The use of traits to interpret responses to large scale - edge effects

a study of epigaeic beetle assemblages across a Eucalyptus forest and pine plantation edge

Maldwyn John Evans, Sam C. Banks, Kendi F. Davies, Jeff Mcclenahan, Brett Melbourne, Don A. Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Context: Edge effects due to habitat loss and fragmentation have pervasive impacts on many natural ecosystems worldwide.

Objective: We aimed to explore whether, in tandem with the resource-based model of edge effects, species feeding-guild and flight-capacity can help explain species responses to an edge.

Methods: We used a two-sided edge gradient that extended from 1000 m into native Eucalyptus forest to 316 m into an exotic pine plantation. We used generalised additive models to examine the continuous responses of beetle species, feeding-guild species richness and flight-capable group species richness to the edge gradient and environmental covariates.

Results: Phytophagous species richness was directly related to variation in vegetation along the edge gradient. There were more flight-capable species in Eucalyptus forest and more flightless species in exotic pine plantation. Many individual species exhibited multiple-peaked edge-profiles.

Conclusions: The resource based model for edge effects can be used in tandem with traits such as feeding-guild and flight-capacity to understand drivers of large scale edge responses. Some trait-groups can show generalisable responses that can be linked with drivers such as vegetation richness and habitat structure. Many trait-group responses, however, are less generalisable and not explained by easily measured habitat variables. Difficulties in linking traits with resources along the edge could be due to unmeasured variation and indirect effects. Some species’ responses reached the limits of the edge gradient demonstrating the need to examine edge effects at large scales, such as kilometres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1831
Number of pages17
JournalLandscape Ecology
Volume31
Issue number8
Early online date21 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

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edge effect
beetle
plantation
guild
flight
habitat
species richness
driver
resources
Group
resource
fragmentation
vegetation
habitat structure
habitat loss
habitat fragmentation
ecosystem

Cite this

Evans, Maldwyn John ; Banks, Sam C. ; Davies, Kendi F. ; Mcclenahan, Jeff ; Melbourne, Brett ; Driscoll, Don A. / The use of traits to interpret responses to large scale - edge effects : a study of epigaeic beetle assemblages across a Eucalyptus forest and pine plantation edge. In: Landscape Ecology. 2016 ; Vol. 31, No. 8. pp. 1815-1831.
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abstract = "Context: Edge effects due to habitat loss and fragmentation have pervasive impacts on many natural ecosystems worldwide. Objective: We aimed to explore whether, in tandem with the resource-based model of edge effects, species feeding-guild and flight-capacity can help explain species responses to an edge. Methods: We used a two-sided edge gradient that extended from 1000 m into native Eucalyptus forest to 316 m into an exotic pine plantation. We used generalised additive models to examine the continuous responses of beetle species, feeding-guild species richness and flight-capable group species richness to the edge gradient and environmental covariates. Results: Phytophagous species richness was directly related to variation in vegetation along the edge gradient. There were more flight-capable species in Eucalyptus forest and more flightless species in exotic pine plantation. Many individual species exhibited multiple-peaked edge-profiles. Conclusions: The resource based model for edge effects can be used in tandem with traits such as feeding-guild and flight-capacity to understand drivers of large scale edge responses. Some trait-groups can show generalisable responses that can be linked with drivers such as vegetation richness and habitat structure. Many trait-group responses, however, are less generalisable and not explained by easily measured habitat variables. Difficulties in linking traits with resources along the edge could be due to unmeasured variation and indirect effects. Some species’ responses reached the limits of the edge gradient demonstrating the need to examine edge effects at large scales, such as kilometres.",
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The use of traits to interpret responses to large scale - edge effects : a study of epigaeic beetle assemblages across a Eucalyptus forest and pine plantation edge. / Evans, Maldwyn John; Banks, Sam C.; Davies, Kendi F.; Mcclenahan, Jeff; Melbourne, Brett; Driscoll, Don A.

In: Landscape Ecology, Vol. 31, No. 8, 01.10.2016, p. 1815-1831.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T2 - a study of epigaeic beetle assemblages across a Eucalyptus forest and pine plantation edge

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AU - Banks, Sam C.

AU - Davies, Kendi F.

AU - Mcclenahan, Jeff

AU - Melbourne, Brett

AU - Driscoll, Don A.

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N2 - Context: Edge effects due to habitat loss and fragmentation have pervasive impacts on many natural ecosystems worldwide. Objective: We aimed to explore whether, in tandem with the resource-based model of edge effects, species feeding-guild and flight-capacity can help explain species responses to an edge. Methods: We used a two-sided edge gradient that extended from 1000 m into native Eucalyptus forest to 316 m into an exotic pine plantation. We used generalised additive models to examine the continuous responses of beetle species, feeding-guild species richness and flight-capable group species richness to the edge gradient and environmental covariates. Results: Phytophagous species richness was directly related to variation in vegetation along the edge gradient. There were more flight-capable species in Eucalyptus forest and more flightless species in exotic pine plantation. Many individual species exhibited multiple-peaked edge-profiles. Conclusions: The resource based model for edge effects can be used in tandem with traits such as feeding-guild and flight-capacity to understand drivers of large scale edge responses. Some trait-groups can show generalisable responses that can be linked with drivers such as vegetation richness and habitat structure. Many trait-group responses, however, are less generalisable and not explained by easily measured habitat variables. Difficulties in linking traits with resources along the edge could be due to unmeasured variation and indirect effects. Some species’ responses reached the limits of the edge gradient demonstrating the need to examine edge effects at large scales, such as kilometres.

AB - Context: Edge effects due to habitat loss and fragmentation have pervasive impacts on many natural ecosystems worldwide. Objective: We aimed to explore whether, in tandem with the resource-based model of edge effects, species feeding-guild and flight-capacity can help explain species responses to an edge. Methods: We used a two-sided edge gradient that extended from 1000 m into native Eucalyptus forest to 316 m into an exotic pine plantation. We used generalised additive models to examine the continuous responses of beetle species, feeding-guild species richness and flight-capable group species richness to the edge gradient and environmental covariates. Results: Phytophagous species richness was directly related to variation in vegetation along the edge gradient. There were more flight-capable species in Eucalyptus forest and more flightless species in exotic pine plantation. Many individual species exhibited multiple-peaked edge-profiles. Conclusions: The resource based model for edge effects can be used in tandem with traits such as feeding-guild and flight-capacity to understand drivers of large scale edge responses. Some trait-groups can show generalisable responses that can be linked with drivers such as vegetation richness and habitat structure. Many trait-group responses, however, are less generalisable and not explained by easily measured habitat variables. Difficulties in linking traits with resources along the edge could be due to unmeasured variation and indirect effects. Some species’ responses reached the limits of the edge gradient demonstrating the need to examine edge effects at large scales, such as kilometres.

KW - Biodiversity

KW - Community ecology

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