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Spatial scaling patterns and functional redundancies in a changing boreal lake landscape

August 1, 2015

Global transformations extend beyond local habitats; therefore, larger-scale approaches are needed to assess community-level responses and resilience to unfolding environmental changes. Using longterm data (1996–2011), we evaluated spatial patterns and functional redundancies in the littoral invertebrate communities of 85 Swedish lakes, with the objective of assessing their potential resilience to environmental change at regional scales (that is, spatial resilience). Multivariate spatial modeling was used to differentiate groups of invertebrate species exhibiting spatial patterns in composition and abundance (that is, deterministic species) from those lacking spatial patterns (that is, stochastic species). We then determined the functional feeding attributes of the deterministic and stochastic invertebrate species, to infer resilience. Between one and three distinct spatial patterns in invertebrate composition and abundance were identified in approximately one-third of the species; the remainder were stochastic. We observed substantial differences in metrics between deterministic and stochastic species. Functional richness and diversity decreased over time in the deterministic group, suggesting a loss of resilience in regional invertebrate communities. However, taxon richness and redundancy increased monotonically in the stochastic group, indicating the capacity of regional invertebrate communities to adapt to change. Our results suggest that a refined picture of spatial resilience emerges if patterns of both the deterministic and stochastic species are accounted for. Spatially extensive monitoring may help increase our mechanistic understanding of community-level responses and resilience to regional environmental change, insights that are critical for developing management and conservation agendas in this current period of rapid environmental transformation.

Publication Year 2015
Title Spatial scaling patterns and functional redundancies in a changing boreal lake landscape
DOI 10.1007/s10021-015-9871-z
Authors David G. Angeler, Craig R. Allen, Daniel R. Uden, Richard K. Johnson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecosystems
Index ID 70168388
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle