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Title: Temporal turnover and the maintenance of diversity in ecological assemblages
Authors: Magurran, Anne E.
Henderson, Peter A.
Keywords: Biodiversity
Species abundance distributions
Lower Severn estuary
Insurance hypothesis
Community structure
Statistical inevitability
Linking biodiversity
Ecosystem function
QL Zoology
Issue Date: 27-Nov-2010
Citation: Magurran , A E & Henderson , P A 2010 , ' Temporal turnover and the maintenance of diversity in ecological assemblages ' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences , vol 365 , no. 1558 , pp. 3611-3620 . , 10.1098/rstb.2010.0285
Abstract: Temporal variation in species abundances occurs in all ecological communities. Here, we explore the role that this temporal turnover plays in maintaining assemblage diversity. We investigate a three-decade time series of estuarine fishes and show that the abundances of the individual species fluctuate asynchronously around their mean levels. We then use a time-series modelling approach to examine the consequences of different patterns of turnover, by asking how the correlation between the abundance of a species in a given year and its abundance in the previous year influences the structure of the overall assemblage. Classical diversity measures that ignore species identities reveal that the observed assemblage structure will persist under all but the most extreme conditions. However, metrics that track species identities indicate a narrower set of turnover scenarios under which the predicted assemblage resembles the natural one. Our study suggests that species diversity metrics are insensitive to change and that measures that track species ranks may provide better early warning that an assemblage is being perturbed. It also highlights the need to incorporate temporal turnover in investigations of assemblage structure and function.
Version: Publisher PDF
Status: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0962-8436
Type: Journal article
Rights: © 2010 The Royal Society This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:University of St Andrews Research
Biology Research
Centre for Research into Ecological & Environmental Modelling (CREEM) Research
Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciences Research
Scottish Oceans Institute Research

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