Climate mediates the effects of disturbance on ant assemblage structure

Gibb, H., Sanders, N.J., Dunn, Robert R., Watson, Simon, Photakis, Manoli, Abril, Silvia, Andersen, Alan N., Angulo, Elena, Armbrecht, Inge, Arnan, Xavier, Baccaro, Fabricio B., Bishop, Tom R., Boulay, Raphael, Castracani, Cristina, Del Toro, Israel, Delsinne, Thibaut, Diaz, Mireira, Donoso, David A., Enriquez, Martha L., Fayle, Tom M., Feener, Donald H., Fitzpatrick, Matthew C., Gómez, Crisanto, Grasso, Donato A., Groc, Sarah, Heterick, Brian, Hoffmann, Benjamin D., Lach, Lori, Lattke, John, Leponce, Maurice, Lessard, Jean-Philippe, Longino, John, Lucky, Andrea, Majer, Jonathan, Menke, Sean B., Mezger, Dirk, Mori, Alessandra, Munyai, Thinandavha C., Paknia, Omid, Pearce-Duvet, Jessica, Pfeiffer, Martin, Philpott, Stacy M., de Souza, Jorge L.P., Tista, Melanie, Vasconcelos, Heraldo L., Vonshak, Merav, and Parr, Catherine L. (2015) Climate mediates the effects of disturbance on ant assemblage structure. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 282 (1808). 20150418. pp. 1-8.

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Abstract

Many studies have focused on the impacts of climate change on biological assemblages, yet little is known about how climate interacts with other major anthropogenic influences on biodiversity, such as habitat disturbance. Using a unique global database of 1128 local ant assemblages, we examined whether climate mediates the effects of habitat disturbance on assemblage structure at a global scale. Species richness and evenness were associated positively with temperature, and negatively with disturbance. However, the interaction among temperature, precipitation and disturbance shaped species richness and evenness. The effect was manifested through a failure of species richness to increase substantially with temperature in transformed habitats at low precipitation. At low precipitation levels, evenness increased with temperature in undisturbed sites, peaked at medium temperatures in disturbed sites and remained low in transformed sites. In warmer climates with lower rainfall, the effects of increasing disturbance on species richness and evenness were akin to decreases in temperature of up to 9°C. Anthropogenic disturbance and ongoing climate change may interact in complicated ways to shape the structure of assemblages, with hot, arid environments likely to be at greatest risk.

Item ID: 40722
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: assemblage structure, dominance, global warming, probability of interspecific encounter, species evenness
Additional Information:

Electronic supplementary material is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0418 or via http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), US Department of Energy PER, US National Science Foundation (NSF)
Projects and Grants: DP120100781, DEFG02- 08ER64510, NSF 1136703
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2015 22:50
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960310 Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 75%
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