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Correlations in species richness between taxa depend on habitat, scale and landscape context

Ekroos, Johan LU ; Kuussaari, Mikko; Tiainen, Juha; Heliölä, Janne; Seimola, Tuomas and Helenius, Juha (2013) In Ecological Indicators 34. p.528-535
Abstract

Biodiversity indicators are assumed to reflect changes in e.g. species richness of multiple taxa, but correlations in species richness between taxa have often been shown to be weak. However, only few studies are based on data allowing for rigorous tests whether strengths of correlations differ between habitat and landscape factors. We compared strengths of correlations between species richness of butterflies, plants and farmland birds between habitats (semi-natural grasslands, forest verges or field boundaries), spatial scales (0.8 ha, 25 ha and 50 ha) and landscapes differing in heterogeneity and regional land-use intensity. Between habitats, the correlation between butterflies and plants was strongest in semi-natural grasslands. Also... (More)

Biodiversity indicators are assumed to reflect changes in e.g. species richness of multiple taxa, but correlations in species richness between taxa have often been shown to be weak. However, only few studies are based on data allowing for rigorous tests whether strengths of correlations differ between habitat and landscape factors. We compared strengths of correlations between species richness of butterflies, plants and farmland birds between habitats (semi-natural grasslands, forest verges or field boundaries), spatial scales (0.8 ha, 25 ha and 50 ha) and landscapes differing in heterogeneity and regional land-use intensity. Between habitats, the correlation between butterflies and plants was strongest in semi-natural grasslands. Also concerning butterflies and plants, the correlation was weakest at the 0.8 ha scale, but no consistent scale-dependent patterns were found between plants and farmland birds. In a regional context, butterfly and plant species richness were consistently positively correlated, whereas when involving farmland birds we found correlations between taxa to be weaker and/or not significant in regions with high agricultural land-use intensity and in homogeneous landscapes. In general, species richness was consistently congruent only between butterflies and plants, whereas correlations involving farmland birds were mainly weak and showed contrasting patterns depending on regional context. Increasing landscape heterogeneity thus increased congruence amongst all studied taxa, but in different contexts and due to different underlying mechanisms. Although plants were involved in most of the significant correlations we cannot recommend a particular taxon as a general diversity indicator. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Agricultural landscapes, Birds, Butterflies, Congruence, Habitat quality, Plants
in
Ecological Indicators
volume
34
pages
8 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84880357154
ISSN
1470-160X
DOI
10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.06.015
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
554b3357-09e2-4e6a-976d-d96ba21a8af7
date added to LUP
2016-05-10 13:52:55
date last changed
2016-10-13 05:08:28
@misc{554b3357-09e2-4e6a-976d-d96ba21a8af7,
  abstract     = {<p>Biodiversity indicators are assumed to reflect changes in e.g. species richness of multiple taxa, but correlations in species richness between taxa have often been shown to be weak. However, only few studies are based on data allowing for rigorous tests whether strengths of correlations differ between habitat and landscape factors. We compared strengths of correlations between species richness of butterflies, plants and farmland birds between habitats (semi-natural grasslands, forest verges or field boundaries), spatial scales (0.8 ha, 25 ha and 50 ha) and landscapes differing in heterogeneity and regional land-use intensity. Between habitats, the correlation between butterflies and plants was strongest in semi-natural grasslands. Also concerning butterflies and plants, the correlation was weakest at the 0.8 ha scale, but no consistent scale-dependent patterns were found between plants and farmland birds. In a regional context, butterfly and plant species richness were consistently positively correlated, whereas when involving farmland birds we found correlations between taxa to be weaker and/or not significant in regions with high agricultural land-use intensity and in homogeneous landscapes. In general, species richness was consistently congruent only between butterflies and plants, whereas correlations involving farmland birds were mainly weak and showed contrasting patterns depending on regional context. Increasing landscape heterogeneity thus increased congruence amongst all studied taxa, but in different contexts and due to different underlying mechanisms. Although plants were involved in most of the significant correlations we cannot recommend a particular taxon as a general diversity indicator. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.</p>},
  author       = {Ekroos, Johan and Kuussaari, Mikko and Tiainen, Juha and Heliölä, Janne and Seimola, Tuomas and Helenius, Juha},
  issn         = {1470-160X},
  keyword      = {Agricultural landscapes,Birds,Butterflies,Congruence,Habitat quality,Plants},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {528--535},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xaa96e18)},
  series       = {Ecological Indicators},
  title        = {Correlations in species richness between taxa depend on habitat, scale and landscape context},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.06.015},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2013},
}