Recent increases in assemblage rarity are linked to increasing local immigration
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As pressures on biodiversity increase, a better understanding of how assemblages are responding is needed. Because rare species, defined here as those that have locally low abundances, make up a high proportion of assemblage species lists, understanding how the number of rare species within assemblages is changing will help elucidate patterns of recent biodiversity change. Here, we show that the number of rare species within assemblages is increasing, on average, across systems. This increase could arise in two ways: species already present in the assemblage decreasing in abundance but with no increase in extinctions, or additional species entering the assemblage in low numbers associated with an increase in immigration. The positive relationship between change in rarity and change in species richness provides evidence for the second explanation, i.e. higher net immigration than extinction among the rare species. These measurable changes in the structure of assemblages in the recent past underline the need to use multiple biodiversity metrics to understand biodiversity change.
Jones , F A M , Dornelas , M & Magurran , A 2020 , ' Recent increases in assemblage rarity are linked to increasing local immigration ' , Royal Society Open Science , vol. 7 , no. 7 , 192045 . https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.192045
Royal Society Open Science
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
DescriptionF.A.M.J.'s PhD was financed by the School of Biology, University of St Andrews. M.D. and A.E.M. acknowledge funding by the Leverhulme Trust. A.E.M. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC AdG BioTIME 250189 and ERC PoC BioCHANGE 727440).
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