Population and community body size structure across a complex environmental gradient

Dell, Anthony I., Zhao, Lei, Brose, Ulrich, Pearson, Richard G., and Alford, Ross A. (2015) Population and community body size structure across a complex environmental gradient. In: Pawar, Samraat, Woodward, Guy, and Dell, Anthony I., (eds.) Trait-Based Ecology: from structure to function. Advances in Ecological Research (52). Elsevier, Waltham, MA, USA, pp. 115-167.

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We monitored the invertebrate community of leaf litter in and around a drying intermittent pool bed to explore patterns of ecological organisation across a complex environmental gradient, with particular focus on population and community size structure. We measured the body size of 24,609 individuals from 313 taxa ranging over 6 orders of magnitude in size to explore how the functional properties of individuals, populations and communities are affected by moisture (aquatic vs. terrestrial) and light (diurnal vs. nocturnal), and how these properties change across the aquatic–terrestrial habitat transition that occurs as the pool bed dried. We found strong effects of moisture on some population (size structure) and many community (species richness, abundance, evenness, biomass and size structure) properties, with additional temporal effects across the aquatic–terrestrial ecotone. There was no difference between diurnal and nocturnal populations or communities. Our results facilitate understanding of how the physical environment influences functional attributes, and particularly the size structure, of natural populations and communities.

Item ID: 43091
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-12-802445-4
Keywords: community ecology, body size, theory
Funders: JCU
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2016 01:46
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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