Primate communities are structured more by dispersal limitation than by niches

Article · November 2010with62 Reads
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01777.x · Source: PubMed
Abstract
1. A major goal in community ecology is to identify mechanisms that govern the assembly and maintenance of ecological communities. Current models of metacommunity dynamics differ chiefly in the relative emphasis placed on dispersal limitation and niche differentiation as causal mechanisms structuring ecological communities. Herein we investigate the relative roles of these two mechanisms in structuring primate communities in Africa, South America, Madagascar and Borneo. 2. We hypothesized that if dispersal limitation is important in structuring communities, then community similarity should depend on geographical proximity even after controlling for ecological similarity. Conversely, if communities are assembled primarily through niche processes, then community similarity should be determined by ecological similarity regardless of geographical proximity. 3. We performed Mantel and partial Mantel tests to investigate correlations among primate community similarity, ecological distance and geographical distance. Results showed significant and strongly negative relationships between diurnal primate community similarity and both ecological similarity and geographical distance in Madagascar, but significant and stronger negative relationships between community similarity and geographical distance in African, South American and Bornean metacommunities. 4. We conclude that dispersal limitation is an important determinant of primate community structure and may play a stronger role in shaping the structure of some terrestrial vertebrate communities than niche differentiation. These patterns are consistent with neutral theory. We recommend tests of functional equivalence to determine the extent to which neutral theory may explain primate community composition.
    • Most attempts to model shifts in species distribution resulting from climate change tacitly assume that species will be able to move to keep pace with changing climates. This assumption is unlikely to be true for primates, which appear to be surprisingly limited in their dispersal abilities (Beaudrot and Marshall 2011; Beaudrot et al. 2013 Beaudrot et al. , 2014). Indeed, a recent model of mammalian dispersal abilities suggests that primates will be one of the mammalian taxa least able to move to track changes in climate (Schloss et al. 2012).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We make several recommendations for how future research activity could make meaningful contributions to primate conservation. We discuss how additional field studies are needed to fill gaps in our taxonomic and geographic knowledge, encourage behavioral research with conservation applications, and advocate additional investigation of primates inhabiting marginal habitats and living outside protected areas. We also describe how climate change research could be expanded and made more sophisticated, and discuss the conservation benefits of work that assesses and publicizes the economic value of ecosystem services provided by primates. We discuss conservation prioritization and note that primatologists could provide expertise that informs the efficient allocation of conservation funds. Finally, we discuss how primate conservation might be improved through greater embracement of interdisciplinary, more widespread appreciation of applied research, and increased engagement outside academia.
    Chapter · Jun 2016 · PLoS ONE
    • As expected, vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens showed differential responses to time since deglaciation that may be linked to different dispersal abilities and proximity of glacial refugia. A growing number of studies suggest that the spatial diversity of various groups of species within different ecosystems may be structured by dispersal-based processes (Qian, 2009; Beaudrot & Marshall, 2011). Lenoir et al. (2012 found a high degree of similarity between lichen communities across the Eurasian Arctic tundra, a result they attribute to the combination of effective wind dispersal in northern circumpolar areas as well as the higher dispersal capacities of lichens compared with vascular plants or even bryophytes.
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Arctic has experienced marked climatic differences between glacial and interglacial periods and is now subject to a rapidly warming climate. Knowledge of the effects of historical processes on current patterns of diversity may aid predictions of the responses of vegetation to future climate change. We aim to test whether plant species and genetic diversity patterns are correlated with time since deglaciation at regional and local scales. We also investigate whether species richness is correlated with genetic diversity in vascular plants. Circumarctic. We investigated species richness of the vascular plant flora of 21 floristic provinces and examined local species richness in 6215 vegetation plots distributed across the Arctic. We assessed levels of genetic diversity inferred from amplified fragment length polymorphism variation across populations of 23 common Arctic species. Correlations between diversity measures and landscape age (time since deglaciation) as well as variables characterizing current climate were analysed using spatially explicit simultaneous autoregressive models. Regional species richness of vascular plants and genetic diversity were correlated with each other, and both showed a positive relationship with landscape age. Plot species richness showed differing responses for vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens. At this finer scale, the richness of vascular plants was not significantly related to landscape age, which had a small effect size compared to the models of bryophyte and lichen richness. Our study suggests that imprints of past glaciations in Arctic vegetation diversity patterns at the regional scale are still detectable today. Since Arctic vegetation is still limited by post-glacial migration lag, it will most probably also exhibit lags in response to current and future climate change. Our results also suggest that local species richness at the plot scale is more determined by local habitat factors.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016
    • Each locality was recorded with centralized geospatial coordinates (i.e., the center of the site's latitude and longitude). We also associated each site with high-resolution climate data from the WorldClim database [34] , which has been extensively used in macroecological research of mammals and other vertebrates [18,353637 . In particular, we used six of the 19 " bioclim " variables available from the database, as these variables well characterized the local climate and were not highly correlated.
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phyloge-netic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition , we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and un-gulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature season-ality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities , and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change.
    Article · Nov 2015
    • Many indices measuring similarity between floras and faunas have been used in the literature, but the Jaccard index was rated highly among the 39 binary similarity indices tested by Shi (1993) and is one of the most commonly used similarity indices, particularly in studies on species turnover (e.g., Buckley and Jetz 2008; Anderson et al. 2011; Beaudrot and Marshall 2011). Thus, we calculated species turnover between each pair of provinces, using the Jaccard index of similarity (J) defined as a/(a + b + c), where a is the number of species shared between two localities, and b and c are the numbers of species unique to each locality (Legendre and Legendre 1998).
    Data · Aug 2015 · PLoS ONE
    • forest versus savannah species) they my actually be widespread throughout these biomes, co-occurring with the same set of species over large extents of their ranges. For example, the composition of primate communities throughout the Guineo- Congolian region is more similar than for communities from comparable tropical forest habitats around the world (Beaudrot & Marshall, 2011). We could presume, therefore, that because mammals tend to co-occur across their entire ranges, assemblages at the core of biogeographical regions conform more closely with the Clementsian view of a community (Clements, 1936).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AimOne hypothesis to explain strong biodiversity–climate correlations is that climate gradients determine individual species ranges, which then sum up to form species richness patterns. If this is true, then climate gradients should not only predict the local occurrence of species (i.e. patterns in the local community) but also co-occurrence of species across the entirety of their ranges (i.e. the regional community concept). We test this hypothesis for African mammals.LocationSub-Saharan Africa.Methods We quantified species richness of African mammals in 10,000-km2 quadrats to assess local community patterns and developed a new metric for range overlap in the assemblage dispersion field to quantify the range-wide overlap of species ranges. To identify potential underlying processes, we used a mechanistic modelling approach to simulate the effects of environmental determinism, dispersal limitation and range positioning on species co-occurrence patterns in both local and regional communities.ResultsAlthough mechanistic models that included climate gradients, dispersal limitation and range positioning could emulate local patterns of mammal richness accurately, they were poor predictors of the co-occurrence of species across their entire ranges. In the regional community, patterns of mammal co-occurrence were more closely linked to biogeographical regions in Africa.Conclusions We found little support for the hypothesis that climate modulates individual species ranges, which then sum up to determine species richness. Instead, climate may determine how many mammal species can persist locally, whereas historical processes and species interactions ultimately determine more general patterns of species co-occurrence.
    Article · May 2015
    • Each locality was recorded with centralized geospatial coordinates (i.e., the center of the site's latitude and longitude). We also associated each site with high-resolution climate data from the WorldClim database [34] , which has been extensively used in macroecological research of mammals and other vertebrates [18,353637 . In particular, we used six of the 19 " bioclim " variables available from the database, as these variables well characterized the local climate and were not highly correlated.
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phyloge-netic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition , we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and un-gulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature season-ality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities , and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015
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