Browsing by Subject "SPECIES RICHNESS"

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  • Sutcliffe, Laura M. E.; Batary, Peter; Kormann, Urs; Baldi, Andras; Dicks, Lynn V.; Herzon, Irina; Kleijn, David; Tryjanowski, Piotr; Apostolova, Iva; Arlettaz, Raphael; Aunins, Ainars; Aviron, Stephanie; Balezentiene, Ligita; Fischer, Christina; Halada, Lubos; Hartel, Tibor; Helm, Aveliina; Hristov, Iordan; Jelaska, Sven D.; Kaligaric, Mitja; Kamp, Johannes; Klimek, Sebastian; Koorberg, Pille; Kostiukova, Jarmila; Kovacs-Hostyanszki, Aniko; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Leuschner, Christoph; Lindborg, Regina; Loos, Jacqueline; Maccherini, Simona; Marja, Riho; Mathe, Orsolya; Paulini, Inge; Proenca, Vania; Rey-Benayas, Jose; Sans, F. Xavier; Seifert, Charlotte; Stalenga, Jaroslaw; Timaeus, Johannes; Toeroek, Peter; van Swaay, Chris; Viik, Eneli; Tscharntke, Teja (2015)
    A large proportion of European biodiversity today depends on habitat provided by low-intensity farming practices, yet this resource is declining as European agriculture intensifies. Within the European Union, particularly the central and eastern new member states have retained relatively large areas of species-rich farmland, but despite increased investment in nature conservation here in recent years, farmland biodiversity trends appear to be worsening. Although the high biodiversity value of Central and Eastern European farmland has long been reported, the amount of research in the international literature focused on farmland biodiversity in this region remains comparatively tiny, and measures within the EU Common Agricultural Policy are relatively poorly adapted to support it. In this opinion study, we argue that, 10years after the accession of the first eastern EU new member states, the continued under-representation of the low-intensity farmland in Central and Eastern Europe in the international literature and EU policy is impeding the development of sound, evidence-based conservation interventions. The biodiversity benefits for Europe of existing low-intensity farmland, particularly in the central and eastern states, should be harnessed before they are lost. Instead of waiting for species-rich farmland to further decline, targeted research and monitoring to create locally appropriate conservation strategies for these habitats is needed now.
  • Jalkanen, Joel; Toivonen, Tuuli; Moilanen, Atte (2020)
    Context Spatial conservation prioritization (SCP) has most often been applied to the design of reserve network expansion. In addition to occurrences of species and habitats inside protected area candidate sites, one may also be interested about network-level connectivity considerations. Objectives We applied SCP to the identification of ecological networks to inform the development of a new regional plan for the region of Uusimaa (South-Finland, including the Finnish capital district). Methods Input data were 59 high-quality layers of biotope and species distribution data. We identified ecological networks based on a combination of a Zonation balanced priority ranking map and a weighted range size rarity map, to account for both relative and absolute conservation values in the process. We also identified ecological corridors between protected areas and other ecologically high-priority areas using the corridor retention method of Zonation. Furthermore, we identified candidate sites for habitat restoration. Results We found seven large ecological networks (132-1201 km(2)) which stand out from their surrounding landscape in terms of ecological value and have clear connectivity bottlenecks between them. Highest restoration needs were found between large high-priority sites that are connected via remnant habitat fragments in comparatively highly modified areas. Conclusions Land conversion should be avoided in areas of highest ecological priorities and network-level connectivity. Restoration should be considered for connectivity bottlenecks. Methods described here can be applied in any location where relevant spatial data are available. The present results are actively used by the regional council and municipalities in the region of Uusimaa.
  • Fraser, Danielle; Soul, Laura C.; Tóth, Anikó B.; Balk, Meghan A.; Eronen, Jussi T.; Pineda-Munoz, Silvia; Shupinski, Alexandria B.; Villaseñor, Amelia; Barr, W. Andrew; Behrensmeyer, Anna K.; Du, Andrew; Faith, J. Tyler; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Graves, Gary R.; Jukar, Advait M.; Looy, Cindy V.; Miller, Joshua H.; Potts, Richard; Lyons, S. Kathleen (2021)
    Recent renewed interest in using fossil data to understand how biotic interactions have shaped the evolution of life is challenging the widely held assumption that long-term climate changes are the primary drivers of biodiversity change. New approaches go beyond traditional richness and co-occurrence studies to explicitly model biotic interactions using data on fossil and modern biodiversity. Important developments in three primary areas of research include analysis of (i) macroevolutionary rates, (ii) the impacts of and recovery from extinction events, and (iii) how humans (Homo sapiens) affected interactions among non-human species. We present multiple lines of evidence for an important and measurable role of biotic interactions in shaping the evolution of communities and lineages on long timescales.
  • du Toit, Marie J.; Kotze, D. Johan; Cilliers, Sarel S. (2016)
    The history of the landscape directly affects biotic assemblages, resulting in time lags in species response to disturbances. In highly fragmented environments, this phenomenon often causes extinction debts. However, few studies have been carried out in urban settings. To determine if there are time lags in the response of temperate natural grasslands to urbanization. Does it differ for indigenous species and for species indicative of disturbance and between woody and open grasslands? Do these time lags change over time? What are the potential landscape factors driving these changes? What are the corresponding vegetation changes? In 1995 and 2012 vegetation sampling was carried out in 43 urban grassland sites. We calculated six urbanization and landscape measures in a 500 m buffer area surrounding each site for 1938, 1961, 1970, 1994, 1999, 2006, and 2010. We used generalized linear models and model selection to determine which time period best predicted the contemporary species richness patterns. Woody grasslands showed time lags of 20-40 years. Contemporary open grassland communities were, generally, associated with more contemporary landscapes. Altitude and road network density of natural areas were the most frequent predictors of species richness. The importance of the predictors changed between the different models. Species richness, specifically, indigenous herbaceous species, declined from 1995 to 2012. The history of urbanization affects contemporary urban vegetation assemblages. This indicates potential extinction debts, which have important consequences for biodiversity conservation planning and sustainable future scenarios.
  • Jessen, Maria-Theresa; Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Olofsson, Johan; Eskelinen, Anu (2020)
    Variation in intraspecific traits is one important mechanism that can allow plant species to respond to global changes. Understanding plant trait responses to environmental changes such as grazing patterns, nutrient enrichment and climate warming is, thus, essential for predicting the composition of future plant communities. We measured traits of eight common tundra species in a fully factorial field experiment with mammalian herbivore exclusion, fertilization, and passive warming, and assessed how trait responsiveness to the treatments was associated with abundance changes in those treatments. Herbivory exhibited the strongest impact on traits. Exclusion of herbivores increased vegetative plant height by 50% and specific leaf area (SLA) by 19%, and decreased foliar C:N by 11%; fertilization and warming also increased height and SLA but to a smaller extent. Herbivory also modulated intraspecific height, SLA and foliar C:N responses to fertilization and warming, and these interactions were species-specific. Furthermore, herbivory affected how trait change translated into relative abundance change: increased height under warming and fertilization was more positively related to abundance change inside fences than in grazed plots. Our findings highlight the key role of mammalian herbivory when assessing intraspecific trait change in tundra and its consequences for plant performance under global changes.
  • Abrego, Nerea; Norberg, Anna; Ovaskainen, Otso (2017)
    1. The identification of traits that influence the responses of the species to environmental variation provides a mechanistic perspective on the assembly processes of ecological communities. While much research linking functional ecology with assembly processes has been conducted with animals and plants, the development of predictive or even conceptual frameworks for fungal functional community ecology remains poorly explored. Particularly, little is known about the contribution of traits to the occurrences of fungal species under different environmental conditions. 2. Wood-inhabiting fungi are known to strongly respond to habitat disturbance, and thus provide an interesting case study for investigating to what extent variation in occurrence patterns of fungi can be related to traits. We apply a trait-based joint species distribution model to a data set consisting of fruit-body occurrence data on 321 wood-inhabiting fungal species collected in 22 460 dead wood units from managed and natural forest sites. 3. Our results show that environmental filtering plays a big role on shaping wood-inhabiting fungal communities, as different environments held different communities in terms of species and trait compositions. Most importantly, forest management selected against species with large and long-lived fruit-bodies as well as late decayers, and promoted the occurrences of species with small fruit-bodies and early decayers. A strong phylogenetic signal in the data suggested the existence of also some other functionally important traits than the ones we considered. 4. We found that those species groups that were more prevalent in natural conditions had more associations to other species than species groups that were tolerant to or benefitted from forest management. Therefore, the changes that forest management causes on wood-inhabiting fungal communities influence ecosystem functioning through simplification of interactive associations among the fungal species. 5. Synthesis. Our results show that functional traits are linked to the responses of wood-inhabiting fungi to variation in their environment, and thus environmental changes alter ecosystem functions via promoting or reducing species with different fruit-body types. However, further research is needed to identify other functional traits and to provide conclusive evidence for the adaptive nature of the links from traits to occurrence patterns found here.
  • Pilotto, Francesca; Kuehn, Ingolf; Adrian, Rita; Alber, Renate; Alignier, Audrey; Andrews, Christopher; Baeck, Jaana; Barbaro, Luc; Beaumont, Deborah; Beenaerts, Natalie; Benham, Sue; Boukal, David S.; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Camatti, Elisa; Canullo, Roberto; Cardoso, Patricia G.; Ens, Bruno J.; Everaert, Gert; Evtimova, Vesela; Feuchtmayr, Heidrun; Garcia-Gonzalez, Ricardo; Gomez Garcia, Daniel; Grandin, Ulf; Gutowski, Jerzy M.; Hadar, Liat; Halada, Lubos; Halassy, Melinda; Hummel, Herman; Huttunen, Kaisa-Leena; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Jensen, Thomas C.; Kalivoda, Henrik; Schmidt, Inger Kappel; Kroencke, Ingrid; Leinonen, Reima; Martinho, Filipe; Meesenburg, Henning; Meyer, Julia; Minerbi, Stefano; Monteith, Don; Nikolov, Boris P.; Oro, Daniel; Ozolins, Davis; Padedda, Bachisio M.; Pallett, Denise; Pansera, Marco; Pardal, Miguel Angelo; Petriccione, Bruno; Pipan, Tanja; Poeyry, Juha; Schaefer, Stefanie M.; Schaub, Marcus; Schneider, Susanne C.; Skuja, Agnija; Soetaert, Karline; Springe, Gunta; Stanchev, Radoslav; Stockan, Jenni A.; Stoll, Stefan; Sundqvist, Lisa; Thimonier, Anne; Van Hoey, Gert; Van Ryckegem, Gunther; Visser, Marcel E.; Vorhauser, Samuel; Haase, Peter (2020)
    Local biodiversity trends over time are likely to be decoupled from global trends, as local processes may compensate or counteract global change. We analyze 161 long-term biological time series (15-91 years) collected across Europe, using a comprehensive dataset comprising similar to 6,200 marine, freshwater and terrestrial taxa. We test whether (i) local long-term biodiversity trends are consistent among biogeoregions, realms and taxonomic groups, and (ii) changes in biodiversity correlate with regional climate and local conditions. Our results reveal that local trends of abundance, richness and diversity differ among biogeoregions, realms and taxonomic groups, demonstrating that biodiversity changes at local scale are often complex and cannot be easily generalized. However, we find increases in richness and abundance with increasing temperature and naturalness as well as a clear spatial pattern in changes in community composition (i.e. temporal taxonomic turnover) in most biogeoregions of Northern and Eastern Europe. The global biodiversity decline might conceal complex local and group-specific trends. Here the authors report a quantitative synthesis of longterm biodiversity trends across Europe, showing how, despite overall increase in biodiversity metric and stability in abundance, trends differ between regions, ecosystem types, and taxa.
  • Carvalho, Jose C.; Cardoso, Pedro; Rigal, Francois; Triantis, Kostas A.; Borges, Paulo A. V. (2015)
    A key challenge in island biogeography is to quantity the role of dispersal in shaping biodiversity patterns among the islands of a given archipelago. Here, we propose such a framework. Dispersal within oceanic archipelagos may be conceptualized as a spatio-temporal process dependent on: (1) the spatial distribution of islands, because the probability of successful dispersal is inversely related to the spatial distance between islands and (2) the chronological sequence of island formation that determines the directional asymmetry of dispersal (hypothesized to be predominantly from older to younger islands). From these premises, directional network models may be constructed, representing putative connections among islands. These models may be translated to eigenfunctions in order to be incorporated into statistical analysis. The framework was tested with 12 datasets from the Hawaii, Azores, and Canaries. The explanatory power of directional network models for explaining species composition patterns, assessed by the Jaccard dissimilarity index, was compared with simpler time-isolation models. The amount of variation explained by the network models ranged from 5.5% (for Coleoptera in Hawaii) to 60.2% (for Pteridophytes in Canary Islands). In relation to the four studied taxa, the variation explained by network models was higher for Pteridophytes in the three archipelagos. By the contrary, small fractions of explained variation were observed for Coleoptera (5.5%) and Araneae (8.6%) in Hawaii. Time-isolation models were, in general, not statistical significant and explained less variation than the equivalent directional network models for all the datasets. Directional network models provide a way for evaluating the spatio-temporal signature of species dispersal. The method allows building scenarios against which hypotheses about dispersal within archipelagos may be tested. The new framework may help to uncover the pathways via which species have colonized the islands of a given archipelago and to understand the origins of insular biodiversity.
  • Mikkonen, Ninni; Leikola, Niko; Halme, Panu; Heinaro, Einari; Lahtinen, Ari; Tanhuanpää, Topi (2020)
    Here we present a framework for identifying areas with high dead wood potential (DWP) for conservation planning needs. The amount and quality of dead wood and dying trees are some of the most important factors for biodiversity in forests. As they are easy to recognize on site, it is widely used as a surrogate marker for ecological quality of forests. However, wall-to-wall information on dead wood is rarely available on a large scale as field data collection is expensive and local dead wood conditions change rapidly. Our method is based on the forest growth models in the Motti forest simulator, taking into account 168 combinations of tree species, site types, and vegetation zones as well as recommendations on forest management. Simulated estimates of stand-level dead wood volume and mean diameter at breast height were converted into DWP functions. The accuracy of the method was validated on two sites in southern and northeastern Finland, both consisting of managed and conserved boreal forests. Altogether, 203 field plots were measured for living and dead trees. Data on living trees were inserted into corresponding DWP functions and the resulting DWPs were compared to the measured dead wood volumes. Our results show that DWP modeling is an operable tool, yet the accuracy differs between areas. The DWP performs best in near-pristine southern forests known for their exceptionally good quality areas. In northeastern areas with a history of softer management, the differences between near-pristine and managed forests is not as clear. While accurate wall-to-wall dead wood inventory is not available, we recommend using DWP method together with other spatial datasets when assessing biodiversity values of forests.
  • Kankaanpaa, Tuomas; Vesterinen, Eero; Hardwick, Bess; Schmidt, Niels M.; Andersson, Tommi; Aspholm, Paul E.; Barrio, Isabel C.; Beckers, Niklas; Bety, Joel; Birkemoe, Tone; DeSiervo, Melissa; Drotos, Katherine H.; Ehrich, Dorothee; Gilg, Olivier; Gilg, Vladimir; Hein, Nils; Hoye, Toke T.; Jakobsen, Kristian M.; Jodouin, Camille; Jorna, Jesse; Kozlov, Mikhail; Kresse, Jean-Claude; Leandri-Breton, Don-Jean; Lecomte, Nicolas; Loonen, Maarten; Marr, Philipp; Monckton, Spencer K.; Olsen, Maia; Otis, Josee-Anne; Pyle, Michelle; Roos, Ruben E.; Raundrup, Katrine; Rozhkova, Daria; Sabard, Brigitte; Sokolov, Aleksandr; Sokolova, Natalia; Solecki, Anna M.; Urbanowicz, Christine; Villeneuve, Catherine; Vyguzova, Evgenya; Zverev, Vitali; Roslin, Tomas (2020)
    Climatic impacts are especially pronounced in the Arctic, which as a region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe. Here, we investigate how mean climatic conditions and rates of climatic change impact parasitoid insect communities in 16 localities across the Arctic. We focus on parasitoids in a widespread habitat,Dryasheathlands, and describe parasitoid community composition in terms of larval host use (i.e., parasitoid use of herbivorous Lepidoptera vs. pollinating Diptera) and functional groups differing in their closeness of host associations (koinobionts vs. idiobionts). Of the latter, we expect idiobionts-as being less fine-tuned to host development-to be generally less tolerant to cold temperatures, since they are confined to attacking hosts pupating and overwintering in relatively exposed locations. To further test our findings, we assess whether similar climatic variables are associated with host abundances in a 22 year time series from Northeast Greenland. We find sites which have experienced a temperature rise in summer while retaining cold winters to be dominated by parasitoids of Lepidoptera, with the reverse being true for the parasitoids of Diptera. The rate of summer temperature rise is further associated with higher levels of herbivory, suggesting higher availability of lepidopteran hosts and changes in ecosystem functioning. We also detect a matching signal over time, as higher summer temperatures, coupled with cold early winter soils, are related to high herbivory by lepidopteran larvae, and to declines in the abundance of dipteran pollinators. Collectively, our results suggest that in parts of the warming Arctic,Dryasis being simultaneously exposed to increased herbivory and reduced pollination. Our findings point to potential drastic and rapid consequences of climate change on multitrophic-level community structure and on ecosystem functioning and highlight the value of collaborative, systematic sampling effort.
  • Laine, A. M.; Selänpää, T.; Oksanen, J.; Sevakivi, M.; Tuittila, E-S (2018)
    During succession, plant species composition undergoes changes that may have implications for ecosystem functions. Here we aimed to study changes in plant species diversity, functional diversity and functional traits associated with mire development. We sampled vegetation from 22 mires on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Bothnia (west coast of Finland) that together represent seven different time steps along a mire chronosequence resulting from post-glacial rebound. This chronosequence spans a time period of almost 2500 years. Information about 15 traits of vascular plants and 17 traits of mosses was collected, mainly from two different databases. In addition to species richness and Shannon diversity index, we measured functional diversity and community weighted means of functional traits. We found that plant species diversity increased from the early succession stages towards the fen-bog transition. The latter stage also has the most diverse surface structure, consisting of pools and hummocks. Functional diversity increased linearly with species richness, suggesting a lack of functional redundancy during mire succession. On the other hand, Rao's quadratic entropy, another index of functional diversity, remained rather constant throughout the succession. The changes in functional traits indicate a trade-off between acquisitive and conservative strategies. The functional redundancy, i.e. the lack of overlap between similarly functioning species, may indicate that the resistance to environmental disturbances such as drainage or climate change does not change during mire succession. However, the trait trade-off towards conservative strategy, together with the developing microtopography of hummocks and hollows with strongly differing vegetation composition, could increase resistance during mire succession.
  • Li, Xiaofei; Zhong, Zhiwei; Sanders, Dirk; Smit, Christian; Wang, Deli; Nummi, Petri; Zhu, Yu; Wang, Ling; Zhu, Hui; Hassan, Nazim (2018)
    While positive interactions have been well documented in plant and sessile benthic marine communities, their role in structuring mobile animal communities and underlying mechanisms has been less explored. Using field removal experiments, we demonstrated that a large vertebrate herbivore (cattle; Bos tarurs) and a much smaller invertebrate (ants; Lasius spp.), the two dominant animal taxa in a semi-arid grassland in Northeast China, facilitate each other. Cattle grazing led to higher ant mound abundance compared with ungrazed sites, while the presence of ant mounds increased the foraging of cattle during the peak of the growing season. Mechanistically, these reciprocal positive effects were driven by habitat amelioration and resource (food) enhancement by cattle and ants (respectively). Cattle facilitated ants, probably by decreasing plant litter accumulation by herbivory and trampling, allowing more light to reach the soil surface leading to microclimatic conditions that favour ants. Ants facilitated cattle probably by increasing soil nutrients via bioturbation, increasing food (plant) biomass and quality (nitrogen content) for cattle. Our study demonstrates reciprocal facilitative interactions between two animal species from phylogenetically very distant taxa. Such reciprocal positive interactions may be more common in animal communities than so far assumed, and they should receive more attention to improve our understanding of species coexistence and animal community assembly.
  • Borkent, Art; Brown, Brian; Adler, Peter H.; Amorim, Dalton De Souza; Barber, Kevin; Bickel, Daniel; Boucher, Stephanie; Brooks, Scott E.; Burger, John; Burington, Z. L.; Capellari, Renato S.; Costa, Daniel N. R.; Cumming, Jeffrey M.; Curler, Greg; Dick, Carl W.; Epler, J. H.; Fisher, Eric; Gaimari, Stephen D.; Gelhaus, Jon; Grimaldi, David A.; Hash, John; Hauser, Martin; Hippa, Heikki; Ibanez-Bernal, Sergio; Jaschhof, Mathias; Kameneva, Elena P.; Kerr, Peter H.; Korneyev, Valery; Korytkowski, Cheslavo A.; Kung, Giar-Ann; Kvifte, Gunnar Mikalsen; Lonsdale, Owen; Marshall, Stephen A.; Mathis, Wayne N.; Michelsen, Verner; Naglis, Stefan; Norrbom, Allen L.; Paiero, Steven; Pape, Thomas; Pereira-Colavite, Alessandre; Pollet, Marc; Rochefort, Sabrina; Rung, Alessandra; Runyon, Justin B.; Savage, Jade; Silva, Vera C.; Sinclair, Bradley J.; Skevington, Jeffrey H.; Stireman, John O.; Vilkamaa, Pekka; Wheeler, Terry; Whitworth, Terry; Wong, Maria; Wood, D. Monty; Woodley, Norman; Yau, Tiffany; Zavortink, Thomas J.; Zumbado, Manuel A. (2018)
    Study of all flies (Diptera) collected for one year from a four-hectare (150 x 266 meter) patch of cloud forest at 1,600 meters above sea level at Zurqui de Moravia, San Jose Province, Costa Rica (hereafter referred to as Zurqui), revealed an astounding 4,332 species. This amounts to more than half the number of named species of flies for all of Central America. Specimens were collected with two Malaise traps running continuously and with a wide array of supplementary collecting methods for three days of each month. All morphospecies from all 73 families recorded were fully curated by technicians before submission to an international team of 59 taxonomic experts for identification. Overall, a Malaise trap on the forest edge captured 1,988 species or 51% of all collected dipteran taxa (other than of Phoridae, subsampled only from this and one other Malaise trap). A Malaise trap in the forest sampled 906 species. Of other sampling methods, the combination of four other Malaise traps and an intercept trap, aerial/hand collecting, 10 emergence traps, and four CDC light traps added the greatest number of species to our inventory. This complement of sampling methods was an effective combination for retrieving substantial numbers of species of Diptera. Comparison of select sampling methods (considering 3,487 species of non-phorid Diptera) provided further details regarding how many species were sampled by various methods. Comparison of species numbers from each of two permanent Malaise traps from Zurqui with those of single Malaise traps at each of Tapanti and Las Alturas, 40 and 180 km distant from Zurqui respectively, suggested significant species turnover. Comparison of the greater number of species collected in all traps from Zurqui did not markedly change the degree of similarity between the three sites, although the actual number of species shared did increase. Comparisons of the total number of named and unnamed species of Diptera from four hectares at Zurqui is equivalent to 51% of all flies named from Central America, greater than all the named fly fauna of Colombia, equivalent to 14% of named Neotropical species and equal to about 2.7% of all named Diptera worldwide. Clearly the number of species of Diptera in tropical regions has been severely underestimated and the actual number may surpass the number of species of Coleoptera. Various published extrapolations from limited data to estimate total numbers of species of larger taxonomic categories (e.g., Hexapoda, Arthropoda, Eukaryota, etc.) are highly questionable, and certainly will remain uncertain until we have more exhaustive surveys of all and diverse taxa (like Diptera) from multiple tropical sites. Morphological characterization of species in inventories provides identifications placed in the context of taxonomy, phylogeny, form, and ecology. DNA barcoding species is a valuable tool to estimate species numbers but used alone fails to provide a broader context for the species identified.
  • Ferreira, Diogo F.; Rocha, Ricardo; Lopez-Baucells, Adria; Farneda, Fabio Z.; Carreiras, Joao M. B.; Palmeirim, Jorge M.; Meyer, Christoph F. J. (2017)
    Seasonality causes fluctuations in resource availability, affecting the presence and abundance of animal species. The impacts of these oscillations on wildlife populations can be exacerbated by habitat fragmentation. We assessed differences in bat species abundance between the wet and dry season in a fragmented landscape in the Central Amazon characterized by primary forest fragments embedded in a secondary forest matrix. We also evaluated whether the relative importance of local vegetation structure versus landscape characteristics (composition and configuration) in shaping bat abundance patterns varied between seasons. Our working hypotheses were that abundance responses are species as well as season specific, and that in the wet season, local vegetation structure is a stronger determinant of bat abundance than landscape-scale attributes. Generalized linear mixed-effects models in combination with hierarchical partitioning revealed that relationships between species abundances and local vegetation structure and landscape characteristics were both season specific and scale dependent. Overall, landscape characteristics were more important than local vegetation characteristics, suggesting that landscape structure is likely to play an even more important role in landscapes with higher fragment-matrix contrast. Responses varied between frugivores and animalivores. In the dry season, frugivores responded more to compositional metrics, whereas during the wet season, local and configurational metrics were more important. Animalivores showed similar patterns in both seasons, responding to the same group of metrics in both seasons. Differences in responses likely reflect seasonal differences in the phenology of flowering and fruiting between primary and secondary forests, which affected the foraging behavior and habitat use of bats. Management actions should encompass multiscale approaches to account for the idiosyncratic responses of species to seasonal variation in resource abundance and consequently to local and landscape scale attributes.
  • Sundell, Janne; Liao, Wenfei; Nummi, Petri (2021)
    One of the less studied positive interactions among organisms is facilitation. Facilitation may have significant impact on diversity of species especially in low productive environments. We studied the effects of well-known facilitator and ecosystem engineer, the North American beaver (Castor canadensis), on small mammal assemblages in the boreal zone. The small mammals, namely voles, mice, and shrews, were trapped over 2 years in ten beaver-modified habitats and in ten control sites. Contrary to our expectations, we did not observe any differences between species or individual numbers between beaver-modified and control sites. However, there were differences in species composition between sites; grass-eating field voles (Microtus agrestis) and invertebrate-eating shrews (Sorex araneus, Neomys fodiens) tended to be more common in beaver sites while forest-dwelling wood lemmings (Myopus schisticolor) and yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) were only captured in control sites. The most common species in both habitats was the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), which is a generalist in its habitat requirements. The bank vole’s population structures were similar between the two habitat types. The actions of beavers in water bodies within boreal forests seem to have no effect on the small mammal diversity and their numbers at the regional scale but may have positive effect on them at the larger landscape level as beavers are increasing the overall habitat diversity in the landscape.
  • Boieiro, Mario; Carvalho, Jose C.; Cardoso, Pedro; Aguiar, Carlos A. S.; Rego, Carla; de Faria e Silva, Israel; Amorim, Isabel R.; Pereira, Fernando; Azevedo, Eduardo B.; Borges, Paulo A. V.; Serrano, Artur R. M. (2013)
    The development in recent years of new beta diversity analytical approaches highlighted valuable information on the different processes structuring ecological communities. A crucial development for the understanding of beta diversity patterns was also its differentiation in two components: species turnover and richness differences. In this study, we evaluate beta diversity patterns of ground beetles from 26 sites in Madeira Island distributed throughout Laurisilva – a relict forest restricted to the Macaronesian archipelagos. We assess how the two components of ground beetle beta diversity (βrepl – species turnover and βrich - species richness differences) relate with differences in climate, geography, landscape composition matrix, woody plant species richness and soil characteristics and the relative importance of the effects of these variables at different spatial scales. We sampled 1025 specimens from 31 species, most of which are endemic to Madeira Island. A spatially explicit analysis was used to evaluate the contribution of pure environmental, pure spatial and environmental spatially structured effects on variation in ground beetle species richness and composition. Variation partitioning showed that 31.9% of species turnover (βrepl) and 40.7% of species richness variation (βrich) could be explained by the environmental and spatial variables. However, different environmental variables controlled the two types of beta diversity: βrepl was influenced by climate, disturbance and soil organic matter content whilst βrich was controlled by altitude and slope. Furthermore, spatial variables, represented through Moran’s eigenvector maps, played a significant role in explaining both βrepl and βrich, suggesting that both dispersal ability and Madeira Island complex orography are crucial for the understanding of beta diversity patterns in this group of beetles.
  • Heino, Jani; Melo, Adriano S.; Jyrkänkallio-Mikkola, Jenny; Petsch, Danielle Katharine; Saito, Victor Satoru; Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Landeiro, Victor Lemes; Freire Silva, Thiago Sanna; Pajunen, Virpi; Soininen, Janne; Siqueira, Tadeu (2018)
    Aim: Biological diversity typically varies between climatically different regions, and regions closer to the equator often support higher numbers of taxa than those closer to the poles. However, these trends have been assessed for a few organism groups, and the existing studies have rarely been based on extensive identical surveys in different climatic regions. Location: We conducted standardized surveys of wadeable streams in a boreal (western Finland) and a subtropical (south-eastern Brazil) region, sampling insects identically from 100 streams in each region and measuring the same environmental variables in both regions. Taxon: Aquatic insects. Methods: Comparisons were made at the scales of local stream sites, drainage basins and entire regions. We standardized the spatial extent of the study areas by resampling regional richness based on subsets of sites with similar extents. We examined differences in genus richness and assemblage abundance patterns between the regions using graphical and statistical modelling approaches. Results: We found that while genus accumulation and rank-abundance curves were relatively similar at the regional scale between Finland and Brazil, regional genus richness was higher in the latter but regional abundance much higher in the former region. These regional patterns for richness and abundance were reproduced by basin and local genus richness that were higher in Brazil than in Finland, and assemblage abundance that was much higher in Finland than in Brazil. The magnitude of the difference in genus richness between Brazil and Finland tended to increase from local through basin to regional scales. Main conclusions: Our findings suggest that factors related to evolutionary diversification might explain differences in genus richness between these two climatically different regions, whereas higher nutrient concentrations of stream waters might explain the higher abundance of insects in Finland than in Brazil.
  • Aarnio, Sonja; Soininen, Janne (2021)
    Local biodiversity has traditionally been estimated with taxonomic diversity metrics such as species richness. Recently, the concept of biodiversity has been extended beyond species identity by ecological traits determining the functional role of a species in a community. This interspecific functional diversity typically responds more strongly to local environmental variation compared with taxonomic diversity, while taxonomic diversity may mirror more strongly dispersal processes compared with functional metrics. Several trait-based indices have been developed to measure functional diversity for various organisms and habitat types, but studies of their applicability on aquatic microbial communities have been underrepresented. We examined the drivers and covariance of taxonomic and functional diversity among diatom rock pool communities on the Baltic Sea coast. We quantified three taxonomic (species richness, Shannon's diversity, and Pielou's evenness) and three functional (functional richness, evenness, and divergence) diversity indices and determined abiotic factors best explaining variation in these indices by generalized linear mixed models. The six diversity indices were highly collinear except functional evenness, which merely correlated significantly with taxonomic evenness. All diversity indices were always explained by water conductivity and temperature-sampling month interaction. Taxonomic diversity was further consistently explained by pool distance to the sea, and functional richness and divergence by pool location. The explained variance in regression models did not markedly differ between taxonomic and functional metrics. Our findings do not clearly support the superiority of neither set of diversity indices in explaining coastal microbial diversity, but rather highlight the general overlap among the indices. However, as individual metrics may be driven by different factors, the greatest advantage in assessing biodiversity is nevertheless probably achieved with a simultaneous application of the taxonomic and functional diversity metrics.
  • Rego, Carla; Boieiro, Mario; Rigal, François; Ribeiro, Servio; Cardoso, Pedro; Borges, Paulo A.V. (2019)
    Oceanic islands have been providing important insights on the structuring of ecological communities and, under the context of the present biodiversity crisis, they are paramount to assess the effects of biological invasions on community assembly. In this study we compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of insect herbivore assemblages associated with the dominant tree species of Azorean native forests and investigate the ecological processes that may have originated current patterns of plant-herbivore associations. Five dominant trees-Erica azorica, Ilex perado subsp. azorica, Juniperus brevifolia, Laurus azorica and Vaccinium cylindraceum-were sampled in the remnants of the native forest of Terceira Island (Azores) using a standardised methodology. The taxonomic and functional diversity of insect herbivore assemblages was assessed using complementary metrics and beta diversity partitioning analysis (species replacement and richness differences) aiming to evaluate the variation in insect herbivore assemblages within and between the study plant species. Sixty two insect species, mostly bugs (Hemiptera) and caterpillars (Lepidoptera), were found in the five study plants with indigenous (endemic and native non-endemic) insects occurring with higher species richness and abundance than introduced ones. Species replacement was the most important component of insect herbivore taxonomic beta diversity while differences in trait richness played a major role on functional beta diversity. The endemic E. azorica stands out from the other study plants by having associated a very distinct insect herbivore assemblage with a particular set of functional attributes, mainly composed by large bodied and long shaped species that feed by chewing. Despite the progressive biotic homogenization witnessed in the Azores during the last few decades, several strong associations between the endemic trees and their indigenous insect herbivores remain.
  • Kaarlejarvi, Elina; Salemaa, Maija; Tonteri, Tiina; Merila, Paivi; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2021)
    Aim The diversity and composition of natural communities are rapidly changing due to anthropogenic disturbances. Magnitude of this compositional reorganization varies across the globe, but reasons behind the variation remain largely unknown. Disturbances induce temporal turnover by stimulating species colonizations, causing local extinctions, altering dominance structure, or all of these. We test which of these processes drive temporal community changes, and whether they are constrained by natural environmental gradients. Moreover, we assess to what degree identity shifts translate to changes in dominance structure. Location Finland. Time period Observations 1985-2006, disturbance history > 140 years. Major taxa studied Vascular plants. Methods We investigated temporal turnover of boreal forest understorey in response to disturbance, here forest management, along a soil fertility gradient. We disentangle the roles of species gains, losses and abundance changes in driving temporal turnover in response to and after disturbance by comparing turnover rates in different forest age categories along a fertility gradient. We quantify temporal turnover using richness-based complement of Jaccard's similarity index and proportional-abundance based dissimilarity index. We also test whether disturbance history or fertility influence the relationship between identity shifts and dominance structure. Results We found that the impact of disturbance on temporal turnover depends on soil fertility. The greatest turnover occurred in the most fertile forests immediately after disturbance. There, species gains and losses strongly altered dominance structure leading to high turnover, whereas undisturbed old forests and nutrient-poor habitats were characterized by stable dominant species even when the majority of species shifted their identity. Main conclusions Our results suggest that human impacts on temporal biodiversity change vary along environmental gradients. In boreal forests, the fertile habitats have a higher probability than nutrient-poor sites of changing their composition in response to anthropogenic disturbances. Resource availability and disturbance history may thus influence consequences of temporal turnover for ecosystem functioning.