Disturbance and change in biodiversity

Dornelas, Maria (2010) Disturbance and change in biodiversity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 365 (1558). pp. 3719-3727.

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Abstract

Understanding how disturbance affects biodiversity is important for both fundamental and applied reasons. Here, I investigate how disturbances with different ecological effects change biodiversity metrics. I define three main types of disturbance effects: D disturbance (shifts in mortality rate), B disturbance (shifts in reproductive rates) and K disturbance (shifts in carrying capacity). Numerous composite disturbances can be defined including any combination of these three types of ecological effects. The consequences of D, B and K disturbances, as well as of composite DBK disturbances are examined by comparing metrics before and after a disturbance, in disturbed and undisturbed communities. I use simulations of neutral communities and examine species richness, total abundance and species abundance distributions. The patterns of change in biodiversity metrics are consistent among different types of disturbance. K disturbance has the most severe effects, followed by D disturbance, and B disturbance has nearly negligible effects. Consequences of composite DBK disturbances are more complex than any of the three types of disturbance, with unimodal relationships along a disturbance gradient arising when D, B and K are negatively correlated. Importantly, regardless of disturbance type, community isolation enhances the negative consequences and hinders the positive effects of disturbances.

Item ID: 15595
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: peturbation; species richness; neutral model; stress; threat; diversity
ISSN: 1471-2970
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2011 05:35
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 16
Downloads: Total: 4
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