Assemblage time series reveal biodiversity change but not systematic loss
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The extent to which biodiversity change in local assemblages contributes to global biodiversity loss is poorly understood. We analyzed 100 time series from biomes across Earth to ask how diversity within assemblages is changing through time. We quantified patterns of temporal α diversity, measured as change in local diversity, and temporal β diversity, measured as change in community composition. Contrary to our expectations, we did not detect systematic loss of α diversity. However, community composition changed systematically through time, in excess of predictions from null models. Heterogeneous rates of environmental change, species range shifts associated with climate change, and biotic homogenization may explain the different patterns of temporal α and β diversity. Monitoring and understanding change in species composition should be a conservation priority.
Dornelas , M , Gotelli , N J , McGill , B , Shimadzu , H , Moyes , F , Sievers , C & Magurran , A E 2014 , ' Assemblage time series reveal biodiversity change but not systematic loss ' , Science , vol. 344 , no. 6181 , pp. 296-299 . https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1248484
Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted 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/10.1126/science.1248484
DescriptionSupported by the European Research Council (BioTIME 250189), the Scottish Funding Council (MASTS, grant reference HR09011) (M.D.), and the Royal Society (A.E.M.).
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