Browsing by Subject "spatial patterns"

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  • Gammal, Johanna; Hewitt, Judi; Norkko, Joanna; Norkko, Alf; Thrush, Simon (2020)
    The biodiversity crisis has increased interest in understanding the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning. Functional traits are often used to infer ecosystem functions to increase our understanding of these relationships over larger spatial scales. The links between specific traits and ecosystem functioning are, however, not always well established. We investigated how the choice of analyzing either individual species, selected modalities, or trait combinations affected the spatial patterns observed on a sandflat and how this was related to the natural variability in ecosystem functioning. A large dataset of 400 benthic macrofauna samples was used to explore distribution patterns. We hypothesized that (1) if multiple species (redundancy) represent a trait combination or a modality their spatial patterns would be smoothed out, and (2) the lost spatial variability within a trait combination or modality, due to the smoothing effect, would potentially affect their utility for predicting ecosystem functioning (tested on a dataset of 24 samples). We predicted that species would show heterogeneous small spatial patterns, while modalities and trait combinations would show larger and more homogeneous patterns because they would represent a collection of many distributions. If modalities and trait combinations are better predictors of ecosystem functioning than species, then the smoother spatial patterns of modalities and trait combinations would result in a more homogeneous landscape of ecosystem function and the number of species exhibiting specific traits would provide functional redundancy. Our results showed some smoothing of spatial patterns progressing from species through modalities to trait combinations, but generally spatial patterns reflected a few dominant key species. Moreover, some individual modalities and species explained more or equal proportions of the variance in the ecosystem functioning than the combined traits. The findings thus suggest that only some spatial variability is lost when species are combined into modalities and trait combinations and that a homogeneous landscape of ecosystem function is not likely.
  • Seidl, Rupert; Honkaniemi, Juha; Aakala, Tuomas; Aleinikov, Alexey; Angelstam, Per; Bouchard, Mathieu; Boulanger, Yan; Burton, Philip J.; De Grandpre, Louis; Gauthier, Sylvie; Hansen, Winslow D.; Jepsen, Jane U.; Jogiste, Kalev; Kneeshaw, Daniel D.; Kuuluvainen, Timo; Lisitsyna, Olga; Makoto, Kobayashi; Mori, Akira S.; Pureswaran, Deepa S.; Shorohova, Ekaterina; Shubnitsina, Elena; Taylor, Anthony R.; Vladimirova, Nadezhda; Vodde, Floortje; Senf, Cornelius (2020)
    Disturbance regimes are changing in forests across the world in response to global climate change. Despite the profound impacts of disturbances on ecosystem services and biodiversity, assessments of disturbances at the global scale remain scarce. Here, we analyzed natural disturbances in boreal and temperate forest ecosystems for the period 2001-2014, aiming to 1) quantify their within- and between-biome variation and 2) compare the climate sensitivity of disturbances across biomes. We studied 103 unmanaged forest landscapes with a total land area of 28.2 x 10(6) ha, distributed across five continents. A consistent and comprehensive quantification of disturbances was derived by combining satellite-based disturbance maps with local expert knowledge of disturbance agents. We used Gaussian finite mixture models to identify clusters of landscapes with similar disturbance activity as indicated by the percent forest area disturbed as well as the size, edge density and perimeter-area-ratio of disturbed patches. The climate sensitivity of disturbances was analyzed using Bayesian generalized linear mixed effect models and a globally consistent climate dataset. Within-biome variation in natural disturbances was high in both boreal and temperate biomes, and disturbance patterns did not vary systematically with latitude or biome. The emergent clusters of disturbance activity in the boreal zone were similar to those in the temperate zone, but boreal landscapes were more likely to experience high disturbance activity than their temperate counterparts. Across both biomes high disturbance activity was particularly associated with wildfire, and was consistently linked to years with warmer and drier than average conditions. Natural disturbances are a key driver of variability in boreal and temperate forest ecosystems, with high similarity in the disturbance patterns between both biomes. The universally high climate sensitivity of disturbances across boreal and temperate ecosystems indicates that future climate change could substantially increase disturbance activity.