The local perspective: How local trait distributions can help answer the question “What determines species diversity?”

Global Change
Partie de:
15 minutes
Salle ABCD
The latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG) is the tendency for species richness to be greater at the equator than at the poles. It may be the most general and dominant biogeographic pattern governing life at the global scale. Despite intense interest amongst ecologists, the processes underlying the LDG are not fully understood. Part of the difficulty is that LDG are likely generated by multiple processes are operating at multiple scales. Variation in regional diversity may be driven by large-scale evolutionary and historical processes, such as time for speciation, speciation rates, climate stability, or by contemporary processes such as energy availability. These processes shape the regional species pool, and subsequently trickle down to determine local species richness. It is poorly understood, however, how local-scale processes affecting local richness scale up to affect regional diversity. One way that local richness could affect regional richness is through its influence on beta-diversity. In this presentation, I propose a framework that links patterns of functional niche occupancy and beta-diversity along a latitudinal gradient to infer the influence of local-scale processes on regional diversity. This approach could potentially shed new light on the role of species interactions in generating LDG.

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