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Quantifying spatial scaling patterns and their local and regional correlates in headwater streams: implications for resilience

Emma Göthe, Aarhus University
Leonard Sandin, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Craig R Allen, University of Nebraska
David G Angeler, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-06750-190315

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Abstract

The distribution of functional traits within and across spatiotemporal scales has been used to quantify and infer the relative resilience across ecosystems. We use explicit spatial modeling to evaluate within- and cross-scale redundancy in headwater streams, an ecosystem type with a hierarchical and dendritic network structure. We assessed the cross-scale distribution of functional feeding groups of benthic invertebrates in Swedish headwater streams during two seasons. We evaluated functional metrics, i.e., Shannon diversity, richness, and evenness, and the degree of redundancy within and across modeled spatial scales for individual feeding groups. We also estimated the correlates of environmental versus spatial factors of both functional composition and the taxonomic composition of functional groups for each spatial scale identified. Measures of functional diversity and within-scale redundancy of functions were similar during both seasons, but both within- and cross-scale redundancy were low. This apparent low redundancy was partly attributable to a few dominant taxa explaining the spatial models. However, rare taxa with stochastic spatial distributions might provide additional information and should therefore be considered explicitly for complementing future resilience assessments. Otherwise, resilience may be underestimated. Finally, both environmental and spatial factors correlated with the scale-specific functional and taxonomic composition. This finding suggests that resilience in stream networks emerges as a function of not only local conditions but also regional factors such as habitat connectivity and invertebrate dispersal.

Key words

biodiversity; cross-scale resilience; functional feeding groups; invertebrates; local and regional determinants; river ecosystems; spatial modeling

Copyright © 2014 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087