Local temperature and ecological similarity drive distributional dynamics of tropical mammals worldwide
Beaudrot, Lydia ; Acevedo, Miguel A. ; Lessard, Jean Philippe ; Zvoleff, Alex ; Jansen, Patrick A. ; Sheil, Douglas ; Rovero, Francesco ; O’Brien, Timothy ; Larney, Eileen ; Fletcher, Christine ; Andelman, Sandy ; Ahumada, Jorge - \ 2019
Global Ecology and Biogeography 28 (2019)7. - ISSN 1466-822X - p. 976 - 991.
coexistence - dynamic occupancy modelling - imperfect detection - occupancy–environment association - range shift - species distribution - species interactions
Aim: Identifying the underlying drivers of species’ distributional dynamics is critical for predicting change and managing biological diversity. While anthropogenic factors such as climate change can affect species distributions through time, other naturally occurring ecological processes can also have an influence. Theory predicts that interactions between species can influence distributional dynamics, yet empirical evidence remains sparse. A powerful approach is to monitor and model local colonization and extinction—the processes that generate change in distributions over time—and to identify their abiotic and biotic associations. Intensive camera-trap monitoring provides an opportunity to assess the role of temperature and species interactions in the colonization and extinction dynamics of tropical mammals, many of which are species of conservation concern. Using data from a pan-tropical monitoring network, we examined how short-term local temperature change and ecological similarity between species (a proxy for the strength of species interactions) influenced the processes that drive distributional shifts. Location: Tropical forests worldwide. Time period: 2007–2016. Major taxa studied: Terrestrial mammals. Methods: We used dynamic occupancy models to assess the influence of the abiotic and biotic environment on the distributional dynamics of 42 mammal populations from 36 species on 7 tropical elevation gradients around the world. Results: Overall, temperature, ecological similarity, or both, were linked to colonization or extinction dynamics in 29 populations. For six species, the effect of temperature depended upon the local mammal community similarity. This result suggests that the way in which temperature influences local colonization and extinction dynamics depends on local mammal community composition. Main conclusions: These results indicate that varying temperatures influence tropical mammal distributions in surprising ways and suggest that interactions between species mediate distributional dynamics.
Network Analyses Can Advance Above-Belowground Ecology
Ramirez, Kelly S. ; Geisen, Stefan ; Morriën, Elly ; Snoek, Basten L. ; Putten, Wim H. van der - \ 2018
Trends in Plant Science 23 (2018)9. - ISSN 1360-1385 - p. 759 - 768.
community ecology - global change - species interactions - terrestrial ecology
An understanding of above-belowground (AG-BG) ecology is important for evaluating how plant interactions with enemies, symbionts, and decomposers affect species diversity and will respond to global changes. However, research questions and experiments often focus on only a limited number of interactions, creating an incomplete picture of how entire communities may be involved in AG-BG community ecology. Therefore, a pressing challenge is to formulate hypotheses of AG-BG interactions when considering communities in their full complexity. Here we discuss how network analyses can be a powerful tool to progress AG-BG research, link across scales from individual to community and ecosystem, visualize community interactions between the two (AG and BG) subsystems, and develop testable hypotheses.
Seperating the role of biotic interactions and climate in determining adaptive response of plants to climate change
Tomiolo, S. ; Putten, W.H. van der; Tielbörger, K. - \ 2015
Ecology 96 (2015)5. - ISSN 0012-9658 - p. 1298 - 1308.
local adaptation - environmental gradients - positive interactions - species interactions - soil feedback - ecological responses - aridity gradient - global change - evolutionary - communities
Altered rainfall regimes will greatly affect the response of plant species to climate change. However, little is known about how direct effects of changing precipitation on plant performance may depend on other abiotic factors and biotic interactions. We used reciprocal transplants between climatically very different sites with simultaneous manipulation of soil, plant population origin, and neighbor conditions to evaluate local adaptation and possible adaptive response of four Eastern Mediterranean annual plant species to climate change. The effect of site on plant performance was negligible, but soil origin had a strong effect on fecundity, most likely due to differential water retaining ability. Competition by neighbors strongly reduced fitness. We separated the effects of the abiotic and biotic soil properties on plant performance by repeating the field experiment in a greenhouse under homogenous environmental conditions and including a soil biota manipulation treatment. As in the field, plant performance differed among soil origins and neighbor treatments. Moreover, we found plant species-specific responses to soil biota that may be best explained by the differential sensitivity to negative and positive soil biota effects. Overall, under the conditions of our experiment with two contrasting sites, biotic interactions had a strong effect on plant fitness that interacted with and eventually overrode climate. Because climate and biotic interactions covary, reciprocal transplants and climate gradient studies should consider soil biotic interactions and abiotic conditions when evaluating climate change effects on plant performance.
Predicting ecosystem stability from community composition and biodiversity
Mazancourt, C. ; Isbell, F. ; Larocque, A. ; Berendse, F. ; Ruijven, J. van - \ 2013
Ecology Letters 16 (2013)5. - ISSN 1461-023X - p. 617 - 625.
competitive communities - species interactions - temporal stability - time-series - diversity - productivity - population - dynamics - consequences - variability
As biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, an important current scientific challenge is to understand and predict the consequences of biodiversity loss. Here, we develop a theory that predicts the temporal variability of community biomass from the properties of individual component species in monoculture. Our theory shows that biodiversity stabilises ecosystems through three main mechanisms: (1) asynchrony in species’ responses to environmental fluctuations, (2) reduced demographic stochasticity due to overyielding in species mixtures and (3) reduced observation error (including spatial and sampling variability). Parameterised with empirical data from four long-term grassland biodiversity experiments, our prediction explained 22–75% of the observed variability, and captured much of the effect of species richness. Richness stabilised communities mainly by increasing community biomass and reducing the strength of demographic stochasticity. Our approach calls for a re-evaluation of the mechanisms explaining the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem stability.