Browsing by Subject "biotic homogenization"

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  • Rolls, Robert J.; Chessman, Bruce C.; Heino, Jani; Wolfenden, Ben; Thurtell, Lisa A.; Cheshire, Katherine J. M.; Ryan, David; Butler, Gavin; Growns, Ivor; Curwen, Graeme (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022)
    Landscape Ecology
    Context A core theme in ecohydrology is understanding how hydrology affects spatial variation in the composition of species assemblages (i.e., beta diversity). However, most empirical evidence is from research in upland rivers spanning small spatial extents. Relatively little is known of the consequences of hydrological variation for beta diversity across multiple spatial scales in lowland rivers. Objectives We sought to examine how spatial variation in hydrology and fish beta diversity within and among rivers changed over time in response to intensification and cessation of hydrological drought. Methods We used monitoring data of fish assemblages, coupled with hydrological and biophysical data, to test how spatial variation in hydrology and multiple components of fish beta diversity in lowland rivers of the Murray—Darling Basin (Australia) varied across spatial scales during contrasting hydrological phases. Results Spatial variation in hydrology among rivers declined with increasing duration of drought before increasing during a return to above-average flows. Spatial variation in hydrology within rivers did not show consistent changes between hydrological phases. Beta diversity among and within rivers showed variable, river-specific changes among hydrological phases for both incidence- and abundance-based components of assemblage composition. Conclusions Inconsistent hydrology—beta diversity patterns found here suggest that mechanisms and outcomes of drought and flooding impacts to beta diversity are context-dependent and not broadly generalisable. Our findings indicate that hydrological fluctuations occurring in the Murray—Darling Basin in the period analysed here did not cause significant or consistent homogenisation or differentiation of freshwater fish assemblages.
  • Soares, Filipa C.; de Lima, Ricardo F.; Palmeirim, Jorge M.; Cardoso, Pedro; Rodrigues, Ana S. L. (2022)
    Aim We analyse the consequences of species extinctions and introductions on the functional diversity and composition of island bird assemblages. Specifically, we ask if introduced species have compensated the functional loss resulting from species extinctions. Location Seventy-four oceanic islands (> 100 km(2)) in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Time period Late Holocene. Major taxa studied Terrestrial and freshwater bird species. Methods We compiled a species list per island (extinct and extant, native and introduced), and then compiled traits per species. We used single-trait analyses to assess the effects of past species extinctions and introductions on functional composition. Then, we used probabilistic hypervolumes in trait space to calculate functional richness and evenness of original versus present avifaunas of each island (and net change), and to estimate how functionally unique are extinct and introduced species on each island. Results The net effects of extinctions and introductions were: an increase in average species richness per island (alpha diversity), yet a decline in diversity across all islands (gamma diversity); an average increase in the prevalence of most functional traits, yet an average decline in functional richness and evenness, associated with the fact that extinct species were functionally more unique (when compared to extant natives) than introduced species. Main conclusions Introduced species are on average offsetting (and even surpassing) the losses of extinct species per island in terms of species richness, and they are increasing the prevalence of most functional traits. However, they are not compensating for the loss of functional richness due to extinctions. Current island bird assemblages are becoming functionally poorer, having lost unique species and being composed of functionally more redundant species. This is likely to have cascading repercussions on the functioning of island ecosystems. We highlight that taxonomic and functional biodiversity should be assessed simultaneously to understand the global impacts of human activities.
  • Niittynen, Pekka; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Luoto, Miska (2020)
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 117: 35, 21480-21487
    The Arctic is one of the least human-impacted parts of the world, but, in turn, tundra biome is facing the most rapid climate change on Earth. These perturbations may cause major reshuffling of Arctic species compositions and functional trait profiles and diversity, thereby affecting ecosystem processes of the whole tundra region. Earlier research has detected important drivers of the change in plant functional traits under warming climate, but studies on one key factor, snow cover, are almost totally lacking. Here we integrate plot-scale vegetation data with detailed climate and snow information using machine learning methods to model the responsiveness of tundra communities to different scenarios of warming and snow cover duration. Our results show that decreasing snow cover, together with warming temperatures, can substantially modify biotic communities and their trait compositions, with future plant communities projected to be occupied by taller plants with larger leaves and faster resource acquisition strategies. As another finding, we show that, while the local functional diversity may increase, simultaneous biotic homogenization across tundra communities is likely to occur. The manifestation of climate warming on tundra vegetation is highly dependent on the evolution of snow conditions. Given this, realistic assessments of future ecosystem functioning require acknowledging the role of snow in tundra vegetation models.
  • Hakkila, Matti; Abrego, Nerea; Ovaskainen, Otso; Monkkonen, Mikko (2018)
    Protected areas are meant to preserve native local communities within their boundaries, but they are not independent from their surroundings. Impoverished habitat quality in the matrix might influence the species composition within the protected areas through biotic homogenization. The aim of this study was to determine the impacts of matrix quality on species richness and trait composition of bird communities from the Finnish reserve area network and whether the communities are being subject of biotic homogenization due to the lowered quality of the landscape matrix. We used joint species distribution modeling to study how characteristics of the Finnish forest reserves and the quality of their surrounding matrix alter species and trait compositions of forest birds. The proportion of old forest within the reserves was the main factor in explaining the bird community composition, and the bird communities within the reserves did not strongly depend on the quality of the matrix. Yet, in line with the homogenization theory, the beta-diversity within reserves embedded in low-quality matrix was lower than that in high-quality matrix, and the average abundance of regionally abundant species was higher. Influence of habitat quality on bird community composition was largely explained by the species' functional traits. Most importantly, the community specialization index was low, and average body size was high in areas with low proportion of old forest. We conclude that for conserving local bird communities in northern Finnish protected forests, it is currently more important to improve or maintain habitat quality within the reserves than in the surrounding matrix. Nevertheless, we found signals of bird community homogenization, and thus, activities that decrease the quality of the matrix are a threat for bird communities.
  • Lindholm, Marja; Alahuhta, Janne; Heino, Jani; Toivonen, Heikki (Wiley Online Library, 2020)
    Ecography 43 2 (2020)
    It has been predicted that spatial beta diversity shows a decreasing trend in the Anthropocene due to increasing human impact, causing biotic homogenisation. We aimed to discover if vascular aquatic macrophyte communities show different spatial patterns in beta diversity in relation to land use and environmental characteristics in different decades from 1940s to 2010s. We aimed to discover if spatial structures differ between species-, phylogeny- and functional-based beta diversity. We used presence–absence data of aquatic macrophytes from five decades from small boreal lakes. We utilized generalised dissimilarity modelling to analyse spatial patterns in beta diversity in relation to environmental gradients. We found that lake elevation and pH were the most important variables in each decade, while land use was not particularly important in shaping beta diversity patterns. We did not find signs of a decreasing trend in spatial beta diversity in our study area during the past 70 yr. We did not find signs of either biotic homogenisation or biotic differentiation (taxonomic, phylogenetic or functional). Vascular aquatic macrophyte communities showed only slightly different beta diversity patterns in relation to human impact across decades. The patterns of different facets of beta diversity diverged only slightly from each other. Lake position in the landscape, reflecting both natural connectivity and lake characteristics, explained the patterns found in beta diversity, probably because our study area has faced only modest changes in land use from 1940s to 2010s when compared globally. Our study highlights the fact that biotic homogenisation is not an unambiguous process acting similarly at all spatial and temporal scales or in different environments and different organism groups.
  • Benito, Xavier; Vilmi, Annika; Luethje, Melina; Carrevedo, Maria Laura; Lindholm, Marja; Fritz, Sherilyn C. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2020)
    Frontiers Ecology Evolution 8 (2020)
    High-elevation tropical lakes are excellent sentinels of global change impacts, such as climate warming, land-use change, and atmospheric deposition. These effects are often correlated with temporal and spatial beta diversity patterns, with some local communities contributing more than others, a phenomenon known as local contribution to beta diversity (LCBD) or ecological uniqueness. Microorganisms, such as diatoms, are considered whole-ecosystem indicators, but little is known about their sensitivity and specificity in beta diversity studies mostly because of the lack of large spatial and temporal datasets. To fill this gap, we used a tropical South American diatom database comprising modern (144 lakes) and paleolimnological (6 sediment cores) observations to quantify drivers of spatial and temporal beta diversity and evaluated implications for environmental change and regional biodiversity. We used methods of beta diversity partitioning (replacement and richness components) by determining contributions of local sites to these components (LCBDrepl and LCBDrich), and studied how they are related to environmental, geological, and historical human variables using Generalized Additive Models (GAM). Beta replacement time series were also analyzed with GAM to test whether there is widespread biotic homogenization across the tropical Andes. Modern lake ecological uniqueness was jointly explained by limnological (pH), climatic (mean annual precipitation), and historical human density. Local lake (conductivity) and regional geodiversity variables (terrain ruggedness, soil variability) were inversely correlated to replacement and richness components of LCBD, suggesting that not all lakes contributing to broad-scale diversity are targets for conservation actions. Over millennial time scales, decomposing temporal trends of beta diversity components showed different trajectories of lake diatom diversity as response of environmental change: i) increased hydroclimatic variability (as inferred by decreased temperature seasonality) mediating higher contribution of richness to local beta diversity patterns ca. 1000 years ago in Ecuador Andean lakes and ii) lake-specific temporal beta diversity trends for the last ca. 200 years, indicating that biotic homogenization is not widespread across the tropical Andes. Our approach for unifying diatom ecology, metacommunity, and paleolimnology can facilitate the understanding of future responses of tropical Andean lakes to global change impacts.