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Species-Area Relationships Are Controlled by Species Traits

Franzén, Markus LU ; Schweiger, Oliver and Betzholtz, Per-Eric (2012) In PLoS ONE 7(5).
Abstract
The species-area relationship (SAR) is one of the most thoroughly investigated empirical relationships in ecology. Two theories have been proposed to explain SARs: classical island biogeography theory and niche theory. Classical island biogeography theory considers the processes of persistence, extinction, and colonization, whereas niche theory focuses on species requirements, such as habitat and resource use. Recent studies have called for the unification of these two theories to better explain the underlying mechanisms that generates SARs. In this context, species traits that can be related to each theory seem promising. Here we analyzed the SARs of butterfly and moth assemblages on islands differing in size and isolation. We tested... (More)
The species-area relationship (SAR) is one of the most thoroughly investigated empirical relationships in ecology. Two theories have been proposed to explain SARs: classical island biogeography theory and niche theory. Classical island biogeography theory considers the processes of persistence, extinction, and colonization, whereas niche theory focuses on species requirements, such as habitat and resource use. Recent studies have called for the unification of these two theories to better explain the underlying mechanisms that generates SARs. In this context, species traits that can be related to each theory seem promising. Here we analyzed the SARs of butterfly and moth assemblages on islands differing in size and isolation. We tested whether species traits modify the SAR and the response to isolation. In addition to the expected overall effects on the area, traits related to each of the two theories increased the model fit, from 69% up to 90%. Steeper slopes have been shown to have a particularly higher sensitivity to area, which was indicated by species with restricted range (slope = 0.82), narrow dietary niche (slope = 0.59), low abundance (slope = 0.52), and low reproductive potential (slope = 0.51). We concluded that considering species traits by analyzing SARs yields considerable potential for unifying island biogeography theory and niche theory, and that the systematic and predictable effects observed when considering traits can help to guide conservation and management actions. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
7
issue
5
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • wos:000305343100023
  • scopus:84861313380
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0037359
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ed4b6868-b0b3-4dae-ae7f-aae6d2a7b1cb (old id 2883732)
date added to LUP
2012-07-24 15:37:51
date last changed
2017-10-01 04:15:06
@article{ed4b6868-b0b3-4dae-ae7f-aae6d2a7b1cb,
  abstract     = {The species-area relationship (SAR) is one of the most thoroughly investigated empirical relationships in ecology. Two theories have been proposed to explain SARs: classical island biogeography theory and niche theory. Classical island biogeography theory considers the processes of persistence, extinction, and colonization, whereas niche theory focuses on species requirements, such as habitat and resource use. Recent studies have called for the unification of these two theories to better explain the underlying mechanisms that generates SARs. In this context, species traits that can be related to each theory seem promising. Here we analyzed the SARs of butterfly and moth assemblages on islands differing in size and isolation. We tested whether species traits modify the SAR and the response to isolation. In addition to the expected overall effects on the area, traits related to each of the two theories increased the model fit, from 69% up to 90%. Steeper slopes have been shown to have a particularly higher sensitivity to area, which was indicated by species with restricted range (slope = 0.82), narrow dietary niche (slope = 0.59), low abundance (slope = 0.52), and low reproductive potential (slope = 0.51). We concluded that considering species traits by analyzing SARs yields considerable potential for unifying island biogeography theory and niche theory, and that the systematic and predictable effects observed when considering traits can help to guide conservation and management actions.},
  author       = {Franzén, Markus and Schweiger, Oliver and Betzholtz, Per-Eric},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Species-Area Relationships Are Controlled by Species Traits},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037359},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2012},
}