Browsing by Subject "ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITY"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-2 of 2
  • Heino, Jani; Soininen, Janne; Alahuhta, Janne; Lappalainen, Jyrki; Virtanen, Risto (2015)
    Most metacommunity studies have taken a direct mechanistic approach, aiming to model the effects of local and regional processes on local communities within a metacommunity. An alternative approach is to focus on emergent patterns at the metacommunity level through applying the elements of metacommunity structure (EMS; Oikos, 97, 2002, 237) analysis. The EMS approach has very rarely been applied in the context of a comparative analysis of metacommunity types of main microbial, plant, and animal groups. Furthermore, to our knowledge, no study has associated metacommunity types with their potential ecological correlates in the freshwater realm. We assembled data for 45 freshwater metacommunities, incorporating biologically highly disparate organismal groups (i.e., bacteria, algae, macrophytes, invertebrates, and fish). We first examined ecological correlates (e.g., matrix properties, beta diversity, and average characteristics of a metacommunity, including body size, trophic group, ecosystem type, life form, and dispersal mode) of the three elements of metacommunity structure (i.e., coherence, turnover, and boundary clumping). Second, based on those three elements, we determined which metacommunity types prevailed in freshwater systems and which ecological correlates best discriminated among the observed metacommunity types. We found that the three elements of metacommunity structure were not strongly related to the ecological correlates, except that turnover was positively related to beta diversity. We observed six metacommunity types. The most common were Clementsian and quasi-nested metacommunity types, whereas Random, quasi-Clementsian, Gleasonian, and quasi-Gleasonian types were less common. These six metacommunity types were best discriminated by beta diversity and the first axis of metacommunity ecological traits, ranging from metacommunities of producer organisms occurring in streams to those of large predatory organisms occurring in lakes. Our results showed that focusing on the emergent properties of multiple metacommunities provides information additional to that obtained in studies examining variation in local community structure within a metacommunity.
  • Valanko, Sebastian; Heino, Jani; Westerbom, Mats; Viitasalo, Markku; Norkko, Alf (2015)
    The majority of studies in metacommunity ecology have focused on systems other than marine benthic ecosystems, thereby providing an impetus to broaden the focus of metacommunity research to comprise marine systems. These systems are more open than many other systems and may thus exhibit relatively less discrete patterns in community structure across space. Metacommunity structure of soft-sediment benthic invertebrates was examined using a fine-grained (285 sites) data set collected during one summer across a large spatial extent (1700km(2)). We applied the elements of metacommunity structure (EMS) approach, allowing multiple hypothesis of variation in community structure to be tested. We demonstrated several patterns associated with environmental variation and associated processes that could simultaneously assemble species to occur at the sites. A quasi-Clementsian pattern was observed frequently, suggesting interdependent ecological relationships among species or similar response to an underlying environmental gradient across sites. A quasi-nested clumped species loss pattern was also observed, which suggests nested habitat specialization. Species richness declined with depth (from 0.5 to 44.8m). We argue that sensitive species may survive in shallower water, which are more stable with regard to oxygen conditions and present greater habitat complexity, in contrast to deeper waters, which may experience periodic disturbance due to hypoxia. Future studies should better integrate disturbance in terms of temporal dynamics and dispersal rates in the EMS approach. We highlight that shallow water sites may act as sources of recruitment to deeper water sites that are relatively more prone to periodic disturbances due to hypoxia. However, these shallow sites are not currently monitored and should be better prioritized in future conservation strategies in marine systems.