Relationships among taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic ant diversity across the biogeographic regions of Europe

Arnan X., Cerdá X., Retana J. (2016) Relationships among taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic ant diversity across the biogeographic regions of Europe. Ecography. : 0-0.
Link
Doi: 10.1111/ecog.01938

Abstract:

Understanding how different biodiversity components are related across different environmental conditions is a major goal in macroecology and conservation biogeography. We investigated correlations among alpha and beta taxonomic (TD), phylogenetic (PD), and functional diversity (FD) in ant communities in the five biogeographic regions most representative of western Europe; we also examined the degree of niche conservatism. We combined data from 349 ant communities composed of 154 total species, which were characterized by 10 functional traits and by phylogenetic relatedness. We computed TD, PD, and FD using the Rao quadratic entropy index, which allows each biodiversity component to be partitioned into α and β diversity within the same mathematical framework. We ran generalized least squares and multiple matrix regressions with randomization to investigate relationships among the diversity components. We used Pagel's λ test to explore niche conservatism in each biogeographic region. At the alpha scale, TD was consistently, positively related to PD and FD, although the strength and scatter of this relationship changed among the biogeographic regions. Meanwhile, PD and FD consistently matched up across regions. Accordingly, we found similar degrees of niche conservatism across regions. Nonetheless, these alpha-scale relationships had low coefficients of determination. At the beta scale, the three diversity components were highly correlated across all regions (especially TD and FD, as well as PD and FD). Our results imply that the different diversity components, and especially PD and FD, are consistently related across biogeographic regions and analytical scale. However, the alpha-scale relationships were quite weak, suggesting environmental factors might influence the degree of association among diversity components at the alpha level. In conclusion, conservation programs should seek to preserve functional and phylogenetic diversity in addition to species richness, and this approach should be applied universally, regardless of the biogeographic locations of the sites to be protected. © 2016 Nordic Society Oikos.

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GlobalAnts: A new database on the geography of ant traits (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Parr, C.L., Dunn, R.R., Sanders, N.J., Weiser, M.D., Photakis, M., Bishop, T.R., Fitzpatrick, M.C., Arnan, X., Baccaro, F., Brandão, C.R.F., Chick, L., Donoso, D.A., Fayle, T.M., Gómez, C., Grossman, B., Munyai, T.C., Pacheco, R., Retana, J., Robinson, A., Sagata, K., Silva, R.R., Tista, M., Vasconcelos, H., Yates, M., Gibb, H. (2016) GlobalAnts: A new database on the geography of ant traits (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insect Conservation and Diversity. : 0-0.
Link
Doi: 10.1111/icad.12211

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Synergies Between Forest Biomass Extraction for Bioenergy and Fire Suppression in Mediterranean Ecosystems: Insights from a Storyline-and-Simulation Approach

Regos A., Aquilué N., López I., Codina M., Retana J., Brotons L. (2016) Synergies Between Forest Biomass Extraction for Bioenergy and Fire Suppression in Mediterranean Ecosystems: Insights from a Storyline-and-Simulation Approach. Ecosystems. 19: 786-802.
Link
Doi: 10.1007/s10021-016-9968-z

Abstract:

Increases in fire impacts over many regions of the world have led to large-scale investments in fire-suppression efforts. There is increasing recognition that biomass extraction for energy purposes may become an important forest-management practice in fire-prone ecosystems. However, at present, very few studies have explicitly assessed biomass extraction as a fuel treatment at landscape scale. Here, we use a landscape fire-succession model in Catalonia (NE Spain) to quantitatively evaluate the potential effects of a biomass extraction-based strategy on essential fire-regime attributes after considering different levels of fire suppression, biomass extraction intensity, and spatial allocation of such efforts. Our simulations indicated that the effectiveness (area suppressed in relation to expected area to burn) at suppressing wildfires was determined by extraction intensity, spatial allocation of the extraction effort, and the fire-suppression levels involved. Indeed, the highest suppressed-area values were found with lower harvesting intensities, especially under high fire-suppression capabilities and strategies focused on bioenergy goals (figures close to 0.7). However, the leverage (area suppressed in relation to managed area) was higher when the treatments were based on the fire-prevention strategy and focused on high-fire-risk areas (up to 0.45) than with treatment designed for energy reasons (lower than 0.15). We conclude that biomass extraction for energy purposes has the potential to induce changes in fire regimes and can therefore be considered a cost-effective landscape-level fuel-reduction treatment. However, our results suggest that large-scale biomass extraction may be needed if significant changes in fire regimes are to be expected. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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Pollinators show flower colour preferences but flowers with similar colours do not attract similar pollinators

Reverté S., Retana J., Gómez J.M., Bosch J. (2016) Pollinators show flower colour preferences but flowers with similar colours do not attract similar pollinators. Annals of Botany. 118: 249-257.
Link
Doi: 10.1093/aob/mcw103

Abstract:

Background and aims Colour is one of the main floral traits used by pollinators to locate flowers. Although pollinators show innate colour preferences, the view that the colour of a flower may be considered an important predictor of its main pollinators is highly controversial because flower choice is highly context-dependent, and initial innate preferences may be overridden by subsequent associative learning. Our objective is to establish whether there is a relationship between flower colour and pollinator composition in natural communities. Methods We measured the flower reflectance spectrum and pollinator composition in four plant communities (85 plant species represented by 109 populations, and 32 305 plant-pollinator interactions in total). Pollinators were divided into six taxonomic groups: bees, ants, wasps, coleopterans, dipterans and lepidopterans. Key Results We found consistent associations between pollinator groups and certain colours. These associations matched innate preferences experimentally established for several pollinators and predictions of the pollination syndrome theory. However, flowers with similar colours did not attract similar pollinator assemblages. Conclusions The explanation for this paradoxical result is that most flower species are pollination generalists. We conclude that although pollinator colour preferences seem to condition plant-pollinator interactions, the selective force behind these preferences has not been strong enough to mediate the appearance and maintenance of tight colour-based plant-pollinator associations. © 2016 The Author 2016.

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Edge influence on diversity of orchids in Andean cloud forests

Sánchez E.P., Armenteras D., Retana J. (2016) Edge influence on diversity of orchids in Andean cloud forests. Forests. 7: 0-0.
Link
Doi: 10.3390/f7030063

Abstract:

Cloud forests harbor high levels of orchid diversity. However, due to the high fragmentation of these forests in the Andes, combined with the pressure for new agricultural land, orchid diversity is highly threatened. Despite this worrying scenario, few studies have assessed the effects of habitat loss specifically on orchid assemblages in the Andes. The aim of this study was to analyze the edge effect on orchids in cloud forest fragments of varying size. We measured forest structure, neighboring land cover and edge effect on orchid abundance, species richness and beta-diversity, by sampling assemblages along edge-to-interior transects in six different sized Andean (southwest Colombia) forest remnants. We recorded 11,127 stem-individuals of orchids in 141 species. Within the forest, edges sustained equal or more species than interior plots. Our results revealed neither patch metrics nor forest structure showed any significant association to orchid diversity at any scale. Nonetheless, from our observations in composition, the type of neighboring cover, particularly pastures, negatively influences interior species (richness and composition) in larger reserves. This might be due to the fact that some species found in interior plots tend to be confined, with sporadic appearances in regeneration forest and are very scarce or absent in pastures. Species richness differed significantly between matrix types. Our results suggest that (1) orchid diversity shows spatial variability in response to disturbances, but the response is independent from forest structure, patch size and patch geometry; (2) orchid communities are negatively affected by covers, and this pattern is reflected in reduced richness and high species turnover; (3) orchid richness edge effect across a pasture-interior gradient. Two forest management implications can be discerned from our results: (1) management strategies aiming to reduce edge effects may focus on improvement regeneration conditions around pasture lands; and (2) local scale management and conservation activities of natural forests in cloud forests will favor small reserves that harbor high levels of richness. © 2016 by the authors.

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Anthropogenic-driven rapid shifts in tree distribution lead to increased dominance of broadleaf species

Vayreda, J., Martinez-Vilalta, J., Gracia, M., Canadell, J.G., Retana, J. (2016) Anthropogenic-driven rapid shifts in tree distribution lead to increased dominance of broadleaf species. Global Change Biology. 22: 3984-3995.
Link
Doi: 10.1111/gcb.13394

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