Despite dramatic local changes, the metacommunity structure of a semiarid scrub remains unaffected after 23 years

keywords: Ciementsian structure, environmental gradient, metacommunity structure, shrubland encroachment, variance partition

Abstract

Background: Understanding changes in local community composition along environmental gradients is essential for studying the long-term metacommunity dynamics. The metacommunity structure depends on the distribution of species along environmental gradients in terms of their coherence (continuity in their distribution range), species turnover and grouping of their range limits. A Clementsian structure would be defined by coherent ranges, significant turnover and sharp limits between local communities. All other things equal, a Gleasonian structure is distinguished by the absence of clear boundaries between local communities.

Questions: The structure of a scrubland/semiarid/xeric metacommunity changes 23 years after its first characterization? Do environment and spatial variables determine the metacommunity structure?

Species studied: 104 perennial-plant species.

Study site and dates: Zapotitlán semi-arid valley, Puebla, in 1980 and 2003.

Methods: Metacommunity structure and its relationship to environmental (edaphic) and spatial (altitude, slope and geographical location) variables were analyzed using data from the two historic surveys.

Results: In 1980 a Clementsian structure was determined, which remained unchanged after 23 years. The importance of environmental filters decreased from 1980 to 2003.

Conclusions: The prediction that, due to stochastic dispersion of propagules, the metacommunity would tend toward a Gleasonian structure was not fulfilled. There was no evidence for homogenization, although local tetechera communities (with dominance of the giant columnar cactus Cephalocereus tetetzo) had been invaded and transformed into shrubland communities. Local communities and the metacommunity should be monitored continuously to understand of the long-term structuration of these systems.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Monserrat Jiménez, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa

Doctorado en Ciencias Biológicas y de la Salud

J. Alejandro Zavala-Hurtado, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa

Departamento de Biología

Carlos Martorell, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Facultad de Ciencias. Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Naturales.

Ernesto Vega, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad

Esther Sandoval-Palacios, Secretaría del Medio Ambiente de la Ciudad de México

Comisión de Recursos Naturales y Desarrollo Rural.

Gilberto Hernández-Cárdenas, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa

Departamento de Biología.

Beatriz Rendón-Aguilar, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa

Departamento de Biología.

Despite dramatic local changes, the metacommunity structure of a semiarid scrub remains unaffected after 23 years

References

Aguiar MR, Sala OE. 1994. Competition, facilitation, seed distribution and the origin of patches in a Patagonian steppe. Oikos 70: 26-34.

Austin MP. 1976. On non-linear species response models in ordination. Vegetatio 33: 33-41.

Azeria ET, Kolasa J. 2008. Nestedness, niche metrics and temporal dynamics of a metacommunity in a dynamic natural model system. Oikos 117: 1006-1019.

Borcard D, Legendre P, Drapeau P. 1992. Partialling out the spatial component of ecological variation. Ecology 73: 1045-1055.

Borcard D, Gillet F, Legendre P. 2011. Numerical Ecology with R. New York: Springer.

Cadotte MW. 2006. Metacommunity influences on community richness at multiple spatial scales: A microcosm experiment. Ecology 87: 1008-1016.

Chang LW, Zeleny D, Li CF, Chiu ST, Hsieh CF. 2013. Better environmental data may reverse conclusion about niche- and dispersal-based processes in community assembly. Ecology 94: 2145-2151.

Chase JM, Myers JA. 2011. Disentangling the importance of ecological niches from stochastic processes across scales. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 366: 2351-2363.

Chesson P. 2000. Mechanisms of maintenance of species diversity. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 31: 343-366.

Clements FE. 1905. Research methods in ecology. Lincoln, Nebraska: The University Publishing Company.

Clements FE. 1907. Plant Physiology and Ecology. New York, US: Henry Holt and Company.

Clements FE. 1936. Nature and structure of the climax. Journal of Ecology 24: 252-284.

Dallas T. 2014. metacom: an R package for the analysis of metacommunity structure. Ecography 37: 402-405.

Davis MA. 2005. Invasibility: the local mechanism driving community assembly and species diversity. Ecography 28: 696-704.

Davis MA, Thompson K. 2000. Eight ways to be a colonizer; two ways to be an invader: A proposed nomenclature scheme for invasion ecology. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 81: 226-230.

Davis MA, Grime JP, Thompson K. 2000. Fluctuating resource in plant communities: a general theory of invasibility. Journal of Ecology 88: 528-534.

Denelle P, Violle C, Munoz F. 2019. Distinguishing the signatures of local environmental filtering and regional trait range limits in the study of trait-environment relationships. Oikos 128: 960-971.

Ellis AM, Lounibos LP, Holyoak M. 2006. Evaluating the long-term metacommunity dynamics of tree hole mosquitoes. Ecology 87: 2582-2590.

Ellner S, Schmida A. 1981. Why are adaptations for long-range seed dispersal rare in desert plants? Oecologia 51: 133-144.

Emmerson LM, Facelli JM, Chesson P, Possingham H, Day JD. 2012. Changes in seed dispersal processes and the potential for between-patch connectivity for an arid land daisy. Ecology 93: 544-553.

Erös T, Sály P, Takáes P, Higgins CL, Bíró P, Schmera D. 2014. Quantifying temporal variability in the metacommunity structure of stream fishes: the influence of non-native species and environmental drivers. Hydrobiologia 722: 31-43.

Franco AC, Nobel PS. 1989. Effect of nurse plants on the microhabitat and growth of cacti. Journal of Ecology 77: 870-886.

García-Fayos P, Engelbrecht M, Bochet E. 2013. Post-dispersal seed anchorage to soil in semiarid plant communities, a test of the hypothesis of Ellner and Shmida. Plant Ecology 214: 941-952.

Garmin Ltd. 2018. BaseCamp owner´s manual. Kansas, USA.

Gassó N, Sol D, Pino J, Dana ED, Lloret F, Sanz-Elorza M, Sobrino E, Vilà M. 2009. Exploring species attributes and site characteristics to assess plant invasions in Spain. Diversity and distributions 15: 50-58.

Gauch HG, Whittaker RH, Wentworth TR. 1977. A comparative study of reciprocal averaging and other ordination techniques. Journal of Ecology 65: 157-174.

Gleason AH. 1917. The structure and development of the plant association. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 44: 463-481.

Gleason HA. 1926. The individualistic concept of the plant association. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 53: 7-26.

Gurvich DE, Tecco AP, Díaz S. 2005. Plant invasions in undisturbed ecosystems: The triggering attribute approach. Journal of Vegetation Science 16: 723-728.

Hassler SK, Kreyling J, Beierkuhnlein C, Eisold J, Samimi C, Wagenseil H, Jentsch A. 2010. Vegetation pattern divergence between dry and wet season in a semiarid savanna – spatio-temporal dynamics of plant diversity in northwest Namibia. Journal of Arid Environments, 74, 1516–1524.

Holyoak M, Leibold MA, Mouquet N, Holt RD, Hoopes MF. 2005. Metacommunities. A framework for large-scale community ecology. In: Holyoak M, Leibold MA, Holt RD, eds. Metacommunities. Spatial dynamics and ecological communities. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1-31.

Howe HF, Miriti MN. 2004. When seed dispersal matters. BioScience 54: 651-660.

Hubbell SP. 2005. Neutral theory in community ecology and the hypothesis of functional equivalence. Functional Ecology 19: 166-172.

Hubbell SP, Foster RB, O’Brien ST, Harms KE, Condit R, Wechsler B, Wright SJ, Loo de Lao S. 1999. Light-gap disturbances, recruitment limitation, and tree diversity in a Neotropical forest. Science 283: 554-557.

Hutchinson MAS. 2008. Interactions between habitat fragmentation and invasion: factors driving exotic plant invasion in native forest remnants West Coast New Zealand. PhD. Thesis, School of Biological Sciences University of Canterbury.

Jiménez M. 2009. Invasividad de comunidades vegetales en una zona árida del trópico mexicano. MSc. Thesis, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.

Jones MM, Tuomisto H, Clark DB, Olivas P. 2006. Effects of mesoscale environmental heterogeneity and dispersal limitation on floristic variation in rain forest ferns. Journal of Ecology 94: 181-195.

Jones NT, Germain RM, Grainger TN, Hall AM, Baldwin L, Gilbert B. 2015. Dispersal mode mediates the effect of patch size and patch connectivity on metacommunity diversity. Journal of Ecology 103: 935-944.

Keith SA, Newton AC, Morecroft MD, Golicher DJ, Bullock JM. 2011. Plant metacommunity structure remains unchanged during biodiversity loss in English woodlands. Oikos 120: 302-310.

Laliberté E, Paquette A, Legendre, P, Bouchard A. 2009. Assessing the scale-specific importance of niches and other spatial processes on beta diversity: a case study from a temperate forest. Oecologia 159: 377-388.

Leibold MA, Mikkelson GM. 2002. Coherence, species turnover, and boundary clumping: elements of meta-community structure. Oikos 97: 237-250.

Leibold MA, Holyoak M, Mouquet M, Amarasekare P, Chase JM, Hoopes MF, Holt RD, Shurin JB, Law R, Tilman D, Loreau M, Gonzalez A. 2004. The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology. Ecology Letters 7: 601-613.

Lockwood LJ, Cassey P, Blackburn T. 2005. The role of propagule pressure in explaining species invasions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20: 223-228.

Lodge DM. 1993. Biological Invasions: Lessons for ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 8: 133-137.

López-Martínez JO, Hernández-Stefanoni JL, Dupuy JM, Meave JA. 2013. Partitioning the variation of woody plant beta-diversity in a landscape of secondary tropical dry forests across spatial scales. Journal of Vegetation Science 24: 33-45.

Loreau M, Mouquet N. 1999. Immigration and the maintenance of local species diversity. The American Naturalist 154: 427-440.

MacArthur RH, Wilson EO. 1967. The theory of island biogeography. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Meynard CN, Lavergne S, Boulangeat I, Garraud L, Van Es J, Mouquet N, Thuiller W. 2013. Disentangling the drivers of metacommunity structure across spatial scales. Journal of Biogeography 40: 1560-1571.

Morisita M. 1962. Id-index, a measure of dispersion of individuals. Researches on Population Ecology 4: 1-7.

Moritz C, Meynard CN, Devictor V, Guizien K, Labrune J, Guarini M, Mouquet N. 2013. Disentangling the role of connectivity, environmental filtering, and spatial structure on metacommunity dynamics. Oikos 122: 1401-1410.

Nathan R, Muller-Landau HC. 2000. Spatial patterns of seed dispersal, their determinants and consequences for recruitment. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15: 278-285.

Navarro T, Pascual V, Alados CL, Cabezudo B. 2009. Growth forms, dispersal strategies and taxonomic spectrum in a semi-arid shrubland in SE Spain. Journal of Arid Environments 73: 103-112.

Nekola JC, White PS. 1999. The distance decay of similarity in biogeography and ecology. Journal of Biogeography 26: 867-878.

Ozinga WA, Bekker RM, Schaminée JHJ, Van Groenendael JM. 2004. Dispersal potential in plant communities depends on environmental conditions. Journal of Ecology 92: 767-777.

Presley SL, Higgins CL, Willig MR. 2010. A comprehensive framework for the evaluation of metacommunity structure. Oikos 119: 980-917.

Pueyo Y, Kéfi S, Alados CL, Rietkerk M. 2008. Dispersal strategies and spatial organization of vegetation in arid ecosystems. Oikos 117: 1522-1532.

Puth LM, Post DM. 2005. Studying invasion: have we missed the boat? Ecology Letters 8: 715-721.

Qian H, Shimono A. 2012. Effects of geographic distance and climatic dissimilarity on species turnover in alpine meadow communities across a broad spatial extent on the Tibetan Plateau. Plant Ecology 213: 1357-1364.

R Development Core Team 2019. R: A language end environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org/.

Rahel FJ. 2004. The hierarchical nature of community persistence: a problem of scale. The American Naturalist 136: 328-344.

Richardson DM. 2000. Plant invasion. In: Levin S, ed. Encyclopedia of Diversity. New York: Academic Press, 677-688.

Robinson JF, Dickerson JE. 1987. Does invasion sequence affect community structure? Ecology 68: 587-595.

Rzedowki J. 1978. Vegetación de México. Mexico City: Limusa.

Sandoval-Palacios E. 2010. Patrones de variación espacio-temporal del matorral xerófilo en la subcuenca de Zapotitlan, Puebla. MSc. Thesis, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.

Shea K, Chesson P. 2002. Community ecology theory as a framework for biological invasions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17: 170-176.

Shreve F. 1929. Changes in desert vegetation. Ecology 10: 364-373.

Shreve F, Hinckley AL. 1937. Thirty years of change in desert vegetation. Ecology 18: 463-478.

Siefer A. 2012. Spatial patterns of functional divergence in old-field plant communities. Oikos 121: 907-914.

Siefer A, Ravenscroft C, Weiser MD, Swenson NG. 2012. Functional beta-diversity patterns reveal deterministic community assembly processes in eastern North American trees. Global Ecology and Biogeography 22: 682-691.

Silvertown J, Wilson JB. 1994. Community structure in a desert perennial community. Ecology 75: 409-417.

Spalding VM. 1909. Distribution and movements of desert plants. Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Tuomisto H, Ruokolainen K, Yli-Halla M. 2003. Dispersal, Environment, and Floristic Variation of Western Amazonian Forests. Science 299: 241-244.

Valéry L, Fritz H, Lefeuvre JC. 2013. Another call for the end of invasion biology. Oikos 122: 1143-1146.

Valiente-Banuet A, Vite F, Zavala-Hurtado JA. 1991. Interaction between the cactus Neobuxbaumia tetetzo and the nurse shrub Mimosa luisana. Journal of Vegetation Science 2: 14-11.

Venable DL, Lawlor L. 1980. Delayed germination and dispersal in desert annuals: escape in space and time. Oecologia 46: 272-282.

Venable DL, Flores-Martínez A, Muller-Landau HC, Barron-Gafford G, Becerra JX. 2008. Seed dispersal of desert annuals. Ecology 89: 2218-2227.

Wang X, Wiegand T, Wolf A, Howe R, Davies SJ, Hao Z. 2011. Spatial patterns of tree species richness in two temperate forests. Journal Ecology 99: 1382-1393.

Webb RH, Steiger JW, Turner RM. 1987. Dynamics of Mojave desert shrub assemblages in the Panamint Mountains, California. Ecology 68: 478-490.

Wenny DG. 2001. Advantages of seed dispersal: A re-evaluation of directed dispersal. Evolutionary Ecology Research 3: 51-74.

Whittaker RH. 1967. Gradient analysis of vegetation. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society London 49: 207-264.

Wilson DS. 1992. Complex interactions in metacommunities, with implications for biodiversity and higher levels of selection. Ecology 73: 1984-2000.

Zavala-Hurtado JA. 1982. Estudios ecológicos en el valle semiárido de Zapotitlán, Puebla. I. Clasificación numérica de la vegetación basada en atributos binarios de presencia y ausencia de las especies. Biotica 7: 99-119.

Published
2020-06-01
How to Cite
JiménezM., Zavala-HurtadoJ. A., MartorellC., VegaE., Sandoval-PalaciosE., Hernández-CárdenasG., & Rendón-AguilarB. (2020). Despite dramatic local changes, the metacommunity structure of a semiarid scrub remains unaffected after 23 years. Botanical Sciences, 98(2), 264-277. https://doi.org/10.17129/botsci.2437
Section
ECOLOGY / ECOLOGÍA