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Temporal beta diversity of bird assemblages in agricultural landscapes: land cover change vs. stochastic processes

Baselga, Andrés and Bonthoux, Sébastien and Balent, Gérard Temporal beta diversity of bird assemblages in agricultural landscapes: land cover change vs. stochastic processes. (2015) PLoS ONE, 10 (5). 1-14. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127913


Temporal variation in the composition of species assemblages could be the result of deterministic processes driven by environmental change and/or stochastic processes of colonization and local extinction. Here, we analyzed the relative roles of deterministic and stochastic processes on bird assemblages in an agricultural landscape of southwestern France. We first assessed the impact of land cover change that occurred between 1982 and 2007 on (i) the species composition (presence/absence) of bird assemblages and (ii) the spatial pattern of taxonomic beta diversity. We also compared the observed temporal change of bird assemblages with a null model accounting for the effect of stochastic dynamics on temporal beta diversity. Temporal assemblage dissimilarity was partitioned into two separate components, accounting for the replacement of species (i.e. turnover) and for the nested species losses (or gains) from one time to the other (i.e. nestedness-resultant dissimilarity), respectively. Neither the turnover nor the nestedness-resultant components of temporal variation were accurately explained by any of the measured variables accounting for land cover change (r(2)<0.06 in all cases). Additionally, the amount of spatial assemblage heterogeneity in the region did not significantly change between 1982 and 2007, and site-specific observed temporal dissimilarities were larger than null expectations in only 1% of sites for temporal turnover and 13% of sites for nestedness-resultant dissimilarity. Taken together, our results suggest that land cover change in this agricultural landscape had little impact on temporal beta diversity of bird assemblages. Although other unmeasured deterministic process could be driving the observed patterns, it is also possible that the observed changes in presence/absence species composition of local bird assemblages might be the consequence of stochastic processes in which species populations appeared and disappeared from specific localities in a random-like way. Our results might be case-specific, but if stochastic dynamics are generally dominant, the ability of correlative and mechanistic models to predict land cover change effects on species composition would be compromised.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:http://www.plosone.org/
ProdINRA Id:308569
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Other partners > Universidad de Santiago de Compostela - USC (SPAIN)
Other partners > Université de Tours (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:12 Dec 2016 10:29

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