Apr 14, 2020

Resolving the species pool dependence of beta-diversity using coverage-based rarefaction

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Thore EngelJ. M. Chase


Biodiversity is non-randomly distributed in space and understanding how spatial structure of species diversity responds to ecological, biogeographic and anthropogenic drivers is one of the major quests of modern ecology. However, metrics of community differentiation such as Whittaker's beta-diversity fail to unambiguously capture species turnover when they are compared across assemblages with changing species pool sizes, species abundance distributions and numbers of individuals. This is due to an effect of changing sample completeness. Here, we propose a method that combines the benefits of individual-based and coverage based rarefaction to standardize beta-diversity estimates by sample completeness at the gamma-scale. We test the performance of our metric, {beta}C, using simulations of spatially explicit communities that change both species pool size and intraspecific spatial aggregation. Additionally, we re-analyse the "Gentry" plot dataset to investigate patterns of tree beta-diversity along a latitudinal gradient. We find that our metric, {beta}C, captures changes in intraspecific aggregation independent of changes in the species pool size, while Whittaker's beta-diversity and standardized estimates based on the number of ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biological Markers
Biochemical Pathway
Laboratory Procedures
Projections and Predictions
Cell Differentiation Process
Analysis of Substances

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