Ranked species occupancy curves reveal common patterns among diverse metacommunities
Abbreviated Journal Title
Glob. Ecol. Biogeogr.
Distribution; disturbance; macroecology; metacommunity; occupancy; presence; regional community; succession; ABUNDANCE DISTRIBUTIONS; FREQUENCY-DISTRIBUTIONS; REGIONAL-DISTRIBUTION; ASSEMBLAGE STRUCTURE; COMMUNITY STRUCTURE; SELF-SIMILARITY; RAIN-FORESTS; ECOLOGY; HYPOTHESIS; DISPERSAL; Ecology; Geography, Physical
Aim Community ecologists often compare assemblages. Alternatively, one may compare species distributions among assemblages for macroecological comparisons of species niche traits and dispersal abilities, which are consistent with metacommunity theory and a regional community concept. The aim of this meta-analysis is to use regressions of ranked species occupancy curves (RSOCs) among diverse metacommunities and to consider the common patterns observed. Location Diverse data sets from four continents are analysed. Methods Six regression models were translated from traditional occupancy frequency distributions (OFDs) and are distributed among four equation families. Each regression model was fitted to each of 24 data sets and compared using the Akaike information criterion. The analysed data sets encompass a wide range of spatial scales (5 cm-50 km grain, 2-7000 km extent), study scales (11-590 species, 6-5114 sites) and taxa. Observed RSOC regressions were tested for the differences in scale and taxa. Results Three RSOC models within two equation families (exponential and sigmoidal) are required to describe the very different data sets. This result is generally consistent with OFD research, but unlike OFD-based expectations the simple RSOC patterns are not related to spatial scale or other factors. Species occupancy in diverse metacommunities is efficiently summarized with RSOCs, and multi-model inference reliably distinguishes among alternative RSOCs. Main conclusions RSOCs are simple to generate and analyse and clearly identified surprisingly similar patterns among very different metacommunities. Species-specific hypotheses (e.g. niche-based factors and dispersal abilities) that depend on spatial scale may not translate to diverse metacommunities that sample regional communities. A novel set of three metacommunity succession and disturbance hypotheses potentially explain RSOC patterns and should be tested in subsequent research. RSOCs are an operational approach to the regional community concept and should be useful in macroecology and metacommunity ecology.
Global Ecology and Biogeography
"Ranked species occupancy curves reveal common patterns among diverse metacommunities" (2011). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 1429.