Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: General patterns of species-area relationships emerging from nearly 5,000 grassland plots
Authors : Dengler, Jürgen
Matthews, Thomas J.
Biurrun, Idoia
Steinbauer, Manuel J.
Conradi, Timo
Chiarucci, Alessandro
Dembicz, Iwona
Guarino, Riccardo
Naqinezhad, Alireza
Soliveres, Santiago
Storch, David
Ulrich, Werner
et. al : No
Conference details: Macroecology 2019, Würzburg, 13 March 2019
Issue Date: 13-Mar-2019
Language : English
Subjects : Species-area relationship; Grassland
Subject (DDC) : 577: Ecology
Abstract: Aim:Species-area relationships (SARs) are probably the most fundamental and most studied scaling law in ecology. Still there is on-going dispute on their shape. At coarse grain sizes, several analyses of island SARs have demonstrated that the power law overall performs best. Yet, at fine spatial grains in continuous vegetation, it was unresolved whether SARs follow a power-law, logarithmic or other function. We thus asked which function type is most suitable in such situations and whether the prevalence of functions or their parameters are related to ecological or methodological settings. Location: Grasslands of the Palaearctic biogeographic realm. Methods: We used the new GrassPlot database, containing standardised vegetation-plot data from a wide range of grassland types throughout the Palaearctic, including nearly 5,000 nested-plot series with at least four grain sizes. Besides vascular plants, often also terricolous bryophytes and lichens were sampled, allowing to evaluate differences in scaling laws between these ecologically contrasting taxa. Using non-linear regression modelling, we assessed the appropriateness of a set of proposed SAR-function types and evaluated their parameters. We then tested whether the relative ranking (based on AICc) of function types or their parameters differed between taxonomic groups, geographic regions or grassland types. Results: Our results demonstrate that for the studied fine grains the power law was on 39average the most suitable function. Its slope parameter (z) was significantly larger for lichens than for other taxa, with little difference between regions and grassland types. Main conclusions: We conclude that SARs at any spatial scale are best approximated with power laws. Together with the established range of typical z-values this allows making richness data sampled on differently sized plots comparable by interpolation, thus providing an important tool for the analysis of the heterogeneous data stored in big continental to global vegetation-plot databases such as EVA and sPlot.
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/19414
Fulltext version : Published version
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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