Divergent biodiversity change within ecosystems
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The Earth’s ecosystems are under unprecedented pressure, yet the nature of contemporary biodiversity change is not well understood. Growing evidence that community size is regulated highlights the need for improved understanding of community dynamics. As stability in community size could be underpinned by marked temporal turnover, a key question is the extent to which changes in both biodiversity dimensions (temporal α- and temporal β-diversity) covary within and among the assemblages that comprise natural communities. Here, we draw on a multiassemblage dataset (encompassing vertebrates, invertebrates, and unicellular plants) from a tropical freshwater ecosystem and employ a cyclic shift randomization to assess whether any directional change in temporal α-diversity and temporal β-diversity exceeds baseline levels. In the majority of cases, α-diversity remains stable over the 5-y time frame of our analysis, with little evidence for systematic change at the community level. In contrast, temporal β-diversity changes are more prevalent, and the two diversity dimensions are decoupled at both the within- and among-assemblage level. Consequently, a pressing research challenge is to establish how turnover supports regulation and when elevated temporal β-diversity jeopardizes community integrity.
Magurran , A E , Deacon , A E , Moyes , F H , Shimadzu , H , Azeredo de Dornelas , M A , Phillip , D & Ramnarine , I 2018 , ' Divergent biodiversity change within ecosystems ' , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , vol. 115 , no. 8 , pp. 1843-1847 . https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1712594115
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
© 2018, the Author(s). This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1712594115
DescriptionThis project was funded by the European Research Council (AdG BioTIME 250189 and PoC BioCHANGE 727440). A.E.M. also acknowledges support from the Royal Society and M.D. from the Scottish Funding Council (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland Grant HR09011).
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