevailing national legislation. These species were removed manually and follow-up control was carried out. Once the priority species were deemed to be under control, less invasive species were targeted. All alien species were removed from vacated houses, regardless of the potential invasiveness of the species.

  8. Ornamental Plants as Invasive Aliens: Problems and Solutions in Kruger National Park, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foxcroft, Llewellyn C.; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R. U.

    2008-01-01

    The most widespread invasive alien plant species in South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP) were either introduced unintentionally along rivers and roads, or intentionally for use as ornamentals. We examine the spatial distribution of ornamental alien plants in KNP, look at the link between human population size, history, and species richness, and show how the distribution of particular species reflects the likely history of ornamental plantings. Results are used to assess whether past management actions have been appropriately directed. Two hundred and fifty-eight alien species have been recorded in the 36 tourist camps and staff villages. The number of staff housed in villages explains much of the diversity of cultivated alien plant species. Older camps also tend to have more ornamental alien plant species. However, the lack of a strong link between camp age and number of cultivated species suggests that ornamental plants have been widely spread around the KNP by humans. We also show that increased camp activity (either size or age) has led to more ornamental species, while, with the notable exception of Skukuza, camp activity has had a much smaller effect on the number of noncultivated species. Noncultivated species tend to be naturally dispersed, as opposed to directly spread by humans between camps. Past management prioritized certain species on the basis of their potential to invade KNP and on the prevailing national legislation. These species were removed manually and follow-up control was carried out. Once the priority species were deemed to be under control, less invasive species were targeted. All alien species were removed from vacated houses, regardless of the potential invasiveness of the species.

  9. Lack of sex-specific movement patterns in an alien species at its invasion front - consequences for invasion speed.

    PubMed

    Herfindal, Ivar; Melis, Claudia; Åhlén, Per-Arne; Dahl, Fredrik

    2016-08-01

    Efficient targeting of actions to reduce the spread of invasive alien species relies on understanding the spatial, temporal, and individual variation of movement, in particular related to dispersal. Such patterns may differ between individuals at the invasion front compared to individuals in established and dense populations due to differences in environmental and ecological conditions such as abundance of conspecifics or sex-specific dispersal affecting the encounter rate of potential mates. We assessed seasonal and diurnal variation in movement pattern (step length and turning angle) of adult male and female raccoon dog at their invasion front in northern Sweden using data from Global Positioning System (GPS)-marked adult individuals and assessed whether male and female raccoon dog differed in their movement behavior. There were few consistent sex differences in movement. The rate of dispersal was rather similar over the months, suggesting that both male and female raccoon dog disperse during most of the year, but with higher speed during spring and summer. There were diurnal movement patterns in both sexes with more directional and faster movement during the dark hours. However, the short summer nights may limit such movement patterns, and long-distance displacement was best explained by fine-scale movement patterns from 18:00 to 05:00, rather than by movement patterns only from twilight and night. Simulation of dispersing raccoon dogs suggested a higher frequency of male-female encounters that were further away from the source population for the empirical data compared to a scenario with sex differences in movement pattern. The lack of sex differences in movement pattern at the invasion front results in an increased likelihood for reproductive events far from the source population. Animals outside the source population should be considered potential reproducing individuals, and a high effort to capture such individuals is needed throughout the year to prevent

  10. Neighbour Origin and Ploidy Level Drive Impact of an Alien Invasive Plant Species in a Competitive Environment.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Schaffner, Urs

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of the potential mechanisms driving the spread and naturalization of alien plant species has increased over the past decades, but specific knowledge on the factors contributing to their increased impact in the introduced range is still urgently needed. The native European plant Centaurea stoebe occurs as two cytotypes with different life histories (monocarpic diploids, allo-polycarpic tetraploids). However, only tetraploids have been found in its introduced range in North America, where C. stoebe has become a most prominent plant invader. Here, we focus on the ploidy level of C. stoebe and origin of neighbouring community in explaining the high impact during the invasion of new sites in the introduced range. We conducted a mesocosm experiment under open-field conditions with the diploid (EU2x) and tetraploid (EU4x) cytotype of Centaurea stoebe from its native European (EU) range, and with the invasive tetraploid (NA4x) cytotype from the introduced North American (NA) range in competition with EU (old) or NA (new) neighbouring plant communities. In the presence of competition, the biomass of EU neighbouring community was reduced to a comparable level by all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe. In contrast, the biomass of the NA neighbouring community was reduced beyond when competing with tetraploid, but not with diploid C. stoebe. The fact that the biomass of all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe was correlated with the biomass of the EU neighbouring community, but not with that of the NA neighbouring community suggests that different mechanisms underlie the competitive interactions between C. stoebe and its old vs. new neighbouring communities, such as competition for the same limiting resources at home vs competition through novel allelo-chemicals or differential resource uptake strategies in the introduced range. We therefore caution to simply use the ecosystem impact assessed at home to predict impact in the introduced range.

  11. Neighbour Origin and Ploidy Level Drive Impact of an Alien Invasive Plant Species in a Competitive Environment

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yan; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Schaffner, Urs

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of the potential mechanisms driving the spread and naturalization of alien plant species has increased over the past decades, but specific knowledge on the factors contributing to their increased impact in the introduced range is still urgently needed. The native European plant Centaurea stoebe occurs as two cytotypes with different life histories (monocarpic diploids, allo-polycarpic tetraploids). However, only tetraploids have been found in its introduced range in North America, where C. stoebe has become a most prominent plant invader. Here, we focus on the ploidy level of C. stoebe and origin of neighbouring community in explaining the high impact during the invasion of new sites in the introduced range. We conducted a mesocosm experiment under open-field conditions with the diploid (EU2x) and tetraploid (EU4x) cytotype of Centaurea stoebe from its native European (EU) range, and with the invasive tetraploid (NA4x) cytotype from the introduced North American (NA) range in competition with EU (old) or NA (new) neighbouring plant communities. In the presence of competition, the biomass of EU neighbouring community was reduced to a comparable level by all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe. In contrast, the biomass of the NA neighbouring community was reduced beyond when competing with tetraploid, but not with diploid C. stoebe. The fact that the biomass of all three geo-cytotypes of C. stoebe was correlated with the biomass of the EU neighbouring community, but not with that of the NA neighbouring community suggests that different mechanisms underlie the competitive interactions between C. stoebe and its old vs. new neighbouring communities, such as competition for the same limiting resources at home vs competition through novel allelo-chemicals or differential resource uptake strategies in the introduced range. We therefore caution to simply use the ecosystem impact assessed at home to predict impact in the introduced range. PMID:27203687

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  14. The role of geography and host abundance in the distribution of parasitoids of an alien pest.

    PubMed

    Nováková, Petra; Holuša, Jaroslav; Horák, Jakub

    2016-01-01

    Chalcid wasps (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) are probably the most effective and abundant parasitoids of the horse chestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella), an alien pest in Europe that lacks specialized enemies. We studied how the species richness and abundance of chalcids are influenced by altitude, direction of an alien spread and host abundance of C. ohridella. We quantified the numbers and species richness of chalcid wasps and the numbers of C. ohridella that emerged from horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) leaf litter samples collected from 35 sites in the Czech Republic. Species richness of chalcids, which was considered an indicator of the possible adaptation of parasitoids to this alien host, was unrelated to C. ohridella abundance, direction of spread, or altitude. Chalcid abundance, which was considered an indicator of parasitism of the alien host, was strongly and positively related to C. ohridella abundance. Chalcid abundance was negatively related to direction of spread and positively related, although in a non-linear manner, to altitude. The relationship of chalcid abundance with direction of spread and altitude was weaker than that with C. ohridella abundance. The results provide evidence that biological control of the alien pest C. ohridella by natural enemies might develop in the future.

  15. The role of geography and host abundance in the distribution of parasitoids of an alien pest

    PubMed Central

    Nováková, Petra; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2016-01-01

    Chalcid wasps (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) are probably the most effective and abundant parasitoids of the horse chestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella), an alien pest in Europe that lacks specialized enemies. We studied how the species richness and abundance of chalcids are influenced by altitude, direction of an alien spread and host abundance of C. ohridella. We quantified the numbers and species richness of chalcid wasps and the numbers of C. ohridella that emerged from horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) leaf litter samples collected from 35 sites in the Czech Republic. Species richness of chalcids, which was considered an indicator of the possible adaptation of parasitoids to this alien host, was unrelated to C. ohridella abundance, direction of spread, or altitude. Chalcid abundance, which was considered an indicator of parasitism of the alien host, was strongly and positively related to C. ohridella abundance. Chalcid abundance was negatively related to direction of spread and positively related, although in a non-linear manner, to altitude. The relationship of chalcid abundance with direction of spread and altitude was weaker than that with C. ohridella abundance. The results provide evidence that biological control of the alien pest C. ohridella by natural enemies might develop in the future. PMID:26819849

  16. Faunal assemblages of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis in and around Alsancak Harbour (Izmir Bay, eastern Mediterranean) with special emphasis on alien species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Çinar, Melih Ertan; Katağan, Tuncer; Koçak, Ferah; Öztürk, Bilal; Ergen, Zeki; Kocatas, Ahmet; Önen, Mesut; Kirkim, Fevzi; Bakir, Kerem; Kurt, Güley; Dağli, Ertan; Açik, Sermin; Doğan, Alper; Özcan, Tahir

    The faunal assemblages of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis were examined seasonally at four stations located in and around Alsancak Harbour between January and September 2004. A total of 155 species belonging to 14 systematic groups were found in the assemblages, of which Polychaeta had the highest number of species and individuals. The assemblages were mainly composed of species tolerant to pollution. The number of individuals (maximum 209,000 ind m - 2 ) and biomass (maximum 24,563 g m - 2 ) of the assemblage were generally higher at the stations located in the harbours, whereas the station not located in the harbours had the highest number of species and diversity index values (maximum 4.19). The mussel faunal assemblages differed mainly according to seasons and locations (ANOSIM test), but seasonal samples collected at each station constituted separate groups in the MDS plot, which are moderately correlated with a combination of environmental variables such as temperature, the concentrations of total nitrogen and phosphate phosphorus ( ρr = 0.46, BIOENV test). The environmental conditions at each station, the structure of substratum to which the mussel was attached and the biotic interactions among the associated faunal components seemed to be main factors influencing the faunal assemblages of the mussel in the area. The combined effect of season and location significantly changed the community parameters such as the number of species and individuals, and the values of diversity, evenness and biomass (two-way ANOVA test). The factors significantly influencing these community parameters were the algae biomass on mussels, total nitrogen and dissolved oxygen concentrations. The density of the mussel was negatively correlated with the diversity and evenness values of samples. The mussel community included ten alien species: Pseudonereis anomala, Polydora cornuta, Streblospio gynobranchiata, Hydroides dianthus, Hydroides elegans, Maera hamigera, Stenothoe

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gruner, Daniel S; Taylor, Andrew D

    2006-04-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  5. Introgression of chromosome segments from multiple alien species in wheat breeding lines with wheat streak mosaic virus resistance.

    PubMed

    Ali, N; Heslop-Harrison, Js Pat; Ahmad, H; Graybosch, R A; Hein, G L; Schwarzacher, T

    2016-08-01

    Pyramiding of alien-derived Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) resistance and resistance enhancing genes in wheat is a cost-effective and environmentally safe strategy for disease control. PCR-based markers and cytogenetic analysis with genomic in situ hybridisation were applied to identify alien chromatin in four genetically diverse populations of wheat (Triticum aestivum) lines incorporating chromosome segments from Thinopyrum intermedium and Secale cereale (rye). Out of 20 experimental lines, 10 carried Th. intermedium chromatin as T4DL*4Ai#2S translocations, while, unexpectedly, 7 lines were positive for alien chromatin (Th. intermedium or rye) on chromosome 1B. The newly described rye 1RS chromatin, transmitted from early in the pedigree, was associated with enhanced WSMV resistance. Under field conditions, the 1RS chromatin alone showed some resistance, while together with the Th. intermedium 4Ai#2S offered superior resistance to that demonstrated by the known resistant cultivar Mace. Most alien wheat lines carry whole chromosome arms, and it is notable that these lines showed intra-arm recombination within the 1BS arm. The translocation breakpoints between 1BS and alien chromatin fell in three categories: (i) at or near to the centromere, (ii) intercalary between markers UL-Thin5 and Xgwm1130 and (iii) towards the telomere between Xgwm0911 and Xbarc194. Labelled genomic Th. intermedium DNA hybridised to the rye 1RS chromatin under high stringency conditions, indicating the presence of shared tandem repeats among the cereals. The novel small alien fragments may explain the difficulty in developing well-adapted lines carrying Wsm1 despite improved tolerance to the virus. The results will facilitate directed chromosome engineering producing agronomically desirable WSMV-resistant germplasm.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Alien Abductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nickell, Joe

    2000-03-01

    Since the beginning of the modern UFO craze in 1947, an elaborate mythology has developed concerning alleged extraterrestrial visitations. ``Flying saucer" sightings (typically involving misperceptions of such mundane phenomena as meteors and research balloons) began to be accompanied in the 1950s by reports from ``contactees," persons who claimed to have had close encounters with, even to have been transported to distant planets by, UFO occupants. By the 1960s came reports of sporadic ``abductions" which have proliferated in correlation with media interest. (Indeed, by interaction between claimants and media the portrayal of aliens has evolved from a multiplicity of types into the rather standardized big-eyed humanoid model.) While evidence of alien contact has often been faked--as by spurious photos, ``crop circles," and the notorious ``Alien Autopsy" film--few alien abduction reports appear to be hoaxes. Most seem instead to come from sincere, sane individuals. Nevertheless, not one has been authenticated, and serious investigation shows that such claims can be explained as sleep-related phenomena (notably ``waking dreams"), hypnotic confabulation, and other psychological factors. As is typical of other mythologies, the alien myth involves supernormal beings that may interact with humans, and it purports to explain the workings of the universe and humanity's place within it.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kery, M.; Royle, J. Andrew

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Threatened and Endangered Freshwater Fish and Mussel Species Richness

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  8. Evolution of the species-rich Cape flora.

    PubMed Central

    Linder, H P; Hardy, C R

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Devdutt; De Laender, Frederik

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Maestri, Renan; Patterson, Bruce D

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Matthews, Blake; Pomati, Francesco

    2012-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Egg morphology, laying behavior and record of the host plants of Ricania speculum (Walker, 1851), a new alien species for Europe (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae).

    PubMed

    Rossi, Elisabetta; Stroiński, Adam; Lucchi, Andrea

    2015-11-17

    The exotic planthopper, Ricania speculum (Ricaniidae) was recently detected in Liguria, in northern Italy, and recorded as a first alert for Europe. The first morphological description of eggs and laying behavior are given. Eggs are inserted into the woody tissue of a wide range of different host plants in such a unique manner among native and alien planthoppers of Italy that it can be used to describe the prevalence and diffusion of the species in new environments, though in the absence of juveniles and/or adults. In addition, the paper lists the host plants utilized for egg laying and describes the eggs.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Turvey, Samuel T; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2014-12-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Turvey, Samuel T.; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hurlbert, Allen H.; Jetz, Walter

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Soininen, Janne; Passy, Sophia; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2012-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jobe, R Todd

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Qian, Hong; Kissling, W Daniel

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sarabeev, Volodimir

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gañán, Israel; Baselga, Andrés; Novoa, Francisco

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gorelick, Root

    2008-09-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Dinnage, Russell

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-04-11

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Tsujino, Riyou; Yumoto, Takakazu

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Luque, J L; Poulin, R

    2007-06-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Feeley, Kenneth J; Terborgh, John W

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Binckley, Christopher A; Resetarits, William J

    2005-09-22

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ivković, Marija; Kúdela, Matuš; Kúdelová, Tatiana

    2016-05-05

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Erik; Lindborg, Regina

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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 m