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Sample records for alien species richness

  1. 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

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:26888913

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Uncertainty in invasive alien species listing.

    PubMed

    McGeoch, Melodie A; Spear, Dian; Kleynhans, Elizabeth J; Marais, Elrike

    2012-04-01

    Lists of invasive alien species (IAS) are essential for preventing, controlling, and reporting on the state of biological invasions. However, these lists suffer from a range of errors, with serious consequences for their use in science, policy, and management. Here we (1) collated and classified errors in IAS listing using a taxonomy of uncertainty; and (2) estimated the size of these errors using data from a completed listing exercise, with the purpose of better understanding, communicating, and dealing with them. Ten errors were identified. Most result from a lack of knowledge or measurement error (epistemic uncertainty), although two were a result of context dependence and vagueness (linguistic uncertainty). Estimates of the size of the effects of these errors were substantial in a number of cases and unknown in others. Most errors, and those with the largest estimated effect, result in underestimates of IAS numbers. However, there are a number of errors where the size and direction of the effect remains poorly understood. The effect of differences in opinion between specialists is potentially large, particularly for data-poor taxa and regions, and does not have a clearly directional or consistent effect on the size and composition of IAS lists. Five tactics emerged as important for reducing uncertainty in IAS lists, and while uncertainty will never be removed entirely, these approaches will significantly improve the transparency, repeatability, and comparability of IAS lists. Understanding the errors and uncertainties that occur during the process of listing invasive species, as well as the potential size and nature of their effects on IAS lists, is key to improving the value of these lists for governments, management agencies, and conservationists. Such understanding is increasingly important given positive trends in biological invasion and the associated risks to biodiversity and biosecurity.

  10. Uncertainty in invasive alien species listing.

    PubMed

    McGeoch, Melodie A; Spear, Dian; Kleynhans, Elizabeth J; Marais, Elrike

    2012-04-01

    Lists of invasive alien species (IAS) are essential for preventing, controlling, and reporting on the state of biological invasions. However, these lists suffer from a range of errors, with serious consequences for their use in science, policy, and management. Here we (1) collated and classified errors in IAS listing using a taxonomy of uncertainty; and (2) estimated the size of these errors using data from a completed listing exercise, with the purpose of better understanding, communicating, and dealing with them. Ten errors were identified. Most result from a lack of knowledge or measurement error (epistemic uncertainty), although two were a result of context dependence and vagueness (linguistic uncertainty). Estimates of the size of the effects of these errors were substantial in a number of cases and unknown in others. Most errors, and those with the largest estimated effect, result in underestimates of IAS numbers. However, there are a number of errors where the size and direction of the effect remains poorly understood. The effect of differences in opinion between specialists is potentially large, particularly for data-poor taxa and regions, and does not have a clearly directional or consistent effect on the size and composition of IAS lists. Five tactics emerged as important for reducing uncertainty in IAS lists, and while uncertainty will never be removed entirely, these approaches will significantly improve the transparency, repeatability, and comparability of IAS lists. Understanding the errors and uncertainties that occur during the process of listing invasive species, as well as the potential size and nature of their effects on IAS lists, is key to improving the value of these lists for governments, management agencies, and conservationists. Such understanding is increasingly important given positive trends in biological invasion and the associated risks to biodiversity and biosecurity. PMID:22645824

  11. Interspecific competition between alien and native congeneric species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Serrano, H.; Sans, F. X.; Escarré, J.

    2007-01-01

    A good way to check hypotheses explaining the invasion of ecosystems by exotic plants is to compare alien and native congeneric species. To test the hypothesis that invasive alien plants are more competitive than natives, we designed a replacement series experiment to evaluate interspecific competition between three Senecio species representing the same bushy life form: two alien species ( S. inaequidens and S. pterophorus, both from South Africa) and a native species from the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula and Maghreb ( S. malacitanus). While S. inaequidens is widespread throughout western Europe and is expanding towards the south of Spanish-French border, the geographical distribution of the recently introduced S. pterophorus is still limited to north-eastern Spain. Plants from each species were grown in pure and in mixed cultures with one of their congeners, and water availability was manipulated to evaluate the effects of water stress on competitive abilities. Our results show that the alien S. inaequidens is the most competitive species for all water conditions. The native S. malacitanus is more competitive that the alien S. pterophorus in water stress conditions, but this situation is reversed when water availability is not limiting.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  13. 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...

  14. Alien species in a warmer world: risks and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Walther, Gian-Reto; Roques, Alain; Hulme, Philip E; Sykes, Martin T; Pysek, Petr; Kühn, Ingolf; Zobel, Martin; Bacher, Sven; Botta-Dukát, Zoltán; Bugmann, Harald; Czúcz, Bálint; Dauber, Jens; Hickler, Thomas; Jarosík, Vojtech; Kenis, Marc; Klotz, Stefan; Minchin, Dan; Moora, Mari; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Ott, Jürgen; Panov, Vadim E; Reineking, Björn; Robinet, Christelle; Semenchenko, Vitaliy; Solarz, Wojciech; Thuiller, Wilfried; Vilà, Montserrat; Vohland, Katrin; Settele, Josef

    2009-12-01

    Climate change and biological invasions are key processes affecting global biodiversity, yet their effects have usually been considered separately. Here, we emphasise that global warming has enabled alien species to expand into regions in which they previously could not survive and reproduce. Based on a review of climate-mediated biological invasions of plants, invertebrates, fishes and birds, we discuss the ways in which climate change influences biological invasions. We emphasise the role of alien species in a more dynamic context of shifting species' ranges and changing communities. Under these circumstances, management practices regarding the occurrence of 'new' species could range from complete eradication to tolerance and even consideration of the 'new' species as an enrichment of local biodiversity and key elements to maintain ecosystem services.

  15. Alien species in a warmer world: risks and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Walther, Gian-Reto; Roques, Alain; Hulme, Philip E; Sykes, Martin T; Pysek, Petr; Kühn, Ingolf; Zobel, Martin; Bacher, Sven; Botta-Dukát, Zoltán; Bugmann, Harald; Czúcz, Bálint; Dauber, Jens; Hickler, Thomas; Jarosík, Vojtech; Kenis, Marc; Klotz, Stefan; Minchin, Dan; Moora, Mari; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Ott, Jürgen; Panov, Vadim E; Reineking, Björn; Robinet, Christelle; Semenchenko, Vitaliy; Solarz, Wojciech; Thuiller, Wilfried; Vilà, Montserrat; Vohland, Katrin; Settele, Josef

    2009-12-01

    Climate change and biological invasions are key processes affecting global biodiversity, yet their effects have usually been considered separately. Here, we emphasise that global warming has enabled alien species to expand into regions in which they previously could not survive and reproduce. Based on a review of climate-mediated biological invasions of plants, invertebrates, fishes and birds, we discuss the ways in which climate change influences biological invasions. We emphasise the role of alien species in a more dynamic context of shifting species' ranges and changing communities. Under these circumstances, management practices regarding the occurrence of 'new' species could range from complete eradication to tolerance and even consideration of the 'new' species as an enrichment of local biodiversity and key elements to maintain ecosystem services. PMID:19712994

  16. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Phylogenetically poor plant communities receive more alien species, which more easily coexist with natives.

    PubMed

    Gerhold, Pille; Pärtel, Meelis; Tackenberg, Oliver; Hennekens, Stephan M; Bartish, Igor; Schaminée, Joop H J; Fergus, Alexander J F; Ozinga, Wim A; Prinzing, Andreas

    2011-05-01

    Alien species can be a major threat to ecological communities, but we do not know why some community types allow the entry of many more alien species than do others. Here, for the first time, we suggest that evolutionary diversity inherent to the constituent species of a community may determine its present receptiveness to alien species. Using recent large databases from observational studies, we find robust evidence that assemblage of plant community types from few phylogenetic lineages (in plots without aliens) corresponds to higher receptiveness to aliens. Establishment of aliens in phylogenetically poor communities corresponds to increased phylogenetic dispersion of recipient communities and to coexistence with rather than replacement of natives. This coexistence between natives and distantly related aliens in recipient communities of low phylogenetic dispersion may reflect patterns of trait assembly. In communities without aliens, low phylogenetic dispersion corresponds to increased dispersion of most traits, and establishment of aliens corresponds to increased trait concentration. We conclude that if quantified across the tree of life, high biodiversity correlates with decreasing receptiveness to aliens. Low phylogenetic biodiversity, in contrast, facilitates coexistence between natives and aliens even if they share similar trait states. PMID:21508612

  18. 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...

  19. Recommendations on standardizing lists of marine alien species: Lessons from the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Marchini, Agnese; Galil, Bella S; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna

    2015-12-15

    Analyses of marine alien species based on national/regional datasets are of paramount importance for the success of regulation on the prevention and management of invasive alien species. Yet in the extant data systems the criteria for the inclusion of records are seldom explicit, and frequently inconsistent in their definitions, spatial and temporal frames and comprehensiveness. Agreed-upon uniform guiding principles, based on solid and transparent scientific criteria, are therefore required in order to provide policy makers with validated and comparable data. Following a meta-analysis on the records of marine alien species in the Mediterranean Sea, we recommend a judicious approach to compiling the data. Here, three categories of uncertainty were identified: species' taxonomic identification, species' actual occurrence in the area, and its status as an alien. In proposing guiding principles to standardize such datasets, we aim to encourage discourse on logical, standardized and transparent criteria to substantiate records of alien species.

  20. 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.

  1. Species richness changes lag behind climate change.

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-22

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

  2. Experimental study to control the upstream migration of invasive alien fish species by submerged weir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakuma, Masami; Kunimatsu, Fumihiro; Tsuchiya, Taku; Kawamura, Makiko; Fujita, Hiroshi

    Largemouth bass and Bluegill, major invasive alien fish species in Japan, have been extending their habitat ranges over not only Lake Biwa and the lagoons but also surrounding waters connected to them through small rivers and canals. Their increasing number is bringing about the reduction in the number of native fish species. To prevent the spread of these alien species through small rivers and canals during breeding season of the native fish (crucian carp), this study experimentally examined the effect of a submerged weir on controlling upstream migration of the alien species and the native fish. As a result of the experiment, the ratio of the alien species migrating upstream decreased as the weir height rose, whereas the ratio did not show the same trend in the case of the native fish. The ratio of the alien species also decreased as the overflow velocity over the weir rose. On the other hand, the ratio of the native fish increased as the overflow velocity rose up to 1.0m/s and decreased thereafter. These results suggest that the submerged weir may control upstream migration of the alien species to surrounding waters through small rivers and canals without interfering with the reproductive migration of the native fish.

  3. ALien Biotic IndEX (ALEX) - a new index for assessing impacts of alien species on benthic communities.

    PubMed

    Cinar, Melih Ertan; Bakir, Kerem

    2014-10-15

    Biotic indices are mainly aimed at assessing levels of deterioration caused by chemical or organic pollution. However, no biotic index to date has been developed to detect impacts of alien species on benthic communities. In this paper, a new biotic index, namely ALEX, is proposed to address the objectives of the Water Framework Directive and was tested in Mersin Bay (Levantine Sea, Turkey). Species were divided into four biogeographic groups, namely native species, casual species, established species and invasive species, and the metric considers the relative importance of these groups in samples. The index classified the ecological status of some stations which are shallow, and close to harbor and river mouths as bad or poor in February and October. The ALEX values were positively and significantly correlated with total nitrogen, silicate and silt percentage in sediment, and negatively correlated with depth and the distance from the harbor.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26921035

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:24932498

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27129597

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. A comparison of the short-term toxicity of cadmium to indigenous and alien gammarid species.

    PubMed

    Boets, Pieter; Lock, Koen; Goethals, Peter L M; Janssen, Colin R; De Schamphelaere, Karel A C

    2012-05-01

    Amphipods play an important role in many aquatic ecosystems and are commonly used in ecotoxicology and ecosystem health assessment. Several alien gammarids have been introduced in many regions of the world during the last decades. In this study, we investigated if differences in cadmium sensitivity occurred between (1) different species belonging to the family Gammaridae and (2) different populations of the same species originating from a polluted or a non-polluted site. The acute cadmium toxicity to two indigenous (Gammarus pulex and Gammarus fossarum) and four alien (Dikerogammarus villosus, Echinogammarus berilloni, Gammarus roeseli and Gammarus tigrinus) gammarids occurring in Belgium was tested. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in median lethal concentrations (LC(50)) were found between the different species, with 72 h-LC50s ranging from 6.3 to 268 μg/l and 96 h-LC50s from 4.7 to 88.9 μg/l. No clear trend in Cd sensitivity was found when comparing indigenous and alien gammarids. D. villosus, an alien invasive species, was the most sensitive to Cd toxicity and E. berilloni, another alien species, the least sensitive. In addition, larger Gammarid species were more sensitive to Cd toxicity than smaller ones. No significant differences were found between populations of the same species originating from metal polluted sites or non-polluted sites. Overall, our results showed that considerable differences in Cd sensitivity exist between gammarid species, which should be taken into consideration in environmental risk assessment and water quality standard setting. Finally, our data suggest that alien gammarids would not have an advantage over indigenous gammarids in Cd contaminated environments.

  17. 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. PMID:23609303

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Planting intensity, residence time, and species traits determine invasion success of alien woody species.

    PubMed

    Pysek, Petr; Krivánek, Martin; Jarosík, Vojtech

    2009-10-01

    We studied the relative importance of residence time, propagule pressure, and species traits in three stages of invasion of alien woody plants cultivated for about 150 years in the Czech Republic, Central Europe. The probability of escape from cultivation, naturalization, and invasion was assessed using classification trees. We compared 109 escaped-not-escaped congeneric pairs, 44 naturalized-not-naturalized, and 17 invasive-not-invasive congeneric pairs. We used the following predictors of the above probabilities: date of introduction to the target region as a measure of residence time; intensity of planting in the target area as a proxy for propagule pressure; the area of origin; and 21 species-specific biological and ecological traits. The misclassification rates of the naturalization and invasion model were low, at 19.3% and 11.8%, respectively, indicating that the variables used included the major determinants of these processes. The probability of escape increased with residence time in the Czech Republic, whereas the probability of naturalization increased with the residence time in Europe. This indicates that some species were already adapted to local conditions when introduced to the Czech Republic. Apart from residence time, the probability of escape depends on planting intensity (propagule pressure), and that of naturalization on the area of origin and fruit size; it is lower for species from Asia and those with small fruits. The probability of invasion is determined by a long residence time and the ability to tolerate low temperatures. These results indicate that a simple suite of factors determines, with a high probability, the invasion success of alien woody plants, and that the relative role of biological traits and other factors is stage dependent. High levels of propagule pressure as a result of planting lead to woody species eventually escaping from cultivation, regardless of biological traits. However, the biological traits play a role in later

  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. Estimating species richness using environmental DNA.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Estimating species richness using environmental DNA.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:26314023

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  8. Four arguments why so many alien species settle into estuaries, with special reference to the German river Elbe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nehring, Stefan

    2006-05-01

    In one of the largest European rivers, the Elbe, from its source in the Czech Republic to the German North Sea, 31 alien macrozoobenthic species have been recorded in total. Most of these species have been introduced by shipping activities. With a total number of 21 species, many of the established aliens occur—partly exclusively—in the brackish area of the Elbe estuary. In order to explain this observed settlement characteristic, four main arguments come into consideration: (1) estuaries with intensive international shipping have a higher potential infection rate than other aquatic zones; (2) brackish water species have, due to specific physiological characteristics, a better chance of being transported alive than euhaline or freshwater species and they also probably have a higher perennation and establishment potential after release; (3) brackish waters have the greatest natural ‘indigenous species minimum’, so that more alien species can potentially establish; and (4) salt-tolerant limnetic alien species introduced into inland water reached the coast at first in the estuaries. It seems that the combination of brackish water with its unsaturated ecological niches and intensive international ship traffic has the highest potential infection rate for aquatic systems with alien macrozoobenthic species. And, estuaries are subjected to a two-sided invasion pressure by alien species, via the ocean (mainly shipping) and via inland waters (mainly shipping canal construction). The identification of such patterns is an important prerequisite for the development of a forward-looking alien monitoring and management strategy.

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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. PMID:26565700

  14. 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

  15. Kin selection, species richness and community.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Kazuki

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Alien species in aquaculture and biodiversity: a paradox in food production.

    PubMed

    De Silva, Sena S; Nguyen, Thuy T T; Turchini, Giovanni M; Amarasinghe, Upali S; Abery, Nigel W

    2009-02-01

    Aquaculture is seen as an alternative to meeting the widening gap in global rising demand and decreasing supply for aquatic food products. Asia, the epicenter of the global aquaculture industry, accounts for over 90% of the global aquaculture production quantity and about 80% of the value. Asian aquaculture, as with global aquaculture, is dependent to a significant extent on alien species, as is the case for all the major food crops and husbanded terrestrial animals. However, voluntary and or accidental introduction of exotic aquatic species (alien species) is known to negatively impact local biodiversity. In this relatively young food production industry, mitigating the dependence on alien species, and thereby minimizing potential negative impacts on biodiversity, is an imperative for a sustainable future. In this context an attempt is made in this synthesis to understand such phenomena, especially with reference to Asian inland finfish, the mainstay of global aquaculture production. It is pointed out that there is potential for aquaculture, which is becoming an increasingly important food production process, not to follow the past path of terrestrial food crops and husbanded animals in regard to their negative influences on biodiversity.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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. PMID:24802715

  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. 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

  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. PMID:26508329

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    The relationship between large-scale gradients in species richness and functional diversity provides important information regarding the mechanisms driving patterns of biodiversity. A classic hypothesis in ecology is that strong interspecific interactions should result in an increase in the functional volume of assemblages as the species richness increases, whereas climatic constraints may result in no change in functional volume. Most research of this kind examines latitudinal gradients in species richness, but the results are likely confounded by underlying gradients in climate and phylogenetic composition. We take an alternative approach that examines functional richness across a tree species richness anomaly where species richness doubles from Europe to eastern North America. The results demonstrate that the functional richness on both continents saturates at a similar point as species richness increases and that the packing of functional space becomes tighter. Further, the species richness anomaly is driven primarily by genera unique to North America, but those genera contribute less than expected functional richness to the region, indicating a high level of redundancy with genera shared between the continents. Taken together, the results indicate that the species richness anomaly is associated with diversification within a climatically constrained trait space. More generally, the work demonstrates the power of utilizing species richness anomalies in biodiversity research, particularly when they are coupled with information regarding organismal function. PMID:27028083

  9. 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, ...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simpson, A.; Jarnevich, C.; Madsen, J.; Westbrooks, R.; Fournier, C.; Mehrhoff, L.; Browne, M.; Graham, J.; Sellers, E.

    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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Koichi; Hanyu, Masaaki

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  15. 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. PMID:22355396

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Quantifying relationships between species richness and single environmental factors is challenging as species richness typically depends on multiple environmental factors. Recently, various methods have been proposed to tackle this challenge. Using a dataset comprising field observations of grassland vegetation and measured pH values, we compared three methods for deriving species richness response curves. One of the methods estimates species richness close to the maximum species richness observed at the sites, whereas the other two provide estimates of the potential species richness along the environmental gradient. Our response curves suggest that potential species richness of grasslands is slightly more sensitive to acidification than realized plant species richness. However, differences in corresponding environmental quality standards (EQS) for acidification were small compared to intrinsic spatial differences in natural soil pH, indicating that natural background values are more important to consider in the derivation of EQS for pH than methodological differences between the three approaches. PMID:25705854

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23847712

  5. 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. PMID:26068851

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-16

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

  1. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

    Gittleman, J L; Purvis, A

    1998-01-22

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Anderson, Tavis K; Sukhdeo, Michael V K

    2013-06-01

    This study examined the relationship between the metazoan parasite community in a focal species, Fundulus heteroclitus , and the species richness of the free-living community. Four distinct salt marsh areas were selected in order to reflect a gradient in free-living species richness and time post-restoration (unrestored, 0, 10, and 20 yr post-restoration). A total of 960 fish was studied, with 30 collected per site in each of 8 consecutive seasons between 2005 and 2007. Species richness and abundance of birds, fish, and benthic macroinvertebrates varied significantly between sites. However, increasing richness in the free-living community was neither positively nor negatively correlated with richness in the parasite infracommunity in F. heteroclitus . These results demonstrate that the relationship between community species richness and parasite richness is not linear. The data suggest that the diversity of parasites may be more correlated with measures of community composition, such as the structure and cohesiveness of the food web, rather than with prevailing measures of biodiversity. PMID:23198795

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Broad-scale geographical variation in species richness is strongly correlated with climate, yet the mechanisms underlying this correlation are still unclear. We test two broad classes of hypotheses to explain this pattern. Bottom-up hypotheses propose that the environment determines individual species’ ranges. Ranges then sum up to yield species richness patterns. Top-down hypotheses propose that the environment limits the number of species that occur in a region, but not which ones. We test these two classes of hypotheses using a natural experiment: seasonal changes in environmental variables and seasonal range shifts of 625 migratory birds in the Americas. We show that richness seasonally tracks the environment. By contrast, individual species’ geographical distributions do not. Rather, species occupy different sets of environmental conditions in two seasons. Our results are inconsistent with extant bottom-up hypotheses. Instead, a top-down mechanism appears to constrain the number of species that can occur in a given region. PMID:24352946

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Scholl, Joshua P; Wiens, John J

    2016-09-14

    Species richness varies dramatically among clades across the Tree of Life, by over a million-fold in some cases (e.g. placozoans versus arthropods). Two major explanations for differences in richness among clades are the clade-age hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades are older) and the diversification-rate hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades diversify more rapidly, where diversification rate is the net balance of speciation and extinction over time). Here, we examine patterns of variation in diversification rates across the Tree of Life. We address how rates vary across higher taxa, whether rates within higher taxa are related to the subclades within them, and how diversification rates of clades are related to their species richness. We find substantial variation in diversification rates, with rates in plants nearly twice as high as in animals, and rates in some eukaryotes approximately 10-fold faster than prokaryotes. Rates for each kingdom-level clade are then significantly related to the subclades within them. Although caution is needed when interpreting relationships between diversification rates and richness, a positive relationship between the two is not inevitable. We find that variation in diversification rates seems to explain most variation in richness among clades across the Tree of Life, in contrast to the conclusions of previous studies. PMID:27605507

  12. 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

  13. Species richness and morphological diversity of passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Ricklefs, Robert E

    2012-09-01

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

  14. Species richness and morphological diversity of passerine birds

    PubMed Central

    Ricklefs, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Species richness and morphological diversity of passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Ricklefs, Robert E

    2012-09-01

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

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fattorini, Simone; Ulrich, Werner

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rabosky, Daniel L; Hurlbert, Allen H

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Multiple human stressors affect tropical intertidal sandstone reefs, but little is known about their biodiversity and the environmental impacts of these stressors. In the present study, multiple anthropogenic pressures were integrated using the relative environmental pressure index (REPI) and related to benthic community structure across an intertidal gradient in five sandstone reefs in the tropical South Atlantic coast. Greater species richness and diversity were noted in the low intertidal zones. There was a negative relationship between REPI and species richness, suggesting that increasing anthropogenic pressure has decreased benthic richness. The factors associated with the loss of richness were jetties built to control erosion, urban areas, beachfront kiosks and restaurants, fish markets, and storm sewers with illegal sewage connections. Our results highlight the need for better infrastructure planning and rigorous monitoring of coastal urban areas, since the large influence of multiple human pressures in these reefs leads to biodiversity losses. PMID:27428738

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Multiscale assessment of patterns of avian species richness

    PubMed Central

    Rahbek, Carsten; Graves, Gary R.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have established that species richness and composition are both important determinants of ecosystem function in an experimental context. Determining whether this result holds for real-world ecosystem services has remained elusive, however, largely due to the lack of analytical methods appropriate for large-scale, associational data. Here, we use a novel analytical approach, the Price equation, to partition the contribution to ecosystem services made by species richness, composition and abundance in four large-scale data sets on crop pollination by native bees. We found that abundance fluctuations of dominant species drove ecosystem service delivery, whereas richness changes were relatively unimportant because they primarily involved rare species that contributed little to function. Thus, the mechanism behind our results was the skewed species-abundance distribution. Our finding that a few common species, not species richness, drive ecosystem service delivery could have broad generality given the ubiquity of skewed species-abundance distributions in nature. PMID:25959973

  7. On age and species richness of higher taxa.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Bimodality of Latitudinal Gradients in Marine Species Richness.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    The paradigm for the latitudinal gradient in species richness is that it is unimodal with a tropical peak. For 27 published studies, and global datasets of 65 000 recent and 50 000 fossil marine species, we found that almost all datasets were significantly bimodal with a dip in species richness near the equator. The locations of mid-latitude peaks varied between taxa and were higher in the northern hemisphere where the continental shelf is greatest. Our findings support hypotheses of tropical species evolving in response to temperature variation near the edges of the tropics and available high-productivity habitat. They suggest that the equator may already be too hot for some species and that the modes may move further apart due to climate warming. PMID:27372733

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulrich, Werner; Fiera, Cristina

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    A large amount of data for inconspicuous taxa is stored in natural history collections; however, this information is often neglected for biodiversity patterns studies. Here, we evaluate the performance of direct interpolation of museum collections data, equivalent to the traditional approach used in bryophyte conservation planning, and stacked species distribution models (S-SDMs) to produce reliable reconstructions of species richness patterns, given that differences between these methods have been insufficiently evaluated for inconspicuous taxa. Our objective was to contrast if species distribution models produce better inferences of diversity richness than simply selecting areas with the higher species numbers. As model species, we selected Iberian species of the genus Grimmia (Bryophyta), and we used four well-collected areas to compare and validate the following models: 1) four Maxent richness models, each generated without the data from one of the four areas, and a reference model created using all of the data and 2) four richness models obtained through direct spatial interpolation, each generated without the data from one area, and a reference model created with all of the data. The correlations between the partial and reference Maxent models were higher in all cases (0.45 to 0.99), whereas the correlations between the spatial interpolation models were negative and weak (-0.3 to -0.06). Our results demonstrate for the first time that S-SDMs offer a useful tool for identifying detailed richness patterns for inconspicuous taxa such as bryophytes and improving incomplete distributions by assessing the potential richness of under-surveyed areas, filling major gaps in the available data. In addition, the proposed strategy would enhance the value of the vast number of specimens housed in biological collections. PMID:27069596

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Schmit, John Paul

    2005-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Jian-Guo; Zhou, Qiao-Fu

    2012-04-01

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

  18. Macroparasite community of the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris): poor species richness and diversity.

    PubMed

    Romeo, Claudia; Pisanu, Benoît; Ferrari, Nicola; Basset, Franck; Tillon, Laurent; Wauters, Lucas A; Martinoli, Adriano; Saino, Nicola; Chapuis, Jean-Louis

    2013-10-01

    The Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is the only naturally occurring tree squirrel throughout its range. We aim at improving current knowledge on its macroparasite fauna, expecting that it will have a poor parasite diversity because in species that have no sympatric congeners parasite richness should be lower than in hosts sharing their range with several closely related species, where host-switching events and lateral transmission are promoted. We examined gastro-intestinal helminth and ectoparasite communities (excluding mites) of, respectively, 147 and 311 red squirrel roadkills collected in four biogeographic regions in Italy and France. As expected, the macroparasite fauna was poor: we found five species of nematodes and some unidentified cestodes, three fleas, two sucking lice and two hard ticks. The helminth community was dominated by a single species, the oxyurid Trypanoxyuris (Rodentoxyuris) sciuri (prevalence, 87%; mean abundance, 373 ± 65 worms/host). Its abundance varied among seasons and biogeographic regions and increased with body mass in male hosts while decreased in females. The most prevalent ectoparasites were the flea Ceratophyllus (Monopsyllus) sciurorum (28%), whose presence was affected by season, and the generalist tick Ixodes (Ixodes) ricinus that was found only in France (34%). All the other helminths and arthropod species were rare, with prevalence below 10%. However, the first record of Strongyloides robustus, a common nematode of North American Eastern grey squirrels (S. carolinensis), in two red squirrels living in areas where this alien species co-inhabits, deserves further attention, since low parasite richness could result in native red squirrels being particularly vulnerable to parasite spillover.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Alien plant species with a wider global distribution are better able to capitalize on increased resource availability.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Wayne; Rohr, Rudolf P; van Kleunen, Mark; Fischer, Markus

    2012-05-01

    • A high ability of alien plant species to capitalize on increases in resource availability has been suggested as an explanation for being globally successful. Here, we tested this hypothesis meta-analytically using existing data from experiments manipulating plant resources (light, water and nutrients). • From these studies we extracted the response to resource increase of biomass, as an indicator of plant performance, and the responses of two traits related to resource capture: root : shoot ratio and specific leaf area (SLA). For 211 species recorded in the Global Compendium of Weeds, we assessed the relationship between effect sizes from such studies and the number of global regions where a species was established. • We found that globally widespread species exhibited greater biomass responses to increases in resources overall, compared to less widespread species. Root : shoot ratio and SLA responses to increased resource availability were not related to species global distribution. • In general, globally widespread alien plant species were better able to capitalize on increased availability of resources, through achieving increased growth and biomass accumulation, while greater plasticity of key resource-capture traits per se did not appear to be related to greater success.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:26295099

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Image texture predicts avian density and species richness.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    For decades, ecologists have measured habitat attributes in the field to understand and predict patterns of animal distribution and abundance. However, the scale of inference possible from field measured data is typically limited because large-scale data collection is rarely feasible. This is problematic given that conservation and management typical require data that are fine grained yet broad in extent. Recent advances in remote sensing methodology offer alternative tools for efficiently characterizing wildlife habitat across broad areas. We explored the use of remotely sensed image texture, which is a surrogate for vegetation structure, calculated from both an air photo and from a Landsat TM satellite image, compared with field-measured vegetation structure, characterized by foliage-height diversity and horizontal vegetation structure, to predict avian density and species richness within grassland, savanna, and woodland habitats at Fort McCoy Military Installation, Wisconsin, USA. Image texture calculated from the air photo best predicted density of a grassland associated species, grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), within grassland habitat (R(2) = 0.52, p-value <0.001), and avian species richness among habitats (R(2)= 0.54, p-value <0.001). Density of field sparrow (Spizella pusilla), a savanna associated species, was not particularly well captured by either field-measured or remotely sensed vegetation structure variables, but was best predicted by air photo image texture (R(2)= 0.13, p-value = 0.002). Density of ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus), a woodland associated species, was best predicted by pixel-level satellite data (mean NDVI, R(2)= 0.54, p-value <0.001). Surprisingly and interestingly, remotely sensed vegetation structure measures (i.e., image texture) were often better predictors of avian density and species richness than field-measured vegetation structure, and thus show promise as a valuable tool for mapping habitat quality

  10. 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.

  11. Do Phages influence Species Richness of Prokaryotic Communities?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-21

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:24505348

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:27056916

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Does Mutualism Drive the Invasion of Two Alien Species? The Case of Solenopsis invicta and Phenacoccus solenopsis

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Aiming; Lu, Yongyue; Zeng, Ling; Xu, Yijuan; Liang, Guangwen

    2012-01-01

    Although mutualism between ants and honeydew-producing hemipterans has been extensively recognized in ecosystem biology, however few attempts to test the hypothesis that mutualism between two alien species leads to the facilitation of the invasion process. To address this problem, we focus on the conditional mutualism between S. invicta and P. solenopsis by field investigations and indoor experiments. In the laboratory, ant colony growth increased significantly when ants had access to P. solenopsis and animal-based food. Honeydew produced by P. solenopsis also improved the survival of ant workers. In the field, colony density of P. solenopsis was significantly greater on plots with ants than on plots without ants. The number of mealybug mummies on plants without fire ants was almost three times that of plants with fire ants, indicating a strong effect of fire ants on mealybug survival. In addition, the presence of S. invicta successfully contributed to the spread of P. solenopsis. The quantity of honeydew consumption by S. invicta was significantly greater than that of a presumptive native ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum. When compared with the case without ant tending, mealybugs tended by ants matured earlier and their lifespan and reproduction increased. T. melanocephalum workers arrived at honeydew more quickly than S. invicta workers, while the number of foraging S. invicta workers on plants steadily increased, eventually exceeding that number of T. melanocephalum foragers. Overall, these results suggest that the conditional mutualism between S. invicta and P. solenopsis facilitates population growth and fitness of both species. S. invicta tends to acquire much more honeydew and drive away native ants, promoting their predominance. These results suggest that the higher foraging tempo of S. invicta may provide more effective protection of P. solenopsis than native ants. Thus mutualism between these two alien species may facilitate the invasion success of both

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. Increasing species richness of the macrozoobenthic fauna on tidal flats of the Wadden Sea by local range expansion and invasion of exotic species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beukema, J. J.; Dekker, R.

    2011-06-01

    A 40-y series of consistently collected samples (15 fixed sampling sites, constant sampled area of 15 × 0.95 m2, annual sampling only in late-winter/early-spring seasons, and consistent sieving and sorting procedures; restriction to 50 easily recognizable species) of macrozoobenthos on Balgzand, a tidal flat area in the westernmost part of the Wadden Sea (The Netherlands), revealed significantly increasing trends of species richness. Total numbers of species annually encountered increased from ~28 to ~38. Mean species density (number of species found per sampling site) increased from ~13 to ~18 per 0.95 m2. During the 40 years of the 1970-2009 period of observation, 4 exotic species invaded the area: (in order of first appearance) Ensis directus, Marenzelleria viridis, Crassostrea gigas, and Hemigrapsus takanoi. Another 5 species recently moved to Balgzand from nearby (subtidal) locations. Together, these 9 new species on the tidal flats explained by far most of the increase in total species numbers, but accounted for only one-third of the observed increase in species density (as a consequence of the restricted distribution of most of them). Species density increased particularly by a substantial number of species that showed increasing trends in the numbers of tidal flat sites they occupied. Most of these wider-spreading species were found to suffer from cold winters. During the 40-y period of observation, winter temperatures rose by about 2°C and cold winters became less frequent. The mean number of cold-sensitive species found per site significantly increased by almost 2 per 0.95 m2. Among the other species (not sensitive to low winter temperatures), 6 showed a rising and 2 a declining trend in number of occupied sites, resulting in a net long-term increase in species density amounting to another gain of 1.6 per 0.95 m2. Half of the 50 studied species did not show such long-term trend, nor were invaders. Thus, each of 3 groups (local or alien invaders

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:24363899

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:22998613

  13. Alien invasive birds.

    PubMed

    Brochier, B; Vangeluwe, D; van den Berg, T

    2010-08-01

    A bird species is regarded as alien invasive if it has been introduced, intentionally or accidentally, to a location where it did not previously occur naturally, becomes capable of establishing a breeding population without further intervention by humans, spreads and becomes a pest affecting the environment, the local biodiversity, the economy and/or society, including human health. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) and Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) have been included on the list of '100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species', a subset of the Global Invasive Species Database. The 'Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe' project has selected Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) and Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) as among 100 of the worst invasive species in Europe. For each of these alien bird species, the geographic range (native and introduced range), the introduction pathway, the general impacts and the management methods are presented. PMID:20919578

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-29

    Fraser et al. (Reports, 17 July 2015, p. 302) report a unimodal relationship between productivity and species richness at regional and global scales, which they contrast with the results of Adler et al. (Reports, 23 September 2011, p. 1750). However, both data sets, when analyzed correctly, show clearly and consistently that productivity is a poor predictor of local species richness. PMID:26823418

  17. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    The effects of species loss on ecosystems depend on the community's functional diversity (FD). However, how FD responds to environmental changes is poorly understood. This applies particularly to higher trophic levels, which regulate many ecosystem processes and are strongly affected by human-induced environmental changes. We analyzed how functional richness (FRic), evenness (FEve), and divergence (FDiv) of important generalist predators-epigeic spiders-are affected by changes in woody plant species richness, plant phylogenetic diversity, and stand age in highly diverse subtropical forests in China. FEve and FDiv of spiders increased with plant richness and stand age. FRic remained on a constant level despite decreasing spider species richness with increasing plant species richness. Plant phylogenetic diversity had no consistent effect on spider FD. The results contrast with the negative effect of diversity on spider species richness and suggest that functional redundancy among spiders decreased with increasing plant richness through non-random species loss. Moreover, increasing functional dissimilarity within spider assemblages with increasing plant richness indicates that the abundance distribution of predators in functional trait space affects ecological functions independent of predator species richness or the available trait space. While plant diversity is generally hypothesized to positively affect predators, our results only support this hypothesis for FD-and here particularly for trait distributions within the overall functional trait space-and not for patterns in species richness. Understanding the way predator assemblages affect ecosystem functions in such highly diverse, natural ecosystems thus requires explicit consideration of FD and its relationship with species richness. PMID:24096740

  3. 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...

  4. 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)

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27240206

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    Understanding how plant species richness influences the diversity of herbivorous and predatory/parasitic arthropods is central to community ecology. We explore the effects of crop species richness on the diversity of pest insects and their natural enemies. Using data from a four-year experiment with five levels of crop species richness, we found that crop species richness significantly affected the pest species richness, but there were no significant effects on richness of the pests' natural enemies. In contrast, the species richness of pest insects significantly affected their natural enemies. These findings suggest a cascade effect where trophic interactions are strong between adjacent trophic levels, while the interactions between connected but nonadjacent trophic levels are weakened by the intermediate trophic level. High crop species richness resulted in a more stable arthropod community compared with communities in monoculture crops. Our results highlight the complicated cross-trophic interactions and the crucial role of crop diversity in the food webs of agro-ecosystems. PMID:24907938

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Marraffini, M L; Geller, J B

    2015-08-01

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

  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 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.

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

    PubMed

    Lima, Élison Fabrício B; Mound, Laurence A

    2016-01-01

    Two of the three recognized genera of Sericothripinae are known from the Neotropics, and 14 new species from this area are here described in this subfamily. Illustrated keys are provided to females of seven species of Hydatothrips, and 41 species of Neohydatothrips, mainly from Brazil but including all recorded species south of the border between Mexico and USA. Plant species on which breeding has been recorded are indicated where possible, notes are provided on the few species of economic importance, and a key is appended to second instar larvae of seven species. Neohydatothrips burungae (Hood) stat. rev. and N. aztecus Johansen stat. rev. are recalled from synonymy with Neohydatothrips signifer (Priesner), and N. denigratus (De Santis) syn. n. is synonymized with N. burungae. Hydatothrips williamsi (Hood) comb. n. is relocated from Neohydatothrips, and as this produces a homonym in the genus, Hydatothrips tareei nom. nov. is proposed for Hydatothrips williamsi Mound & Tree from Australia. PMID:27615957

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Understanding species diversity and disturbance relationships is important for biodiversity conservation in disturbance-driven boreal forests. Species richness and evenness may respond differently with stand development following fire. Furthermore, few studies have simultaneously accounted for the influences of climate and local site conditions on species diversity. Using forest inventory data, we examined the relationships between species richness, Shannon's index, evenness, and time since last stand-replacing fire (TSF) in a large landscape of disturbance-driven boreal forest. TSF has negative effect on species richness and Shannon's index, and a positive effect on species evenness. Path analysis revealed that the environmental variables affect richness and Shannon's index only through their effects on TSF while affecting evenness directly as well as through their effects on TSF. Synthesis and applications. Our results demonstrate that species richness and Shannon's index decrease while species evenness increases with TSF in a boreal forest landscape. Furthermore, we show that disturbance frequency, local site conditions, and climate simultaneously influence tree species diversity through complex direct and indirect effects in the studied boreal forest. PMID:26865971

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:27203687

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carnicer, Jofre; Díaz-Delgado, Ricardo

    2008-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:27245423

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Graffis, Andrea M; Kneitel, Jamie M

    2015-08-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Graffis, Andrea M.; Kneitel, Jamie M.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Drake, John M

    2003-08-22

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    We introduce a novel framework for conceptualising, quantifying and unifying discordant patterns of species richness along geographical gradients. While not itself explicitly mechanistic, this approach offers a path towards understanding mechanisms. In this study, we focused on the diverse patterns of species richness on mountainsides. We conjectured that elevational range midpoints of species may be drawn towards a single midpoint attractor - a unimodal gradient of environmental favourability. The midpoint attractor interacts with geometric constraints imposed by sea level and the mountaintop to produce taxon-specific patterns of species richness. We developed a Bayesian simulation model to estimate the location and strength of the midpoint attractor from species occurrence data sampled along mountainsides. We also constructed midpoint predictor models to test whether environmental variables could directly account for the observed patterns of species range midpoints. We challenged these models with 16 elevational data sets, comprising 4500 species of insects, vertebrates and plants. The midpoint predictor models generally failed to predict the pattern of species midpoints. In contrast, the midpoint attractor model closely reproduced empirical spatial patterns of species richness and range midpoints. Gradients of environmental favourability, subject to geometric constraints, may parsimoniously account for elevational and other patterns of species richness. PMID:27358193

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Lang, Christa; Seven, Jasmin; Polle, Andrea

    2011-05-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Corridors Increase Plant Species Richness at Large Scales

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-09-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops, and bee diversity has been shown to be closely associated with pollination, a valuable ecosystem service. Higher functional diversity and species richness of bees have been shown to lead to higher crop yield. Bees simultaneously represent a mega-diverse taxon that is extremely challenging to sample thoroughly and an important group to understand because of pollination services. We sampled bees visiting apple blossoms in 28 orchards over 6 years. We used species rarefaction analyses to test for the completeness of sampling and the relationship between species richness and sampling effort, orchard size, and percent agriculture in the surrounding landscape. We performed more than 190 h of sampling, collecting 11,219 specimens representing 104 species. Despite the sampling intensity, we captured <75% of expected species richness at more than half of the sites. For most of these, the variation in bee community composition between years was greater than among sites. Species richness was influenced by percent agriculture, orchard size, and sampling effort, but we found no factors explaining the difference between observed and expected species richness. Competition between honeybees and wild bees did not appear to be a factor, as we found no correlation between honeybee and wild bee abundance. Our study shows that the pollinator fauna of agroecosystems can be diverse and challenging to thoroughly sample. We demonstrate that there is high temporal variation in community composition and that sites vary widely in the sampling effort required to fully describe their diversity. In order to maximize pollination services provided by wild bee species, we must first accurately estimate species richness. For researchers interested in providing this estimate, we recommend multiyear studies and rarefaction analyses to quantify the gap between observed and expected species richness. PMID:26380684

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops, and bee diversity has been shown to be closely associated with pollination, a valuable ecosystem service. Higher functional diversity and species richness of bees have been shown to lead to higher crop yield. Bees simultaneously represent a mega-diverse taxon that is extremely challenging to sample thoroughly and an important group to understand because of pollination services. We sampled bees visiting apple blossoms in 28 orchards over 6 years. We used species rarefaction analyses to test for the completeness of sampling and the relationship between species richness and sampling effort, orchard size, and percent agriculture in the surrounding landscape. We performed more than 190 h of sampling, collecting 11,219 specimens representing 104 species. Despite the sampling intensity, we captured <75% of expected species richness at more than half of the sites. For most of these, the variation in bee community composition between years was greater than among sites. Species richness was influenced by percent agriculture, orchard size, and sampling effort, but we found no factors explaining the difference between observed and expected species richness. Competition between honeybees and wild bees did not appear to be a factor, as we found no correlation between honeybee and wild bee abundance. Our study shows that the pollinator fauna of agroecosystems can be diverse and challenging to thoroughly sample. We demonstrate that there is high temporal variation in community composition and that sites vary widely in the sampling effort required to fully describe their diversity. In order to maximize pollination services provided by wild bee species, we must first accurately estimate species richness. For researchers interested in providing this estimate, we recommend multiyear studies and rarefaction analyses to quantify the gap between observed and expected species richness. PMID:26380684

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between net primary productivity (NPP) and species richness has been the subject of long-running debate. A changing climate gives added impetus to resolving this debate, as it becomes increasingly necessary to predict biodiversity responses that might arise from shifts in productivity or its climatic correlates. It has become increasingly clear that at small scales productivity-species richness relationships (PSRs) are variable, while at macro scales relationships are typically positive. We demonstrate the importance of explicitly considering scale in discussions on PSRs even at large scales by showing that distinct patterns emerge in a global dataset of terrestrial ecoregions when ecoregions are binned into size classes. At all sizes, PSRs in ecoregions are positive, but the strength of the PSR scales positively with ecoregion size. In small ecoregions (10(3)-10(4) km(2)), factors correlating with productivity play only a minor role in species richness patterns, while in large ecoregions (>10(5) km(2)), NPP modelled from remotely sensed data is able to explain most of the variation in species richness. Better understanding the effects of scale on PSRs contributes to the debate on the relationship between species richness and productivity, which in turn allows us to better predict how both long- and short-term biodiversity patterns and ecosystem functioning might be altered under global change scenarios. This gives focus on future research to clarify causal pathways between species richness and productivity with appropriate attention to scale as an important focusing element. PMID:25249265

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between net primary productivity (NPP) and species richness has been the subject of long-running debate. A changing climate gives added impetus to resolving this debate, as it becomes increasingly necessary to predict biodiversity responses that might arise from shifts in productivity or its climatic correlates. It has become increasingly clear that at small scales productivity–species richness relationships (PSRs) are variable, while at macro scales relationships are typically positive. We demonstrate the importance of explicitly considering scale in discussions on PSRs even at large scales by showing that distinct patterns emerge in a global dataset of terrestrial ecoregions when ecoregions are binned into size classes. At all sizes, PSRs in ecoregions are positive, but the strength of the PSR scales positively with ecoregion size. In small ecoregions (103–104 km2), factors correlating with productivity play only a minor role in species richness patterns, while in large ecoregions (>105 km2), NPP modelled from remotely sensed data is able to explain most of the variation in species richness. Better understanding the effects of scale on PSRs contributes to the debate on the relationship between species richness and productivity, which in turn allows us to better predict how both long- and short-term biodiversity patterns and ecosystem functioning might be altered under global change scenarios. This gives focus on future research to clarify causal pathways between species richness and productivity with appropriate attention to scale as an important focusing element. PMID:25249265

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The role of the native species richness and density in ecosystem invasibility is a matter of concern for both ecologists and managers. We tested the hypothesis that the invasiveness of Urochloa arrecta (non-native in the Neotropics) is negatively affected by the species richness and abundance of native aquatic macrophytes in freshwater ecosystems. We first created four levels of macrophyte richness in a greenhouse (richness experiment), and we then manipulated the densities of the same native species in a second experiment (density experiment). When the native macrophytes were adults, fragments of U. arrecta were added, and their growth was assessed. Our results from the richness experiment corroborated the hypothesis of a negative relationship between the native species richness and the growth of U. arrecta, as measured by sprout length and root biomass. However, the resistance to invasion was not attributed to the presence of a particular native species with a greater competitive ability. In the density experiment, U. arrecta growth decreased significantly with an increased density of all five of the native species. Density strongly affected the performance of the Poaceae in a negative manner, suggesting that patches that are densely colonized by native macrophytes and less subject to disturbances will be more resistant to invasion than those that are poorly colonized and more commonly subjected to disturbances. Our density experiment also showed that some species exhibit a higher competitive ability than others (sampling effect). Although native richness and abundance clearly limit the colonization and establishment of U. arrecta, these factors cannot completely prevent the invasion of aquatic ecosystems by this Poaceae species. PMID:23536902

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The role of the native species richness and density in ecosystem invasibility is a matter of concern for both ecologists and managers. We tested the hypothesis that the invasiveness of Urochloa arrecta (non-native in the Neotropics) is negatively affected by the species richness and abundance of native aquatic macrophytes in freshwater ecosystems. We first created four levels of macrophyte richness in a greenhouse (richness experiment), and we then manipulated the densities of the same native species in a second experiment (density experiment). When the native macrophytes were adults, fragments of U. arrecta were added, and their growth was assessed. Our results from the richness experiment corroborated the hypothesis of a negative relationship between the native species richness and the growth of U. arrecta, as measured by sprout length and root biomass. However, the resistance to invasion was not attributed to the presence of a particular native species with a greater competitive ability. In the density experiment, U. arrecta growth decreased significantly with an increased density of all five of the native species. Density strongly affected the performance of the Poaceae in a negative manner, suggesting that patches that are densely colonized by native macrophytes and less subject to disturbances will be more resistant to invasion than those that are poorly colonized and more commonly subjected to disturbances. Our density experiment also showed that some species exhibit a higher competitive ability than others (sampling effect). Although native richness and abundance clearly limit the colonization and establishment of U. arrecta, these factors cannot completely prevent the invasion of aquatic ecosystems by this Poaceae species. PMID:23536902

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    Macro-scale species richness studies often use museum specimens as their main source of information. However, such datasets are often strongly biased due to variation in sampling effort in space and time. These biases may strongly affect diversity estimates and may, thereby, obstruct solid inference on the underlying diversity drivers, as well as mislead conservation prioritization. In recent years, this has resulted in an increased focus on developing methods to correct for sampling bias. In this study, we use sample-size-correcting methods to examine patterns of tropical plant diversity in Ecuador, one of the most species-rich and climatically heterogeneous biodiversity hotspots. Species richness estimates were calculated based on 205,735 georeferenced specimens of 15,788 species using the Margalef diversity index, the Chao estimator, the second-order Jackknife and Bootstrapping resampling methods, and Hill numbers and rarefaction. Species richness was heavily correlated with sampling effort, and only rarefaction was able to remove this effect, and we recommend this method for estimation of species richness with "big data" collections. PMID:25692000

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wismer, Sharon; Bshary, Redouan

    2015-01-01

    Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes), live coral cover and patch size (volume). The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region. PMID:26644988

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes), live coral cover and patch size (volume). The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region. PMID:26644988

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Freijeiro, Andrea; Baselga, Andrés

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Macro-scale species richness studies often use museum specimens as their main source of information. However, such datasets are often strongly biased due to variation in sampling effort in space and time. These biases may strongly affect diversity estimates and may, thereby, obstruct solid inference on the underlying diversity drivers, as well as mislead conservation prioritization. In recent years, this has resulted in an increased focus on developing methods to correct for sampling bias. In this study, we use sample-size-correcting methods to examine patterns of tropical plant diversity in Ecuador, one of the most species-rich and climatically heterogeneous biodiversity hotspots. Species richness estimates were calculated based on 205,735 georeferenced specimens of 15,788 species using the Margalef diversity index, the Chao estimator, the second-order Jackknife and Bootstrapping resampling methods, and Hill numbers and rarefaction. Species richness was heavily correlated with sampling effort, and only rarefaction was able to remove this effect, and we recommend this method for estimation of species richness with “big data” collections. PMID:25692000

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

    PubMed

    Kalmar, Attila; Currie, David J

    2007-05-01

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

  8. 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 ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ezard, Thomas H G; Purvis, Andy

    2016-08-01

    Co-dependent geological and climatic changes obscure how species interact in deep time. The interplay between these environmental factors makes it hard to discern whether ecological competition exerts an upper limit on species richness. Here, using the exceptional fossil record of Cenozoic Era macroperforate planktonic foraminifera, we assess the evidence for alternative modes of macroevolutionary competition. Our models support an environmentally dependent macroevolutionary form of contest competition that yields finite upper bounds on species richness. Models of biotic competition assuming unchanging environmental conditions were overwhelmingly rejected. In the best-supported model, temperature affects the per-lineage diversification rate, while both temperature and an environmental driver of sediment accumulation defines the upper limit. The support for contest competition implies that incumbency constrains species richness by restricting niche availability, and that the number of macroevolutionary niches varies as a function of environmental changes. PMID:27278857

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

    PubMed

    Turvey, Samuel T; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2014-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-11-18

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lekve, Kyrre; Boulinier, Thierry; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Gjøsaeter, Jakob; Fromentin, Jean-Marc; Hines, James E; Nichols, James D

    2002-01-01

    Determining patterns of change in species richness and the processes underlying the dynamics of biodiversity are of key interest within the field of ecology, but few studies have investigated the dynamics of vertebrate communities at a decadal temporal scale. Here, we report findings on the spatio-temporal variability in the richness and composition of fish communities along the Norwegian Skagerrak coast having been surveyed for more than half a century. Using statistical models incorporating non-detection and associated sampling variance, we estimate local species richness and changes in species composition allowing us to compute temporal variability in species richness. We tested whether temporal variation could be related to distance to the open sea and to local levels of pollution. Clear differences in mean species richness and temporal variability are observed between fjords that were and were not exposed to the effects of pollution. Altogether this indicates that the fjord is an appropriate scale for studying changes in coastal fish communities in space and time. The year-to-year rates of local extinction and turnover were found to be smaller than spatial differences in community composition. At the regional level, exposure to the open sea plays a homogenizing role, possibly due to coastal currents and advection. PMID:12350265

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Spooner, Daniel E; Vaughn, Caryn C

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

    One of the key concerns in conservation is to document and predict the effects of habitat loss on species richness. To do this, the species-area relationship (SAR) is frequently used. That relationship assumes random patterns of habitat loss and species distributions. In nature, however, species distribution patterns are usually nonrandom, influenced by biotic and abiotic factors. Likewise, socioeconomic and environmental factors influence habitat loss and are not randomly distributed across landscapes. We used a recently developed SAR model that accounts for nonrandomness to predict rates of bird species loss in fragmented forests of the Panama Canal region, an area that was historically covered in forest but now has 53% forest cover. Predicted species loss was higher than that predicted by the standard SAR. Furthermore, a species loss threshold was evident when remaining forest cover declined by 25%. This level of forest cover corresponds to 40% of the historical forest cover, and our model predicts rapid species loss past that threshold. This study illustrates the importance of considering patterns of species distributions and realistic habitat loss scenarios to develop better estimates of losses in species richness. Forecasts of tropical biodiversity loss generated from simple species-area relationships may underestimate actual losses because nonrandom patterns of species distributions and habitat loss are probably not unique to the Panama Canal region. PMID:19769107

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

    PubMed

    Sarabeev, Volodimir

    2015-08-01

    Quantitative complex analyses of parasite communities of invaders across different native and introduced populations are largely lacking. The present study provides a comparative analysis of species richness of helminth parasites in native and invasive populations of grey mullets. The local species richness differed between regions and host species, but did not differ when compared with invasive and native hosts. The size of parasite assemblages of endohelminths was higher in the Mediterranean and Azov-Black Seas, while monogeneans were the most diverse in the Sea of Japan. The helminth diversity was apparently higher in the introduced population of Liza haematocheilus than that in their native habitat, but this trend could not be confirmed when the size of geographic range and sampling efforts were controlled for. The parasite species richness at the infracommunity level of the invasive host population is significantly lower compared with that of the native host populations that lends support to the enemy release hypothesis. A distribution pattern of the infracommunity richness of acquired parasites by the invasive host can be characterized as aggregated and it is random in native host populations. Heterogeneity in the host susceptibility and vulnerability to acquired helminth species was assumed to be a reason of the aggregation of species numbers in the population of the invasive host. PMID:25579021

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannisdal, Bjarte; Liow, Lee Hsiang

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ricklefs, Robert E; Renner, Susanne S

    2012-01-27

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

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

    PubMed

    Engelhardt, K A; Ritchie, M E

    2001-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Marshall, Katie E; Baltzer, Jennifer L

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Marshall, Katie E; Baltzer, Jennifer L

    2015-02-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defeo, Omar; McLachlan, Anton

    2013-10-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Nasser, K M Mohamed; Sureshkumar, S

    2013-11-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dolan, John R; Stoeck, Thorsten

    2011-12-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Cox, Daniel T C; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Harris, Nyeema C; Dunn, Robert R

    2010-11-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-07-01

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