How does habitat diversity affect the species-area relationship?

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How does habitat diversity affect the species-area relationship? (EN)

Kallimanis, A. S. (EN)

Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Επιστημών και Τεχνολογιών. Τμήμα Βιολογικών Εφαρμογών και Τεχνολογιών (EL)
Kallimanis, A. S. (EN)

Aim To examine the way in which 'area' and 'habitat diversity' interact in shaping species richness and to find a simple and valid way to express this interaction. Location The Natura 2000 network of terrestrial protected areas in Greece, covering approximately 16% of the national territory. Methods We used the Natura 2000 framework, which provides a classification scheme for natural habitat types, to quantify habitat heterogeneity. We analysed data for the plant species composition in 16,143 quadrats in which 5044 species and subspecies of higher plants were recorded. We built a simple mathematical model that incorporates the effect of habitat diversity on the species-area relationship (SAR). Results Our analysis showed that habitat diversity was correlated with area. However, keeping habitat diversity constant, species richness was related to area; while keeping area constant, species richness was related to habitat diversity. Comparing the SAR of the 237 sites we found that the slope of the species-area curve was related to habitat diversity. Conclusions Discussion of the causes of the SAR has often focused on the primacy of area per se versus habitat heterogeneity, even though the two mechanisms are not mutually exclusive and should be considered jointly. We find that increasing habitat diversity affects the SAR in different ways, but the dominant effect is to increase the slope of the SAR. While a full model fit typically includes a variety of terms involving both area and habitat richness, we find that the effect of habitat diversity can be reduced to a linear perturbation of the slope of the species accumulation curve. (EN)

greece (EN)

Global Ecology and Biogeography (EN)

Αγγλική γλώσσα


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