Bioclimatic context of species' populations determines community stability
Fecha de publicación2022
Evans, Luke Christopher
Melero Clavero, Yolanda
Boersch-Supan, Philipp H.
Robinson, Robert A.
Roy, David B.
van Turnhout, Chris A.M.
Oliver, Tom Henry
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Aim: It is important to understand the factors affecting community stability because ecosystem function is increasingly at risk from biodiversity loss. Here, we evaluate how a key factor, the position of local environmental conditions within the thermal range of the species, influences the stability of butterfly communities at a continental scale.Location: Spain, UK and Finland.Time period: 1999– 2017.Major taxa studied: Butterflies.Methods: We tested the following hypotheses about how species responses to tem-perature anomalies aggregate to influence stability: Hypothesis 1, species have con-trasting responses to local temperature anomalies at opposing edges of their thermal range; hypothesis 2, communities with central thermal range positions have higher community stability; and the impacts of thermal range position on community stabil-ity are driven by hypothesis 3, population asynchrony, or hypothesis 4, additive popu-lation stability. Data were analysed at 876 sites for 157 species.Results: We found some support for hypothesis 1, because there were interactions be-tween thermal range and response to temperature anomalies such that species at dif-ferent range edges could provide weak compensatory dynamics. However, responses were nonlinear, suggesting strong declines with extreme anomalies, particularly at the hot range edge. Hypothesis 2 was supported in part, because community stabil-ity increased with central thermal range positions and declined at the edges, after accounting for species richness and community abundance. Thermal range position was weakly correlated with asynchrony (hypothesis 3) and population stability (hy-pothesis 4), although species richness and population abundance had larger impacts. Main conclusions: Future extreme heat events will be likely to impact species nega-tively across their thermal range, but might be particularly impactful on populations at the hottest end of the thermal range. Thermal range position influenced community stability because range edge communities were stable. However, the prediction of community stability from thermal range position is challenging because of nonlinear responses to temperature, with small temperature anomalies producing weak com-pensatory dynamics, but large extreme events synchronizing dynamics.
Es parte deGlobal Ecology and Biogeography, 2022, vol. 31, núm. 8, p. 1542-1555
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