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Species–area relationships in continuous vegetation : evidence from Palaearctic grasslands

(2020) JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY. 47(1). p.72-86
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Abstract
Aim Species-area relationships (SARs) are fundamental scaling laws in ecology although their shape is still disputed. At larger areas, power laws best represent SARs. Yet, it remains unclear whether SARs follow other shapes at finer spatial grains in continuous vegetation. We asked which function describes SARs best at small grains and explored how sampling methodology or the environment influence SAR shape. Location Palaearctic grasslands and other non-forested habitats. Taxa Vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens. Methods We used the GrassPlot database, containing standardized vegetation-plot data from vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens spanning a wide range of grassland types throughout the Palaearctic and including 2,057 nested-plot series with at least seven grain sizes ranging from 1 cm(2) to 1,024 m(2). Using nonlinear regression, we assessed the appropriateness of different SAR functions (power, power quadratic, power breakpoint, logarithmic, Michaelis-Menten). Based on AICc, we tested whether the ranking of functions differed among taxonomic groups, methodological settings, biomes or vegetation types. Results The power function was the most suitable function across the studied taxonomic groups. The superiority of this function increased from lichens to bryophytes to vascular plants to all three taxonomic groups together. The sampling method was highly influential as rooted presence sampling decreased the performance of the power function. By contrast, biome and vegetation type had practically no influence on the superiority of the power law. Main conclusions We conclude that SARs of sessile organisms at smaller spatial grains are best approximated by a power function. This coincides with several other comprehensive studies of SARs at different grain sizes and for different taxa, thus supporting the general appropriateness of the power function for modelling species diversity over a wide range of grain sizes. The poor performance of the Michaelis-Menten function demonstrates that richness within plant communities generally does not approach any saturation, thus calling into question the concept of minimal area.
Keywords
Ecology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, logarithmic function, Michaelis-Menten function, minimal area, nested-plot sampling, nonlinear regression, Palaearctic grassland, plant biodiversity, power law, scaling law, species-area relationship (SAR), SCALE DEPENDENCE, RICHNESS, CURVES, DIVERSITY, SHAPES, ENVIRONMENT, BIOLOGY, MODEL

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MLA
Dengler, Jürgen, et al. “Species–Area Relationships in Continuous Vegetation : Evidence from Palaearctic Grasslands.” JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY, vol. 47, no. 1, 2020, pp. 72–86.
APA
Dengler, J., Matthews, T. J., Steinbauer, M. J., Wolfrum, S., Boch, S., Chiarucci, A., … Biurrun, I. (2020). Species–area relationships in continuous vegetation : evidence from Palaearctic grasslands. JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY, 47(1), 72–86.
Chicago author-date
Dengler, Jürgen, Thomas J. Matthews, Manuel J. Steinbauer, Sebastian Wolfrum, Steffen Boch, Alessandro Chiarucci, Timo Conradi, et al. 2020. “Species–Area Relationships in Continuous Vegetation : Evidence from Palaearctic Grasslands.” JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY 47 (1): 72–86.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Dengler, Jürgen, Thomas J. Matthews, Manuel J. Steinbauer, Sebastian Wolfrum, Steffen Boch, Alessandro Chiarucci, Timo Conradi, Iwona Dembicz, Corrado Marcenò, Itziar García‐Mijangos, Arkadiusz Nowak, David Storch, Werner Ulrich, Juan Antonio Campos, Laura Cancellieri, Marta Carboni, Giampiero Ciaschetti, Pieter De Frenne, Jiri Dolezal, Christian Dolnik, Franz Essl, Edy Fantinato, Goffredo Filibeck, John‐Arvid Grytnes, Riccardo Guarino, Behlül Güler, Monika Janišová, Ewelina Klichowska, Łukasz Kozub, Anna Kuzemko, Michael Manthey, Anne Mimet, Alireza Naqinezhad, Christian Pedersen, Robert K. Peet, Vincent Pellissier, Remigiusz Pielech, Giovanna Potenza, Leonardo Rosati, Massimo Terzi, Orsolya Valkó, Denys Vynokurov, Hannah White, Manuela Winkler, and Idoia Biurrun. 2020. “Species–Area Relationships in Continuous Vegetation : Evidence from Palaearctic Grasslands.” JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY 47 (1): 72–86.
Vancouver
1.
Dengler J, Matthews TJ, Steinbauer MJ, Wolfrum S, Boch S, Chiarucci A, et al. Species–area relationships in continuous vegetation : evidence from Palaearctic grasslands. JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY. 2020;47(1):72–86.
IEEE
[1]
J. Dengler et al., “Species–area relationships in continuous vegetation : evidence from Palaearctic grasslands,” JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 72–86, 2020.
@article{8649698,
  abstract     = {Aim Species-area relationships (SARs) are fundamental scaling laws in ecology although their shape is still disputed. At larger areas, power laws best represent SARs. Yet, it remains unclear whether SARs follow other shapes at finer spatial grains in continuous vegetation. We asked which function describes SARs best at small grains and explored how sampling methodology or the environment influence SAR shape. Location Palaearctic grasslands and other non-forested habitats. Taxa Vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens. Methods We used the GrassPlot database, containing standardized vegetation-plot data from vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens spanning a wide range of grassland types throughout the Palaearctic and including 2,057 nested-plot series with at least seven grain sizes ranging from 1 cm(2) to 1,024 m(2). Using nonlinear regression, we assessed the appropriateness of different SAR functions (power, power quadratic, power breakpoint, logarithmic, Michaelis-Menten). Based on AICc, we tested whether the ranking of functions differed among taxonomic groups, methodological settings, biomes or vegetation types. Results The power function was the most suitable function across the studied taxonomic groups. The superiority of this function increased from lichens to bryophytes to vascular plants to all three taxonomic groups together. The sampling method was highly influential as rooted presence sampling decreased the performance of the power function. By contrast, biome and vegetation type had practically no influence on the superiority of the power law. Main conclusions We conclude that SARs of sessile organisms at smaller spatial grains are best approximated by a power function. This coincides with several other comprehensive studies of SARs at different grain sizes and for different taxa, thus supporting the general appropriateness of the power function for modelling species diversity over a wide range of grain sizes. The poor performance of the Michaelis-Menten function demonstrates that richness within plant communities generally does not approach any saturation, thus calling into question the concept of minimal area.},
  author       = {Dengler, Jürgen and Matthews, Thomas J. and Steinbauer, Manuel J. and Wolfrum, Sebastian and Boch, Steffen and Chiarucci, Alessandro and Conradi, Timo and Dembicz, Iwona and Marcenò, Corrado and García‐Mijangos, Itziar and Nowak, Arkadiusz and Storch, David and Ulrich, Werner and Campos, Juan Antonio and Cancellieri, Laura and Carboni, Marta and Ciaschetti, Giampiero and De Frenne, Pieter and Dolezal, Jiri and Dolnik, Christian and Essl, Franz and Fantinato, Edy and Filibeck, Goffredo and Grytnes, John‐Arvid and Guarino, Riccardo and Güler, Behlül and Janišová, Monika and Klichowska, Ewelina and Kozub, Łukasz and Kuzemko, Anna and Manthey, Michael and Mimet, Anne and Naqinezhad, Alireza and Pedersen, Christian and Peet, Robert K. and Pellissier, Vincent and Pielech, Remigiusz and Potenza, Giovanna and Rosati, Leonardo and Terzi, Massimo and Valkó, Orsolya and Vynokurov, Denys and White, Hannah and Winkler, Manuela and Biurrun, Idoia},
  issn         = {0305-0270},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY},
  keywords     = {Ecology,Ecology,Evolution,Behavior and Systematics,logarithmic function,Michaelis-Menten function,minimal area,nested-plot sampling,nonlinear regression,Palaearctic grassland,plant biodiversity,power law,scaling law,species-area relationship (SAR),SCALE DEPENDENCE,RICHNESS,CURVES,DIVERSITY,SHAPES,ENVIRONMENT,BIOLOGY,MODEL},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {72--86},
  title        = {Species–area relationships in continuous vegetation : evidence from Palaearctic grasslands},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13697},
  volume       = {47},
  year         = {2020},
}

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