Article

Alpha and beta diversity of plants and animals along a tropical land-use gradient.

Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.
Ecological Applications (Impact Factor: 4.13). 12/2009; 19(8):2142-56. DOI: 10.1890/08-1074.1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Assessing the overall biological diversity of tropical rain forests is a seemingly insurmountable task for ecologists. Therefore, researchers frequently sample selected taxa that they believe reflect general biodiversity patterns. Usually, these studies focus on the congruence of alpha diversity (the number of species found per sampling unit) between taxa rather than on beta diversity (turnover of species assemblages between sampling units). Such approaches ignore the potential role of habitat heterogeneity that, depending on the taxonomic group considered, can greatly enhance beta diversity at local and landscape scales. We compared alpha and beta diversity of four plant groups (trees, lianas, terrestrial herbs, epiphytic liverworts) and eight animal groups (birds, butterflies, lower canopy ants, lower canopy beetles, dung beetles, bees, wasps, and the parasitoids of the latter two) at 15 sites in Sulawesi, Indonesia, that represented natural rain forest and three types of cacao agroforests differing in management intensity. In total, we recorded 863 species. Patterns of species richness per study site varied strongly between taxonomic groups. Only 13-17% of the variance in species richness of one taxonomic group could be predicted from the species richness of another, and on average 12-18% of the variance of beta diversity of a given group was predicted by that in other groups, although some taxon pairs had higher values (up to 76% for wasps and their parasitoids). The degree of congruence of patterns of alpha diversity was not influenced by sampling completeness, whereas the indicator value for beta diversity improved when using a similarity index that accounts for incomplete sampling. The indication potential of alpha diversity for beta diversity and vice versa was limited within taxa (7-20%) and virtually nil between them (0-4%). We conclude that different taxa can have largely independent patterns of alpha diversity and that patterns of beta diversity can be more congruent. Thus, conservation plans on a landscape scale need to put more emphasis on the high heterogeneity of agroforests and the overarching role of beta diversity shaping overall diversity patterns.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
324 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Soil fauna and particularly mites remained poorly know in most african ecosystems. In order to beter understand is change regarding forest management, Lamto savannah (LAS), Oumé primary forest (OPF), teak plantation (OTK) situated in (Sudanese domain) and the Tai primary forest (TPF) (Guinean domain) were sampled twice in Ivory Coast. Mite extraction was done during one week in Berlese-Tullgren funnel systems. In whole 177 species and morphospecies were recorded, with respectivelly LAS: 85 species, OPF: 98, OTK: 51 and TPF: 66. Shannon index estimated for mites was highest in TPF (5.13) and lowest in OTK (4.63). Evenness values were close in the 4 sites: LAS (0.745), OPF (0.742), OTK (0.816), TPF (0.849). OTK and TPF were the most different sites, with only 23 mite species in common (Jaccard distance = 76). Many mite species (100/177) were exclusive and were collected in a single site. The species richness was maximum in the upper layer and decrease with soil depth. Beta diversity measured along the depth is greater than that measured along the transect. Concerning soil parameters, ρ ρ ρ ρ app , C tot ,N tot, Depth and C ORG were correlated to the species richness.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the important contribution of β-diversity to regional (γ) diversity is increasingly recognised, our understanding of how the spatial scaling of β-diversity differs among taxonomic groups is still limited, especially in dynamic lotic ecosystems. In this study, we assessed the difference in the partitioning of diversity at nested spatial scales, from reach to catchment, among riparian birds, fish and benthic macroinvertebrates in Mediterranean river systems. Fish and macroinvertebrates showed similar scaling patterns, with β-diversity always larger than expected by a random distribution of individuals at all spatial scales (among reaches, rivers and catchments), and local (α) diversity always lower than expected. Conversely, β-diversity of riparian birds appeared larger than expected only at the largest scale (among catchments), while local diversity did not differ from random expectation. For birds, however, results partly depended on the weighting of abundant and rare species. Although the relative contribution of β to γ-diversity did not differ substantially among groups (with multiplicative β representing five to six distinct communities), its deviation from random expectations showed marked differences indicating that functionally different groups exhibit distinct spatial patterns. This study is among the first to investigate scaling patterns in β-diversity across taxonomic groups with different ecological requirements and dispersal ability, and provides a holistic picture of riverine biodiversity. From a conservation perspective, the results suggest that, in these river systems, flexible conservation strategies are required in order to protect multiple taxonomic groups.
    Aquatic Sciences 12/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00027-014-0390-3 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Scientifically-based systematic conservation planning for reserve design requires knowledge of species richness patterns and how these are related to environmental gradients. In this study, we explore a large inventory of coastal breeding birds, in total 48 species, sampled in 4646 1 km2 squares which covered a large archipelago in the Baltic Sea on the east coast of Sweden. We analysed how species richness (α diversity) and community composition (β diversity) of two groups of coastal breeding birds (specialists, i.e. obligate coastal breeders; generalists, i.e. facultative coastal breeders) were affected by distance to open sea, land area, shoreline length and archipelago width. The total number of species per square increased with increasing shoreline length, but increasing land area counteracted this effect in specialists. The number of specialist bird species per square increased with decreasing distance to open sea, while the opposite was true for the generalists. Differences in community composition between squares were associated with differences in land area and distance to open sea, both when considering all species pooled and each group separately. Fourteen species were nationally red-listed, and showed similar relationships to the environmental gradients as did all species, specialists and generalists. We suggest that availability of suitable breeding habitats, and probably also proximity to feeding areas, explain much of the observed spatial distributions of coastal birds in this study. Our findings have important implications for systematic conservation planning of coastal breeding birds. In particular, we provide information on where coastal breeding birds occur and which environments they seem to prefer. Small land areas with long shorelines are highly valuable both in general and for red-listed species. Thus, such areas should be prioritized for protection against human disturbance and used by management in reserve selection.
    PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(2):e0118455. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0118455 · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
522 Downloads
Available from
May 26, 2014