Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1002/ecy.3233
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) A multiscale framework for disentangling the roles of evenness, density, and aggregation on diversity gradients
Author McGlinn, D.J.; Engel, T.; Blowes, S.A.; Gotelli, N.J.; Knight, T.M.; McGill, B.J.; Sanders, N.; Chase, J.M.
Source Titel Ecology
Year 2021
Department BZF; iDiv
Volume 102
Issue 2
Page From e03233
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords scaling; species‐abundance distribution; more‐individuals hypothesis; patchiness; beta diversity; biodiversity change
Abstract Disentangling the drivers of diversity gradients can be challenging. The Measurement of Biodiversity (MoB) framework decomposes scale‐dependent changes in species diversity into three components of community structure: the species abundance distribution (SAD), the total community abundance, and the within‐species spatial aggregation. Here we extend MoB from categorical treatment comparisons to quantify variation along continuous geographic or environmental gradients. Our approach requires sites along a gradient, each consisting of georeferenced plots of abundance‐based species composition data. We demonstrate our method using a case study of ants sampled along an elevational gradient of 28 sites in a mixed deciduous forest of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. MoB analysis revealed that decreases in ant species richness along the elevational gradient were associated with decreasing evenness and total number of species which counteracted the modest increase in richness associated with decreasing spatial aggregation along the gradient. Total community abundance had a negligible effect on richness at all but the finest spatial grains, SAD effects increased in importance with sampling effort, while the aggregation effect had the strongest effect at coarser spatial grains. These results do not support the more‐individuals hypothesis, but they are consistent with a hypothesis of stronger environmental filtering at coarser spatial grains. Our extension of MoB has the potential to elucidate how components of community structure contribute to changes in diversity along environmental gradients and should be useful for a variety of assemblage‐level data collected along gradients.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
McGlinn, D.J., Engel, T., Blowes, S.A., Gotelli, N.J., Knight, T.M., McGill, B.J., Sanders, N., Chase, J.M. (2021):
A multiscale framework for disentangling the roles of evenness, density, and aggregation on diversity gradients
Ecology 102 (2), e03233 10.1002/ecy.3233