3,563 research outputs found

    Integrating Species Traits into Species Pools

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    Despite decades of research on the species‐pool concept and the recent explosion of interest in trait‐based frameworks in ecology and biogeography, surprisingly little is known about how spatial and temporal changes in species‐pool functional diversity (SPFD) influence biodiversity and the processes underlying community assembly. Current trait‐based frameworks focus primarily on community assembly from a static regional species pool, without considering how spatial or temporal variation in SPFD alters the relative importance of deterministic and stochastic assembly processes. Likewise, species‐pool concepts primarily focus on how the number of species in the species pool influences local biodiversity. However, species pools with similar richness can vary substantially in functional‐trait diversity, which can strongly influence community assembly and biodiversity responses to environmental change. Here, we integrate recent advances in community ecology, trait‐based ecology, and biogeography to provide a more comprehensive framework that explicitly considers how variation in SPFD, among regions and within regions through time, influences the relative importance of community assembly processes and patterns of biodiversity. First, we provide a brief overview of the primary ecological and evolutionary processes that create differences in SPFD among regions and within regions through time. We then illustrate how SPFD may influence fundamental processes of local community assembly (dispersal, ecological drift, niche selection). Higher SPFD may increase the relative importance of deterministic community assembly when greater functional diversity in the species pool increases niche selection across environmental gradients. In contrast, lower SPFD may increase the relative importance of stochastic community assembly when high functional redundancy in the species pool increases the influence of dispersal history or ecological drift. Next, we outline experimental and observational approaches for testing the influence of SPFD on assembly processes and biodiversity. Finally, we highlight applications of this framework for restoration and conservation. This species‐pool functional diversity framework has the potential to advance our understanding of how local‐ and regional‐scale processes jointly influence patterns of biodiversity across biogeographic regions, changes in biodiversity within regions over time, and restoration outcomes and conservation efforts in ecosystems altered by environmental change

    Trophicâ specific responses to migration in empirical metacommunities

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    Peer Reviewedhttps://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/154529/1/oik12963.pdfhttps://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/154529/2/oik12963_am.pd

    The island–mainland species turnover relationship

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    Many oceanic islands are notable for their high endemism, suggesting that islands may promote unique assembly processes. However, mainland assemblages sometimes harbour comparable levels of endemism, suggesting that island biotas may not be as unique as is often assumed. Here, we test the uniqueness of island biotic assembly by comparing the rate of species turnover among islands and the mainland, after accounting for distance decay and environmental gradients. We modelled species turnover as a function of geographical and environmental distance for mainland (M–M) communities of Anolis lizards and Terrarana frogs, two clades that have diversified extensively on Caribbean islands and the mainland Neotropics. We compared mainland–island (M–I) and island–island (I–I) species turnover with predictions of the M–M model. If island assembly is not unique, then the M–M model should successfully predict M–I and I–I turnover, given geographical and environmental distance. We found that M–I turnover and, to a lesser extent, I–I turnover were significantly higher than predicted for both clades. Thus, in the first quantitative comparison of mainland–island species turnover, we confirm the long-held but untested assumption that island assemblages accumulate biodiversity differently than their mainland counterparts

    The Tully-Fisher Relation of Barred Galaxies

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    We present new data exploring the scaling relations, such as the Tully-Fisher relation (TFR), of bright barred and unbarred galaxies. A primary motivation for this study is to establish whether barredness correlates with, and is a consequence of, virial properties of galaxies. Various lines of evidence suggest that dark matter is dominant in disks of bright unbarred galaxies at 2.2 disk scale lengths, the point of peak rotation for a pure exponential disk. We test the hypothesis that the TF plane of barred high surface brightness galaxies is offset from the mean TFR of unbarred galaxies, as might be expected if barred galaxies are ``maximal'' in their inner parts. We use existing and new TF data to search for basic structural differences between barred and unbarred galaxies. Our new data consist of 2-dimensional Halpha velocity fields derived from SparsePak integral field spectroscopy (IFS) and V,I-band CCD images collected at the WIYN Observatory for 14 strongly barred galaxies. We use WIYN/SparsePak (2-D) velocity fields to show that long-slit (1-D) spectra yield reliable circular speed measurements at or beyond 2.2 disk scale lengths, far from any influence of the bar. This enables us to consider line width measurements from extensive TF surveys which include barred and nonbarred disks and derive detailed scaling relation comparisons. We find that for a given luminosity, barred and unbarred galaxies have comparable structural and dynamical parameters, such as peak velocities, scale lengths, or colors. In particular, the location of a galaxy in the TF plane is independent of barredness. In a global dynamical sense, barred and unbarred galaxies behave similarly and are likely to have, on average, comparable fractions of luminous and dark matter at a given radius. (abridged)Comment: Accepted for publication in the ApJ (September 1, 2003 issue, v594). Appendix figures with I-band image and superimposed 2-D velocity field plus rotation curves must be downloaded separately (due to size constraints) from http://www.astro.ubc.ca/people/courteau/public/courteau03_TFbars.ps.g

    Differences of Cycling Experiences and Perceptions between E-Bike and Bicycle Users in the United States

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    E-bikes are bicycles that provide pedal-assistance to aid people in cycling. Because of the potential of promoting sustainable transportation, more attention has been focused on the e-bike market. This paper investigates the differences of the cycling experience and perceptions between e-bike and conventional bicycle users, using samples drawn from independent bicycle dealer customers. A total of 806 respondents in the United States took the on-line survey, including 363 e-bike-owning respondents. The results show that e-bikes play a more important role in utilitarian travel, such as commuting and running errands, compared to a conventional bicycle. Conventional bicycle-owning respondents use their bicycles more for recreation and exercise. Also, e-bike owners tend to bike longer distances and take more trips per week. Both e-bike respondents and bicycle respondents stated that improved health was a key factor for cycling, while Millennials and Generation X respondents cycle to save time and improve the environment. Finally, an ordered logit model is proposed for evaluating factors that influence interest in future e-bike ownership. Travel purpose, e-bike familiarity, annual household income, and education level are statistically significant factors in the model. These findings begin to provide insight and a profile of potential new markets for e-bikes in the United States

    The diverse nature of island isolation and its effect on land bridge insular faunas

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    Aim: Isolation is a key factor in island biology. It is usually defined as the distance to the geographically nearest mainland, but many other definitions exist. We explored how testing different isolation indices affects the inference of impacts of isolation on faunal characteristics. We focused on land bridge islands and compared the relationships of many spatial and temporal (i.e., through time) isolation indices with community‐, population‐ and individual‐level characteristics (species richness, population density and body size, respectively). Location: Aegean Sea islands, Greece. Time period: Current. Taxon: Many animal taxa. Methods: We estimated 21 isolation indices for 205 islands and recorded species richness data for 15 taxa (invertebrates and vertebrates). We obtained body size data for seven lizard species and population density data for three. We explored how well indices predict each characteristic, in each taxon, by conducting a series of ordinary least squares regressions (controlling for island area when needed) and a meta‐analysis. Results: Isolation was significantly (and negatively) associated with species richness in 10 of 15 taxa. It was significantly (and positively) associated with body size in only one of seven species and was not associated with population density. The effect of isolation on species richness was much weaker than that of island area, regardless of the index tested. Spatial indices generally out‐performed temporal indices, and indices directly related to the mainland out‐performed those related mainly to neighbouring islands. No index was universally superior to others, including the distance to the geographically nearest mainland. Main conclusions: The choice of index can alter our perception of the impacts of isolation on biological patterns. The nearly automatic, ubiquitous use of distance to the geographically nearest mainland misrepresents the complexity of the effects of isolation. We recommend the simultaneous testing of several indices that represent different aspects of isolation, in order to produce more constructive and thorough investigations and avoid imprecise inference

    Divergence of thermal physiological traits in terrestrial breeding frogs along a tropical elevational gradient

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    Critical thermal limits are thought to be correlated with the elevational distribution of species living in tropical montane regions, but with upper limits being relatively invariant compared to lower limits. To test this hypothesis, we examined the variation of thermal physiological traits in a group of terrestrial breeding frogs (Craugastoridae) distributed along a tropical elevational gradient. We measured the critical thermal maximum (CTmax; n = 22 species) and critical thermal minimum (CTmin; n = 14 species) of frogs captured between the Amazon floodplain (250 m asl) and the high Andes (3,800 m asl). After inferring a multilocus species tree, we conducted a phylogenetically informed test of whether body size, body mass, and elevation contributed to the observed variation in CTmax and CTmin along the gradient. We also tested whether CTmax and CTmin exhibit different rates of change given that critical thermal limits (and their plasticity) may have evolved differently in response to different temperature constraints along the gradient. Variation of critical thermal traits was significantly correlated with speciesâ elevational midpoint, their maximum and minimum elevations, as well as the maximum air temperature and the maximum operative temperature as measured across this gradient. Both thermal limits showed substantial variation, but CTmin exhibited relatively faster rates of change than CTmax, as observed in other taxa. Nonetheless, our findings call for caution in assuming inflexibility of upper thermal limits and underscore the value of collecting additional empirical data on speciesâ thermal physiology across elevational gradients.A widely held assumption is that climatic niches have not changed along the history of species, both within and among closely related species. Using a phylogenetic framework, this study documents high variability in both elevational distribution and tolerance to heat among closely related species. Our findings suggest that thermal traits in ectotherms can adjust rapidly and so cannot be simply extrapolated from relatives.Peer Reviewedhttps://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/136724/1/ece32929_am.pdfhttps://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/136724/2/ece32929.pd

    The relative importance of local and regional processes to metapopulation dynamics

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    Metapopulation dynamics - patch occupancy, colonization and extinction - are the result of complex processes at both local (e.g. environmental conditions) and regional (e.g. spatial arrangement of habitat patches) scales. A large body of work has focused on habitat patch area and connectivity (area-isolation paradigm). However, these approaches often do not incorporate local environmental conditions or fully address how the spatial arrangement of habitat patches (and resulting connectivity) can influence metapopulation dynamics. Here, we utilize long-term data on a classic metapopulation system - the Glanville fritillary butterfly occupying a set of dry meadows and pastures in the angstrom land islands - to investigate the relative roles of local environmental conditions, geographic space and connectivity in capturing patch occupancy, colonization and extinction. We defined connectivity using traditional measures as well as graph-theoretic measures of centrality. Using boosted regression tree models, we find roughly comparable model performance among models trained on environmental conditions, geographic space or patch centrality. In models containing all of the covariates, we find strong and consistent evidence for the roles of resource abundance, longitude and centrality (i.e. connectivity) in predicting habitat patch occupancy and colonization, while patch centrality (connectivity) was relatively unimportant for predicting extinction. Relative variable importance did not change when geographic coordinates were not considered and models underwent spatially stratified cross-validation. Together, this suggests that the combination of regional-scale connectivity measures and local-scale environmental conditions is important for predicting metapopulation dynamics and that a stronger integration of ideas from network theory may provide insight into metapopulation processes.Peer reviewe

    Instability of insular tree communities in an Amazonian mega-dam is driven by impaired recruitment and altered species composition

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    Mega-dams create highly fragmented archipelagos, affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in remnant forest isolates. This study assessed the long-term impact of dam-induced fragmentation on insular tropical tree communities, with the aim of generating robust recommendations to mitigate some of the detrimental biodiversity impacts associated with future dam development. We inventoried adult and sapling trees across 89 permanent plots, located on 36 islands and in three mainland continuous forest sites in the Balbina Dam, Brazilian Amazon. We examined differences in recruitment, structure, and composition of sapling and adult tree communities, in relation to plot-, patch- and landscape-scale attributes including area, isolation, and fire severity. Islands harboured significantly lower sapling (mean ± 95% CI 48.6 ± 3.8) and adult (5 ± 0.2) tree densities per 0.01 ha, than nearby mainland continuous forest (saplings, 65.7 ± 7.5; adults, 5.6 ± 0.3). Insular sapling and adult tree communities were more dissimilar than in mainland sites, and species compositions showed a directional shift away from mainland forests, induced by fire severity, island area, and isolation. Insular sapling recruitment declined with increasing fire severity; tree communities with higher community-weighted mean wood density showed the greatest recruitment declines. Our results suggest that insular tree communities are unstable, with rare species becoming extinction-prone due to reduced tree recruitment and density on islands, potentially leading to future losses in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning across Balbina's >3,500 reservoir islands. Policy implications. In Balbina, fire and reduced habitat area and connectivity were drivers of tree community decay after only 28 years of insularization, despite strict protection provided by the ~940,000 ha Uatumã Biological Reserve. Given that many dams are planned for lowland, moderately undulating Amazonia, we recommend that dam development strategy explicitly considers (a) dam location, aiming to minimize creation of small (<10 ha) and isolated islands, (b) maintaining reservoir water levels during droughts to reduce fire risk, and (c) including aggregate island area in environmental impact and offset calculations. Ideally, we recommend that alternatives to hydropower be sought in lowland tropical regions, due to the far-reaching biodiversity losses and ecosystem disruption caused by river impoundment
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