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Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles

Duan, M; Liu, Y; Yu, Z; Baudry, J; Li, L; Wang, C; Axmacher, JC; (2016) Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 23511. 10.1038/srep23511. Green open access

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Abstract

High cross-taxon congruence in species diversity patterns is essential for the use of surrogate taxa in biodiversity conservation, but presence and strength of congruence in species turnover patterns, and the relative contributions of abiotic environmental factors and biotic interaction towards this congruence, remain poorly understood. In our study, we used variation partitioning in multiple regressions to quantify cross-taxon congruence in community dissimilarities of vascular plants, geometrid and arciinid moths and carabid beetles, subsequently investigating their respective underpinning by abiotic factors and biotic interactions. Significant cross-taxon congruence observed across all taxon pairs was linked to their similar responses towards elevation change. Changes in the vegetation composition were closely linked to carabid turnover, with vegetation structure and associated microclimatic conditions proposed causes of this link. In contrast, moth assemblages appeared to be dominated by generalist species whose turnover was weakly associated with vegetation changes. Overall, abiotic factors exerted a stronger influence on cross-taxon congruence across our study sites than biotic interactions. The weak congruence in turnover observed particularly between plants and moths highlights the importance of multi-taxon approaches based on groupings of taxa with similar turnovers, rather than the use of single surrogate taxa or environmental proxies, in biodiversity assessments.

Type: Article
Title: Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep23511
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep23511
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Biodiversity, Community ecology, Conservation biology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477323
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