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Cross-scale interactions and the distribution-abundance relationship.

Werner, Earl E and Davis, Christopher J and Skelly, David K and Relyea, Rick A and Benard, Michael F and McCauley, Shannon J (2014) Cross-scale interactions and the distribution-abundance relationship. PLoS One, 9 (5). e97387 - ?.

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Positive interspecific relationships between local abundance and extent of regional distribution are among the most ubiquitous patterns in ecology. Although multiple hypotheses have been proposed, the mechanisms underlying distribution-abundance (d-a) relationships remain poorly understood. We examined the intra- and interspecific distribution-abundance relationships for a metacommunity of 13 amphibian species sampled for 15 consecutive years. Mean density of larvae in occupied ponds was positively related to number of ponds occupied by species; employing the fraction of ponds uniquely available to each species this same relationship sharply decelerates. The latter relationship suggested that more abundant species inhabited most available habitats annually, whereas rarer species were dispersal limited. We inferred the mechanisms responsible for this pattern based on the dynamics of one species, Pseudacris triseriata, which transitioned between a rare, narrowly distributed species to a common, widely distributed species and then back again. Both transitions were presaged by marked changes in mean local densities driven by climatic effects on habitat quality. We identified threshold densities separating these population regime shifts that differed with landscape configuration. Our data suggest that these transitions were caused by strong cross-scale interactions between local resource/niche processes and larger scale metapopulation processes. The patterns we observed have relevance for understanding the mechanisms of interspecific d-a relationships and critical thresholds associated with habitat fragmentation.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Werner, Earl E
Davis, Christopher J
Skelly, David K
Relyea, Rick A
Benard, Michael F
McCauley, Shannon J
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Date: 17 April 2014
Date Type: Acceptance
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS One
Volume: 9
Number: 5
Page Range: e97387 - ?
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097387
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Biological Sciences
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Ecosystem, Female, Male, Michigan, Ponds, Population Density, Population Dynamics, Spatio-Temporal Analysis
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2014 18:23
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 00:55


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