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Similarity in the difference: changes in community functional features along natural and anthropogenic stress gradients

Gutierrez Canovas, Cayetano, Sánchez-Fernández, David, Velasco, Josefa, Millán, Andrés and Bonada, Núria 2015. Similarity in the difference: changes in community functional features along natural and anthropogenic stress gradients. Ecology 96 (9) , pp. 2458-2466. 10.1890/14-1447.1

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Abstract

The effect of stressors on biodiversity can vary in relation to the degree to which biological communities have adapted over evolutionary time. We compared the responses of functional features of stream insect communities along chronic stress gradients with contrasting time persistence. Water salinity and land use intensification were used as examples of natural (long‐term persistent) and anthropogenic (short‐term persistent) stressors, respectively. A new trait‐based approach was applied to quantify functional diversity components and functional redundancy within the same multidimensional space, using metrics at the taxon and community levels. We found similar functional responses along natural and anthropogenic stress gradients. In both cases, the mean taxon functional richness and functional similarity between taxa increased with stress, whereas community functional richness and functional redundancy decreased. Despite the differences in evolutionary persistence, both chronic stressors act as strong nonrandom environmental filters, producing convergent functional responses. These results can improve our ability to predict functional effects of novel stressors at ecological and evolutionary scales.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0012-9658
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 02:03
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/88083

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