Browsing by Subject "SPECIES RICHNESS"

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  • Pearce-Higgins, J. W.; Antão, L. H.; Bates, R. E.; Bowgen, K. M.; Bradshaw, C. D.; Duffield, S. J.; Ffoulkes, C.; Franco, A. M.A.; Geschke, J.; Gregory, R. D.; Harley, M. J.; Hodgson, J. A.; Jenkins, R. L.M.; Kapos, V.; Maltby, K. M.; Watts, O.; Willis, S. G.; Morecroft, M. D. (2022)
    Impacts of climate change on natural and human systems will become increasingly severe as the magnitude of climate change increases. Climate change adaptation interventions to address current and projected impacts are thus paramount. Yet, evidence on their effectiveness remains limited, highlighting the need for appropriate ecological indicators to measure progress of climate change adaptation for the natural environment. We outline conceptual, analytical, and practical challenges in developing such indicators, before proposing a framework with three process-based and two results-based indicator types to track progress in adapting to climate change. We emphasize the importance of dynamic assessment and modification over time, as new adaptation targets are set and/or as intervention actions are monitored and evaluated. Our framework and proposed indicators are flexible and widely applicable across species, habitats, and monitoring programmes, and could be accommodated within existing national or international frameworks to enable the evaluation of both large-scale policy instruments and local management interventions. We conclude by suggesting further work required to develop these indicators fully, and hope this will stimulate the use of ecological indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of policy interventions for the adaptation of the natural environment across the globe.
  • Palacio, Facundo X.; Callaghan, Corey T.; Cardoso, Pedro; Hudgins, Emma J.; Jarzyna, Marta A.; Ottaviani, Gianluigi; Riva, Federico; Rodrigues Leandro Roza, Caio Graco; Shirey, Vaughn; Mammola, Stefano (2022)
    The widespread use of species traits in basic and applied ecology, conservation and biogeography has led to an exponential increase in functional diversity analyses, with > 10 000 papers published in 2010-2020, and > 1800 papers only in 2021. This interest is reflected in the development of a multitude of theoretical and methodological frameworks for calculating functional diversity, making it challenging to navigate the myriads of options and to report detailed accounts of trait-based analyses. Therefore, the discipline of trait-based ecology would benefit from the existence of a general guideline for standard reporting and good practices for analyses. We devise an eight-step protocol to guide researchers in conducting and reporting functional diversity analyses, with the overarching goal of increasing reproducibility, transparency and comparability across studies. The protocol is based on: 1) identification of a research question; 2) a sampling scheme and a study design; 3-4) assemblage of data matrices; 5) data exploration and preprocessing; 6) functional diversity computation; 7) model fitting, evaluation and interpretation; and 8) data, metadata and code provision. Throughout the protocol, we provide information on how to best select research questions, study designs, trait data, compute functional diversity, interpret results and discuss ways to ensure reproducibility in reporting results. To facilitate the implementation of this template, we further develop an interactive web-based application (stepFD) in the form of a checklist workflow, detailing all the steps of the protocol and allowing the user to produce a final 'reproducibility report' to upload alongside the published paper. A thorough and transparent reporting of functional diversity analyses ensures that ecologists can incorporate others' findings into meta-analyses, the shared data can be integrated into larger databases for consensus analyses, and available code can be reused by other researchers. All these elements are key to pushing forward this vibrant and fast-growing field of research.
  • Arteaga, Alba; Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba; Gabriel, Rosalina; Ros-Prieto, Alejandra; Casimiro, Pedro; Sanchez, Ana Fuentes; Albergaria, Isabel S.; Borges, Paulo A. V. (2020)
    The aim of our study was to characterise and compare the richness and composition of endemic, native (non-endemic) and introduced arthropod assemblages of two Azorean Historic Gardens with contrasting plant species composition. We hypothesised that Faial Botanic Garden would hold higher arthropod diversity and abundance of native and endemic arthropod species due to its larger native plant community. Species were collected using several arthropod standardised techniques between April 2017 and June 2018. We used the alpha diversity metrics (Hill series) and the partitioning of total beta diversity (beta(total)) into its replacement (beta(repl)) and richness (beta(rich)) components, to analyse the adult and total arthropod community. The orders Araneae, Coleoptera and Hemiptera were also studied separately. Our results show that the number of exotic arthropod species exceeds the number of native and/or the endemic species in both gardens, but the arthropod community of Faial Botanic Garden exhibited a higher density of endemic and native species. Despite some minor exceptions, the geographic origins of plant communities largely influenced the arthropod species sampled in each garden. This study improves our knowledge about urban arthropod diversity in the Azores and shows how well-designed urban garden management and planning contribute to the conservation of native and endemic Azorean species.
  • Nummi, Petri; Liao, Wenfei; van der Schoor, Juliette; Loehr, John (2021)
    Beavers (Castor spp.) are ecosystem engineers that induce local disturbance and ecological succession, which turns terrestrial into aquatic ecosystems and creates habitat heterogeneity in a landscape. Beavers have been proposed as a tool for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration. So far, most research has compared biodiversity in beaver wetlands and non-beaver wetlands, but few studies have explored how beaver-created succession affects specific taxa. In this study, we investigated how water beetles responded to different successional stages of wetlands in a beaver-disturbed landscape at Evo in southern Finland. We sampled water beetles with 1-L activity traps in 20 ponds, including: 5 new beaver ponds, 5 old beaver ponds, 5 former beaver ponds, and 5 never engineered ponds. We found that beaver wetlands had higher species richness and abundance than non-beaver wetlands, and that new beaver wetlands could support higher species richness (321%) and abundance (671%) of water beetles compared to old beaver wetlands. We think that higher water beetle diversity in new beaver ponds has resulted from habitat amelioration (available lentic water, shallow shores, aquatic vegetation, and low fish abundance) and food source enhancement (an increase of both dead and live prey) created by beaver dams and floods. We conclude that using beavers as a tool, or imitating their way of flooding, can be beneficial in wetland restoration if beaver population densities are monitored to ensure the availability of newly colonizable sites.
  • Kivinen, Sonja; Nummi, Petri; Kumpula, Timo (2020)
    Beavers (Castorsp.) are ecosystem engineers that cause significant changes to their physical environment and alter the availability of resources to other species. We studied flood dynamics created by American beaver (C. canadensisK.) in a southern boreal landscape in Finland in 1970-2018. We present for the first time, to our knowledge, a temporally continuous long-term study of beaver-induced flood disturbances starting from the appearance of beaver in the area. During the 49 years, the emergence of new sites flooded by beaver and repeated floods (61% of the sites) formed a dynamic mosaic characterized by clustered patterns of beaver sites. As beaver dispersal proceeded, connectivity of beaver sites increased significantly. The mean flood duration was approximately three years, which highlights the importance of datasets with high-temporal resolution in detecting beaver-induced disturbances. An individual site was often part of the active flood mosaic over several decades, although the duration and the number of repeated floods at different sites varied considerably. Variation of flood-inundated and post-flood phases at individual sites resulted in a cumulative number of unique patches that contribute to environmental heterogeneity in space and time. A disturbance mosaic consisting of patches differing by successional age and flood history is likely to support species richness and abundance of different taxa and facilitate whole species communities. Beavers are thus a suitable means to be used in restoration of riparian habitat due to their strong and dynamic influence on abiotic environment and its biotic consequences.
  • Vehkaoja, Mia; Nummi, Petri; Rikkinen, Jouko (2017)
    Beavers are ecosystem engineers that modify and maintain a range of special habitat types in boreal forests. They also produce large quantities of deadwood that provide substrate for many lignicolous organisms such as calicioid fungi (Ascomycota). We studied how calicioid diversity differed between boreal riparian forests with and without beaver activity. The results show that calicioid diversity were significantly higher at beaver sites compared to the other two forest site types studied. The large quantity and diverse forms of deadwood produced by beavers clearly promotes calicioid diversity in the boreal landscape. The specific lighting and humidity conditions within beaver wetlands could be the reason why they promote the success of certain calicioid species.
  • Herbertsson, Lina; Ekroos, Johan Edvard; Albrecht, Matthias; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Batáry, Péter; Bommarco, Riccardo; Caplat, Paul; Diekötter, Tim; Eikestam, Jenny M; Entling, Martin H; Farbu, Sunniva; Farwig, Nina; Gonzalez-Varo, Juan P; Hass, Annika L; Holzschuh, Andrea; Hopfenmüller, Sebastian; Jakobsson, Anna; Jauker, Birgit; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó; Kleve, Wera; Kunin, William E; Lindström, Sandra AM; Mullen, Sarah; Öckinger, Erik; Petanidou, Theodora; Potts, Simon G; Power, Eileen F; Rundlöf, Maj; Seibel, Kathrin; Sõber, Virve; Söderman, Annika; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C; Teder, Tiit; Tscharntke, Teja; Smith, Henrik G (2021)
    Background and aims - Agricultural intensification and loss of farmland heterogeneity have contributed to population declines of wild bees and other pollinators, which may have caused subsequent declines in insect-pollinated wild plants. Material and methods - Using data from 37 studies on 22 pollinator-dependent wild plant species across Europe, we investigated whether flower visitation and seed set of insect-pollinated plants decline with an increasing proportion of arable land within 1 km. Key results - Seed set increased with increasing flower visitation by bees, most of which were wild bees, but not with increasing flower visitation by other insects. Increasing proportion of arable land had a strongly variable effect on seed set and flower visitation by bees across studies. Conclusion - Factors such as landscape configuration, local habitat quality, and temporally changing resource availability (e.g. due to mass-flowering crops or honey bee hives) could have modified the effect of arable land on pollination. While our results highlight that the persistence of wild bees is crucial to maintain plant diversity, we also show that pollen limitation due to declining bee populations in homogenized agricultural landscapes is not a universal driver causing parallel losses of bees and insect-pollinated plants.
  • Petsch, Danielle K.; Saito, Victor S.; Landeiro, Victor L.; Silva, Thiago S. F.; Bini, Luis M.; Heino, Jani; Soininen, Janne; Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Jyrkankallio-Mikkola, Jenny; Pajunen, Virpi; Siqueira, Tadeu; Melo, Adriano S. (2021)
    Previous studies have found mixed results regarding the relationship between beta diversity and latitude. In addition, by influencing local environmental heterogeneity, land use may modify spatial taxonomic and functional variability among communities causing biotic differentiation or homogenization. We tested 1) whether taxonomic and functional beta diversities among streams within watersheds differ between subtropical and boreal regions and 2) whether land use is related to taxonomic and functional beta diversities in both regions. We sampled aquatic insects in 100 subtropical (Brazil) and 100 boreal (Finland) streams across a wide gradient of land use, including agriculture and exotic planted, secondary, and native forests. We calculated beta diversity at the watershed scale (among 5 streams in each watershed). We found higher taxonomic beta diversity among subtropical than among boreal streams, whereas functional beta diversity was similar between the 2 regions. Total land use was positively correlated with taxonomic and functional beta diversity among subtropical streams, while local environmental heterogeneity was positively correlated with beta diversity among boreal streams. We suggest that different types and intensities of land use may increase among-stream heterogeneity, promoting distinct insect assemblage compositions among streams. Our findings also suggest that beta diversity patterns and their underlying determinants are highly context dependent.
  • Abdi, Abdulhakim; Carrié, Romain; Sidemo-Holm, William; Cai, Zhanzhang; Boke Olén, Niklas; Smith, Henrik G; Eklundh, Lars; Ekroos, Johan Edvard (2021)
    Increasing land-use intensity is a main driver of biodiversity loss in farmland, but measuring proxies for land-use intensity across entire landscapes is challenging. Here, we develop a novel method for the assessment of the impact of land-use intensity on biodiversity in agricultural landscapes using remote sensing parameters derived from the Sentinel-2 satellites. We link crop phenology and productivity parameters derived from time-series of a two-band enhanced vegetation index with biodiversity indicators (insect pollinators and insect-pollinated vascular plants) in agricultural fields in southern Sweden, with contrasting land management (i.e. conventional and organic farming). Our results show that arable land-use intensity in cereal systems dominated by spring-sown cereals can be approximated using Sentinel-2 productivity parameters. This was shown by the significant positive correlations between the amplitude and maximum value of the enhanced vegetation index on one side and farmer reported yields on the other. We also found that conventional cereal fields had 17% higher maximum and 13% higher amplitude of their enhanced vegetation index than organic fields. Sentinel-2 derived parameters were more strongly correlated with the abundance and species richness of bumblebees and the richness of vascular plants than the abundance and species richness of butterflies. The relationships we found between biodiversity and crop production proxies are consistent with predictions that increasing agricultural land-use intensity decreases field biodiversity. The newly developed method based on crop phenology and productivity parameters derived from Sentinel-2 data serves as a proof of concept for the assessment of the impact of land-use intensity on biodiversity over cereal fields across larger areas. It enables the estimation of arable productivity in cereal systems, which can then be used by ecologists and develop tools for land managers as a proxy for land-use intensity. Coupled with spatially explicit databases on agricultural land-use, this method will enable crop-specific cereal productivity estimation across large geographical regions.
  • Picazo, Felix; Vilmi, Annika; Aalto, Juha; Soininen, Janne; Casamayor, Emilio O.; Liu, Yongqin; Wu, Qinglong; Ren, Lijuan; Zhou, Jizhong; Shen, Ji; Wang, Jianjun (2020)
    Background Understanding the large-scale patterns of microbial functional diversity is essential for anticipating climate change impacts on ecosystems worldwide. However, studies of functional biogeography remain scarce for microorganisms, especially in freshwater ecosystems. Here we study 15,289 functional genes of stream biofilm microbes along three elevational gradients in Norway, Spain and China. Results We find that alpha diversity declines towards high elevations and assemblage composition shows increasing turnover with greater elevational distances. These elevational patterns are highly consistent across mountains, kingdoms and functional categories and exhibit the strongest trends in China due to its largest environmental gradients. Across mountains, functional gene assemblages differ in alpha diversity and composition between the mountains in Europe and Asia. Climate, such as mean temperature of the warmest quarter or mean precipitation of the coldest quarter, is the best predictor of alpha diversity and assemblage composition at both mountain and continental scales, with local non-climatic predictors gaining more importance at mountain scale. Under future climate, we project substantial variations in alpha diversity and assemblage composition across the Eurasian river network, primarily occurring in northern and central regions, respectively. Conclusions We conclude that climate controls microbial functional gene diversity in streams at large spatial scales; therefore, the underlying ecosystem processes are highly sensitive to climate variations, especially at high latitudes. This biogeographical framework for microbial functional diversity serves as a baseline to anticipate ecosystem responses and biogeochemical feedback to ongoing climate change.
  • Mäkeläinen, Sanna; Harlio, Annika; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Herzon, Irina; Kuussaari, Mikko; Lepikkö, Katri; Maier, Andrea; Seimola, Tuomas; Tiainen, Juha; Arponen, Anni (2019)
  • Hagge, Jonas; Abrego, Nerea; Baessler, Claus; Bouget, Christophe; Brin, Antoine; Brustel, Herve; Christensen, Morten; Gossner, Martin M.; Heilmann-Clausen, Jacob; Horak, Akub; Gruppe, Axel; Isacsson, Gunnar; Koehler, Frank; Lachat, Thibault; Larrieu, Laurent; Schlaghamersky, Jiri; Thorn, Simon; Zapponi, Livia; Mueller, Joerg (2019)
    Aim: Beech forests comprise a globally unique temperate forest type in Europe. The dominance of beech in these forests developed during the ongoing post-glacial northward re-colonization, concurrently with intensified forest use by humans. We investigated how these two processes together with climate shaped the patterns of functional diversity of two major species groups involved in wood decomposition and whether functional diversity is determined on the local or regional species pool level. Location: European beech forest distribution range. Taxon: Saproxylic beetles and fungi. Methods: We analysed records of 532,496 saproxylic beetles of 788 species and 8,630 records of 234 saproxylic fungal species based on sets of traits similar to both groups. We tested how space, climate and landscape composition affect trait-based functional diversity on local and regional scales. Using structural equation modelling, we tested whether functional diversity is shaped on the local or regional scale. Results: The response of local functional diversity of both saproxylic beetles and fungi followed a highly congruent pattern of decreasing functional diversity towards the north, with higher elevation and accounted for overall geographical gradients with higher temperature, while increasing with higher precipitation. Structural equation modelling revealed that local functional diversity is determined by community changes operating on the level of the regional species pool. Main conclusions: Our findings suggest that the functional diversity patterns of saproxylic organisms in European beech forests are mainly determined on the regional scale and driven by anthropogenic and biogeographical processes. To conserve the variation and hotspots of functional diversity in beech forests, activities have to focus on a broad spatial and climatic range of sites throughout Europe, including the primeval forests in the east, as started by the UNESCO World Heritage selection of "Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe".
  • Villnäs, Anna; Norkko, Joanna; Lukkari, Kaarina; Hewitt, Judi; Norkko, Alf (2012)
    Disturbance-mediated species loss has prompted research considering how ecosystem functions are changed when biota is impaired. However, there is still limited empirical evidence from natural environments evaluating the direct and indirect (i.e. via biota) effects of disturbance on ecosystem functioning. Oxygen deficiency is a widespread threat to coastal and estuarine communities. While the negative impacts of hypoxia on benthic communities are well known, few studies have assessed in situ how benthic communities subjected to different degrees of hypoxic stress alter their contribution to ecosystem functioning. We studied changes in sediment ecosystem function (i.e. oxygen and nutrient fluxes across the sediment water-interface) by artificially inducing hypoxia of different durations (0, 3, 7 and 48 days) in a subtidal sandy habitat. Benthic chamber incubations were used for measuring responses in sediment oxygen and nutrient fluxes. Changes in benthic species richness, structure and traits were quantified, while stress-induced behavioral changes were documented by observing bivalve reburial rates. The initial change in faunal behavior was followed by non-linear degradation in benthic parameters (abundance, biomass, bioturbation potential), gradually impairing the structural and functional composition of the benthic community. In terms of ecosystem function, the increasing duration of hypoxia altered sediment oxygen consumption and enhanced sediment effluxes of NH4 + and dissolved Si. Although effluxes of PO4 were not altered significantly, changes were observed in sediment PO4 sorption capability. The duration of hypoxia (i.e. number of days of stress) explained a minor part of the changes in ecosystem function. Instead, the benthic community and disturbancedriven changes within the benthos explained a larger proportion of the variability in sediment oxygen- and nutrient fluxes. Our results emphasize that the level of stress to the benthic habitat matters, and that the link between biodiversity and ecosystem function is likely to be affected by a range of factors in complex, natural environments.
  • Meysick, Lukas; Ysebaert, Tom; Jansson, Anna; Montserrat, Fransesc; Valanko, Sebastian; Villnäs, Anna; Boström, Christoffer; Norkko, Joanna; Norkko, Alf (2019)
    Foundation species host diverse associated communities by ameliorating environmental stress. The strength of this facilitative effect can be highly dependent on the underlying biotic and abiotic context. We investigated community level patterns of macrofauna associated with and adjacent to the marine foundation species eelgrass (Zostera marina) along a hydrodynamic stress gradient. We could demonstrate that the relative importance of this foundation species for its infaunal community increases with environmental variables associated with increasing hydrodynamic stress (depth, sand ripples formation, sediment grain size and organic content). Faunal assemblages in proximity to the Zostera patch edges, however, showed no (infauna) or negative (epifauna) response to hydrodynamic stress. Our study highlights that the facilitative outcome of a foundation species is conditional to the faunal assemblage in question and can be highly variable even between positions within the habitat.
  • Lucena-Moya, Paloma; Duggan, Ian C. (2017)
    We tested whether variability in zooplankton assemblages was consistent with the categories of estuarine environments proposed by the 'Estuary Environment Classification' system (EEC) (Hume et al., 2007) across a variety of North Island, New Zealand, estuaries. The EEC classifies estuaries in to eight categories (A to F) based primarily on a combination of three abiotic controlling factors: ocean forcing, river forcing and basin morphometry. Additionally, we tested whether Remane's curve, which predicts higher diversities of benthic macrofauna and high and low salinities, can be applied to zooplankton assemblages. We focused on three of the eight EEC categories (B, D and F), which covered the range of estuaries with river inputs dominating (B) to ocean influence dominating (F). Additionally, we included samples from river (FW) and sea (MW) to encompass the entire salinity range. Zooplankton assemblages varied across the categories examined in accordance with a salinity gradient predicted by the EEC. Three groups of zooplankton were distinguishable: the first formed by the most freshwater categories, FW and B, and dominated by rotifers (primarily Bdelloidea) and estuarine copepods (Gladioferans pectinatus), a second group formed by categories D and F, of intermediate salinity, dominated by copepods (Euterpina acutifrons), and a final group including the purely marine category MW and dominated also by E. acutifrons along with other marine taxa. Zooplankton diversity responded to the salinity gradient in a manner expected from Remane's curve. The results of this study support others which have shown salinity to be the main factor driving zooplankton community composition and diversity. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Lehikoinen, Petteri; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Mikkola-Roos, Markku; Jaatinen, Kim (2017)
    Human actions have led to loss and degradation of wetlands, impairing their suitability as habitat especially for waterbirds. Such negative effects may be mitigated through habitat management. To date scientific evidence regarding the impacts of these actions remains scarce. We studied guild specific abundances of breeding and staging birds in response to habitat management on 15 Finnish wetlands. In this study management actions comprised several means of vegetation removal to thwart overgrowth. Management cost efficiency was assessed by examining the association between site-specific costs and bird abundances. Several bird guilds exhibited positive connections with both habitat management as well as with invested funds. Most importantly, however, red-listed species and species with special conservation concern as outlined by the EU showed positive correlations with management actions, underlining the conservation value of wetland management. The results suggest that grazing was especially efficient in restoring overgrown wetlands. As a whole this study makes it clear that wetland habitat management constitutes a feasible conservation tool. The marked association between invested funds and bird abundance may prove to be a valuable tool for decision makers when balancing costs and impact of conservation measures against one another.
  • Parravicini, Valeriano; Casey, Jordan M.; Schiettekatte, Nina M. D.; Brandl, Simon J.; Pozas-Schacre, Chloe; Carlot, Jeremy; Edgar, Graham J.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Kulbicki, Michel; Strona, Giovanni; Stuart-Smith, Rick D. (2020)
    Understanding species' roles in food webs requires an accurate assessment of their trophic niche. However, it is challenging to delineate potential trophic interactions across an ecosystem, and a paucity of empirical information often leads to inconsistent definitions of trophic guilds based on expert opinion, especially when applied to hyperdiverse ecosystems. Using coral reef fishes as a model group, we show that experts disagree on the assignment of broad trophic guilds for more than 20% of species, which hampers comparability across studies. Here, we propose a quantitative, unbiased, and reproducible approach to define trophic guilds and apply recent advances in machine learning to predict probabilities of pairwise trophic interactions with high accuracy. We synthesize data from community-wide gut content analyses of tropical coral reef fishes worldwide, resulting in diet information from 13,961 individuals belonging to 615 reef fish. We then use network analysis to identify 8 trophic guilds and Bayesian phylogenetic modeling to show that trophic guilds can be predicted based on phylogeny and maximum body size. Finally, we use machine learning to test whether pairwise trophic interactions can be predicted with accuracy. Our models achieved a misclassification error of less than 5%, indicating that our approach results in a quantitative and reproducible trophic categorization scheme, as well as high-resolution probabilities of trophic interactions. By applying our framework to the most diverse vertebrate consumer group, we show that it can be applied to other organismal groups to advance reproducibility in trait-based ecology. Our work thus provides a viable approach to account for the complexity of predator-prey interactions in highly diverse ecosystems.
  • Guo, Qingxue; Liu, Jiantong; Yu, Lei; Korpelainen, Helena; Li, Chunyang (2021)
    Plant-soil microbe interactions are determined by plant characters. Sexual dimorphism in root development, nitrogen (N) assimilation and resource allocation have been studied in different environments. However, how dioecious plants affect soil microbial communities in natural forests, particularly in low precipitation regions, is still poorly known. In this study, natural Populus euphratica forests were investigated in three arid regions. We hypothesized that males and females impose sex-specific impacts on physiochemical traits of soil, microbial communities and N-cycling processes. We discovered only little sex effect on most physiochemical traits, and bacterial and fungal communities in top soil (0-20 cm) in the three studied forests. However, the sex effect was greater in deep soil. Compared with fungi, the structure and composition of bacterial communities were affected more by plant sex in the rhizosphere and bulk soil. Sex indirectly affected N-cycling processes through a negative impact on the soil water content. Expressions of AOA, AOB, nifH, nirS and nirK in the rhizosphere soil were significantly affected by sex, forest site and their interactions. Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes in the rhizosphere and bulk soils of P. euphratica males showed more significant effects on ammoxidation, N fixation, denitrification and protease activities when compared to females. The results suggest that sexual differences in shaping bacterial communities and affecting N-cycling processes are greater when the soil becomes drier. Thus, low precipitation causes intense sex differences in the nitrogen uptake and use efficiency. Our study highlights the importance of sexual effects on shaping specific microbial communities and N-cycling processes.
  • Becker-Scarpitta, Antoine; Auberson-Lavoie, Diane; Aussenac, Raphael; Vellend, Mark (2022)
    Despite many studies showing biodiversity responses to warming, the generality of such responses across taxonomic groups remains unclear. Very few studies have tested for evidence of bryophyte community responses to warming, even though bryophytes are major contributors to diversity and functioning in many ecosystems. Here, we report an empirical study comparing long-term change in bryophyte and vascular plant communities in two sites with contrasting long-term warming trends, using "legacy" botanical records as a baseline for comparison with contemporary resurveys. We hypothesized that ecological changes would be greater in sites with a stronger warming trend and that vascular plant communities, with narrower climatic niches, would be more sensitive than bryophyte communities to climate warming. For each taxonomic group in each site, we quantified the magnitude of changes in species' distributions along the elevation gradient, species richness, and community composition. We found contrasted temporal changes in bryophyte vs. vascular plant communities, which only partially supported the warming hypothesis. In the area with a stronger warming trend, we found a significant increase in local diversity and dissimilarity (beta-diversity) for vascular plants, but not for bryophytes. Presence-absence data did not provide sufficient power to detect elevational shifts in species distributions. The patterns observed for bryophytes are in accordance with recent literature showing that local diversity can remain unchanged despite strong changes in composition. Regardless of whether one taxon is systematically more or less sensitive to environmental change than another, our results suggest that vascular plants cannot be used as a surrogate for bryophytes in terms of predicting the nature and magnitude of responses to warming. Thus, to assess overall biodiversity responses to global change, abundance data from different taxonomic groups and different community properties need to be synthesized.
  • Liao, Wenfei; Venn, Stephen; Niemelä, Jari (2022)
    Context: Structural and functional connectivity, as subconcepts of landscape connectivity, are key factors in biodiversity conservation and management. Previous studies have focused on the consequences of connectivity for populations of terrestrial organisms, which may not be appropriate for aquatic organisms. Objectives: As landscape connectivity critically affects the potential value of ponds for biodiversity, here we used diving beetles (Dytiscidae), an indicator taxon of wetland biodiversity, to investigate how structural connectivity affects functional connectivity to aquatic invertebrates in an urban landscape. Methods: We assessed pairwise similarities of dytiscid community, i.e. the variation of species composition between clustered and isolated ponds in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland. We investigated how dytiscid community similarity is affected by Euclidean distances between ponds, as an indicator of structural connectivity. Results: We found that clustered ponds shared more species than isolated ponds. Dytiscid species community similarity responded negatively to increasing Euclidean distance between ponds. Effectively dispersing species were widely distributed across the landscape, while poor dispersers were scarcely distributed in the same landscape. Conclusions: Structural connectivity determines which species are able to disperse successfully, with poor dispersers restricted to well-connected ponds. The different responses of effective dispersers and poor dispersers to the same structural connectivity indicate that functional connectivity determines species composition. We recommend providing well-connected aquatic habitats in urban landscapes and the implementation of measures to reduce isolation of wetland assemblages. Even clustered ponds need dispersal from other habitats to ensure their contribution to urban biodiversity.