Browsing by Subject "SPECIES RICHNESS"

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hui, Nan; Liu, Xinxin; Kotze, D. Johan; Jumpponen, Ari; Francini, Gaia; Setala, Heikki (2017)
    Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are important mutualists for the growth and health of most boreal trees. Forest age and its host species composition can impact the composition of ECM fungal communities. Although plentiful empirical data exist for forested environments, the effects of established vegetation and its successional trajectories on ECM fungi in urban greenspaces remain poorly understood. We analyzed ECM fungi in 5 control forests and 41 urban parks of two plant functional groups (conifer and broadleaf trees) and in three age categories (10, similar to 50, and > 100 years old) in southern Finland. Our results show that although ECM fungal richness was marginally greater in forests than in urban parks, urban parks still hosted rich and diverse ECM fungal communities. ECM fungal community composition differed between the two habitats but was driven by taxon rank order reordering, as key ECM fungal taxa remained largely the same. In parks, the ECM communities differed between conifer and broadleaf trees. The successional trajectories of ECM fungi, as inferred in relation to the time since park construction, differed among the conifers and broadleaf trees: the ECM fungal communities changed over time under the conifers, whereas communities under broadleaf trees provided no evidence for such age-related effects. Our data show that plant-ECM fungus interactions in urban parks, in spite of being constructed environments, are surprisingly similar in richness to those in natural forests. This suggests that the presence of host trees, rather than soil characteristics or even disturbance regime of the system, determine ECM fungal community structure and diversity. IMPORTANCE In urban environments, soil and trees improve environmental quality and provide essential ecosystem services. ECM fungi enhance plant growth and performance, increasing plant nutrient acquisition and protecting plants against toxic compounds. Recent evidence indicates that soil-inhabiting fungal communities, including ECM and saprotrophic fungi, in urban parks are affected by plant functional type and park age. However, ECM fungal diversity and its responses to urban stress, plant functional type, or park age remain unknown. The significance of our study is in identifying, in greater detail, the responses of ECM fungi in the rhizospheres of conifer and broadleaf trees in urban parks. This will greatly enhance our knowledge of ECM fungal communities under urban stresses, and the findings can be utilized by urban planners to improve urban ecosystem services.
  • Saine, Sonja; Aakala, Tuomas; Purhonen, Jenna; Launis, Annina; Tuovila, Hanna; Kosonen, Timo; Halme, Panu (2018)
    Human-induced fragmentation affects forest continuity, i.e. availability of a suitable habitat for the target species over a time period. The dependence of wood-inhabiting fungi on landscape level continuity has been well demonstrated, but the importance of local continuity has remained controversial. In this study, we explored the effects of local forest continuity (microhabitat and stand level) on the diversity of wood-inhabiting fungi on standing dead trunks of Scots pine (Paws sylvestris L.). We studied species richness and community composition of decomposers and Micarea lichens on 70 trunks in 14 forests in central Finland that differed in their state of continuity. We used dendrochronological methods to assess the detailed history of each study trunk, i.e. the microhabitat continuity. The stand continuity was estimated as dead wood diversity and past management intensity (number of stumps). We recorded 107 species (91 decomposers, 16 Micarea lichens), with a total of 510 occurrences. Using generalized linear mixed models, we found that none of the variables explained decomposer species richness, but that Micarea species richness was positively dependent on the time since tree death. Dead wood diversity was the most important variable determining the composition of decomposer communities. For Micarea lichens, the community composition was best explained by the combined effect of years from death, site and dead wood diversity. However, these effects were rather tentative. The results are in line with those of previous studies suggesting the restricted significance of local forest continuity for wood-inhabiting fungi. However, standing dead pines that have been available continuously over long periods seem to be important for species-rich communities of Micarea lichens. Rare specialists (e.g. on veteran trees) may be more sensitive to local continuity, and should be at the center of future research.
  • Vehkaoja, Mia; Niemi, Milla; Vaananen, Veli-Matti (2020)
    Wetlands are one of the world's most important, economically valuable, and diverse ecosystems. A major proportion of wetland biodiversity is composed of aquatic invertebrates, which are essential for secondary production in aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Urban areas have intensified the challenges wetlands encounter by increasing the area of impermeable surfaces and the levels of nutrient and pollutant overflows. We investigated how urban infrastructure affects the aquatic invertebrate fauna of urban wetlands in metropolitan Helsinki, southern Finland. We measured riparian canopy cover, emergent vegetation coverage, and various land cover and road variables. Recreation area, forests, and open natural areas were the most important landscape features positively influencing aquatic invertebrate family richness, whereas buildings and roads had a negative effect on family richness and abundances of many taxa. Recreation area and the various forest types also positively affected the alpha-diversity indices of wetlands. On the other hand, fish assemblage did not affect either family richness or abundances of the studied taxa. Furthermore, trees growing on the shoreline negatively affected the diversity of aquatic invertebrate families. Invertebrate family diversity was greatest at well-connected wetlands, as these areas added to the regional species pool by over 33%. Our results show that connectivity and green areas near wetlands increase aquatic invertebrate family diversity, and our results could be utilized in urban planning. Graphical abstract
  • Teittinen, Anette; Virta, Leena (2021)
    Biodiversity has traditionally been quantified using taxonomic information but the importance of also considering its functional characteristics has recently gained an increasing attention among microorganisms. However, studies exploring multiple aspects of taxonomic and functional diversity and their temporal variations are scarce for diatoms, which is one of the most important microbial groups in aquatic ecosystems. Here, our aim was to examine the taxonomic and functional alpha and beta diversities of diatoms in a coastal rock pool system characterized by a naturally high environmental heterogeneity. We also investigated the temporal differences in the diversity patterns and drivers. The relationship between the species richness and functional dispersion was temporally coherent, such that species-poor communities tended to be functionally clustered. The trend between the species richness and taxonomic uniqueness of community composition was temporally inconsistent, changing from negative to non-significant over time. Conductivity or distance to the sea or both were key determinants of species richness, functional dispersion, and uniqueness of community composition. The increase of community dissimilarity with an increasing environmental distance was stronger for the taxonomic than the functional composition. Our results suggest that even minor decreases in the species richness may result in a lowered functional diversity and decreased ecosystem functioning. Species-poor ecosystems may, however, have unique species compositions and high contributions to regional biodiversity. Despite changing the species compositions along the environmental gradients, communities may remain to have a high functional similarity and robustness in the face of environmental changes. Our results highlight the advantage of considering multiple biodiversity metrics and incorporating a temporal component for a deeper understanding of the effects of environmental changes on microbial biodiversity.
  • Mammola, Stefano; Aharon, Shlomi; Seifan, Merav; Lubin, Yael; Gavish-Regev, Efrat (2019)
    Caves are excellent model systems to study the effects of abiotic factors on species distributions due to their selective conditions. Different ecological factors have been shown to affect species distribution depending on the scale of analysis, whether regional or local. The interplay between local and regional factors in explaining the spatial distribution of cave-dwelling organisms is poorly understood. Using the troglophilic subterranean spider Artema nephilit (Araneae: Pholcidae) as a model organism, we investigated whether similar environmental predictors drive the species distribution at these two spatial scales. At the local scale, we monitored the abundance of the spiders and measured relevant environmental features in 33 caves along the Jordan Rift Valley. We then extended the analysis to a regional scale, investigating the drivers of the distribution using species distribution models. We found that similar ecological factors determined the distribution at both local and regional scales for A. nephilit. At a local scale, the species was found to preferentially occupy the outermost, illuminated, and warmer sectors of caves. Similarly, mean annual temperature, annual temperature range, and solar radiation were the most important drivers of its regional distribution. By investigating these two spatial scales simultaneously, we showed that it was possible to achieve an in-depth understanding of the environmental conditions that governs subterranean species distribution.
  • Teittinen, Anette; Virta, Leena; Li, Mingjia; Wang, Jianjun (2021)
    Islands provide ideal model systems to examine the factors influencing biodiversity, yet knowledge of microbial biodiversity on islands remains scarce. We collected a dataset from 101 rock pools along a freshwater to brackish water transition on islands of the Baltic Sea and investigated the patterns and drivers of community composition and species richness of diatoms, cyanobacteria and non-cyanobacteria bacteria among islands. We also examined whether environmental heterogeneity increased beta diversity and species richness within islands. Among islands, the patterns in community composition were concordant among the microbial groups, with distinct changes along the freshwater-brackish gradient. The patterns in species richness were context-dependent for each microbial group. In general, richness patterns were most strongly associated with nutrient concentrations or the distances to potential sources of immigrants, whereas no positive relationships between ecosystem size and richness were found. Within islands, environmental heterogeneity was positively correlated with the beta diversity of each microbial group, but not species richness. Our findings provide novel insights into the factors influencing microbial biodiversity. The results suggest that island microbial biodiversity patterns are influenced by species sorting and dispersal-related mechanisms and highlight the importance of environmental heterogeneity for beta diversity.
  • Girardello, Marco; Chapman, Anna; Dennis, Roger; Kaila, Lauri; Borges, Paulo; Santangeli, Andrea (2019)
    Species distribution data are crucial for assessing the conservation status of species (red listing, IUCN) and implementing international conservation targets, such as those set by the International Convention on Biological Diversity. Although there have been a number of efforts aimed at aggregating biodiversity data, information on the distribution of many taxa is still scanty (i.e. the Wallacean Shortfall). In this study, we use a large database, including over 19 million species occurrence records, to identify knowledge gaps in biodiversity inventories for butterfly records at a global level. Bayesian hierarchical spatial models were used to quantify the relationship between gaps in inventory completeness and the density of roads, protected areas and elevational range, the former variable being a proxy for accessibility, the latter two for attractiveness to recorders. Our results show that despite > 100 years of butterfly sampling, knowledge of the distribution of butterflies is still limited in tropical areas. The results revealed that gaps in butterfly inventories are largely concentrated in areas of low elevational range, low density of protected areas and low road density. We conclude that the Wallacean Shortfall is a problem even for one of the best studied insect groups. In the light of these data limitations, we discuss prospects for filling gaps in butterfly inventories at the global scale within relatively short time frames. We argue that a combination of citizen science and quantitative tools may help to fill knowledge gaps and inform conservation decisions.