Science.gov

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. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    At local scales, it has often been found that invasibility decreases with increasing resident plant diversity. However, whether resident community diversity similarly resists invasion by alien versus native species is seldom studied. We examined this issue by invading constructed native plant assemblages that varied in species and functional richness with invasive alien or native Asteraceae species. Assemblages were also invaded with spotted knapweed, Centaurea stoebe, a native European aster that has been previously used in diversity-invasibility experiments in North America. We also conducted a field survey to explore the generality of the patterns generated from our experimental study. Both experimental and observational work revealed that increasing diversity reduced the performance of alien but not native invaders. Centaurea stoebe invading its native community performed poorly regardless of resident diversity, whereas in a parallel, previously published study conducted in North America, C. stoebe easily invaded low-diversity but not high-diversity assemblages. Our results suggest that diversity is an attribute of resident communities that makes them more or less susceptible to invasion by novel invasive alien but not native plant species. PMID:25996858

  8. Index of Alien Impact: A Method for Evaluating Potential Ecological Impact of Alien Plant Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magee, Teresa K.; Ringold, Paul L.; Bollman, Michael A.; Ernst, Ted L.

    2010-04-01

    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) to estimate the collective ecological impact of in situ alien species. IAI summarizes the frequency of occurrence and potential ecological impact ( Invasiveness-Impact Score ( I i )) of individual alien species for all aliens present in a particular location or community type. A component metric, I i , is based on ecological species traits (life history, ecological amplitude, and ability to alter ecosystem processes) that reflect mechanisms, which can increase impact to ecosystem structure and function. While I i is less complex than some other multi-metric rankings of alien impact, it compares well to these metrics and to qualitative judgments. IAI can be adapted for different ecological settings by modifying the set of species traits incorporated in I i to reflect properties likely to breach biotic and abiotic barriers or alter ecosystem function in a particular region or community type of interest. To demonstrate our approach, we created versions of IAI and I i , applicable to the diverse streamside vegetation of a river basin (19,631 km2) spanning low-elevation arid to mesic montane habitats in eastern Oregon, USA. In this demonstration effort, we (1) evaluate relationships of IAI to metrics describing invasion level, and (2) illustrate the potential utility of IAI for prioritizing alien species management activities and informing restoration goals.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. INTRODUCED TERRESTRIAL SPECIES RICHNESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all introduced mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies in the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons. The data are species counts for each spatial unit.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Alien invasive species and international trade

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Emergency control measures for invasive species often rely on use of pesticides and other destructive practices. Public concern about pesticide contamination of the ground water and the environment has lead to increased restrictions on the use of pesticides for control of many destructive invasive ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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. PMID:26471066

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. NATIVE TERRESTRIAL ANIMAL SPECIES RICHNESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies in the Middle-Atlantic region. The data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons and represent total species counts for each spatial unit.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27008794

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Life-history traits of alien and native senecio species in the Mediterranean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sans, F. X.; Garcia-Serrano, H.; Afán, I.

    2004-12-01

    Two related shrubs, Senecio inaequidens and S. pterophorus, both introduced to western Mediterranean Europe from South Africa, were compared with a native Mediterranean shrub, S. malacitanus, to identify life-history traits that confer invasive ability. We examined ecological interactions that affect seedling emergence and establishment, flowering time, growth and reproduction and competitive ability in these three closely related species. Seeds were planted, the seedlings were then transplanted and individual performance was evaluated with respect to: (1) competition with plant neighbours and (2) resource addition. Senecio inaequidens had higher rates of seedling establishment and a shorter pre-reproductive period. Competition with neighbours had a considerable impact on S. malacitanus, delaying flowering time and reducing growth and reproduction. S. pterophorus showed inefficient seedling establishment compared to the other two species, but performed better in terms of growth and reproduction. The two alien species were markedly more competitive than the native one. However, differences in competitiveness among S. malacitanus and the two aliens varied depending on resource availability. Thus, Senecio inaequidens and S. pterophorus were more affected by competition in subplots with resource addition and by competition in those without addition, respectively. The latter showed a greater capacity to respond to additional resources in competitive environments and, in addition, its reproductive effort was unrelated to habitat conditions. The invasive potential of the alien species was higher than that of the native. This was a result of various biological characteristics and specific interactions between invader and environment, which made the invasiveness of alien species unpredictable.

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Does Global Warming Increase Establishment Rates of Invasive Alien Species? A Centurial Time Series Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Dingcheng; Haack, Robert A.; Zhang, Runzhi

    2011-01-01

    Background The establishment rate of invasive alien insect species has been increasing worldwide during the past century. This trend has been widely attributed to increased rates of international trade and associated species introductions, but rarely linked to environmental change. To better understand and manage the bioinvasion process, it is crucial to understand the relationship between global warming and establishment rate of invasive alien species, especially for poikilothermic invaders such as insects. Methodology/Principal Findings We present data that demonstrate a significant positive relationship between the change in average annual surface air temperature and the establishment rate of invasive alien insects in mainland China during 1900–2005. This relationship was modeled by regression analysis, and indicated that a 1°C increase in average annual surface temperature in mainland China was associated with an increase in the establishment rate of invasive alien insects of about 0.5 species year−1. The relationship between rising surface air temperature and increasing establishment rate remained significant even after accounting for increases in international trade during the period 1950–2005. Moreover, similar relationships were detected using additional data from the United Kingdom and the contiguous United States. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that the perceived increase in establishments of invasive alien insects can be explained only in part by an increase in introduction rate or propagule pressure. Besides increasing propagule pressure, global warming is another driver that could favor worldwide bioinvasions. Our study highlights the need to consider global warming when designing strategies and policies to deal with bioinvasions. PMID:21931837

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. TEASIng apart alien species risk assessments: a framework for best practices.

    PubMed

    Leung, Brian; Roura-Pascual, Nuria; Bacher, Sven; Heikkilä, Jaakko; Brotons, Lluis; Burgman, Mark A; Dehnen-Schmutz, Katharina; Essl, Franz; Hulme, Philip E; Richardson, David M; Sol, Daniel; Vilà, Montserrat; Rejmanek, Marcel

    2012-12-01

    Some alien species cause substantial impacts, yet most are innocuous. Given limited resources, forecasting risks from alien species will help prioritise management. Given that risk assessment (RA) approaches vary widely, a synthesis is timely to highlight best practices. We reviewed quantitative and scoring RAs, integrating > 300 publications into arguably the most rigorous quantitative RA framework currently existing, and mapping each study onto our framework, which combines Transport, Establishment, Abundance, Spread and Impact (TEASI). Quantitative models generally measured single risk components (78% of studies), often focusing on Establishment alone (79%). Although dominant in academia, quantitative RAs are underused in policy, and should be made more accessible. Accommodating heterogeneous limited data, combining across risk components, and developing generalised RAs across species, space and time without requiring new models for each species may increase attractiveness for policy applications. Comparatively, scoring approaches covered more risk components (50% examined > 3 components), with Impact being the most common component (87%), and have been widely applied in policy (> 57%), but primarily employed expert opinion. Our framework provides guidance for questions asked, combining scores and other improvements. Our risk framework need not be completely parameterised to be informative, but instead identifies opportunities for improvement in alien species RA. PMID:23020170

  2. Nonparametric lower bounds for species richness and shared species richness under sampling without replacement.

    PubMed

    Chao, Anne; Lin, Chih-Wei

    2012-09-01

    A number of species richness estimators have been developed under the model that individuals (or sampling units) are sampled with replacement. However, if sampling is done without replacement so that no sampled unit can be repeatedly observed, then the traditional estimators for sampling with replacement tend to overestimate richness for relatively high-sampling fractions (ratio of sample size to the total number of sampling units) and do not converge to the true species richness when the sampling fraction approaches one. Based on abundance data or replicated incidence data, we propose a nonparametric lower bound for species richness in a single community and also a lower bound for the number of species shared by multiple communities. Our proposed lower bounds are derived under very general sampling models. They are universally valid for all types of species abundance distributions and species detection probabilities. For abundance data, individuals' detectabilities are allowed to be heterogeneous among species. For replicated incidence data, the selected sampling units (e.g., quadrats) need not be fully censused and species can be spatially aggregated. All bounds converge correctly to the true parameters when the sampling fraction approaches one. Real data sets are used for illustration. We also test the proposed bounds by using subsamples generated from large real surveys or censuses, and their performance is compared with that of some previous estimators. PMID:22348318

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Lubin, D.; 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-m 2 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

  4. 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

  5. Insect Eradication and Containment of Invasive Alien Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Microbiological accumulation by the Mediterranean invasive alien species Branchiomma bairdi (Annelida, Sabellidae): potential tool for bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Stabili, Loredana; Licciano, Margherita; Lezzi, Marco; Giangrande, Adriana

    2014-09-15

    We examined the bacterial accumulation and digestion in the alien polychaete Branchiomma bairdi. Microbiological analyses were performed on worm homogenates from "unstarved" and "starved" individuals and on seawater from the same sampling site (Ionian Sea, Italy). Densities of culturable heterotrophic bacteria (22 °C), total culturable bacteria (37 °C) and vibrios were measured on Marine Agar 2216, Plate Count Agar and TCBS Agar, respectively. Microbial pollution indicators were determined by the most probable number method. B. bairdi was able to accumulate all the six considered microbiological groups which, however, differ in their resistance to digestion. B. bairdi results more efficient than the other two co-occurring sabellids in removing bacteria suggesting that it may counteract the effects of microbial pollution playing a potential role for in situ bioremediation. Thus a potential risk, such as the invasion of an alien species, could be transformed into a benefit with high potential commercial gain and economic feasibility. PMID:25070411

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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, ...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Estimating bird species richness from capture and count data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

  2. 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. PMID:24641509

  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. PMID:26068851

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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

    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. 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

  9. Patterns of infracommunity species richness in eels, Anguilla anguilla.

    PubMed

    Norton, J; Rollinson, D; Lewis, J W

    2004-06-01

    Between October 1999 and October 2001, a total of 510 European eels Anguilla anguilla were captured in 13 different samples from the rivers Thames (five locations) and Test (one location) in southern England. The relationship between parasite component community species richness (CCR) and maximum infracommunity species richness (ICRmax) compared with that previously observed in bird and mammal hosts. Specifically, the maximum number of parasite species occurring in infracommunities equalled or exceeded half the number of parasite species in the component community at that time, across a wide range of CCR values (2-9 parasite species). Furthermore, the frequency distribution of infracommunity richness (ICR) suggested that the species composition of infracommunities is probably random. These findings suggest that intestinal macroparasite infracommunities in eels are unsaturated and potentially species rich assemblages and, in these respects, share a fundamental similarity with the infracommunities of birds and mammals. PMID:15153286

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Species richness in the Phanerozoic: Compensating for sampling bias

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Signor, Philip W., III

    1982-12-01

    Sampling biases are the greatest impediment to resolving the history of species richness of fossilizable marine invertebrates in the Phanerozoic. Actual patterns of species richness have remained uncertain because no method is available to compensate for variations in sampling intensity. Data are not obtainable which would permit application of techniques that allow direct compensation for sampling intensity, such as rarefaction, but actual patterns can be estimated with a sampling model designed to account for sampling bias. One can estimate the total species richness of a geologic period if one knows the relative sampling intensity devoted to that period, the original species-abundance distribution of all species that existed during the interval, and the number of species that existed during the Cenozoic. The model presented here is based on the assumption that the species-abundance distributions of fossilizable marine invertebrates were lognormal and that sampling was proportional to sediment area, volume, or paleontologist interest units. The model produces consistent results with different estimates of total Cenozoic species richness and sampling intensity and strongly suggests low diversity during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic, followed by a dramatic early Cenozoic increase in standing species richness. These results are consistent with Valentine's (1970) Empirical model of species richness.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Knop, Eva; Reusser, Nik

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. PMID:26831107

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gittleman, J L; Purvis, A

    1998-01-01

    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. 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 ...

  4. Dynamics and species richness of tropical rain forests.

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

  5. NATIVE FRESHWATER FISH AND MUSSEL SPECIES RICHNESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all native freshwater fish and freshwater mussels in the Middle-Atlantic region. The data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons and represent total species counts for each spatial unit.

  6. THREATENED AND ENDANGERED TERRESTRIAL ANIMAL SPECIES RICHNESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all U.S. listed threatened and endangered mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians in the Middle-Atlantic region. The data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons and represent total species counts for each sp...

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hulme, Philip E

    2011-01-01

    • Plant phenology is particularly sensitive to climate and a key indicator of environmental change. Globally, first flowering dates (FFDs) have advanced by several days per decade in response to recent climate warming, but, while earlier flowering should allow plant distributions to increase, a link between FFD and range changes has not been observed. • Here I show for 347 species that the extent to which FFD has responded to climate warming is linked to the degree to which their relative distributions have changed over 30 yr across the British Isles. • Native plant species whose phenology did not track climate change declined in distribution, whereas species that became more widespread all exhibited earlier flowering. In contrast, alien neophytes showed both a stronger phenological response to warming and a more marked increase in distribution, but no link between the two. • These trends were consistent both for relative changes in the national distribution and for local abundance. At the national scale, the more recently an alien species became established in Britain, the more likely it was to increase in distribution irrespective of FFD, suggesting that recent changes in alien species distributions are decoupled from climate and driven by other factors. PMID:20807339

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:25905501

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    A major goal of ecology is to determine the causes of the latitudinal gradient in global distribution of species richness. Current evidence points to either energy availability or habitat heterogeneity as the most likely environmental drivers in terrestrial systems, but their relative importance is controversial in the absence of analyses of global (rather than continental or regional) extent. Here we use data on the global distribution of extant continental and continental island bird species to test the explanatory power of energy availability and habitat heterogeneity while simultaneously addressing issues of spatial resolution, spatial autocorrelation, geometric constraints upon species' range dynamics, and the impact of human populations and historical glacial ice-cover. At the finest resolution (1°), topographical variability and temperature are identified as the most important global predictors of avian species richness in multi-predictor models. Topographical variability is most important in single-predictor models, followed by productive energy. Adjusting for null expectations based on geometric constraints on species richness improves overall model fit but has negligible impact on tests of environmental predictors. Conclusions concerning the relative importance of environmental predictors of species richness cannot be extrapolated from one biogeographic realm to others or the globe. Rather a global perspective confirms the primary importance of mountain ranges in high-energy areas. PMID:17311781

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) can cause substantive ecological impacts, and the role of temperature in mediating these impacts may become increasingly significant in a changing climate. Habitat conditions and physiological optima offer predictive information for IAS impacts in novel environments. Here, using meta-analysis and laboratory experiments, we tested the hypothesis that the impacts of IAS in the field are inversely correlated with the difference in their ambient and optimal temperatures. A meta-analysis of 29 studies of consumptive impacts of IAS in inland waters revealed that the impacts of fishes and crustaceans are higher at temperatures that more closely match their thermal growth optima. In particular, the maximum impact potential was constrained by increased differences between ambient and optimal temperatures, as indicated by the steeper slope of a quantile regression on the upper 25th percentile of impact data compared to that of a weighted linear regression on all data with measured variances. We complemented this study with an experimental analysis of the functional response (the relationship between predation rate and prey supply) of two invasive predators (freshwater mysid shrimp, Hemimysis anomala and Mysis diluviana) across. relevant temperature gradients; both of these species have previously been found to exert strong community-level impacts that are corroborated by their functional responses to different prey items. The functional response experiments showed that maximum feeding rates of H. anomala and M. diluviana have distinct peaks near their respective thermal optima. Although variation in impacts may be caused by numerous abiotic or biotic habitat characteristics, both our analyses point to temperature as a key mediator of IAS impact levels in inland waters and suggest that IAS management should prioritize habitats in the invaded range that more closely match the thermal optima of targeted invaders. PMID:26214916

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmermann, A.; Zimmermann, B.

    2014-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:23873618

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims at the conservation of all three levels of biodiversity, that is, ecosystems, species and genes. Genetic diversity represents evolutionary potential and is important for ecosystem functioning. Unfortunately, genetic diversity in natural populations is hardly considered in conservation strategies because it is difficult to measure and has been hypothesised to co-vary with species richness. This means that species richness is taken as a surrogate of genetic diversity in conservation planning, though their relationship has not been properly evaluated. We tested whether the genetic and species levels of biodiversity co-vary, using a large-scale and multi-species approach. We chose the high-mountain flora of the Alps and the Carpathians as study systems and demonstrate that species richness and genetic diversity are not correlated. Species richness thus cannot act as a surrogate for genetic diversity. Our results have important consequences for implementing the CBD when designing conservation strategies. PMID:23006492

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raibaut, André; Combes, Claude; Benoit, Françoise

    1998-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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. PMID:25082015

  18. 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

  19. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Wildlife Species Richness in Shelterbelts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1986-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for evaluating potential species richness in shelterbelts. The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hacker, Nina; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Oelmann, Yvonne

    2014-05-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. The impact of an alien plant on a native plant-pollinator network: an experimental approach.

    PubMed

    Lopezaraiza-Mikel, Martha E; Hayes, Richard B; Whalley, Martin R; Memmott, Jane

    2007-07-01

    Studies of pairwise interactions have shown that an alien plant can affect the pollination of a native plant, this effect being mediated by shared pollinators. Here we use a manipulative field experiment, to investigate the impact of the alien plant Impatiens glandulifera on an entire community of coflowering native plants. Visitation and pollen transport networks were constructed to compare replicated I. glandulifera invaded and I. glandulifera removal plots. Invaded plots had significantly higher visitor species richness, visitor abundance and flower visitation. However, the pollen transport networks were dominated by alien pollen grains in the invaded plots and consequently higher visitation may not translate in facilitation for pollination. The more generalized insects were more likely to visit the alien plant, and Hymenoptera and Hemiptera were more likely to visit the alien than Coleoptera. Our data indicate that generalized native pollinators can provide a pathway of integration for alien plants into native visitation systems. PMID:17542933

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  13. Resource polyphenism increases species richness: a test of the hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Pfennig, David W.; McGee, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    A major goal of evolutionary biology is to identify the causes of diversification and to ascertain why some evolutionary lineages are especially diverse. Evolutionary biologists have long speculated that polyphenism—where a single genome produces alternative phenotypes in response to different environmental stimuli—facilitates speciation, especially when these alternative phenotypes differ in resource or habitat use, i.e. resource polyphenism. Here, we present a series of replicated sister-group comparisons showing that fishes and amphibian clades in which resource polyphenism has evolved are more species rich, and have broader geographical ranges, than closely related clades lacking resource polyphenism. Resource polyphenism may promote diversification by facilitating each of the different stages of the speciation process (isolation, divergence, reproductive isolation) and/or by reducing a lineage's risk of extinction. Generally, resource polyphenism may play a key role in fostering diversity, and species in which resource polyphenism has evolved may be predisposed to diversify. PMID:20083634

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:27029467

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:24112308

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  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. PMID:26482012

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Characteristics of successful alien plants.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Herbert Baker arguably initiated the search for species characteristics determining alien plant invasion success, with his formulation of the 'ideal weed'. Today, a profusion of studies has tested a myriad of traits for their importance in explaining success of alien plants, but the multiple, not always appropriate, approaches used have led to some confusion and criticism. We argue that a greater understanding of the characteristics explaining alien plant success requires a refined approach that respects the multistage, multiscale nature of the invasion process. We present a schema of questions we can ask regarding the success of alien species, with the answering of one question in the schema being conditional on the answer of preceding questions (thus acknowledging the nested nature of invasion stages). For each question, we identify traits and attributes of species we believe are likely to be most important in explaining species success, and we make predictions as to how we expect successful aliens to differ from natives and from unsuccessful aliens in their characteristics. We organize the findings of empirical studies according to the questions in our schema that they have addressed, to assess the extent to which they support our predictions. We believe that research on plant traits of alien species has already told us a lot about why some alien species become successful after introduction. However, if we ask the right questions at the appropriate scale and use appropriate comparators, research on traits may tell us whether they are really important or not, and if so under which conditions. PMID:25421056

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Effect of functional group richness and species richness in manipulated productivity diversity studies: a glasshouse pot experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanta, Vojtěch; Lepš, Jan

    2006-01-01

    Species and functional group (grasses, legumes, creeping nonlegume forbs, rosette nonlegume forbs) richness of species assemblages composed of 16 species from four functional plant groups were manipulated to evaluate the productivity-diversity relationships in a greenhouse pot experiment. Pots were filled with sand, and supplied at two levels of nutrients. The plants were grown in monocultures, two, four, eight and 16 species mixtures. Individual two, four, and eight species mixtures differed in the richness of functional groups. Although the two characteristics of biodiversity, i.e. species and functional group richness, were necessarily correlated, it was shown that it is possible to separate their effect statistically, and also test for their common effect without pronounced loss of test power. There was a pronounced increase of average aboveground biomass and a mild increase in belowground biomass with biodiversity. The effect of functional group richness was more pronounced than the effect of the number of species. By using the method of Loreau and Hector (Nature 411 (2001) 72), selection and complementarity effects were statistically separated, and the overyielding index was calculated as a ratio of the productivity of a mixture to the productivity of its most productive component (to demonstrate transgressive overyielding). Positive values of complementarity and transgressive overyielding were both found, particularly in some rich communities and under high nutrient levels. Complementarity significantly increased only with functional group richness and mainly under high nutrients in the belowground biomass. Some species, when grown in monocultures, had decreased productivity under higher nutrients, and thus were more productive in mixtures than in monocultures. It seems that those species suffered from too high nutrient levels when grown in monocultures, but not in the presence of other species, which were able to use the nutrients in high concentrations and

  9. The environmental consequences of alien species in the Swedish lakes Mälaren, Hjälmaren, Vänern and Vättern.

    PubMed

    Josefsson, M; Andersson, B

    2001-12-01

    Twenty alien species have become established in the lakes Mälaren, Vänern, Vättern and Hjälmaren. Intentional introductions include fish and the signal crayfish from North America, ornamental plants, and the Canada goose. Unintentional introductions include the crayfish plague introduced with infected crayfish, the zebra mussel, and Chinese mitten crab introduced with ballast water. The introduction of pathogens and parasites, in particular the crayfish plague, to the lakes has had the greatest environmental and socioeconomic effects and has contributed to the decimation of the indigenous noble crayfish. The stocking of brown trout and salmon with origins from different biogeographical regions has contributed to the extinction of relict indigenous fish species in L. Vänern. Although major ecosystem damage caused by the introduction of alien species, with the exception of the crayfish plague, has not occurred in the four large Swedish lakes, local problems of considerable dignity occur occasionally. PMID:11878025

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:17305807

  12. 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.

  13. Behavioural interactions between ecosystem engineers control community species richness.

    PubMed

    Gribben, Paul E; Byers, James E; Clements, Michael; McKenzie, Louise A; Steinberg, Peter D; Wright, Jeffrey T

    2009-11-01

    Behavioural interactions between ecosystem engineers may strongly influence community structure. We tested whether an invasive ecosystem engineer, the alga Caulerpa taxifolia, indirectly facilitated community diversity by modifying the behaviour of a native ecosystem engineer, the clam Anadara trapezia, in southeastern Australia. In this study, clams in Caulerpa-invaded sediments partially unburied themselves, extending >30% of their shell surface above the sediment, providing rare, hard substrata for colonization. Consequently, clams in Caulerpa had significantly higher diversity and abundance of epibiota compared with clams in unvegetated sediments. To isolate the role of clam burial depth from direct habitat influences or differential predation by habitat, we manipulated clam burial depth, predator exposure and habitat (Caulerpa or unvegetated) in an orthogonal experiment. Burial depth overwhelmingly influenced epibiont species richness and abundance, resulting in a behaviourally mediated facilitation cascade. That Caulerpa controls epibiont communities by altering Anadara burial depths illustrates that even subtle behavioural responses of one ecosystem engineer to another can drive extensive community-wide facilitation. PMID:19702633

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    For maintaining social and financial support for eradication programs of invasive species, quantitative assessment of recovery of native species or ecosystems is important because it provides a measurable parameter of success. However, setting a concrete goal for recovery is often difficult owing to lack of information prior to the introduction of invaders. Here, we present a novel approach to evaluate the achievement level of invasive predator management based on the carrying capacity of endangered species estimated using long-term monitoring data. In Amami-Oshima Island, Japan, where the eradication project of introduced small Indian mongoose is ongoing since 2000, we surveyed the population densities of four endangered species threatened by the mongoose (Amami rabbit, the Otton frog, Amami tip-nosed frog, and Amami Ishikawa's frog) at four time points ranging from 2003 to 2011. We estimated the carrying capacities of these species using the logistic growth model combined with the effects of mongoose predation and environmental heterogeneity. All species showed clear tendencies toward increasing their density in line with decreased mongoose density, and they exhibited density-dependent population growth. The estimated carrying capacities of three endangered species had small confidence intervals enough to measure recovery levels by the mongoose management. The population density of each endangered species has recovered to the level of the carrying capacity at about 20-40% of all sites, whereas no individuals were observed at more than 25% of all sites. We propose that the present approach involving appropriate monitoring data of native organism populations will be widely applicable to various eradication projects and provide unambiguous goals for management of invasive species. PMID:24363899

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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. PMID:24820569

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    Multidisciplinary knowledge on the impact caused by invasive alien species (IAS) on ecosystems is crucial for guiding policy makers in the adoption of sustainable management measures. This research was focused on insect IAS impacts on two managed ecosystems: eucalypt plantations and citrus orchards. It begins with an identification of the wide range of ecosystem services (ES) and disservices provided by each of these managed ecosystems, according to the methodology proposed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Subsequently, a comprehensive review of studies that promoted the identification and valuation of direct and indirect impacts IAS impacts on these ecosystems was performed. From the synthesis of previous findings, an integrative management framework is advanced. This links the identification of ES, drivers of change and development of IAS management strategies by means of assessment processes that account for multiple dimensions of ES values. The article concludes with a discussion on the challenges underpinning assessment and valuation approaches that inform the design of inclusive strategies and interventions to tackle IAS impacts. PMID:25463567

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

    Debate on the relationship between diversity and stability has been driven by the recognition that species loss may influence ecosystem properties and processes. We conducted a litterbag experiment in the Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom, to examine the effects of altering plant litter diversity on decomposition, microbial biomass, and microfaunal abundance. The design of treatments was fully factorial and included five species from an upland plant community (silver birch, Betula pendula; Scots' pine, Pinus sylvestris; heather, Calluna vulgaris; bilberry, Vaccinium myrtillus; wavy-hair grass, Deschampsia flexuosa); species richness ranged from one to five species. We tested the effects of litter species richness and composition on variable means, whether increasing litter species richness reduced variability in the decomposer system, and whether any richness-variability relationships were maintained over time (196 vs. 564 days). While litter species composition effects controlled variable means, we revealed reductions in variability with increasing litter species richness, even after accounting for differences between litter types. These findings suggest that higher plant species richness per se may result in more stable ecosystem processes (e.g., decomposition) and decomposer communities. Negative richness-variation relationships generally relaxed over time, presumably because properties of litter mixtures became more homogeneous. However, given that plant litter inputs continue to enter the belowground system over time, we conclude that variation in ecosystem properties may be buffered by greater litter species richness. PMID:18831186

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Introgression of FHB Resistance from Alien Species-Derived Lines into Spring Wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We have produced and collected over 300 wheat lines derived from the crosses of wheat with wild species related to wheat. Evaluation of these lines for reaction to Fusarium head blight (FHB) identified 74 lines with resistance comparable to “Sumai 3” in two greenhouse seasons. Most of the resistan...

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Nováková, Petra; Holuša, Jaroslav; Horák, Jakub

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. A phylogenetic perspective on elevational species richness patterns in Middle American treefrogs: why so few species in lowland tropical rainforests?

    PubMed

    Smith, Sarah A; de Oca, Adrian Nieto Montes; Reeder, Tod W; Wiens, John J

    2007-05-01

    Differences in species richness at different elevations are widespread and important for conservation, but the causes of these patterns remain poorly understood. Here, we use a phylogenetic perspective to address the evolutionary and biogeographic processes that underlie elevational diversity patterns within a region. We focus on a diverse but well-studied fauna of tropical amphibians, the hylid frogs of Middle America. Middle American treefrogs show a "hump-shaped" pattern of species richness (common in many organisms and regions), with the highest regional diversity at intermediate elevations. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships among 138 species by combining new and published sequence data from 10 genes and then used this phylogeny to infer evolutionary rates and patterns. The high species richness of intermediate elevations seems to result from two factors. First, a tendency for montane clades to have higher rates of diversification. Second, the early colonization of montane regions, leaving less time for speciation to build up species richness in lowland regions (including tropical rainforests) that have been colonized more recently. This "time-for-speciation" effect may explain many diversity patterns and has important implications for conservation. The results also imply that local-scale environmental factors alone may be insufficient to explain the high species richness of lowland tropical rainforests, and that diversification rates are lower in earth's most species-rich biome. PMID:17492971

  15. 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. PMID:26970373

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. Bat fly species richness in Neotropical bats: correlations with host ecology and host brain.

    PubMed

    Bordes, Frédéric; Morand, Serge; Ricardo, Guerrero

    2008-11-01

    Patterns of ectoparasite species richness in mammals have been investigated in various terrestrial mammalian taxa such as primates, ungulates and carnivores. Several ecological or life traits of hosts are expected to explain much of the variability in species richness of parasites. In the present comparative analysis we investigate some determinants of parasite richness in bats, a large and understudied group of flying mammals, and their obligate blood-sucking ectoparasite, streblid bat flies (Diptera). We investigate the effects of host body size, geographical range, group size and roosting ecology on the species richness of bat flies in tropical areas of Venezuela and Peru, where both host and parasite diversities are high. We use the data from a major sampling effort on 138 bat species from nine families. We also investigate potential correlation between bat fly species richness and brain size (corrected for body size) in these tropical bats. We expect a relationship if there is a potential energetic trade-off between costly large brains and parasite-mediated impacts. We show that body size and roosting in cavities are positively correlated with bat fly species richness. No effects of bat range size and group size were observed. Our results also suggest an association between body mass-independent brain size and bat fly species richness. PMID:18679724

  7. 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.

  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. PMID:24344966

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:22764496

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pavlacky, D.C., Jr.; 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    We studied the effect of host gender and body mass on species richness of flea infracommunities in nine rodent host species from three biomes (temperate zone of central Europe, desert of the Middle East and the tropics of East Africa). Using season- and species-specific generalized linear mixed models and controlling for year-to-year variation, spatial clustering of rodent sampling and over-dispersion of the data, we found inconsistent associations between host characteristics and flea species richness. We found strong support for male-biased flea parasitism, especially during the reproductive period (higher species richness in male hosts than in females) in all considered European rodents (Apodemus agrarius, Myodes glareolus and Microtus arvalis) and in one rodent species from the Middle East (Dipodillus dasyurus). In contrast, two of three African rodent species (Lophuromys kilonzoi and Praomys delectorum) demonstrated a trend of female-biased flea species richness. Positive associations between body mass and the number of flea species were detected mainly in males (five of nine species: A. agrarius, M. glareolus, M. arvalis, D. dasyurus and Mastomys natalensis) and not in females (except for M. natalensis). The results of this study support earlier reports that gender-biased, in general, and male-biased, in particular, infestation by ectoparasites is not a universal rule. This suggests that mechanisms of parasite acquisition by an individual host are species-specific and have evolved independently in different rodent host-flea systems. PMID:24820040

  20. 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.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. THREATENED AND ENDANGERED FRESHWATER FISH AND MUSSEL SPECIES RICHNESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all US listed Threatened and Endangered freshwater fish and freshwater mussels in the Middle-Atlantic region. The data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons and represent total species counts for each spatia...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Description of three new species of Labena Cresson from Mexico (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Labeninae), with notes on tropical species richness.

    PubMed

    González-Moreno, Alejandra; Bordera, Santiago; Sääksjärvi, Ilari Eerikki

    2015-01-01

    Three new species of Labena Cresson (Ichneumonidae, Labeninae); L. littoralis sp. nov., L. tekalina sp. nov. and L. madoricola sp. nov. are described and illustrated. Material was collected with Malaise traps in 2008 and 2009 in the Biosphere Reserve Ria Lagartos (Mexico). Diagnostic characters to distinguish them from all other New World species of the genus are provided. In addition, the tropical species richness of the genus is shortly discussed. PMID:25947788

  17. 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

  18. A structural equation model of plant species richness and its application to a coastal wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.; Pugesek, B.H.

    1997-01-01

    Studies of plant species richness have often emphasized the role of either community biomass (as an indicator of density effects) or abiotic factors. In this article we present a general model that simultaneously examines the relative importance of abiotic and density effects. General and specific models were developed to examine the importance of abiotic conditions, disturbance, and community biomass on plant species richness. Models were evaluated using structural equation modeling based on data from 190 plots across a coastal marsh landscape. The accepted model was found to explain 45% of the observed variation in richness, 75% of biomass, and 65% of light penetration. Model results indicate that abiotic conditions have both direct effects on the species pool and indirect effects on richness mediated through effects on biomass and shading. Effects of disturbance were found to be indirect via biomass. Strong density effects on richness were indicated by the results, and canopy light penetration was found to be a better predictor of richness than was biomass. Overall, it appears that richness in this coastal landscape is controlled in roughly equal proportions by abiotic influences on the species pool and density effects, with disturbance playing a lesser role. The structure of the general model presented should be applicable to a wide variety of herbaceous plant communities.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. The influence of trap density and sampling duration on the detection of small mammal species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conard, J.M.; Baumgardt, J.A.; Gipson, P.S.; Althoff, D.P.

    2008-01-01

    Assessing species richness of small mammal communities is an important research objective for many live-trapping studies designed to assess or monitor biological diversity. We tested the effectiveness and efficiency of various trap densities for determining estimates and counts of small mammal species richness. Trapping was conducted in grassland habitats in northeastern Kansas during spring and fall of 2002 and 2003. Estimates and counts of species richness were higher at increased trap densities. This effect appeared to be primarily due to the higher number of individuals sampled at higher trap densities. At least 3 nights duration was needed to produce a stable estimate of species richness for the range of trap densities tested (9-144 trap stations/ha). Higher trap densities generally reached stable richness estimates in fewer nights than low density trapping arrangements. Given that counts and estimates of species richness were influenced by trap density and sampling duration, it is critical that these parameters are selected to most effectively meet research objectives.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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 ...

  11. Clade age and not diversification rate explains species richness among animal taxa.

    PubMed

    McPeek, Mark A; Brown, Jonathan M

    2007-04-01

    Animal taxa show remarkable variability in species richness across phylogenetic groups. Most explanations for this disparity postulate that taxa with more species have phenotypes or ecologies that cause higher diversification rates (i.e., higher speciation rates or lower extinction rates). Here we show that clade longevity, and not diversification rate, has primarily shaped patterns of species richness across major animal clades: more diverse taxa are older and thus have had more time to accumulate species. Diversification rates calculated from 163 species-level molecular phylogenies were highly consistent within and among three major animal phyla (Arthropoda, Chordata, Mollusca) and did not correlate with species richness. Clades with higher estimated diversification rates were younger, but species numbers increased with increasing clade age. A fossil-based data set also revealed a strong, positive relationship between total extant species richness and crown group age across the orders of insects and vertebrates. These findings do not negate the importance of ecology or phenotype in influencing diversification rates, but they do show that clade longevity is the dominant signal in major animal biodiversity patterns. Thus, some key innovations may have acted through fostering clade longevity and not by heightening diversification rate. PMID:17427118

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Freijeiro, Andrea; Baselga, Andrés

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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 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

  19. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

    Models that describe the mechanisms responsible for insular patterns of species richness include the equilibrium theory of island biogeography and the nonequilibrium vicariance model. The relative importance of dispersal or vicariance in structuring insular distribution patterns can be inferred from these models. Predictions of the alternative models were tested for boreal mammals in the American Southwest. Age of mountaintop islands of boreal habitat was determined by constructing a geographic cladogram based on characteristics of intervening valley barriers. Other independent variables included area and isolation of mountaintop islands. Island age was the most important predictor of species richness. In contrast with previous studies of species richness patterns in this system, these results supported the nonequilibrium vicariance model, which indicates that vicariance has been the primary determinant of species distribution patterns in this system. Copyright ?? Ecography 2007.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Turvey, Samuel T.; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    MALONZA, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:26161981

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:26332102

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  11. 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. PMID:17650250

  12. 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

  13. The Peruvian Amazonian species of Epirhyssa Cresson (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Rhyssinae), with notes on tropical species richness.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Isrrael C; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E; Puhakka, Liisa; Castillo, Carol; Bordera, Santiago

    2015-01-01

    Epirhyssa Cresson 1865 is a large tropical genus of the family Ichneumonidae. It is the most diverse genus of the subfamily Rhyssinae with about 118 species worldwide. In this study we conducted four long-term field inventories to review the Peruvian Amazonian species of the genus. We provide illustrations, diagnosis and an identification key to the species currently known to occur in the region, including descriptions of 10 new species. In addition, we describe the female of E. wisei Porter and the male of E. pertenuis Porter, discuss the biogeographical patterns of species richness of the genus and provide new faunistic records for Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Paraguay and Peru. The Peruvian Amazonia is, according to our results, among the most species-rich areas in the world for this genus. Some of the new species described in this work were named by the public in Finland and Peru during two innovative competitions to name these beautiful species. The aims of these competitions were to draw attention to the plethora of unknown species lurking in the shades of tropical forests and the necessity to protect these highly diverse areas. PMID:25947472

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

    Understanding large-scale geographic patterns of species richness as well its underlying mechanisms are among the most significant objectives of macroecology and biogeography. The ecological hypothesis is one of the most accepted explanations of this mechanism. Here, we studied the geographic patterns of snakes and investigated the relationships between species richness and ecological factors in China at a spatial resolution of 100 km×100 km. We obtained the eigenvector-based spatial filters by Principal Coordinates Neighbor Matrices, and then analyzed ecological factors by multiple regression analysis. The results indicated several things: (1) species richness of snakes showed multi-peak patterns along both the latitudinal and longitudinal gradient. The areas of highest richness of snake are tropics and subtropical areas of Oriental realm in China while the areas of lowest richness are Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the grasslands and deserts in northern China, Yangtze-Huai Plain, Two-lake Plain, and the Poyang-lake Plain; (2) results of multiple regression analysis explained a total of 56.5% variance in snake richness. Among ecological factors used to explore the species richness patterns, we found the best factors were the normalized difference vegetation index, precipitation in the coldest quarter and temperature annual range ; (3) our results indicated that the model based on the significant variables that (P<0.05) uses a combination of precipitation of coldest quarter, normalized difference vegetation index and temperature annual range is the most parsimonious model for explaining the mechanism of snake richness in China. This finding demonstrates that different ecological factors work together to affect the geographic distribution of snakes in China. Studying the mechanisms that underlie these geographic patterns are complex, so we must carefully consider the choice of impact-factors and the influence of human activities. PMID:22855440

  15. 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. PMID:24841715

  16. Contrasting soil ciliate species richness and abundance between two tropical plant species: a test of the plant effect.

    PubMed

    Acosta-Mercado, D; Lynn, D H

    2006-05-01

    We still have a rudimentary understanding about the mechanism by which plant roots may stimulate soil microbial interactions. A biochemical model involving plant-derived biochemical fractions, such as exudates, has been used to explain this "rhizosphere effect" on bacteria. However, the variable response of other soil microbial groups, such as protozoa, to the rhizosphere suggests that other factors could be involved in shaping their communities. Thus, two experiments were designed to: (1) determine whether stimulatory and/or inhibiting factors associated with particular plant species regulate ciliate diversity and abundance and (2) obtain a better understanding about the mechanism by which these plant factors operate in the rhizosphere. Bacterial and chemical slurries were reciprocally exchanged between two plant species known to differ in terms of ciliate species richness and abundance (i.e., Canella winterana and plantation Tectona grandis). Analysis of variance showed that the bacteria plus nutrients and the nutrients only treatment had no significant effect on overall ciliate species richness and abundance when compared to the control treatment. However, the use of only colpodean species increased the taxonomic resolution of treatment effects revealing that bacterial slurries had a significant effect on colpodean ciliate species richness. Thus, for particular rhizosphere ciliates, biological properties, such as bacterial diversity or abundance, may have a strong influence on their diversity and possibly abundance. These results are consistent with a model of soil bacteria-mediated mutualisms between plants and protozoa. PMID:16645921

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Barnett, D.; Flather, C.; Fuller, P.; Peterjohn, B.; Kartesz, J.; Master, L.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

  4. A global assessment of endemism and species richness across island and mainland regions

    PubMed Central

    Kier, Gerold; Kreft, Holger; Lee, Tien Ming; Jetz, Walter; Ibisch, Pierre L.; Nowicki, Christoph; Mutke, Jens; Barthlott, Wilhelm

    2009-01-01

    Endemism and species richness are highly relevant to the global prioritization of conservation efforts in which oceanic islands have remained relatively neglected. When compared to mainland areas, oceanic islands in general are known for their high percentage of endemic species but only moderate levels of species richness, prompting the question of their relative conservation value. Here we quantify geographic patterns of endemism-scaled richness (“endemism richness”) of vascular plants across 90 terrestrial biogeographic regions, including islands, worldwide and evaluate their congruence with terrestrial vertebrates. Endemism richness of plants and vertebrates is strongly related, and values on islands exceed those of mainland regions by a factor of 9.5 and 8.1 for plants and vertebrates, respectively. Comparisons of different measures of past and future human impact and land cover change further reveal marked differences between mainland and island regions. While island and mainland regions suffered equally from past habitat loss, we find the human impact index, a measure of current threat, to be significantly higher on islands. Projected land-cover changes for the year 2100 indicate that land-use-driven changes on islands might strongly increase in the future. Given their conservation risks, smaller land areas, and high levels of endemism richness, islands may offer particularly high returns for species conservation efforts and therefore warrant a high priority in global biodiversity conservation in this century. PMID:19470638

  5. 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.

  6. Use of fish parasite species richness indices in analyzing anthropogenically impacted coastal marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dzikowski, R.; Paperna, I.; Diamant, A.

    2003-10-01

    The diversity of fish parasite life history strategies makes these species sensitive bioindicators of aquatic ecosystem health. While monoxenous (single-host) species may persist in highly perturbed, extreme environments, this is not necessarily true for heteroxenous (multiple-host) species. As many parasites possess complex life cycles and are transmitted through a chain of host species, their dependency on the latter to complete their life cycles renders them sensitive to perturbed environments. In the present study, parasite communities of grey mullet Liza aurata and Liza ramada (Mugilidae) were investigated at two Mediterranean coastal sites in northern Israel: the highly polluted Kishon Harbor (KH) and the relatively unspoiled reference site, Ma'agan Michael (MM). Both are estuarine sites in which grey mullet are one of the most common fish species. The results indicate that fish at the polluted site had significantly less trematode metacercariae than fish at the reference site. Heteroxenous gut helminths were completely absent at the polluted sampling site. Consequently, KH fish displayed lower mean parasite species richness. At the same time, KH fish mean monoxenous parasite richness was higher, although the prevalence of different monoxenous taxa was variable. Copepods had an increased prevalence while monogenean prevalence was significantly reduced at the polluted site. This variability may be attributed to the differential susceptibility of the parasites to the toxicity of different pollutants, their concentration, the exposure time and possible synergistic effects. In this study, we used the cumulative species curve model that extrapolates "true" species richness of a given habitat as a function of increasing sample size. We considered the heteroxenous and monoxenous species separately for each site, and comparison of curves yielded significant results. It is proposed to employ this approach, originally developed for estimating the "true" parasite

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Competition between alien annual grasses and native annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2000-01-01

    Alien annual grasses in the genera Bromus and Schismus are widespread and abundant in the Mojave Desert, and negative correlations between these aliens and native annual plants suggest that competition may occur between them. Effects of competition were evaluated by thinning alien annual grass seedlings and measuring the responses of native annual plants at three sites in the central, southcentral and southwestern Mojave Desert during 2 y of contrasting plant productivity. Effects of Bromus and Schismus were evaluated separately in the microhabitat where each was most abundant, beneath the north side of creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata) for Bromus and in the open interspace between shrubs for Schismus. Thinning of Bromus and Schismus significantly increased density and biomass of native annuals at all three sites, only during a year of high annual plant productivity and species richness. Effects of thinning were greatest for Amsinckia tesselata and for a group of relatively uncommon native annuals. Thinning also significantly increased the density and biomass of the alien forb, Erodium cicutarium. These results show that alien annual grasses can compete with native annual plants and an alien forb in the Mojave Desert and that effects can vary among years.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Long-standing ecological theory proposes that diverse communities of plants should experience a decrease in herbivory. Yet previous empirical examinations of this hypothesis have revealed that plant species richness increases herbivory in just as many systems as it decreases it. In this study, I ask whether more insight into the role of plant diversity in promoting or suppressing herbivory can be gained by incorporating information about the evolutionary history of species in a community. In an old field system in southern Ontario, I surveyed communities of plants and measured levels of leaf damage on 27 species in 38 plots. I calculated a measure of phylogenetic diversity (PSE) that encapsulates information about the amount of evolutionary history represented in each of the plots and looked for a relationship between levels of herbivory and both species richness and phylogenetic diversity using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) that could account for variation in herbivory levels between species. I found that species richness was positively associated with herbivore damage at the plot-level, in keeping with the results from several other recent studies on this question. On the other hand, phylogenetic diversity was associated with decreased herbivory. Importantly, there was also an interaction between species richness and phylogenetic diversity, such that plots with the highest levels of herbivory were plots which had many species but only if those species tended to be closely related to one another. I propose that these results are the consequence of interactions with herbivores whose diets are phylogenetically specialized (for which I introduce the term cladophage), and how phylogenetic diversity may alter their realized host ranges. These results suggest that incorporating a phylogenetic perspective can add valuable additional insight into the role of plant diversity in explaining or predicting levels of herbivory at a whole-community scale. PMID:23825795

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

    PubMed Central

    Rex, Michael A.; Stuart, Carol T.; Coyne, Gina

    2000-01-01

    Latitudinal species diversity gradients (LSDGs) in the Northern Hemisphere are the most well established biogeographic patterns on Earth. Despite long-standing interest in LSDGs as a central problem in ecology, their explanation remains uncertain. In terrestrial as well as coastal and pelagic marine ecosystems, these poleward declines in diversity typically have been represented and interpreted in terms of species richness, the number of coexisting species. Newly discovered LSDGs in the bathyal (500–4,000 m) benthos of the North Atlantic may help to resolve the underlying causes of these large-scale trends because the deep sea is such a physically distinct environment. However, a major problem in comparing surface and deep-sea LSDGs is that the latter have been measured differently, by using species diversity indices that are affected by both species richness and the evenness of relative abundance. Here, we demonstrate that deep-sea isopods, gastropods, and bivalves in the North Atlantic do exhibit poleward decreases in species richness, just as those found in other environments. A comprehensive systematic revision of the largest deep-sea gastropod family (Turridae) has provided a unique database on geographic distributions that is directly comparable to those used to document LSDGs in surface biotas. This taxon also shows a poleward decline in the number of species. Seasonal organic enrichment from sinking phytodetritus is the most plausible ecological explanation for deep-sea LSDGs and is the environmental factor most consistently associated with depressed diversity in a variety of bathyal habitats. PMID:10759545

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Reproductive habitat selection in alien and native populations of the genus Discoglossus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escoriza, Daniel; Boix, Dani

    2014-08-01

    The existence of suitable breeding habitats is an important factor explaining the regional presence of an anuran species. This study examined patterns of habitat selection in populations of three species of the genus Discoglossus: Discoglossusgalganoi (south-western Iberian Peninsula), Discoglossusscovazzi (Morocco) and Discoglossuspictus (three different areas were included in the study: Sicily, Tunisia and north-eastern Iberian Peninsula). The populations of D. pictus on the Iberian Peninsula are allochthonous, and analysis of these patterns may provide insights into the processes that regulate the invasion phase. The hypotheses tested were: (i) congeneric species show the same patterns of habitat selection, and alien species have been established following these patterns; (ii) there are differences in species associations between assemblages structured deterministically and by chance, i.e. native versus invaded assemblages. The larval habitats of three species of this genus were characterized by measuring physical and chemical parameters of the water bodies. We examined the covariation between the presence of Discoglossus species and the species richness of sympatric anurans, and investigated a possible relationship between morphological similarity (as a proxy of functional group) and overlap in habitat use. The results showed that congeneric species are morphologically conservative and also select very similar types of aquatic habitat. The alien population and other sympatric species showed a high degree of overlap in habitat use, which was greater than that observed in the native assemblage with a similar functional richness. Species associations were not structured on the basis of morphological similarity in any of the assemblages. Among native populations, the presence of Discoglossus was either negatively correlated or not significantly correlated with species richness. Only the alien population showed a positive correlation between its presence and species

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Stephen, Carolyn; Sánchez, Ragde

    2014-09-01

    Measurements of species richness and species abundance can have important implications for regulations and conservation. This study investigated species richness and abundance of butterflies in the family Nymphalidae at undisturbed, and disturbed habitats in Tirimbina Biological Reserve and Nogal Private Reserve, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica. Traps baited with rotten banana were placed in the canopy and the understory of three habitats: within mature forest, at a river/forest border, and at a banana plantation/forest border. In total, 71 species and 487 individuals were caught and identified during May and June 2011 and May 2013. Species richness and species abundance were found to increase significantly at perturbed habitats (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, respectively). The edge effect, in which species richness and abundance increase due to greater complementary resources from different habitats, could be one possible explanation for increased species richness and abundance. PMID:25412524

  5. A new and alien species of ``oyster leech'' (Platyhelminthes, Polycladida, Stylochidae) from the brackish North Sea Canal, The Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sluys, Ronald; Faubel, Anno; Rajagopal, Sanjeevi; Velde, Gerard Van Der

    2005-11-01

    A new species of polyclad flatworm, Imogine necopinata Sluys, sp. nov., is described from a brackish habitat in The Netherlands. Taxonomic affinities with Asian species and the ecology of the animals suggest that the species is an introduced, exotic component of the Dutch fauna. The new species belongs to a group of worms with species that are known to predate on oysters.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hurlbert, Allen H.; Stegen, James C.

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phylogenetic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition, we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and ungulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature seasonality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities, and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change. PMID:25875361

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

    PubMed

    Feeley, Kenneth J; Terborgh, John W

    2006-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation can alter herbivore abundances, potentially causing changes in the plant community that can propagate through the food web and eventually influence other important taxonomic groups such as birds. Here we test the relationship between the density of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) and bird species richness on a large set of recently isolated land-bridge islands in Lago Guri, Venezuela (n = 29 islands). Several of these islands host relict populations of howler monkeys at densities up to more than 30 times greater than those on the mainland. These "hyperabundant" herbivores previously have been shown to have a strong positive influence on aboveground plant productivity. We predicted that this should lead to a positive, indirect effect of howler monkey density on bird species richness. After accounting for passive sampling (the tendency for species richness to be positively associated with island area, regardless of differences in habitat quality) we found a significant positive correlation between howler monkey density and bird species richness. A path analysis incorporating data on tree growth rates from a subset of islands (n = 9) supported the hypothesis that the effect of howler monkeys on the resident bird communities is indirect and is mediated through changes in plant productivity and habitat quality. These results highlight the potential for disparate taxonomic groups to be related through indirect interactions and trophic cascades. PMID:16634305

  17. Species richness and host associations of lepidoptera-attacking Tachinidae in the northeast Ecuadorian Andes.

    PubMed

    Stireman, John O; Greeney, Harold F; Dyer, Lee A

    2009-01-01

    Most of the unknown biological diversity of macro-organisms remaining to be discovered and described lies in the tropical regions of the world and consists primarily of insects. Those insects with parasitoid lifestyles constitute a significant portion of insect diversity, yet parasitoids are among the most poorly known of major insect guilds in the humid tropics. Here we describe and analyze the richness of one diverse taxon of parasitoids, flies in the family Tachinidae, reared from Lepidoptera as part of a biological survey of Lepidoptera and their parasitoids in one mid-elevation (2000 m) area in the northeast Ecuadorian Andes. One hundred fifty-seven separable tachinid "morpho-species" were reared from approximately 160 species of Lepidoptera in 16 families. These tachinid flies were recovered from a sample of over 12,800 successful caterpillar rearing events that resulted in either adult Lepidoptera or parasitoids. Tachinid species accumulation and rarefaction curves exhibit no sign of reaching an asymptote and richness estimators indicate that the community likely consists of nearly twice this number of species (at minimum). Most tachinid species were reared infrequently, with 50% being represented by a single individual. The majority of species appeared to be relatively specialized on one or a few related hosts, but sampling was insufficient to make strong inferences regarding host range. The tribes Blondeliini and Goniini were the best represented, but some tribes that were expected to be common such as Tachinini and Winthemiini were poorly represented. The estimates of tachinid species richness derived here are suggestive of a far more diverse tachinid community than in temperate localities in North America. Additional rearing of Lepidoptera, as well as other herbivorous insect taxa, along with the use of additional collecting methods will be necessary to achieve a more accurate understanding of the richness of tropical Tachinidae and their contribution to

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Burkepile, Deron E.; Hay, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

    Predicting ecosystem functioning at large spatial scales rests on our ability to scale up from local plots to landscapes, but this is highly contingent on our understanding of how functioning varies through space. Such an understanding has been hampered by a strong experimental focus of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research restricted to small spatial scales. To address this limitation, we investigate the drivers of spatial variation in multitrophic energy flux-a measure of ecosystem functioning in complex communities-at the landscape scale. We use a structural equation modelling framework based on distance matrices to test how spatial and environmental distances drive variation in community energy flux via four mechanisms: species composition, species richness, niche complementarity and biomass. We found that in both a tropical and a temperate study region, geographical and environmental distance indirectly influence species richness and biomass, with clear evidence that these are the dominant mechanisms explaining variability in community energy flux over spatial and environmental gradients. Our results reveal that species composition and trait variability may become redundant in predicting ecosystem functioning at the landscape scale. Instead, we demonstrate that species richness and total biomass may best predict rates of ecosystem functioning at larger spatial scales. PMID:27114580

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

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Erik; Lindborg, Regina

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Santoro, Flávia Rosa

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Species Richness and Host Associations of Lepidoptera-Attacking Tachinidae in the Northeast Ecuadorian Andes

    PubMed Central

    Stireman, John O.; Greeney, Harold F.; Dyer, Lee A.

    2009-01-01

    Most of the unknown biological diversity of macro-organisms remaining to be discovered and described lies in the tropical regions of the world and consists primarily of insects. Those insects with parasitoid lifestyles constitute a significant portion of insect diversity, yet parasitoids are among the most poorly known of major insect guilds in the humid tropics. Here we describe and analyze the richness of one diverse taxon of parasitoids, flies in the family Tachinidae, reared from Lepidoptera as part of a biological survey of Lepidoptera and their parasitoids in one mid-elevation (2000 m) area in the northeast Ecuadorian Andes. One hundred fifty-seven separable tachinid “morpho-species” were reared from approximately 160 species of Lepidoptera in 16 families. These tachinid flies were recovered from a sample of over 12,800 successful caterpillar rearing events that resulted in either adult Lepidoptera or parasitoids. Tachinid species accumulation and rarefaction curves exhibit no sign of reaching an asymptote and richness estimators indicate that the community likely consists of nearly twice this number of species (at minimum). Most tachinid species were reared infrequently, with 50% being represented by a single individual. The majority of species appeared to be relatively specialized on one or a few related hosts, but sampling was insufficient to make strong inferences regarding host range. The tribes Blondeliini and Goniini were the best represented, but some tribes that were expected to be common such as Tachinini and Winthemiini were poorly represented. The estimates of tachinid species richness derived here are suggestive of a far more diverse tachinid community than in temperate localities in North America. Additional rearing of Lepidoptera, as well as other herbivorous insect taxa, along with the use of additional collecting methods will be necessary to achieve a more accurate understanding of the richness of tropical Tachinidae and their

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Functional Redundancy Patterns Reveal Non-Random Assembly Rules in a Species-Rich Marine Assemblage

    PubMed Central

    Guillemot, Nicolas; Kulbicki, Michel; Chabanet, Pascale; Vigliola, Laurent

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between species and the functional diversity of assemblages is fundamental in ecology because it contains key information on functional redundancy, and functionally redundant ecosystems are thought to be more resilient, resistant and stable. However, this relationship is poorly understood and undocumented for species-rich coastal marine ecosystems. Here, we used underwater visual censuses to examine the patterns of functional redundancy for one of the most diverse vertebrate assemblages, the coral reef fishes of New Caledonia, South Pacific. First, we found that the relationship between functional and species diversity displayed a non-asymptotic power-shaped curve, implying that rare functions and species mainly occur in highly diverse assemblages. Second, we showed that the distribution of species amongst possible functions was significantly different from a random distribution up to a threshold of ∼90 species/transect. Redundancy patterns for each function further revealed that some functions displayed fast rates of increase in redundancy at low species diversity, whereas others were only becoming redundant past a certain threshold. This suggested non-random assembly rules and the existence of some primordial functions that would need to be fulfilled in priority so that coral reef fish assemblages can gain a basic ecological structure. Last, we found little effect of habitat on the shape of the functional-species diversity relationship and on the redundancy of functions, although habitat is known to largely determine assemblage characteristics such as species composition, biomass, and abundance. Our study shows that low functional redundancy is characteristic of this highly diverse fish assemblage, and, therefore, that even species-rich ecosystems such as coral reefs may be vulnerable to the removal of a few keystone species. PMID:22039543

  15. How do alien plants fit in the space-phylogeny matrix?

    PubMed

    Procheş, Şerban; Forest, Félix; Jose, Sarah; De Dominicis, Michela; Ramdhani, Syd; Wiggill, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of plant community phylogenetics and invasion phylogenetics are mostly based on plot-level data, which do not take into consideration the spatial arrangement of individual plants within the plot. Here we use within-plot plant coordinates to investigate the link between the physical distance separating plants, and their phylogenetic relatedness. We look at two vegetation types (forest and grassland, similar in species richness and in the proportion of alien invasive plants) in subtropical coastal KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The relationship between phylogenetic distance and physical distance is weak in grassland (characterised by higher plant densities and low phylogenetic diversity), and varies substantially in forest vegetation (variable plant density, higher phylogenetic diversity). There is no significant relationship between the proportion of alien plants in the plots and the strength of the physical-phylogenetic distance relationship, suggesting that alien plants are well integrated in the local spatial-phylogenetic landscape. PMID:25893962

  16. How Do Alien Plants Fit in the Space-Phylogeny Matrix?

    PubMed Central

    Procheş, Şerban; Forest, Félix; Jose, Sarah; De Dominicis, Michela; Ramdhani, Syd; Wiggill, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of plant community phylogenetics and invasion phylogenetics are mostly based on plot-level data, which do not take into consideration the spatial arrangement of individual plants within the plot. Here we use within-plot plant coordinates to investigate the link between the physical distance separating plants, and their phylogenetic relatedness. We look at two vegetation types (forest and grassland, similar in species richness and in the proportion of alien invasive plants) in subtropical coastal KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The relationship between phylogenetic distance and physical distance is weak in grassland (characterised by higher plant densities and low phylogenetic diversity), and varies substantially in forest vegetation (variable plant density, higher phylogenetic diversity). There is no significant relationship between the proportion of alien plants in the plots and the strength of the physical-phylogenetic distance relationship, suggesting that alien plants are well integrated in the local spatial-phylogenetic landscape. PMID:25893962

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Evidence for the theory of biotic resistance is equivocal, with experiments often finding a negative relationship between invasion success and native species richness, and large-scale comparative studies finding a positive relationship. Biotic resistance derives from local species interactions, yet global and regional studies often analyze data at coarse spatial grains. In addition, differences in competitive environments across regions may confound tests of biotic resistance based solely on native species richness of the invaded community. Using global and regional data sets for fishes in river and stream reaches, we ask two questions: (1) does a negative relationship exist between native and non-native species richness and (2) do non-native species originate from higher diversity systems. A negative relationship between native and non-native species richness in local assemblages was found at the global scale, while regional patterns revealed the opposite trend. At both spatial scales, however, nearly all non-native species originated from river basins with higher native species richness than the basin of the invaded community. Together, these findings imply that coevolved ecological interactions in species-rich systems inhibit establishment of generalist non-native species from less diverse communities. Consideration of both the ecological and evolutionary aspects of community assembly is critical to understanding invasion patterns. Distinct evolutionary histories in different regions strongly influence invasion of intact communities that are relatively unimpacted by human actions, and may explain the conflicting relationship between native and non-native species richness found at different spatial scales. PMID:26582547

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

    Ecosystem eutrophication often increases domination by non-natives and causes displacement of native taxa. However, variation in environmental conditions may affect the outcome of interactions between native and non-native taxa in environments where nutrient supply is elevated. We examined the interactive effects of eutrophication, climate variability and climate average conditions on the success of native and non-native plant species using experimental nutrient manipulations replicated at 32 grassland sites on four continents. We hypothesized that effects of nutrient addition would be greatest where climate was stable and benign, owing to reduced niche partitioning. We found that the abundance of non-native species increased with nutrient addition independent of climate; however, nutrient addition increased non-native species richness and decreased native species richness, with these effects dampened in warmer or wetter sites. Eutrophication also altered the time scale in which grassland invasion responded to climate, decreasing the importance of long-term climate and increasing that of annual climate. Thus, climatic conditions mediate the responses of native and non-native flora to nutrient enrichment. Our results suggest that the negative effect of nutrient addition on native abundance is decoupled from its effect on richness, and reduces the time scale of the links between climate and compositional change. PMID:27114575

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

    PubMed

    Renner, S; Sahlén, G; Périco, E

    2016-06-01

    We surveyed 15 bodies of water among remnants of the Atlantic Forest biome in southern Brazil for adult dragonflies and damselflies to test whether an empirical selection method for diversity indicators could be applied in a subtropical ecosystem, where limited ecological knowledge on species level is available. We found a regional species pool of 34 species distributed in a nested subset pattern with a mean of 11.2 species per locality. There was a pronounced difference in species composition between spring, summer, and autumn, but no differences in species numbers between seasons. Two species, Homeoura chelifera (Selys) and Ischnura capreolus (Hagen), were the strongest candidates for regional diversity indicators, being found only at species-rich localities in our surveyed area and likewise in an undisturbed national forest reserve, serving as a reference site for the Atlantic Forest. Using our selection method, we found it possible to obtain a tentative list of diversity indicators without having detailed ecological information of each species, providing a reference site is available for comparison. The method thus allows for indicator species to be selected in blanco from taxonomic groups that are little known. We hence argue that Odonata can already be incorporated in ongoing assessment programs in the Neotropics, which would also increase the ecological knowledge of the group and allow extrapolation to other taxa. PMID:26686194

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that plant biodiversity may increase the erosion resistance of soils, yet direct evidence for any such relationship is lacking. We conducted a mesocosm experiment with eight species of riparian herbaceous plants, and found evidence that plant biodiversity significantly reduced fluvial erosion rates, with the eight-species polyculture decreasing erosion by 23% relative to monocultures. Species richness effects were largest at low levels of species richness, with little increase between four and eight species. Our results suggest that plant biodiversity reduced erosion rates indirectly through positive effects on root length and number of root tips, and that interactions between legumes and non-legumes were particularly important in producing biodiversity effects. Presumably, legumes increased root production of non-legumes by increasing soil nitrogen availability due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Our data suggest that a restoration project using species from different functional groups might provide the best insurance to maintain long-term erosion resistance. PMID:27008770

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    A new epidemiological scenario involving the oral transmission of Chagas disease, mainly in the Amazon basin, requires innovative control measures. Geospatial analyses of the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycle in the wild mammals have been scarce. We applied interpolation and map algebra methods to evaluate mammalian fauna variables related to small wild mammals and the T. cruzi infection pattern in dogs to identify hotspot areas of transmission. We also evaluated the use of dogs as sentinels of epidemiological risk of Chagas disease. Dogs (n = 649) were examined by two parasitological and three distinct serological assays. kDNA amplification was performed in patent infections, although the infection was mainly sub-patent in dogs. The distribution of T. cruzi infection in dogs was not homogeneous, ranging from 11-89% in different localities. The interpolation method and map algebra were employed to test the associations between the lower richness in mammal species and the risk of exposure of dogs to T. cruzi infection. Geospatial analysis indicated that the reduction of the mammal fauna (richness and abundance) was associated with higher parasitemia in small wild mammals and higher exposure of dogs to infection. A Generalized Linear Model (GLM) demonstrated that species richness and positive hemocultures in wild mammals were associated with T. cruzi infection in dogs. Domestic canine infection rates differed significantly between areas with and without Chagas disease outbreaks (Chi-squared test). Geospatial analysis by interpolation and map algebra methods proved to be a powerful tool in the evaluation of areas of T. cruzi transmission. Dog infection was shown to not only be an efficient indicator of reduction of wild mammalian fauna richness but to also act as a signal for the presence of small wild mammals with high parasitemia. The lower richness of small mammal species is discussed as a risk factor for the re-emergence of Chagas disease. PMID:22616021

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

    PubMed Central

    Nord, Maria; Forslund, Pär

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    The Neotropical freshwater ichthyofauna has among the highest species richness and density of any vertebrate fauna on Earth, with more than 5,600 species compressed into less than 12% of the world's land surface area, and less than 0.002% of the world's total liquid water supply. How have so many species come to co-exist in such a small amount of total habitat space? Here we report results of an aquatic faunal survey of the Fitzcarrald region in southeastern Peru, an area of low-elevation upland (200-500 m above sea level) rainforest in the Western Amazon, that straddles the headwaters of four large Amazonian tributaries; the Juruá (Yurúa), Ucayali, Purús, and Madre de Dios rivers. All measures of fish species diversity in this region are high; there is high alpha diversity with many species coexisting in the same locality, high beta diversity with high turnover between habitats, and high gamma diversity with high turnover between adjacent tributary basins. Current data show little species endemism, and no known examples of sympatric sister species, within the Fitzcarrald region, suggesting a lack of localized or recent adaptive divergences. These results support the hypothesis that the fish species of the Fitzcarrald region are relatively ancient, predating the Late Miocene-Pliocene (c. 4 Ma) uplift that isolated its several headwater basins. The results also suggest that habitat specialization (phylogenetic niche conservatism) and geographic isolation (dispersal limitation) have contributed to the maintenance of high species richness in this region of the Amazon Basin. PMID:26486313

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Predicting effects of ecosystem engineering on species richness along primary productivity gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badano, Ernesto Iván; Marquet, Pablo Angel; Cavieres, Lohengrin Alexis

    2010-01-01

    Physical ecosystem engineering is the process by which some species change the distribution of materials and energy in ecosystems. Although several studies have shown that this process is a driver of local species diversity, the current challenge is predicting when and where ecosystem engineering will have large or small impacts on communities, while also explaining why impacts vary in magnitude across engineer species and environments. This study addresses this issue and proposes a series of predictions for these effects at the three spatial scales (the patch, the habitat and the landscape) along environmental gradients of physical stress. The integrative prediction of this study was that the difference in species diversity between engineered and unmodified situations (patches, habitats or landscapes) will increase as the difference in physical stress between engineered and unmodified patches becomes larger. To test the prediction, the effects of two well known high-Andean ecosystem engineers, the cushion plants Azorella madreporica and Laretia acaulis, were assessed on plant species richness in central Chile. The results support the main prediction, showing that ecosystem engineers have negative effects on species diversity at sites when the environmental modifications they perform increase physical stress for other species, while they have positive effects at sites where these habitat changes mitigate physical stress. Then, the effects of the ecosystem engineers on species diversity seem to depend on the environmental context, where larger environmental modifications are reflected in greater impacts, either positive or negative, on species diversity.

  12. Predicting assemblages and species richness of endemic fish in the upper Yangtze River.

    PubMed

    He, Yongfeng; Wang, Jianwei; Lek-Ang, Sithan; Lek, Sovan

    2010-09-01

    The present work describes the ability of two modeling methods, Classification and Regression Tree (CART) and Random Forest (RF), to predict endemic fish assemblages and species richness in the upper Yangtze River, and then to identify the determinant environmental factors contributing to the models. The models included 24 predictor variables and 2 response variables (fish assemblage and species richness) for a total of 46 site units. The predictive quality of the modeling approaches was judged with a leave-one-out validation procedure. There was an average success of 60.9% and 71.7% to assign each site unit to the correct assemblage of fish, and 73% and 84% to explain the variance in species richness, by using CART and RF models, respectively. RF proved to be better than CART in terms of accuracy and efficiency in ecological applications. In any case, the mixed models including both land cover and river characteristic variables were more powerful than either individual one in explaining the endemic fish distribution pattern in the upper Yangtze River. For instance, altitude, slope, length, discharge, runoff, farmland and alpine and sub-alpine meadow played important roles in driving the observed endemic fish assemblage structure, while farmland, slope grassland, discharge, runoff, altitude and drainage area in explaining the observed patterns of endemic species richness. Therefore, the various effects of human activity on natural aquatic ecosystems, in particular, the flow modification of the river and the land use changes may have a considerable effect on the endemic fish distribution patterns on a regional scale. PMID:20541238

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Henrik G; Dänhardt, Juliana; Lindström, Ake; Rundlöf, Maj

    2010-04-01

    It has been suggested that organic farming may benefit farmland biodiversity more in landscapes that have lost a significant part of its former landscape heterogeneity. We tested this hypothesis by comparing bird species richness and abundance during the breeding season in organic and conventional farms, matched to eliminate all differences not directly linked to the farming practice, situated in either homogeneous plains with only a little semi-natural habitat or in heterogeneous farmland landscapes with abundant field borders and semi-natural grasslands. The effect of farm management on species richness interacted with landscape structure, such that there was a positive relationship between organic farming and diversity only in homogeneous landscapes. This pattern was mainly dependent on the species richness of passerine birds, in particular those that were invertebrate feeders. Species richness of non-passerines was positively related to organic farming independent of the landscape context. Bird abundance was positively related to landscape heterogeneity but not to farm management. This was mainly because the abundance of passerines, particularly invertebrate feeders, was positively related to landscape heterogeneity. We suggest that invertebrate feeders particularly benefit from organic farming because of improved foraging conditions through increased invertebrate abundances in otherwise depauperate homogeneous landscapes. Although many seed-eaters also benefit from increased insect abundance, they may also utilize crop seed resources in homogeneous landscapes and conventional farms. The occurrence of an interactive effect of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity on bird diversity will have consequences for the optimal allocation of resources to restore the diversity of farmland birds. PMID:20213151

  14. Restinga forests of the Brazilian coast: richness and abundance of tree species on different soils.

    PubMed

    Magnago, Luiz F S; Martins, Sebastião V; Schaefer, Carlos E G R; Neri, Andreza V

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine changes in composition, abundance and richness of species along a forest gradient with varying soils and flood regimes. The forests are located on the left bank of the lower Jucu River, in Jacarenema Natural Municipal Park, Espírito Santo. A survey of shrub/tree species was done in 80 plots, 5x25 m, equally distributed among the forests studied. We included in the sampling all individuals with >3.2 cm diameter at breast height (1.30 m). Soil samples were collected from the surface layer (0-10 cm) in each plot for chemical and physical analysis. The results indicate that a significant pedological gradient occurs, which is influenced by varying seasonal groundwater levels. Restinga forest formations showed significant differences in species richness, except for Non-flooded Forest and Non-flooded Forest Transition. The Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) showed that some species are distributed along the gradient under the combined influence of drainage, nutrient concentration and physical characteristics of the soil. Regarding the variables tested, flooding seems to be a more limiting factor for the establishment of plant species in Restinga forests than basic soil fertility attributes. PMID:22886165

  15. Habitat invasibility and dominance by alien annual plants in the western Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    1999-01-01

    Patterns of habitat invasibility and alien dominance, respectively measured as species richness and biomass of alien annual plants, were evaluated in association with four habitat factors at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area (DTNA) in the western Mojave Desert, USA. Habitat factors varied in levels of disturbance outside (high) and inside (low) the DTNA, and in levels of soil nutrients in washlet (high) and hummock (low) topographic positions, in Larrea-north (high), Larrea-south (medium), and interspace (low) microhabitats near creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata), and during 1995 when rainfall was 207% (high) and 1994 when rainfall was 52% (low) of the long-term average. Dominant alien plants included the annual grasses Bromus rubens, Bromus trinii, and Schismus spp., and the forb Erodium cicutarium. Species richness and dominance of alien annual plants were slightly higher where disturbance was high, and much higher where soil nutrients were high. B. rubens and B. trinii were most dominant in washlets and in the Larrea-north microhabitats during both years. These two species evolved in mesic ecosystems, and appeared to be particularly limited by soil nutrients at this site. Schismus spp. and E. cicutarium were also most dominant in washlets, but their dominance varied between interspaces in 1994 and the Larrea-south microhabitat in 1995. Monitoring to detect the invasion of new annual plants should focus on regions of high rainfall and nitrogen deposition and on washes and beneath-canopy microhabitats. The ecological range of each alien species should be evaluated separately, because their evolutionary origins may greatly affect their patterns of invasion and dominance in the Mojave Desert.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Early positive effects of tree species richness on herbivory in a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment influence tree growth

    PubMed Central

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Härdtle, Werner; Assmann, Thorsten; Li, Ying; Ma, Keping; von Oheimb, Goddert; Zhang, Jiayong

    2015-01-01

    Despite the importance of herbivory for the structure and functioning of species-rich forests, little is known about how herbivory is affected by tree species richness, and more specifically by random vs. non-random species loss. We assessed herbivore damage and its effects on tree growth in the early stage of a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment in subtropical China that features random and non-random extinction scenarios of tree mixtures numbering between one and 24 species. In contrast to random species loss, the non-random extinction scenarios were based on the tree species’ local rarity and specific leaf area – traits that may strongly influence the way herbivory is affected by plant species richness. Herbivory increased with tree species richness across all scenarios and was unaffected by the different species compositions in the random and non-random extinction scenarios. Whereas tree growth rates were positively related to herbivory on plots with smaller trees, growth rates significantly declined with increasing herbivory on plots with larger trees. Our results suggest that the effects of herbivory on growth rates increase from monocultures to the most species-rich plant communities and that negative effects with increasing tree species richness become more pronounced with time as trees grow larger. Synthesis. Our results indicate that key trophic interactions can be quick to become established in forest plantations (i.e. already 2.5 years after tree planting). Stronger herbivory effects on tree growth with increasing tree species richness suggest a potentially important role of herbivory in regulating ecosystem functions and the structural development of species-rich forests from the very start of secondary forest succession. The lack of significant differences between the extinction scenarios, however, contrasts with findings from natural forests of higher successional age, where rarity had negative effects on herbivory. This indicates that

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

    PubMed Central

    Horsák, Michal; Chytrý, Milan

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale patterns of species richness and their causes are still poorly understood for most terrestrial invertebrates, although invertebrates can add important insights into the mechanisms that generate regional and global biodiversity patterns. Here we explore the general plausibility of the climate-based “water-energy dynamics” hypothesis using the latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across extensive topographically homogeneous lowlands of northern Eurasia. We established a 1480-km long latitudinal transect across the Western Siberian Plain (Russia) from the Russia-Kazakhstan border (54.5°N) to the Arctic Ocean (67.5°N), crossing eight latitudinal vegetation zones: steppe, forest-steppe, subtaiga, southern, middle and northern taiga, forest-tundra, and tundra. We sampled snails in forests and open habitats each half-degree of latitude and used generalized linear models to relate snail species richness to climatic variables and soil calcium content measured in situ. Contrary to the classical prediction of latitudinal biodiversity decrease, we found a striking unimodal pattern of snail species richness peaking in the subtaiga and southern-taiga zones between 57 and 59°N. The main south-to-north interchange of the two principal diversity constraints, i.e. drought stress vs. cold stress, explained most of the variance in the latitudinal diversity pattern. Water balance, calculated as annual precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration, was a single variable that could explain 81.7% of the variance in species richness. Our data suggest that the “water-energy dynamics” hypothesis can apply not only at the global scale but also at subcontinental scales of higher latitudes, as water availability was found to be the primary limiting factor also in this extratropical region with summer-warm and dry climate. A narrow zone with a sharp south-to-north switch in the two main diversity constraints seems to constitute the dominant and general

  19. Unimodal latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across northern Eurasian lowlands.

    PubMed

    Horsák, Michal; Chytrý, Milan

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale patterns of species richness and their causes are still poorly understood for most terrestrial invertebrates, although invertebrates can add important insights into the mechanisms that generate regional and global biodiversity patterns. Here we explore the general plausibility of the climate-based "water-energy dynamics" hypothesis using the latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across extensive topographically homogeneous lowlands of northern Eurasia. We established a 1480-km long latitudinal transect across the Western Siberian Plain (Russia) from the Russia-Kazakhstan border (54.5°N) to the Arctic Ocean (67.5°N), crossing eight latitudinal vegetation zones: steppe, forest-steppe, subtaiga, southern, middle and northern taiga, forest-tundra, and tundra. We sampled snails in forests and open habitats each half-degree of latitude and used generalized linear models to relate snail species richness to climatic variables and soil calcium content measured in situ. Contrary to the classical prediction of latitudinal biodiversity decrease, we found a striking unimodal pattern of snail species richness peaking in the subtaiga and southern-taiga zones between 57 and 59°N. The main south-to-north interchange of the two principal diversity constraints, i.e. drought stress vs. cold stress, explained most of the variance in the latitudinal diversity pattern. Water balance, calculated as annual precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration, was a single variable that could explain 81.7% of the variance in species richness. Our data suggest that the "water-energy dynamics" hypothesis can apply not only at the global scale but also at subcontinental scales of higher latitudes, as water availability was found to be the primary limiting factor also in this extratropical region with summer-warm and dry climate. A narrow zone with a sharp south-to-north switch in the two main diversity constraints seems to constitute the dominant and general pattern of

  20. Controls on pathogen species richness in plants’ introduced and native ranges: roles of residence time, range size and host traits

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Charles E; Blumenthal, Dana; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Puckett, Emily E; Pyšek, Petr

    2010-01-01

    Introduced species escape many pathogens and other enemies, raising three questions. How quickly do introduced hosts accumulate pathogen species? What factors control pathogen species richness? Are these factors the same in the hosts’ native and introduced ranges? We analysed fungal and viral pathogen species richness on 124 plant species in both their native European range and introduced North American range. Hosts introduced 400 years ago supported six times more pathogens than those introduced 40 years ago. In hosts’ native range, pathogen richness was greater on hosts occurring in more habitat types, with a history of agricultural use and adapted to greater resource supplies. In hosts’ introduced range, pathogen richness was correlated with host geographic range size, agricultural use and time since introduction, but not any measured biological traits. Introduced species have accumulated pathogens at rates that are slow relative to most ecological processes, and contingent on geographic and historic circumstance. PMID:20973907

  1. Alienation, Dogmatism and Acquiescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ray, John J.

    1984-01-01

    Examined the issue of acquiescence by administering a balanced dogmatism scale and a balanced alienation scale to a random sample of Australians (N=118). Results showed that dogmatism and alienation did not correlate when acquiescence was controlled. (LLL)

  2. Hotspots of species richness, threat and endemism for terrestrial vertebrates in SW Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascual, López-López; Luigi, Maiorano; Alessandra, Falcucci; Emilio, Barba; Luigi, Boitani

    2011-09-01

    The Mediterranean basin, and the Iberian Peninsula in particular, represent an outstanding "hotspot" of biological diversity with a long history of integration between natural ecosystems and human activities. Using deductive distribution models, and considering both Spain and Portugal, we downscaled traditional range maps for terrestrial vertebrates (amphibians, breeding birds, mammals and reptiles) to the finest possible resolution with the data at hand, and we identified hotspots based on three criteria: i) species richness; ii) vulnerability, and iii) endemism. We also provided a first evaluation of the conservation status of biodiversity hotspots based on these three criteria considering both existing and proposed protected areas (i.e., Natura 2000). For the identification of hotspots, we used a method based on the cumulative distribution functions of species richness values. We found no clear surrogacy among the different types of hotspots in the Iberian Peninsula. The most important hotspots (considering all criteria) are located in the western and southwestern portions of the study area, in the Mediterranean biogeographical region. Existing protected areas are not specifically concentrated in areas of high species richness, with only 5.2% of the hotspots of total richness being currently protected. The Natura 2000 network can potentially constitute an important baseline for protecting vertebrate diversity in the Iberian Peninsula although further improvements are needed. We suggest taking a step forward in conservation planning in the Mediterranean basin, explicitly considering the history of the region as well as its present environmental context. This would allow moving from traditional reserve networks (conservation focused on "patterns") to considerations about the "processes" that generated present biodiversity.

  3. Patchy Invasion of Stage-Structured Alien Species with Short-Distance and Long-Distance Dispersal.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Luiz Alberto Díaz; Mistro, Diomar Cristina; Cara, Elisa Regina; Petrovskaya, Natalia; Petrovskii, Sergei

    2015-08-01

    Understanding of spatiotemporal patterns arising in invasive species spread is necessary for successful management and control of harmful species, and mathematical modeling is widely recognized as a powerful research tool to achieve this goal. The conventional view of the typical invasion pattern as a continuous population traveling front has been recently challenged by both empirical and theoretical results revealing more complicated, alternative scenarios. In particular, the so-called patchy invasion has been a focus of considerable interest; however, its theoretical study was restricted to the case where the invasive species spreads by predominantly short-distance dispersal. Meanwhile, there is considerable evidence that the long-distance dispersal is not an exotic phenomenon but a strategy that is used by many species. In this paper, we consider how the patchy invasion can be modified by the effect of the long-distance dispersal and the effect of the fat tails of the dispersal kernels. PMID:26438447

  4. Vector species richness increases haemorrhagic disease prevalence through functional diversity modulating the duration of seasonal transmission.

    PubMed

    Park, Andrew W; Cleveland, Christopher A; Dallas, Tad A; Corn, Joseph L

    2016-06-01

    Although many parasites are transmitted between hosts by a suite of arthropod vectors, the impact of vector biodiversity on parasite transmission is poorly understood. Positive relationships between host infection prevalence and vector species richness (SR) may operate through multiple mechanisms, including (i) increased vector abundance, (ii) a sampling effect in which species of high vectorial capacity are more likely to occur in species-rich communities, and (iii) functional diversity whereby communities comprised species with distinct phenologies may extend the duration of seasonal transmission. Teasing such mechanisms apart is impeded by a lack of appropriate data, yet could highlight a neglected role for functional diversity in parasite transmission. We used statistical modelling of extensive host, vector and microparasite data to test the hypothesis that functional diversity leading to longer seasonal transmission explained variable levels of disease in a wildlife population. We additionally developed a simple transmission model to guide our expectation of how an increased transmission season translates to infection prevalence. Our study demonstrates that vector SR is associated with increased levels of disease reporting, but not via increases in vector abundance or via a sampling effect. Rather, the relationship operates by extending the length of seasonal transmission, in line with theoretical predictions. PMID:26206418

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

  6. Experimental factors affecting PCR-based estimates of microbial species richness and evenness

    SciTech Connect

    Engelbrektson, Anna; Kunin, Victor; Wrighton, Kelly C.; Zvenigorodsky, Natasha; Chen, Feng; Ochman, Howard; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2009-12-01

    Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons for microbial community profiling can, for equivalent costs, yield greater than two orders of magnitude more sensitivity than traditional PCR-cloning and Sanger sequencing. With this increased sensitivity and the ability to analyze multiple samples in parallel, it has become possible to evaluate several technical aspects of PCRbased community structure profiling methods. We tested the effect of amplicon length and primer pair on estimates of species richness number of species and evenness relative abundance of species by assessing the potentially tractable microbial community residing in the termite hindgut. Two regions of the 16S rRNA gene were sequenced from one of two common priming sites, spanning the V1-V2 or V8 regions, using amplicons ranging n length from 352 to 1443 bp. Our results demonstrate that both amplicon length and primer pair markedly influence estimates of richness and evenness. However, estimates of species evenness are consistent among different primer pairs targeting the same region. These results highlight the importance of experimental methodology when comparing diversity estimates across communities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Predicting species richness and distribution ranges of centipedes at the northern edge of Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgopoulou, Elisavet; Djursvoll, Per; Simaiakis, Stylianos M.

    2016-07-01

    In recent decades, interest in understanding species distributions and exploring processes that shape species diversity has increased, leading to the development of advanced methods for the exploitation of occurrence data for analytical and ecological purposes. Here, with the use of georeferenced centipede data, we explore the importance and contribution of bioclimatic variables and land cover, and predict distribution ranges and potential hotspots in Norway. We used a maximum entropy analysis (Maxent) to model species' distributions, aiming at exploring centres of distribution, latitudinal spans and northern range boundaries of centipedes in Norway. The performance of all Maxent models was better than random with average test area under the curve (AUC) values above 0.893 and True Skill Statistic (TSS) values above 0.593. Our results showed a highly significant latitudinal gradient of increased species richness in southern grid-cells. Mean temperatures of warmest and coldest quarters explained much of the potential distribution of species. Predictive modelling analyses revealed that south-eastern Norway and the Atlantic coast in the west (inclusive of the major fjord system of Sognefjord), are local biodiversity hotspots with regard to high predictive species co-occurrence. We conclude that our predicted northward shifts of centipedes' distributions in Norway are likely a result of post-glacial recolonization patterns, species' ecological requirements and dispersal abilities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Preparation of proteins from salt-gland-rich tissues of mangrove plant is necessary for a systematic study of proteins involved in the plant's unique desalination mechanism. Extraction of high-quality proteins from the leaves of mangrove tree species, however, is difficult due to the presence of high levels of endogenous phenolic compounds. In our study, preparation of proteins from only a part of the leaf tissues (i.e. salt gland-rich epidermal layers) was required, rendering extraction even more challenging. By comparing several extraction methods, we developed a reliable procedure for obtaining proteins from salt gland-rich tissues of the mangrove species Avicennia officinalis. Protein extraction was markedly improved using a phenol-based extraction method. Greater resolution 1D protein gel profiles could be obtained. More promising proteome profiles could be obtained through 1D-LC-MS/MS. The number of proteins detected was twice as much as compared to TUTS extraction method. Focusing on proteins that were solely present in each extraction method, phenol-based extracts contained nearly ten times more proteins than those in the extracts without using phenol. The approach could thus be applied for downstream high-throughput proteomic analyses involving LC-MS/MS or equivalent. The proteomics data presented herein are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001691. PMID:26105009

  12. Associations of forest bird species richness with housing and landscape patterns across the USA.

    PubMed

    Pidgeon, A M; Radeloff, V C; Flather, C H; Lepczyk, C A; Clayton, M K; Hawbaker, T J; Hammer, R B

    2007-10-01

    In the United States, housing density has substantially increased in and adjacent to forests. Our goal in this study was to identify how housing density and human populations are associated with avian diversity. We compared these associations to those between landscape pattern and avian diversity, and we examined how these associations vary across the conterminous forested United States. Using data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the U.S. Census, and the National Land Cover Database, we focused on forest and woodland bird communities and conducted our analysis at multiple levels of model specificity, first using a coarse-thematic resolution (basic models), then using a larger number of fine-thematic resolution variables (refined models). We found that housing development was associated with forest bird species richness in all forested ecoregions of the conterminous United States. However, there were important differences among ecoregions. In the basic models, housing density accounted for < 5% of variance in avian species richness. In refined models, 85% of models included housing density and/or residential land cover as significant variables. The strongest guild response was demonstrated in the Adirondack-New England ecoregion, where 29% of variation in richness of the permanent resident guild was associated with housing density. Model improvements due to regional stratification were most pronounced for cavity nesters and short-distance migrants, suggesting that these guilds may be especially sensitive to regional processes. The varying patterns of association between avian richness and attributes associated with landscape structure suggested that landscape context was an important mediating factor affecting how biodiversity responds to landscape changes. Our analysis suggested that simple, broadly applicable, land use recommendations cannot be derived from our results. Rather, anticipating future avian response to land use intensification (or

  13. Environmental Effects on Vertebrate Species Richness: Testing the Energy, Environmental Stability and Habitat Heterogeneity Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Li, Chunwang; Fang, Hongxia; Hu, Huijian; Yang, Ji; Ding, Jingjing; Jiang, Zhigang

    2012-01-01

    Background Explaining species richness patterns is a central issue in biogeography and macroecology. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the mechanisms driving biodiversity patterns, but the causes of species richness gradients remain unclear. In this study, we aimed to explain the impacts of energy, environmental stability, and habitat heterogeneity factors on variation of vertebrate species richness (VSR), based on the VSR pattern in China, so as to test the energy hypothesis, the environmental stability hypothesis, and the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. Methodology/Principal Findings A dataset was compiled containing the distributions of 2,665 vertebrate species and eleven ecogeographic predictive variables in China. We grouped these variables into categories of energy, environmental stability, and habitat heterogeneity and transformed the data into 100×100 km quadrat systems. To test the three hypotheses, AIC-based model selection was carried out between VSR and the variables in each group and correlation analyses were conducted. There was a decreasing VSR gradient from the southeast to the northwest of China. Our results showed that energy explained 67.6% of the VSR variation, with the annual mean temperature as the main factor, which was followed by annual precipitation and NDVI. Environmental stability factors explained 69.1% of the VSR variation and both temperature annual range and precipitation seasonality had important contributions. By contrast, habitat heterogeneity variables explained only 26.3% of the VSR variation. Significantly positive correlations were detected among VSR, annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, and NDVI, whereas the relationship of VSR and temperature annual range was strongly negative. In addition, other variables showed moderate or ambiguous relations to VSR. Conclusions/Significance The energy hypothesis and the environmental stability hypothesis were supported, whereas little support was found for the

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

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Xiaolong; Stur, Elisabeth; Ekrem, Torbjørn

    2015-01-01

    DNA barcoding using a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (COI) has proven to be successful for species-level identification in many animal groups. However, most studies have been focused on relatively small datasets or on large datasets of taxonomically high-ranked groups. We explore the quality of DNA barcodes to delimit species in the diverse chironomid genus Tanytarsus (Diptera: Chironomidae) by using different analytical tools. The genus Tanytarsus is the most species-rich taxon of tribe Tanytarsini (Diptera: Chironomidae) with more than 400 species worldwide, some of which can be notoriously difficult to identify to species-level using morphology. Our dataset, based on sequences generated from own material and publicly available data in BOLD, consist of 2790 DNA barcodes with a fragment length of at least 500 base pairs. A neighbor joining tree of this dataset comprises 131 well separated clusters representing 121 morphological species of Tanytarsus: 77 named, 16 unnamed and 28 unidentified theoretical species. For our geographically widespread dataset, DNA barcodes unambiguously discriminate 94.6% of the Tanytarsus species recognized through prior morphological study. Deep intraspecific divergences exist in some species complexes, and need further taxonomic studies using appropriate nuclear markers as well as morphological and ecological data to be resolved. The DNA barcodes cluster into 120–242 molecular operational taxonomic units (OTUs) depending on whether Objective Clustering, Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD), Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent model (GMYC), Poisson Tree Process (PTP), subjective evaluation of the neighbor joining tree or Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) are used. We suggest that a 4–5% threshold is appropriate to delineate species of Tanytarsus non-biting midges. PMID:26406595

  15. Predators reduce abundance and species richness of coral reef fish recruits via non-selective predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinlein, J. M.; Stier, A. C.; Steele, M. A.

    2010-06-01

    Predators have important effects on coral reef fish populations, but their effects on community structure have only recently been investigated and are not yet well understood. Here, the effect of predation on the diversity and abundance of young coral reef fishes was experimentally examined in Moorea, French Polynesia. Effects of predators were quantified by monitoring recruitment of fishes onto standardized patch reefs in predator-exclosure cages or uncaged reefs. At the end of the 54-day experiment, recruits were 74% less abundant on reefs exposed to predators than on caged ones, and species richness was 42% lower on reefs exposed to predators. Effects of predators varied somewhat among families, however, rarefaction analysis indicated that predators foraged non-selectively among species. These results indicate that predation can alter diversity of reef fish communities by indiscriminately reducing the abundance of fishes soon after settlement, thereby reducing the number of species present on reefs.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The aims of this research were to: (1) investigate the species richness of wawo worms, and to (2) analyze macronutrient content of the worms. Wawo worms were sampled using a fishing net on March 18th-19th, 2014, from Ambonese waters, Maluku. As many as 26 wawo species belonging to 5 families were identified. Palola sp. was identified as the most abundant species of wawo, followed by Lysidice oele, Horst 1905, Eunice spp. and nereidids. Results of the proximate analysis reveal that female epitokes of Palola sp. contain 10.78 % ash, 10.71 % moisture, 11.67 % crude fat, 54.72 % crude protein and 12.12 % carbohydrate. PMID:25829856

  17. Geographical patterns in species richness of the benthic polychaetes in the continental shelf of the Gulf of California, Mexican Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández-Alcántara, Pablo; Salas-de León, David Alberto; Solís-Weiss, Vivianne; Monreal-Gómez, María Adela

    2013-09-01

    The present study is the first attempt to describe meso-scale patterns in the species richness of polychaetes along the Gulf of California, which stretches from about 23°N to 31°N. We examine herein the spatial changes in species distribution and explore the overlapping of species' ranges towards the centre of the Gulf, to test whether the mid-domain effect (MDE) could explain an expected mid-domain peak in species richness. The faunal composition and the latitudinal range of 244 species of polychaetes recorded along the continental shelf of the Gulf of California were analysed in latitude bands of 1°. The species composition changes around the Gulf's archipelago (~29°N), and the highest values of species richness are found at the 25° (197 species) and 26° (193 species) of latitude. Although the species richness pattern could be described by a parabolic shape, the regional trend was not strongly consistent with the peak of diversity at 27°N (176-191 species) predicted by the mid-domain effect: the random sorting of species' ranges within spatial domain does not explain satisfactorily the geographical patterns of diversity. Nevertheless, a partial contribution of MDE to these natural patterns of diversity could be detected, and the increase in species richness towards middle latitudes was basically determined by species with distribution ranges larger than 6°. The low level of significance between the empirical species richness pattern and the mid-domain model prediction for polychaetes in the Gulf does not restrict their use as a model for exploring the randomness of the diversity patterns.

  18. Fine-scale spatial variation in plant species richness and its relationship to environmental conditions in coastal marshlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mancera, J.E.; Meche, G.C.; Cardona-Olarte, P.P.; Castaneda-Moya, E.; Chiasson, R.L.; Geddes, N.A.; Schile, L.M.; Wang, H.G.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Grace, J.B.

    2005-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that variations in environmental conditions play a major role in explaining variations in plant species richness at community and landscape scales. In this study, we considered the degree to which fine-scale spatial variations in richness could be related to fine-scale variations in abiotic and biotic factors. To examine spatial variation in richness, grids of 1 m(2) plots were laid out at five sites within a coastal riverine wetland landscape. At each site, a 5 x 7 array of plots was established adjacent to the river's edge with plots one meter apart. In addition to the estimation of species richness, environmental measurements included sediment salinity, plot microelevation, percent of plot recently disturbed, and estimated community biomass. Our analysis strategy was to combine the use of structural equation modeling (path modeling) with an assessment of spatial association. Mantel's tests revealed significant spatial autocorrelation in species richness at four of the five sites sampled, indicating that richness in a plot correlated with the richness of nearby plots. We subsequently considered the degree to which spatial autocorrelations in richness could be explained by spatial autocorrelations in environmental conditions. Once data were corrected for environmental correlations, spatial autocorrelation in residual species richness could not be detected at any site. Based on these results, we conclude that in this coastal wetland, there appears to be a fine-scale mapping of diversity to microgradients in environmental conditions.

  19. Microbial Species Richness and Metabolic Activities in Hypersaline Microbial Mats: Insight into Biosignature Formation Through Lithification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumgartner, Laura K.; Dupraz, Christophe; Buckley, Daniel H.; Spear, John R.; Pace, Norman R.; Visscher, Pieter T.

    2009-11-01

    Microbial mats in the hypersaline lake of Salt Pan, Eleuthera, Bahamas, display a gradient of lithification along a transect from the center to the shore of the lake. These mats exist under similar geochemical conditions, with light quantity and quality as the sole major environmental difference. Therefore, we hypothesized that the microbial community may be driving the differences in lithification and, by extension, mineral biosignature formation. The lithifying and non-lithifying mat communities were compared (via 16S rRNA gene sequencing, 485 and 464 sequences, respectively) over both temporal and spatial scales. Seven bacterial groups dominated in all the microbial mat libraries: bacteriodetes, alphaproteobacteria, deltaproetobacteria, chloroflexi, spirochaetes, cyanobacteria, and planctomycetes. The mat communities were all significantly different over space, time, and lithification state. Species richness is significantly higher in the non-lithifying mats, potentially due to differences in mat structure and activity. This increased richness may impact lithification and, hence, biosignature production.

  20. Effects of increased soil nitrogen on the dominance of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2003-01-01

    1. Deserts are one of the least invaded ecosystems by plants, possibly due to naturally low levels of soil nitrogen. Increased levels of soil nitrogen caused by atmospheric nitrogen deposition may increase the dominance of invasive alien plants and decrease the diversity of plant communities in desert regions, as it has in other ecosystems. Deserts should be particularly susceptible to even small increases in soil nitrogen levels because the ratio of increased nitrogen to plant biomass is higher compared with most other ecosystems. 2. The hypothesis that increased soil nitrogen will lead to increased dominance by alien plants and decreased plant species diversity was tested in field experiments using nitrogen additions at three sites in the in the Mojave Desert of western North America. 3. Responses of alien and native annual plants to soil nitrogen additions were measured in terms of density, biomass and species richness. Effects of nitrogen additions were evaluated during 2 years of contrasting rainfall and annual plant productivity. The rate of nitrogen addition was similar to published rates of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in urban areas adjacent to the Mojave Desert (3.2 g N m-2 year-1). The dominant alien species included the grasses Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and Schismus spp. (S. arabicus and S. barbatus) and the forb Erodium cicutarium. 4. Soil nitrogen addition increased the density and biomass of alien annual plants during both years, but decreased density, biomass and species richness of native species only during the year of highest annual plant productivity. The negative response of natives may have been due to increased competitive stress for soil water and other nutrients caused by the increased productivity of aliens. 5. The effects of nitrogen additions were significant at both ends of a natural nutrient gradient, beneath creosote bush Larrea tridentata canopies and in the interspaces between them, although responses varied among individual

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. First record of bat-pollination in the species-rich genus Tillandsia (Bromeliaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar-Rodríguez, Pedro Adrián; MacSwiney G., M. Cristina; Krömer, Thorsten; García-Franco, José G.; Knauer, Anina; Kessler, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Bromeliaceae is a species-rich neotropical plant family that uses a variety of pollinators, principally vertebrates. Tillandsia is the most diverse genus, and includes more than one-third of all bromeliad species. Within this genus, the majority of species rely on diurnal pollination by hummingbirds; however, the flowers of some Tillandsia species show some characteristics typical for pollination by nocturnal animals, particularly bats and moths. In this study an examination is made of the floral and reproductive biology of the epiphytic bromeliad Tillandsia macropetala in a fragment of humid montane forest in central Veracruz, Mexico. Methods The reproductive system of the species, duration of anthesis, production of nectar and floral scent, as well as diurnal and nocturnal floral visitors and their effectiveness in pollination were determined. Key Results Tillandsia macropetala is a self-compatible species that achieves a higher fruit production through outcrossing. Nectar production is restricted to the night, and only nocturnal visits result in the development of fruits. The most frequent visitor (75 % of visits) and the only pollinator of this bromeliad (in 96 % of visits) was the nectarivorous bat Anoura geoffroyi (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae). Conclusions This is the first report of chiropterophily within the genus Tillandsia. The results on the pollination biology of this bromeliad suggest an ongoing evolutionary switch from pollination by birds or moths to bats. PMID:24651370

  3. Estimation of avian population sizes and species richness across a boreal landscape in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Handel, C.M.; Swanson, S.A.; Nigro, Debora A.; Matsuoka, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    We studied the distribution of birds breeding within five ecological landforms in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, a 10,194-km2 roadless conservation unit on the Alaska-Canada border in the boreal forest zone. Passerines dominated the avifauna numerically, comprising 97% of individuals surveyed but less than half of the 115 species recorded in the Preserve. We used distance-sampling and discrete-removal models to estimate detection probabilities, densities, and population sizes across the Preserve for 23 species of migrant passerines and five species of resident passerines. Yellow-rumped Warblers (Dendroica coronata) and Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) were the most abundant species, together accounting for 41% of the migrant passerine populations estimated. White-winged Crossbills (Loxia leucoptera), Boreal Chickadees (Poecile hudsonica), and Gray Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) were the most abundant residents. Species richness was greatest in the Floodplain/Terrace landform flanking the Yukon River but densities were highest in the Subalpine landform. Species composition was related to past glacial history and current physiography of the region and differed notably from other areas of the northwestern boreal forest. Point-transect surveys, augmented with auxiliary observations, were well suited to sampling the largely passerine avifauna across this rugged landscape and could be used across the boreal forest region to monitor changes in northern bird distribution and abundance. ?? 2009 The Wilson Ornithological Society.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-11

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

  5. Contrasting impacts of different-sized herbivores on species richness of Mediterranean annual pastures differing in primary productivity.

    PubMed

    Rueda, Marta; Rebollo, Salvador; García-Salgado, Gonzalo

    2013-06-01

    Vertebrate herbivores can be key determinants of grassland plant species richness, although the magnitude of their effects can largely depend on ecosystem and herbivore characteristics. It has been demonstrated that the combined effect of primary productivity and body size is critical when assessing the impact of herbivores on plant richness of perennial-dominated grasslands; however, the interaction of site productivity and herbivore size as determinants of plant richness in annual-dominated pastures remains unknown. We experimentally partitioned primary productivity and herbivore body size (sheep and wild rabbits) to study the effect of herbivores on the plant species richness of a Mediterranean semiarid annual plant community in central Spain over six years. We also analyzed the effect of grazing and productivity on the evenness and species composition of the plant community, and green cover, litter, and plant height. We found that plant richness was higher where the large herbivore was present at high-productivity sites but barely changed at low productivity. The small herbivore did not affect species richness at either productivity site despite its large effects on species composition. We propose that adaptations to resource scarcity and herbivory prevented plant richness changes at low-productivity sites, whereas litter accumulation in the absence of herbivores decreased plant richness at high productivity. Our results are consistent with predictions arising from a long history of grazing and highlight the importance of both large and small herbivores to the maintenance of plant diversity of Mediterranean annual-dominated pastures. PMID:23090759

  6. Bathymetric patterns of polychaete (Annelida) species richness in the continental shelf of the Gulf of California, Eastern Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández-Alcántara, Pablo; Salas-de León, David Alberto; Solís-Weiss, Vivianne; Monreal-Gómez, María Adela

    2014-08-01

    The mid-domain effect was tested to evaluate the bathymetric patterns of the polychaete species richness in the Upper and Lower Gulf of California as a possible hypothesis to explain the species richness gradient, exploring the overlapping of species depth ranges towards the middle continental shelf. The bathymetric gradient of the number of species was estimated with the depth ranges of 554 polychaete species, and the mid-domain effect was tested using a Monte Carlo simulation program at bands of 10 m depth. The Upper (251 species) and Lower (491 species) Gulf regions showed clear differences in their faunal composition (Jaccard similarity index = 0.34); the species richness pattern was characterized by a highly significant presence of polychaetes with short depth ranges (< 10 m). The richness distribution could be described as a cubic polynomial curve, but the maximum values in both Gulf regions (141 and 317 species, respectively for Upper and Lower Gulf regions) are strongly biased to shallow waters (40 m). This is not consistent with the peak of diversity at 60-70 m predicted by the model. The observed patterns cannot be reproduced by the mid-domain effect, suggesting the existence of non-random factors affecting the species richness gradients in the Gulf.

  7. Large-scale patterns of epiphytic lichen species richness: photobiont-dependent response to climate and forest structure.

    PubMed

    Marini, Lorenzo; Nascimbene, Juri; Nimis, Pier Luigi

    2011-09-15

    Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic association of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner. Although the photobiont type is a key life-history trait, tests of the potential differential role of the main photobiont types in shaping large-scale patterns of lichen species richness are still absent. The aim of the study was to test the influences of forest structure and climate on epiphytic lichen species richness across Italy and to see whether these relationships change for groups of species sharing different photobiont types. Regional species richness of epiphytic lichens divided into three main photobiont types (i.e. chlorococcoid green algae, cyanobacteria, and Trentepohlia algae) was retrieved for each of the 20 administrative regions. Multiple linear regression was used to quantify the effect of climate and forest structure, and their potential interaction, on the regional species richness for the three photobiont types, accounting also for the effect of regional area. Regional species richness was associated with both climate and forest structure variables but the relationships with both factors were largely photobiont dependent. Regional area and precipitation were the only predictors included in all the models, confirming the strong dependence of lichens on atmospheric water supply, irrespective of the photobiont type. Number of species with chlorococcoid green algae were further positively associated with cover of high forest, whilst lichens with Trentepohlia were further enhanced by warm temperatures. Cyanolichen species richness was only related to area and precipitation. Our study shed light on the relative importance of climate and forest structure on lichen species richness patterns at the macroscale, showing a differential response of the photobiont types to various environmental determinants. This differential response suggested that the current and future impacts of global change on lichens cannot be generalized and that species

  8. Local and Landscape Correlates of Spider Activity Density and Species Richness in Urban Gardens.

    PubMed

    Otoshi, Michelle D; Bichier, Peter; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Urbanization is a major threat to arthropod biodiversity and abundance due to reduction and loss of suitable natural habitat. Green spaces and small-scale agricultural areas may provide habitat and resources for arthropods within densely developed cities. We studied spider activity density (a measure of both abundance and degree of movement) and diversity in urban gardens in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey counties in central California, USA. We sampled for spiders with pitfall traps and sampled 38 local site characteristics for 5 mo in 19 garden sites to determine the relative importance of individual local factors. We also analyzed 16 landscape variables at 500-m and 1-km buffers surrounding each garden to determine the significance of landscape factors. We identified individuals from the most common families to species and identified individuals from other families to morphospecies. Species from the families Lycosidae and Gnaphosidae composed 81% of total adult spider individuals. Most of the significant factors that correlated with spider activity density and richness were local rather than landscape factors. Spider activity density and richness increased with mulch cover and flowering plant species, and decreased with bare soil. Thus, changes in local garden management have the potential to promote diversity of functionally important spiders in urban environments. PMID:26314049

  9. Species richness and adaptive capacity in animal communities: lessons from China.

    PubMed

    Mackinnon, John

    2008-06-01

    Climate change is already threatening the long-term viability of many important protected areas, and as global warming accelerates this will increase. Lowered water tables, melting permafrost, changing vegetation zones, combined with the fragmentary distribution of wilderness areas, will cause a wave of local extinctions as species fail to adapt to changing conditions in time or fail to move as climate zones advance across the face of the continents. Ecologists can predict and even model likely scenarios, but can we do anything to help safeguard valuable biodiversity or must we passively document Earth's changes and accept these losses? Studies of the extraordinary species richness of the Hengduan Mountains and the Qionglai Mountain ranges of South-West China and of the Changbaishan Mountains in North-East China give us some optimism. This paper provides an explanation for the high species richness in these ranges and identifies design principles that can be used in the selection of protected areas or in the revision of existing protected area boundaries to enhance their ecological resilience and allow them to maintain higher levels of biological diversity under conditions of climate change or other disturbance. PMID:21396057

  10. Alien dominance of the parasitoid wasp community along an elevation gradient on Hawai'i Island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peck, R.W.; Banko, P.C.; Schwarzfeld, M.; Euaparadorn, M.; Brinck, K.W.

    2008-01-01

    Through intentional and accidental introduction, more than 100 species of alien Ichneumonidae and Braconidae (Hymenoptera) have become established in the Hawaiian Islands. The extent to which these parasitoid wasps have penetrated native wet forests was investigated over a 1,765 m elevation gradient on windward Hawai'i Island. For >1 year, malaise traps were used to continuously monitor parasitoid abundance and species richness in nine sites over three elevations. A total of 18,996 individuals from 16 subfamilies were collected. Overall, the fauna was dominated by aliens, with 44 of 58 species foreign to the Hawaiian Islands. Ichneumonidae was dominant over Braconidae in terms of both diversity and abundance, comprising 67.5% of individuals and 69.0% of species collected. Parasitoid abundance and species richness varied significantly with elevation: abundance was greater at mid and high elevations compared to low elevation while species richness increased with increasing elevation, with all three elevations differing significantly from each other. Nine species purposely introduced to control pest insects were found, but one braconid, Meteorus laphygmae, comprised 98.0% of this assemblage, or 28.3% of the entire fauna. Endemic species, primarily within the genera Spolas and Enicospilus, were collected almost exclusively at mid- and high-elevation sites, where they made up 22.1% and 36.0% of the total catch, respectively. Overall, 75.9% of species and 96.0% of individuals are inferred to parasitize Lepidoptera larvae and pupae. Our results support previous data indicating that alien parasitoids have deeply penetrated native forest habitats and may have substantial impacts on Hawaiian ecosystems. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  11. Elucidation of the chemical environment for zinc species in an electron-rich zinc-incorporated zeolite

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jing-Feng; Wang, Kai-Xue; Wang, Jian-Qiang; Li, Lu; Jiang, Yan-Mei; Guo, Xing-Xing; Chen, Jie-Sheng

    2013-06-15

    An electron-rich zinc-modified zeolite has been prepared by the incorporation of zinc vapor into the channels of a dehydrated HY (protonated zeolite Y). The chemical environment of the zinc species in the electron-rich zeolite has been elucidated on the basis of X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The formation of univalent zinc (Zn{sup +}) within the electron-rich zeolite was observed upon the irradiation of X-ray from either a synchrotron radiation source or a conventional X-ray diffractometer. The X-ray irradiation initiated the electron transfer from the electron-rich framework of zeolite Y to the nearby Zn{sup 2+} cations, generating Zn{sup +} species. The variation of the coordination environment of the zinc species upon interaction with water molecules has also been investigated. - Graphical abstract: The chemical environment of the zinc species in an electorn-rich zeolite has been elucidated on the basis of X-ray absorption spectroscopy. - Highlights: • An electron-rich zinc-incorporated zeolite has been prepared by chemical vapor reaction. • Univalent zinc is detected after the electron-rich zeolite is irradiated with X-ray. • The chemical environment of the zinc species is elucidated by X-ray absorption spectroscopy. • The coordination environment of the zinc species changes upon interaction with water molecules.

  12. The role of global trade and transport network topology in the human-mediated dispersal of alien species.

    PubMed

    Banks, Natalie Clare; Paini, Dean Ronald; Bayliss, Kirsty Louise; Hodda, Michael

    2015-02-01

    More people and goods are moving further and more frequently via many different trade and transport networks under current trends of globalisation. These networks can play a major role in the unintended introduction of exotic species to new locations. With the continuing rise in global trade, more research attention is being focused on the role of networks in the spread of invasive species. This represents an emerging field of research in invasion science and the substantial knowledge being generated within other disciplines can provide ecologists with new tools with which to study invasions. For the first time, we synthesise studies from several perspectives, approaches and disciplines to derive the fundamental characteristics of network topology determining the likelihood of spread of organisms via trade and transport networks. These characteristics can be used to identify critical points of vulnerability within these networks and enable the development of more effective strategies to prevent invasions. PMID:25529499

  13. Plant species richness drives the density and diversity of Collembola in temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-05-01

    Declining biodiversity is one of the most important aspects of anthropogenic global change phenomena, but the implications of plant species loss for soil decomposers are little understood. We used the experimental grassland community of the Jena Experiment to assess the response of density and diversity of Collembola to varying plant species richness, plant functional group richness and plant functional group identity. We sampled the experimental plots in spring and autumn four years after establishment of the experimental plant communities. Collembola density and diversity significantly increased with plant species and plant functional group richness highlighting the importance of the singular hypothesis for soil invertebrates. Generally, grasses and legumes beneficially affected Collembola density and diversity, whereas effects of small herbs usually were detrimental. These impacts were largely consistent in spring and autumn. By contrast, in the presence of small herbs the density of hemiedaphic Collembola and the diversity of Isotomidae increased in spring whereas they decreased in autumn. Beneficial impacts of plant diversity as well as those of grasses and legumes were likely due to increased root and microbial biomass, and elevated quantity and quality of plant residues serving as food resources for Collembola. By contrast, beneficial impacts of small herbs in spring probably reflect differences in microclimatic conditions, and detrimental effects in autumn likely were due to low quantity and quality of resources. The results point to an intimate relationship between plants and the diversity of belowground biota, even at small spatial scales, contrasting the findings of previous studies. The pronounced response of soil animals in the present study was presumably due to the fact that plant communities had established over several years. As decomposer invertebrates significantly impact plant performance, changes in soil biota density and diversity are likely

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    High-elevation tropical islands are ideally suited for examining the factors that determine species distribution, given the complex topographies and climatic gradients that create a wide variety of habitats within relatively small areas. New Caledonia, a megadiverse Pacific archipelago, has long focussed the attention of botanists working on the spatial and environmental ranges of specific groups, but few studies have embraced the entire tree flora of the archipelago. In this study we analyse the distribution of 702 native species of rainforest trees of New Caledonia, belonging to 195 genera and 80 families, along elevation and rainfall gradients on ultramafic (UM) and non-ultramafic (non-UM) substrates. We compiled four complementary data sources: (i) herbarium specimens, (ii) plots, (iii) photographs and (iv) observations, totalling 38 936 unique occurrences distributed across the main island. Compiled into a regular 1-min grid (1.852 × 1.852 km), this dataset covered ∼22 % of the island. The studied rainforest species exhibited high environmental tolerance; 56 % of them were not affiliated to a substrate type and they exhibited wide elevation (average 891 ± 332 m) and rainfall (average 2.2 ± 0.8 m year−1) ranges. Conversely their spatial distribution was highly aggregated, which suggests dispersal limitation. The observed species richness was driven mainly by the density of occurrences. However, at the highest elevations or rainfalls, and particularly on UM, the observed richness tends to be lower, independently of the sampling effort. The study highlights the imbalance of the dataset in favour of higher values of rainfall and of elevation. Projected onto a map, under-represented areas are a guide as to where future sampling efforts are most required to complete our understanding of rainforest tree species distribution. PMID:26162898

  15. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

    PubMed Central

    Nash, Michael A.; Christie, Fiona J.; Hahs, Amy K.; Livesley, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416

  16. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants.

    PubMed

    Ossola, Alessandro; Nash, Michael A; Christie, Fiona J; Hahs, Amy K; Livesley, Stephen J

    2015-01-01

    Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    High-elevation tropical islands are ideally suited for examining the factors that determine species distribution, given the complex topographies and climatic gradients that create a wide variety of habitats within relatively small areas. New Caledonia, a megadiverse Pacific archipelago, has long focussed the attention of botanists working on the spatial and environmental ranges of specific groups, but few studies have embraced the entire tree flora of the archipelago. In this study we analyse the distribution of 702 native species of rainforest trees of New Caledonia, belonging to 195 genera and 80 families, along elevation and rainfall gradients on ultramafic (UM) and non-ultramafic (non-UM) substrates. We compiled four complementary data sources: (i) herbarium specimens, (ii) plots, (iii) photographs and (iv) observations, totalling 38 936 unique occurrences distributed across the main island. Compiled into a regular 1-min grid (1.852 × 1.852 km), this dataset covered ∼22 % of the island. The studied rainforest species exhibited high environmental tolerance; 56 % of them were not affiliated to a substrate type and they exhibited wide elevation (average 891 ± 332 m) and rainfall (average 2.2 ± 0.8 m year(-1)) ranges. Conversely their spatial distribution was highly aggregated, which suggests dispersal limitation. The observed species richness was driven mainly by the density of occurrences. However, at the highest elevations or rainfalls, and particularly on UM, the observed richness tends to be lower, independently of the sampling effort. The study highlights the imbalance of the dataset in favour of higher values of rainfall and of elevation. Projected onto a map, under-represented areas are a guide as to where future sampling efforts are most required to complete our understanding of rainforest tree species distribution. PMID:26162898

  18. The coregulator Alien

    PubMed Central

    Papaioannou, Maria; Melle, Christian; Baniahmad, Aria

    2007-01-01

    Alien has characteristics of a corepressor for selected members of the nuclear hormone receptor (NHR) superfamily and also for transcription factors involved in cell cycle regulation and DNA repair. Alien mediates gene silencing and represses the transactivation of specific NHRs and other transcription factors to modulate hormone response and cell proliferation. Alien is a highly conserved protein and is expressed in a wide variety of tissues. Knockout of the gene encoding Alien in mice is embryonic lethal at a very early stage, indicating an important evolutionary role in multicellular organisms. From a mechanistic perspective, the corepressor function of Alien is in part mediated by histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity. In addition, Alien seems to modulate nucleosome assembly activity. This suggests that Alien is acting on chromatin not only through recruitment of histone-modifying activities, but also through enhancing nucleosome assembly. PMID:18174916

  19. Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania)

    PubMed Central

    Ardelean, Ioana Violeta; Keller, Christine; Scheidegger, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth’s ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future. PMID:26717517

  20. Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania).

    PubMed

    Ardelean, Ioana Violeta; Keller, Christine; Scheidegger, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth's ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future. PMID:26717517

  1. Correlation between the habitats productivity and species richness (amphibians and reptiles) in Portugal through remote sensed data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodoro, A. C.; Sillero, N.; Alves, S.; Duarte, L.

    2013-10-01

    Several biogeographic theories propose that the species richness depends on the structure and ecosystems diversity. The habitat productivity, a surrogate for these variables, can be evaluated through satellite imagery, namely using vegetation indexes (e.g. NDVI). We analyzed the correlation between species richness (from the Portuguese Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles) and NDVI (from Landsat, MODIS, and Vegetation images). The species richness database contains more than 80000 records, collected from bibliographic sources (at 1 or 10 km of spatial resolution) and fieldwork sampling stations (recorded with GPS devices). Several study areas were chosen for Landsat images (three subsets), and all Portugal for MODIS and Vegetation images. The Landsat subareas had different climatic and habitat characteristics, located in the north, center and south of Portugal. Different species richness datasets were used depending on the image spatial resolution: data with metric resolution were used for Landsat, and with 1 km resolution, for MODIS and Vegetation images. The NDVI indexes and all the images were calculated/processed in an open source software (Quantum GIS). Several plug-ins were applied in order to automatize several procedures. We did not find any correlation between the species richness of amphibians and reptiles (not even after separating both groups by species of Atlantic and Mediterranean affinity) and the NDVI calculated with Landsat, MODIS and Vegetation images. Our results may fail to find a relationship because as the species richness is not correlated with only one variable (NDVI), and thus other environmental variables must be considered.

  2. Water Mites (Acari: Hydrachnida) of Ozark Streams - Abundance, Species Richness, and Potential as Environmental Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radwell, A. J.; Brown, A. V.

    2005-05-01

    Because water mites are tightly linked to other stream metazoans through parasitism and predation, they are potentially effective indicators of environmental quality. Meiofauna (80 μm to 1 mm) were sampled from headwater riffles of 11 Ozark streams to determine relative abundance and densities of major meiofauna taxa. Water mites comprised 15.3% of the organisms collected exceeded only by chironomids (50.2%) and oligochaetes (17.8%), and mean water mite density among the 11 streams was 265 organisms per liter. The two streams that differed the most in environmental quality were sampled using techniques suitable for identification of species. An estimated 32 species from 20 genera and 13 families were found in the least disturbed stream; an estimated 19 species from 13 genera and 8 families were found in the most disturbed stream. This preliminary finding supports the notion that water mite species richness declines in response to environmental disturbance. Many species could only be identified as morphospecies of particular genera, but the ongoing taxonomic revision of Hydrachnida is expected to provide needed information. A collaborative effort between those interested in taxonomy/systematics of water mites and ecologists interested in the significance of water mites in aquatic communities could prove mutually beneficial.

  3. Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness.

    PubMed

    Maron, John L; Auge, Harald; Pearson, Dean E; Korell, Lotte; Hensen, Isabell; Suding, Katharine N; Stein, Claudia

    2014-04-01

    Exotic plant invasions are thought to alter productivity and species richness, yet these patterns are typically correlative. Few studies have experimentally invaded sites and asked how addition of novel species influences ecosystem function and community structure and examined the role of competitors and/or consumers in mediating these patterns. We invaded disturbed and undisturbed subplots in and out of rodent exclosures with seeds of native or exotic species in grasslands in Montana, California and Germany. Seed addition enhanced aboveground biomass and species richness compared with no-seeds-added controls, with exotics having disproportionate effects on productivity compared with natives. Disturbance enhanced the effects of seed addition on productivity and species richness, whereas rodents reduced productivity, but only in Germany and California. Our results demonstrate that experimental introduction of novel species can alter ecosystem function and community structure, but that local filters such as competition and herbivory influence the magnitude of these impacts. PMID:24467348

  4. Two common species dominate the species-rich Euglossine bee fauna of an Atlantic Rainforest remnant in Pernambuco, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R; Pinto, C E; Schlindwein, C

    2015-11-01

    Nowadays, the northern part of the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil is largely destroyed and forest remnants rarely exceed 100 ha. In a 118 ha forest fragment within a state nature reserve of Pernambuco (Reserva Ecológica Gurjaú), we surveyed the orchid bee fauna (Apidae, Euglossini) using eight different scent baits to attract males. Once a month during one year, the bees were actively collected with entomological nets, from November 2002 to October 2003 by two collectors. We collected 2,908 orchid bee males belonging to 23 species, one of the highest richness values of the Northern Atlantic Rainforest. Bees of only two species, Euglossa carolina (50%) and Eulaema nigrita (25%), which occurred throughout the year, accounted for three quarter of the collected individuals. Both species are typical for open or disturbed areas. Rainforest remnants like those of Gurjaú within the predominant sugar cane monocultures in the coastal plains of the northern Atlantic Rainforest play an important role in orchid bee conservation and maintenance of biodiversity. PMID:26602351

  5. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands.

    PubMed

    Gaitán, Juan J; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T; Aguiar, Martín R; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-10-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning. PMID:25339654

  6. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands

    PubMed Central

    Gaitán, Juan J.; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T.; Aguiar, Martín R.; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-01-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning. PMID:25339654

  7. Untangling human and environmental effects on geographical gradients of mammal species richness: a global and regional evaluation.

    PubMed

    Torres-Romero, Erik Joaquín; Olalla-Tárraga, Miguel Á

    2015-05-01

    Different hypotheses (geographical, ecological, evolutionary or a combination of them) have been suggested to account for the spatial variation in species richness. However, the relative importance of environment and human impacts in explaining these patterns, either globally or at the biogeographical region level, remains largely unexplored. Here, we jointly evaluate how current environmental conditions and human impacts shape global and regional gradients of species richness in terrestrial mammals. We processed IUCN global distributional data for 3939 mammal species and a set of seven environmental and two human impact variables at a spatial resolution of 96.5 × 96.5 km. We used simple, multiple and partial regression techniques to evaluate environmental and human effects on species richness. Actual evapotranspiration (AET) is the main driver of mammal species richness globally. Together with our results at the biogeographical realm level, this lends strong support for the water-energy hypothesis (i.e. global diversity gradients are best explained by the interaction of water and energy, with a latitudinal shift in the relative importance of ambient energy vs. water availability as we move from the poles to the equator). While human effects on species richness are not easily detected at a global scale due to the large proportion of shared variance with the environment, these effects significantly emerge at the regional level. In the Nearctic, Palearctic and Oriental regions, the independent contribution of human impacts is almost as important as current environmental conditions in explaining richness patterns. The intersection of human impacts with climate drives the geographical variation in mammal species richness in the Palearctic, Nearctic and Oriental regions. Using a human accessibility variable, we show, for the first time, that the zones most accessible to humans are often those where we find lower mammal species richness. PMID:25355656

  8. Roles of Spatial Scale and Rarity on the Relationship between Butterfly Species Richness and Human Density in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mecenero, Silvia; Altwegg, Res; Colville, Jonathan F.; Beale, Colin M.

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife and humans tend to prefer the same productive environments, yet high human densities often lead to reduced biodiversity. Species richness is often positively correlated with human population density at broad scales, but this correlation could also be caused by unequal sampling effort leading to higher species tallies in areas of dense human activity. We examined the relationships between butterfly species richness and human population density at five spatial resolutions ranging from 2' to 60' across South Africa. We used atlas-type data and spatial interpolation techniques aimed at reducing the effect of unequal spatial sampling. Our results confirm the general positive correlation between total species richness and human population density. Contrary to our expectations, the strength of this positive correlation did not weaken at finer spatial resolutions. The patterns observed using total species richness were driven mostly by common species. The richness of threatened and restricted range species was not correlated to human population density. None of the correlations we examined were particularly strong, with much unexplained variance remaining, suggesting that the overlap between butterflies and humans is not strong compared to other factors not accounted for in our analyses. Special consideration needs to be made regarding conservation goals and variables used when investigating the overlap between species and humans for biodiversity conservation. PMID:25915899

  9. Positive selection in the leucine-rich repeat domain of Gro1 genes in Solanum species.

    PubMed

    Ruggieri, Valentino; Nunziata, Angelina; Barone, Amalia

    2014-12-01

    In pathogen resistant plants, solvent-exposed residues in the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins are thought to mediate resistance by recognizing plant pathogen elicitors. In potato, the gene Gro1-4 confers resistance to Globodera rostochiensis. The investigation of variability in different copies of this gene represents a good model for the verification of positive selection mechanisms. Two datasets of Gro1 LRR sequences were constructed, one derived from the Gro1-4 gene, belonging to different cultivated and wild Solanum species, and the other belonging to paralogues of a resistant genotype. Analysis of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rates (K(a)/K(s)) highlighted 14 and six amino acids with K(a)/K(s) >1 in orthologue and paralogue datasets, respectively. Selection analysis revealed that the leucine-rich regions accumulate variability in a very specific way, and we found that some combinations of amino acids in these sites might be involved in pathogen recognition. The results confirm previous studies on positive selection in the LRR domain of R protein in Arabidopsis and other model plants and extend these to wild Solanum species. Moreover, positively selected sites in the Gro1 LRR domain show that coevolution mainly occurred in two regions on the internal surface of the three-dimensional horseshoe structure of the domain, albeit with different evolutionary forces between paralogues and orthologues. PMID:25572234

  10. The effect of environmental heterogeneity on species richness depends on community position along the environmental gradient.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhiyong; Liu, Xueqi; Zhou, Mohua; Ai, Dexiecuo; Wang, Gang; Wang, Youshi; Chu, Chengjin; Lundholm, Jeremy T

    2015-01-01

    Environmental heterogeneity is among the most important factors governing community structure. Besides the widespread evidence supporting positive relationships between richness and environmental heterogeneity, negative and unimodal relationships have also been reported. However, few studies have attempted to test the role of the heterogeneity on species richness after removing the confounding effect of resource availability or environmental severity. Here we constructed an individual-based spatially explicit model incorporating a long-recognized tradeoff between competitive ability and stress-tolerance ability of species. We explored the impact of the level of resource availability (i.e. the position of the community along a gradient of environmental severity) on the heterogeneity-diversity relationship (HDR). The results indicate that the shape of HDR depends on the community position along the environmental gradient: at either end of the gradient of environmental severity, a positive HDR occurred, whereas at the intermediate levels of the gradient, a unimodal HDR emerged. Our exploration demonstrates that resource availability/environmental severity should be considered as a potential factor influencing the shape of the HDR. Our theoretical predictions represent hypotheses in need of further empirical study. PMID:26508413

  11. Species-richness patterns of the living collections of the world's botanic gardens: a matter of socio-economics?

    PubMed Central

    Golding, Janice; Güsewell, Sabine; Kreft, Holger; Kuzevanov, Victor Y.; Lehvävirta, Susanna; Parmentier, Ingrid; Pautasso, Marco

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims The botanic gardens of the world are now unmatched ex situ collections of plant biodiversity. They mirror two biogeographical patterns (positive diversity–area and diversity–age relationships) but differ from nature with a positive latitudinal gradient in their richness. Whether these relationships can be explained by socio-economic factors is unknown. Methods Species and taxa richness of a comprehensive sample of botanic gardens were analysed as a function of key ecological and socio-economic factors using (a) multivariate models controlling for spatial autocorrelation and (b) structural equation modelling. Key Results The number of plant species in botanic gardens increases with town human population size and country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person. The country flora richness is not related to the species richness of botanic gardens. Botanic gardens in more populous towns tend to have a larger area and can thus host richer living collections. Botanic gardens in richer countries have more species, and this explains the positive latitudinal gradient in botanic gardens' species richness. Conclusions Socio-economic factors contribute to shaping patterns in the species richness of the living collections of the world's botanic gardens. PMID:20237117

  12. The Afrotropical Miomantiscaffra Saussure 1871 and Miomantispaykullii Stal 1871: first records of alien mantid species in Portugal and Europe, with an updated checklist of Mantodea in Portugal (Insecta: Mantodea).

    PubMed

    Marabuto, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    The recent growing interest on the Mantodea fauna of southern Europe and Portugal in particular, has enabled the discovery of two geographically separated populations of hitherto unknown species in Europe. Analysis of specimens shows that they belong to two Afrotropical mantids: Miomantiscaffra Saussure, 1871 and Miomantispaykullii Stal, 1871, thus raising the number of known species in Europe to 39 and in Portugal to 11. While these are remarkable findings, they also represent the first alien mantis species recorded from this continent. As yet, these species appear to be confined to artificial humanised gardened areas but call for more attention to the problem of biological invasions and the need for better bio-security measures for the conservation of natural ecosystems. In the absence of recent revisionary work on the Mantodea of Portugal and given the need to provide an accessible identification tool, both a checklist and a key to species are provided for all species in the country. PMID:25425938

  13. The Afrotropical Miomantis caffra Saussure 1871 and Miomantis paykullii Stal 1871: first records of alien mantid species in Portugal and Europe, with an updated checklist of Mantodea in Portugal (Insecta: Mantodea)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The recent growing interest on the Mantodea fauna of southern Europe and Portugal in particular, has enabled the discovery of two geographically separated populations of hitherto unknown species in Europe. Analysis of specimens shows that they belong to two Afrotropical mantids: Miomantis caffra Saussure, 1871 and Miomantis paykullii Stal, 1871, thus raising the number of known species in Europe to 39 and in Portugal to 11. While these are remarkable findings, they also represent the first alien mantis species recorded from this continent. As yet, these species appear to be confined to artificial humanised gardened areas but call for more attention to the problem of biological invasions and the need for better bio-security measures for the conservation of natural ecosystems. In the absence of recent revisionary work on the Mantodea of Portugal and given the need to provide an accessible identification tool, both a checklist and a key to species are provided for all species in the country. PMID:25425938

  14. Patterns in species richness and assemblage structure of native mussels in the Upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zigler, Steven J.; Newton, Teresa J.; Davis, Mike; Rogala, James T.

    2012-01-01

    1. To evaluate patterns in mussel assemblages in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR), data from systematic surveys of mussels conducted in three large reaches (Navigation Pools 5, 6, and 18) from 2005–2007 were analysed. 2. Nonmetric multi-dimensional scaling analyses and permutation tests indicated that assemblages differed among reaches. The mussel assemblage in Pool 18 was substantially different from the assemblage in Pool 5 and moderately different from the assemblage in Pool 6, whereas assemblages in Pools 5 and 6 were similar. Assemblages in broadly defined, flowing aquatic habitats did not substantially differ. 3. The dissimilarity of Pool 18 was primarily the result of Pool 18 having higher abundances of three Quadrula species (Q. quadrula, Q. pustulosa, and Q. nodulata), and lower abundances of Amblema plicata and Fusconaia flava. 4. Rarefaction analyses showed that species richness and species density were higher in Pool 18 compared with the other two pools. 5. Large-scale patterns in mussel assemblages may be related to other longitudinal trends in the system including geomorphology, wat