Browsing by Subject "RICHNESS"

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  • Macias-Hernandez, Nuria; Ramos, Cândida; Domènech, Marc; Febles, Sara; Santos, Irene; Arnedo, Miquel A.; Borges, Paulo A. V.; Emerson, Brent C.; Cardoso, Pedro (2020)
    Background There is an increasing demand for databases including species trait information for biodiversity and community ecology studies. The existence of trait databases is useful for comparative studies within taxa or geographical regions, but there is low availability of databases for certain organisms. Here we present an open access functional trait database for spiders from Macaronesia and the Iberian Peninsula, recording several morphological and ecological traits related to the species life histories, microhabitat and trophic preferences. New information We present a database that includes 12 biological traits for 506 spider species present in natural forests of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) and three Macaronesian archipelagoes (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands). The functional trait database consists of two sections: 1. individual-level data for six morphological traits (total body size, prosoma length, prosoma width, prosoma height, tibia I length and fang length), based on direct measurements of 2844 specimens of all spider species; and 2. species-level aggregate data for 12 traits (same 6 morphological traits as in the previous section plus dispersal ability, vertical stratification, circadian activity, foraging strategy, trophic specialization and colonization status), based on either the average of the direct measurements or bibliographic searches. This functional trait database will serve as a data standard for currently ongoing analyses that require trait and functional diversity statistics.
  • Halliday, Fletcher W.; Rohr, Jason R.; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2020)
    The dilution effect predicts increasing biodiversity to reduce the risk of infection, but the generality of this effect remains unresolved. Because biodiversity loss generates predictable changes in host community competence, we hypothesised that biodiversity loss might drive the dilution effect. We tested this hypothesis by reanalysing four previously published meta-analyses that came to contradictory conclusions regarding generality of the dilution effect. In the context of biodiversity loss, our analyses revealed a unifying pattern: dilution effects were inconsistently observed for natural biodiversity gradients, but were commonly observed for biodiversity gradients generated by disturbances causing losses of biodiversity. Incorporating biodiversity loss into tests of generality of the dilution effect further indicated that scale-dependency may strengthen the dilution effect only when biodiversity gradients are driven by biodiversity loss. Together, these results help to resolve one of the most contentious issues in disease ecology: the generality of the dilution effect.
  • Kuussaari, Mikko; Toivonen, Marjaana; Heliola, Janne; Poyry, Juha; Mellado, Jorge; Ekroos, Johan; Hyyrylainen, Vesa; Vähä-Piikkiö, Inkeri; Tiainen, Juha (2021)
    Good knowledge on how increasing urbanization affects biodiversity is essential in order to preserve biodiversity in urban green spaces. We examined how urban development affects species richness and total abundance of butterflies as well as the occurrence and abundance of individual species within the Helsinki metropolitan area in Northern Europe. Repeated butterfly counts in 167 separate 1-km-long transects within Helsinki covered the entire urbanization gradient, quantified by human population density and the proportion of built-up area (within a 50-m buffer surrounding each butterfly transect). We found consistently negative effects of both human population density and built-up area on all studied butterfly variables, though butterflies responded markedly more negatively to increasing human population density than to built-up area. Responses in butterfly species richness and total abundance showed higher variability in relation to proportion of built-up area than to human density, especially in areas of high human density. Increasing human density negatively affected both the abundance and the occurrence of 47% of the 19 most abundant species, whereas, for the proportion of built-up area, the corresponding percentages were 32% and 32%, respectively. Species with high habitat specificity and low mobility showed higher sensitivity to urbanization (especially high human population density) than habitat generalists and mobile species that dominated the urban butterfly communities. Our results suggest that human population density provides a better indicator of urbanization effects on butterflies compared to the proportion of built-up area. The generality of this finding should be verified in other contexts and taxonomic groups.
  • Li, Zhouyuan; Zhang, Heng; Xu, Yanjie; Wang, Shaopeng (2021)
    1. Rapid biodiversity loss has triggered decades of research on the relationships between biodiversity and community stability. Recent studies highlighted the importance of species traits for understanding biodiversity-stability relationships. The species with high growth rates ('fast' species) are expected to be less resistant to environmental stress but recover faster if disturbed; in contrast, the species with slow growth rates ('slow' species) can be more resistant but recover more slowly if disturbed. Such a 'fast-slow' trait continuum provides a new perspective for understanding community stability, but its validity has mainly been examined in plant communities. Here, we investigate how 'fast-slow' trait composition, together with species richness and environmental factors, regulate avian community stability at a continental scale. 2. We used bird population records from the North American Breeding Bird Survey during 1988-2017 and defined avian community stability as the temporal invariability of total community biomass. We calculated species richness and the community-weighted mean (CWM) and functional diversity (FD) of four key life-history traits, including body size, nestling period (i.e. period of egg incubation and young bird fledging), life span and clutch size (i.e. annual total number of eggs). Environmental factors included temperature, precipitation and leaf area index (LAI). 3. Our analyses showed that avian community stability was mainly driven by the CWM of the 'fast-slow' trait. Communities dominated by 'fast' species (i.e. species with small body size, short nestling period and life span and large clutch size) were more stable than those dominated by 'slow' species (i.e. species with large body size, long nestling period and life span and small clutch size). Species richness and the FD of the 'fast-slow' trait explained much smaller proportions of variation in avian community stability. Temperature had direct positive effects on avian community stability, while precipitation and leaf area index affected community stability indirectly by influencing species richness and trait composition. 4. Our study demonstrates that composition of 'fast-slow' traits is the major biotic driver of avian community stability over North America. Temperature is the most important abiotic factor, but its effect is weaker than that of the 'fast-slow' trait. An integrated framework combining 'fast-slow' trait composition and temperature is needed to understand the response of avian communities in a changing environment.
  • Mammola, Stefano; Carmona, Carlos P.; Guillerme, Thomas; Cardoso, Pedro (2021)
    The use of functional diversity analyses in ecology has grown exponentially over the past two decades, broadening our understanding of biological diversity and its change across space and time. Virtually all ecological sub-disciplines recognise the critical value of looking at species and communities from a functional perspective, and this has led to a proliferation of methods for estimating contrasting dimensions of functional diversity. Differences between these methods and their development generated terminological inconsistencies and confusion about the selection of the most appropriate approach for addressing any particular ecological question, hampering the potential for comparative studies, simulation exercises and meta-analyses. Two general mathematical frameworks for estimating functional diversity are prevailing: those based on dissimilarity matrices (e.g. Rao entropy, functional dendrograms) and those relying on multidimensional spaces, constructed as either convex hulls or probabilistic hypervolumes. We review these frameworks, discuss their strengths and weaknesses and provide an overview of the main R packages performing these calculations. In parallel, we propose a way for organising functional diversity metrics in a unified scheme to quantify the richness, divergence and regularity of species or individuals under each framework. This overview offers a roadmap for confidently approaching functional diversity analyses both theoretically and practically.
  • Halme, Panu; Purhonen, Jenna; Marjakangas, Emma-Liina; Komonen, Atte; Juutilainen, Katja; Abrego, Nerea (2019)
    Dead wood profile of a forest is a useful tool for describing forest characteristics and assessing forest disturbance history. Nevertheless, there are few studies on dead wood profiles, including both coarse and fine dead wood, and on the effect of sampling intensity on the dead wood estimates. In a semi-natural boreal forest, we measured every dead wood item over 2 cm in diameter from 80 study plots. From eight plots, we further recorded dead wood items below 2 cm in diameter. Based on these data we constructed the full dead wood profile, i.e. the overall number of dead wood items and their distribution among different tree species, volumes of different size and decay stage categories. We discovered that while the number of small dead wood items was immense, their number dropped drastically from the diameter below 1 cm to diameters 2-3 cm. Different tree species had notably different abundance-diameter distribution patterns: spruce dead wood comprised most strikingly the smallest diameter fractions, whereas aspen dead wood comprised a larger share of large-diameter items. Most of the dead wood volume constituted of large pieces (>10 cm in diameter), and 62% of volume was birch. The variation in the dead wood estimates was small for the numerically dominant tree species and smallest diameter categories, but high for the sub-dominant tree species and larger size categories. In conclusion, the more the focus is on rare tree species and large dead wood items, the more comprehensive should the sampling be.
  • Strona, Giovanni; Beck, Pieter S. A.; Cabeza, Mar; Fattorini, Simone; Guilhaumon, Francois; Micheli, Fiorenza; Montano, Simone; Ovaskainen, Otso; Planes, Serge; Veech, Joseph A.; Parravicini, Valeriano (2021)
    yEcosystems face both local hazards, such as over-exploitation, and global hazards, such as climate change. Since the impact of local hazards attenuates with distance from humans, local extinction risk should decrease with remoteness, making faraway areas safe havens for biodiversity. However, isolation and reduced anthropogenic disturbance may increase ecological specialization in remote communities, and hence their vulnerability to secondary effects of diversity loss propagating through networks of interacting species. We show this to be true for reef fish communities across the globe. An increase in fish-coral dependency with the distance of coral reefs from human settlements, paired with the far-reaching impacts of global hazards, increases the risk of fish species loss, counteracting the benefits of remoteness. Hotspots of fish risk from fish-coral dependency are distinct from those caused by direct human impacts, increasing the number of risk hotspots by similar to 30% globally. These findings might apply to other ecosystems on Earth and depict a world where no place, no matter how remote, is safe for biodiversity, calling for a reconsideration of global conservation priorities.
  • Toikkanen, Jenni Anniina; Halme, Panu; Kahanpää, Jere; Toivonen, Marjaana (2022)
    Agricultural intensification has led to structurally simplified landscapes with reduced and fragmented resources for farmland insects. However, studies on the effects of landscape composition on farmland insects have mainly been performed in areas dominated by open arable land and semi-natural grasslands, while studies from forest-dominated landscapes are scarce. This research examined the effects of landscape composition on hoverfly species richness and abundance in arable land in boreal forest-dominated landscapes. Hoverflies were sampled in 22 mass-flowering caraway (Carum carvi) fields in Central Finland using pan traps. The effects of landscape composition on species richness and abundance were examined for all hoverflies, and for species groups with different adult habitat preferences. Landscape composition was measured as proportions of land cover classes within two different radii. Species richness and abundances of all hoverflies, forest species and open-habitat species increased with decreasing arable land cover and/or increasing forest cover within a 500 m radius (the two land cover classes strongly negatively correlated). Wetland species were most abundant in landscapes with an intermediate cover of arable land and forest, and most species-rich in landscapes with intermediate (10%) water cover. The species richness and abundance of mixed-habitat species increased with increasing cover of transitional woodland. Implications for insect conservation Our results show that most hoverfies in arable land benefit from increasing surrounding forest cover even in relatively heterogeneous, forest-dominated landscapes. Preserving or increasing the area of forests and other non-arable habitats is needed to safeguard a diversity of resources for hoverflies, and associated ecosystem services in farmland.
  • Mammola, Stefano; Cardoso, Pedro (2020)
    The use ofn-dimensional hypervolumes in trait-based ecology is rapidly increasing. By representing the functional space of a species or community as a Hutchinsonian niche, the abstract Euclidean space defined by a set of independent axes corresponding to individuals or species traits, these multidimensional techniques show great potential for the advance of functional ecology theory. In the panorama of existing methods for delineating multidimensional spaces, therpackagehypervolume(Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23, 2014, 595-609) is currently the most used. However, functions for calculating the standard set of functional diversity (FD) indices-richness, divergence and regularity-have not been developed within thehypervolumeframework yet. This gap is delaying its full exploitation in functional ecology, meanwhile preventing the possibility to compare its performance with that of other methods. We develop a set of functions to calculate FD indices based onn-dimensional hypervolumes, including alpha (richness), beta (and respective components), dispersion, evenness, contribution and originality. Altogether, these indices provide a coherent framework to explore the primary mathematical components of FD within a multidimensional setting. These new functions can work either with hypervolume objects or with raw data (species presence or abundance and their traits) as input data, and are versatile in terms of input parameters and options. These functions are implemented withinbat(Biodiversity Assessment Tools), anrpackage for biodiversity assessments. As a coherent corpus of functional indices based on a common algorithm, it opens the possibility to fully explore the strengths of the Hutchinsonian niche concept in community ecology research.
  • Rigal, Francois; Cardoso, Pedro; Lobo, Jorge M.; Triantis, Kostas A.; Whittaker, Robert J.; Amorim, Isabel R.; Borges, Paulo A. V. (2018)
    Aim: Land-use change typically goes hand in hand with the introduction of exotic-species, which mingle with indigenous species to form novel assemblages. Here, we compare the functional structure of indigenous and exotic elements of ground-dwelling arthropod assemblages across four land-uses of varying management intensity. Location: Terceira Island (Azores, North Atlantic). Methods: We used pitfall traps to sample arthropods in 36 sites across the four land-uses and collated traits related to dispersal ability, body size and resource use. For both indigenous and exotic species, we examined the impact of land-uses on trait diversity and tested for the existence of non-random assembly processes using null models. We analysed differences in trait composition among land-uses for both indigenous and exotic species with multivariate analyses. We used point-biserial correlations to identity traits significantly correlated with specific land-uses for each element. Results: We recorded 86 indigenous and 116 exotic arthropod species. Under high-intensity land-use, both indigenous and exotic elements showed significant trait clustering. Trait composition strongly shifted across land-uses, with indigenous and exotic species being functionally dissimilar in all land-uses. Large-bodied herbivores dominated exotic elements in low-intensity land-uses, while small-bodied spiders dominated exotic elements in high-intensity land-uses. In contrast, with increasing land-use intensity, indigenous species changed from functionally diverse to being dominated by piercing and cutting herbivores. Main conclusions: Our study revealed two main findings: first, in high-intensity - land-uses, trait clustering characterized both indigenous and exotic elements; second, exotic species differed in their functional profile from indigenous species in all land-use types. Overall, our results provide new insights into the functional role of exotic species in a land-use context, suggesting that, in agricultural landscape, exotic species may contribute positively to the maintenance of some ecosystem functions.
  • Plassais, Jonathan; Gbikpi-Benissan, Guillaume; Figarol, Marine; Scheperjans, Filip; Gorochov, Guy; Derkinderen, Pascal; Cervino, Alessandra C. L. (2021)
    The gut-brain axis may play a central role in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. Dozens of case-control studies have been carried out to identify bacterial markers by the use of targeted metagenomics. Alterations of several taxonomic profiles have been confirmed across several populations, however, no consensus has been made regarding alpha-diversity. A recent publication has described and validated a novel method based on richness and evenness measures of the gut microbiome in order to reduce the complexity and multiplicity of alpha-diversity indices. We used these recently described richness and evenness composite measures to investigate the potential link between gut microbiome alpha-diversity and neurological disorders and to determine to what extent it could be used as a marker to diagnose neurological disorders from stool samples. We performed an exhaustive review of the literature to identify original published clinical studies including 16S rRNA gene sequencing on Parkinson's disease, multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Richness and evenness factors loadings were quantified from sequencing files in addition with the Shannon diversity index. For each disease, we performed a meta-analysis comparing the indices between patients and healthy controls. Seven studies were meta-analysed for Parkinson's disease, corresponding to 1067 subjects (631 Parkinson's Disease/436 healthy controls). Five studies were meta-analysed for multiple sclerosis, corresponding to 303 subjects (164 Multiple Sclerosis/139 healthy controls). For Alzheimer's disease, the meta-analysis was not done as only two studies matched our criteria. Neither richness nor evenness was significantly altered in Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis patients in comparison to healthy controls (P-value > 0.05). Shannon index was neither associated with neurological disorders (P-value > 0.05). After adjusting for age and sex, none of the alpha-diversity measures were associated with Parkinson's Disease. This is the first report investigating systematically alpha-diversity and its potential link to neurological disorders. Our study has demonstrated that unlike in other gastro-intestinal, immune and metabolic disorders, loss of bacterial diversity is not associated with Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.
  • Heinzel, Sebastian; Aho, Velma T. E.; Suenkel, Ulrike; von Thaler, Anna-Katharina; Schulte, Claudia; Deuschle, Christian; Paulin, Lars; Hantunen, Sari; Brockmann, Kathrin; Eschweiler, Gerhard W.; Maetzler, Walter; Berg, Daniela; Auvinen, Petri; Scheperjans, Filip (2020)
    Objective Alterations of the gut microbiome in Parkinson disease (PD) have been repeatedly demonstrated. However, little is known about whether such alterations precede disease onset and how they relate to risk and prodromal markers of PD. We investigated associations of these features with gut microbiome composition. Methods Established risk and prodromal markers of PD as well as factors related to diet/lifestyle, bowel function, and medication were studied in relation to bacterial alpha-/beta-diversity, enterotypes, and differential abundance in stool samples of 666 elderly TREND (Tubingen Evaluation of Risk Factors for Early Detection of Neurodegeneration) study participants. Results Among risk and prodromal markers, physical activity, occupational solvent exposure, and constipation showed associations with alpha-diversity. Physical activity, sex, constipation, possible rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD), and smoking were associated with beta-diversity. Subthreshold parkinsonism and physical activity showed an interaction effect. Among other factors, age and urate-lowering medication were associated with alpha- and beta-diversity. Physical inactivity and constipation were highest in individuals with theFirmicutes-enriched enterotype. Constipation was lowest and subthreshold parkinsonism least frequent in individuals with thePrevotella-enriched enterotype. Differentially abundant taxa were linked to constipation, physical activity, possible RBD, smoking, and subthreshold parkinsonism. Substantia nigra hyperechogenicity, olfactory loss, depression, orthostatic hypotension, urinary/erectile dysfunction, PD family history, and the prodromal PD probability showed no significant microbiome associations. Interpretation Several risk and prodromal markers of PD are associated with gut microbiome composition. However, the impact of the gut microbiome on PD risk and potential microbiome-dependent subtypes in the prodrome of PD need further investigation based on prospective clinical and (multi)omics data in incident PD cases. ANN NEUROL 2020
  • Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba; Rigal, François; Girardello, Marco; Cardoso, Pedro; Crespo, Luís Carlos; Amorim, Isabel R.; Arnedo, Miquel; Boieiro, Mário; Carvalho, José Carlos; Carvalho, Rui; Gabriel, Rosalina; Lamelas-Lopez, Lucas; López, Heriberto; Paulo, Octávio S.; Pereira, Fernando; Pérez-Delgado, Antonio J.; Rego, Carla; Romeiras, Maria; Ros-Prieto, Alejandra; Oromí, Pedro; Vieira, Ana; Emerson, Brent C.; Borges, Paulo A. V. (2021)
    Aim: Habitat diversity has been linked to the diversity and structure of island communities, however, little is known about patterns and processes within habitats. Here we aim to determine the contributions of habitat type and inferred dispersal frequency to the differences in taxonomic structure between assemblages in the same island habitat. Location: The Macaronesian archipelagos (Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Cabo Verde). Taxon: Spiders (Araneae). Methods: We established forest and dry habitat sites (each with five plots) on two islands per archipelago. We collected spiders using standardised sampling protocols. We tested the differences in beta diversity separately for each habitat and for each inferred category of ballooning (an aerial dispersal strategy) frequency across geographic scales through nested non-parametric permutational multivariate analyses of variance. We then tested whether ballooning and habitat influenced heterogeneity in species composition (dispersion in beta diversity) in the two habitat types. We analysed the effects of habitat and ballooning on species abundance distribution (SAD) and rarity by fitting Gambin models and evaluating the contribution of ballooning categories to SAD. Results: Communities of the same archipelago and habitat were taxonomically more similar, and beta diversity increased with geographic scale, being greater in dry habitats. There was greater species replacement among assemblages in dry habitats than in forests, with greater differences for rare ballooners. There were no differences in SAD between habitats although dry habitat sites seemed to harbour more species with low abundances (rare species) than forests. Main conclusions: Habitat type does not only condition the differences between spider assemblages of the same habitat but also the scale at which they occur. These differences may be determined by the heterogeneity in the physical structure of each habitat as well as how much this structure facilitates aerial dispersal (ballooning), and should be considered in theories/hypotheses on island community assembly as well as in conservation strategies.
  • Hosseinzadeh, Mahboubeh Sadat; Farhadi Qomi, Masood; Naimi, Babak; Roedder, Dennis; Kazemi, Seyed Mandi (2018)
    Species distribution models estimate the relationship between species occurrences and environmental and spatial characteristics. Herein, we used maximum entropy distribution modelling (MaxEnt) for predicting the potential distribution of the Plateau Snake Skink Ophiomorus nuchalis on the Iranian Plateau, using a small number of occurrence records (i.e. 10) and environmental variables derived from remote sensing. The MaxEnt model had a high success rate according to test AUC scores (0.912). A remotely sensed enhanced vegetation index (39.1%), and precipitation of the driest month (15.4%) were the most important environmental variables that explained the geographical distribution of O. nuchalis. Our results are congruent with previous studies suggesting that suitable habitat of O. nuchalis is limited to the central Iranian Plateau, although mountain ranges in western and eastern Iran might be environmentally suitable but not accessible.
  • Wikström, Valtteri; Falcon, Mari; Martikainen, Silja; Pejoska, Jana; Dural, Eva; Bauters, Merja; Saarikivi, Katri Annukka (2021)
    Augmenting online interpersonal communication with biosignals, often in the form of heart rate sharing, has shown promise in increasing affiliation, feelings of closeness, and intimacy. Increasing empathetic awareness in the professional domain and in the customer interface could benefit both customer and employee satisfaction, but heart rate sharing in this context needs to consider issues around physiological monitoring of employees, appropriate level of intimacy, as well as the productivity outlook. In this study, we explore heart rate sharing at the workplace and study its effects on task performance. Altogether, 124 participants completed a collaborative visual guidance task using a chat box with heart rate visualization. Participants’ feedback about heart rate sharing reveal themes such as a stronger sense of human contact and increased self-reflection, but also raise concerns around unnecessity, intimacy, privacy and negative interpretations. Live heart rate was always measured, but to investigate the effect of heart rate sharing on task performance, half of the customers were told that they were seeing a recording, and half were told that they were seeing the advisor’s live heart beat. We found a negative link between awareness and task performance. We also found that higher ratings of usefulness of the heart rate visualization were associated with increased feelings of closeness. These results reveal that intimacy and privacy issues are particularly important for heart rate sharing in professional contexts, that preference modulates the effects of heart rate sharing on social closeness, and that heart rate sharing may have a negative effect on performance.
  • Scherrer, Daniel; Mod, Heidi K.; Guisan, Antoine (2020)
    Stacked species distribution models (S-SDM) provide a tool to make spatial predictions about communities by first modelling individual species and then stacking the modelled predictions to form assemblages. The evaluation of the predictive performance is usually based on a comparison of the observed and predicted community properties (e.g. species richness, composition). However, the most available and widely used evaluation metrics require the thresholding of single species' predicted probabilities of occurrence to obtain binary outcomes (i.e. presence/absence). This binarization can introduce unnecessary bias and error. Herein, we present and demonstrate the use of several groups of new or rarely used evaluation approaches and metrics for both species richness and community composition that do not require thresholding but instead directly compare the predicted probabilities of occurrences of species to the presence/absence observations in the assemblages. Community AUC, which is based on traditional AUC, measures the ability of a model to differentiate between species presences or absences at a given site according to their predicted probabilities of occurrence. Summing the probabilities gives the expected species richness and allows the estimation of the probability that the observed species richness is not different from the expected species richness based on the species' probabilities of occurrence. The traditional Sorensen and Jaccard similarity indices (which are based on presences/absences) were adapted to maxSorensen and maxJaccard and to probSorensen and probJaccard (which use probabilities directly). A further approach (improvement over null models) compares the predictions based on S-SDMs with the expectations from the null models to estimate the improvement in both species richness and composition predictions. Additionally, all metrics can be described against the environmental conditions of sites (e.g. elevation) to highlight the abilities of models to detect the variation in the strength of the community assembly processes in different environments. These metrics offer an unbiased view of the performance of community predictions compared to metrics that requiring thresholding. As such, they allow more straightforward comparisons of model performance among studies (i.e. they are not influenced by any subjective thresholding decisions).
  • Aikio, Sami; Ramula, Satu; Muola, Anne; von Numers, Mikael (2020)
    The extrinsic determinants hypothesis emphasizes the essential role of environmental heterogeneity in species' colonization. Consequently, high resident species diversity can increase community susceptibility to colonizations because good habitats may support more species that are functionally similar to colonizers. On the other hand, colonization success is also likely to depend on species traits. We tested the relative importance of environmental characteristics and species traits in determining colonization success using census data of 587 vascular plant species collected about 70 yr apart from 471 islands in the archipelago of SW Finland. More specifically, we explored potential new colonization as a function of island properties (e.g. location, area, habitat diversity, number of resident species per unit area), species traits (e.g. plant height, life-form, dispersal vector, Ellenberg indicator values, association with human impact), and species' historical distributions (number of inhabited islands, nearest occurrence). Island properties and species' historical distributions were more effective than plant traits in explaining colonization outcomes. Contrary to the extrinsic determinants hypothesis, colonization success was neither associated with resident species diversity nor habitat diversity per se, although colonization was lowest on sparsely vegetated islands. Our findings lead us to propose that while plant traits related to dispersal and establishment may enhance colonization, predictions of plant colonizations primarily require understanding of habitat properties and species' historical distributions.
  • Kyro, Kukka; Brenneisen, Stephan; Kotze, D. Johan; Szallies, Alexander; Gerner, Magdalena; Lehvavirta, Susanna (2018)
    Green roofs are a promising tool to return nature to cities and mitigate biodiversity loss brought about by urbanization. Yet, we lack basic information on how green roofs contribute to biodiversity and how their placement in the urban landscape affects different taxa and community composition. We studied the effects of local and landscape variables on beetle communities on green roofs. We expected that both local roof characteristics and urban landscape composition shape communities, but that their relative importance depends on species characteristics. Using pitfall traps, we collected beetles during two consecutive years from 17 green roofs in Basel, Switzerland. We evaluated the contribution of six local and six landscape variables to beetle community structure and to the responses of individual species. Communities on the roofs consisted of mobile and open dry-habitat species, with both local and landscape variables playing a role in structuring these communities. At the individual species level, local roof variables were more important than characteristics of the surrounding urban landscape. The most influential factors affecting the abundances of beetle species were vegetation, described as forb and grass cover (mainly positive), and roof age (mainly negative). Therefore, we suggest that the careful planning of green roofs with diverse vegetation is essential to increase their value as habitat for beetles. In addition, while beetle communities on green roofs can be diverse regardless of their placement in the urban landscape, the lack of wingless species indicates the need to increase the connectivity of green roofs to ground level habitats.
  • Leppänen, Jaakko; Weckström, Jan; Korhola, Atte (2018)
    Mining is one of the key industries in the world and mine water pollution is a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems. Historical monitoring data on the pollution history and impacts in aquatic ecosystems, however, are rarely available, so paleolimnological methods are required to explore the consequences of past pollution. We studied the history of cladoceran community dynamics in Lake Kirkkojarvi, southern Finland, including the periods before, during and after mining. We analyzed the geochemical composition and cladoceran subfossil remains in a Pb-210-dated sediment core to evaluate the magnitude, rate, and direction of cladoceran community changes through time. The cladoceran community was altered significantly by mining activity that occurred during the mid-twentieth century. During more recent times, however, eutrophication effects have overridden the impacts of mining. After mining ceased, the cladoceran community underwent an abrupt regime shift towards taxa that reflect more eutrophic conditions. This change was caused by intensive farming activity and fertilizer use over the past few decades. The recent history of Lake Kirkkojarvi is a textbook example of a regime shift triggered by multiple human-caused stressors. Our findings also highlight the utility of cladocerans as bio-indicators in pollution research and illustrate the sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems to anthropogenic modification.
  • Purhonen, Jenna; Ovaskainen, Otso; Halme, Panu; Komonen, Atte; Huhtinen, Seppo; Kotiranta, Heikki; Laessoe, Thomas; Abrego, Nerea (2020)
    Tree species is one of the most important determinants of wood-inhabiting fungal community composition, yet its relationship with fungal reproductive and dispersal traits remains poorly understood. We studied fungal communities (total of 657 species) inhabiting broadleaved and coniferous dead wood (total of 192 logs) in 12 semi-natural boreal forests. We utilized a trait-based hierarchical joint species distribution model to examine how the relationship between dead wood quality and species occurrence correlates with reproductive and dispersal morphological traits. Broadleaved trees had higher species richness than conifers, due to discomycetoids and pyrenomycetoids specializing in them. Resupinate and pileate species were generally specialized in coniferous dead wood. Fungi inhabiting broadleaved trees had larger and more elongated spores than fungi in conifers. Spore size was larger and spore shape more spherical in species occupying large dead wood units. These results indicate the selective effect of dead wood quality, visible not only in species diversity, but also in reproductive and dispersal traits. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd and British Mycological Society. All rights reserved.