Browsing by Subject "METACOMMUNITIES"

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  • Siqueira, Tadeu; Saito, Victor S.; Bini, Luis M.; Melo, Adriano S.; Petsch, Danielle K.; Landeiro, Victor L.; Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Jyrkänkallio-Mikkola, Jenny; Soininen, Janne; Heino, Jani (2020)
    Ecological drift can override the effects of deterministic niche selection on small populations and drive the assembly of some ecological communities. We tested this hypothesis with a unique data set sampled identically in 200 streams in two regions (tropical Brazil and boreal Finland) that differ in macroinvertebrate community size by fivefold. Null models allowed us to estimate the magnitude to which beta-diversity deviates from the expectation under a random assembly process while taking differences in richness and relative abundance into account, i.e., beta-deviation. We found that both abundance- and incidence-based beta-diversity was negatively related to community size only in Brazil. Also, beta-diversity of small tropical communities was closer to stochastic expectations compared with beta-diversity of large communities. We suggest that ecological drift may drive variation in some small communities by changing the expected outcome of niche selection, increasing the chances of species with low abundance and narrow distribution to occur in some communities. Habitat destruction, overexploitation, pollution, and reductions in connectivity have been reducing the size of biological communities. These environmental pressures might make smaller communities more vulnerable to novel conditions and render community dynamics more unpredictable. Incorporation of community size into ecological models should provide conceptual and applied insights into a better understanding of the processes driving biodiversity.
  • He, Siwen; Soininen, Janne; Chen, Kai; Wang, Beixin (2020)
    Metacommunity theory provides a useful framework to describe the underlying factors (e.g., environmental and dispersal-related factors) influencing community structure. The strength of these factors may vary depending on the properties of the region studied (e.g., environmental heterogeneity and spatial location) and considered biological groups. Here, we examined environmental and dispersal-related controls of stream macroinvertebrates and diatoms in three regions in China using the distance-decay relationship analysis. We performed analyses for the whole stream network and separately for two stream network locations (headwater and downstream sites) to test the network position hypothesis (NPH), which states that the strength of environmental and dispersal-related controls varies between headwater and downstream communities. Community dissimilarities were significantly related to environmental distances, but not geographical distances. These results suggest that communities are structured strongly by environmental filtering, but weakly by dispersal-related factors such as dispersal limitation. More importantly, we found that, at the whole network scale, environmental control was the highest in the regions with highest environmental heterogeneity. Results further showed that the influence of environmental control was strong in both headwaters and downstream sites, whereas spatial control was generally weak in all sites. This suggests a lack of consistent support for the NPH in our studied stream networks. Moreover, we found that local-scale variables relative to basin-scale variables better explained community dissimilarities for diatoms than for macroinvertebrates. This indicates that diatoms and macroinvertebrates responded to environment at different scales. Collectively, these results suggest that the importance of drivers behind the metacommunity assembly varied among regions with different level of environmental heterogeneity and between organism groups, potentially indicating context dependency among stream systems and taxa.
  • Schiesari, Luis; Matias, Miguel G.; Prado, Paulo Inacio; Leibold, Mathew A.; Albert, Cecile H.; Howeth, Jennifer G.; Leroux, Shawn J.; Pardini, Renata; Siqueira, Tadeu; Brancalion, Pedro H. S.; Cabeza, Mar; Coutinho, Renato Mendes; Felizola Diniz-Filho, Jose Alexandre; Fournier, Bertrand; Lahr, Daniel J. G.; Lewinsohn, Thomas M.; Martins, Ayana; Morsello, Carla; Peres-Neto, Pedro R.; Pillar, Valerio D.; Vazquez, Diego P. (2019)
    The complexity of ecological systems is a major challenge for practitioners and decision-makers who work to avoid, mitigate and manage environmental change. Here, we illustrate how metaecology - the study of spatial interdependencies among ecological systems through fluxes of organisms, energy, and matter - can enhance understanding and improve managing environmental change at multiple spatial scales. We present several case studies illustrating how the framework has leveraged decision-making in conservation, restoration and risk management. Nevertheless, an explicit incorporation of metaecology is still uncommon in the applied ecology literature, and in action guidelines addressing environmental change. This is unfortunate because the many facets of environmental change can be framed as modifying spatial context, connectedness and dominant regulating processes - the defining features of metaecological systems. Narrowing the gap between theory and practice will require incorporating system-specific realism in otherwise predominantly conceptual studies, as well as deliberately studying scenarios of environmental change. (C) 2019 Associacao Brasileira de Ciencia Ecologica e Conservacao. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda.