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Correlated biodiversity change between plant and insect assemblages resurveyed after 80 years across a dynamic habitat mosaic.

Carroll, T., Stafford, R., Gillingham, P.K., Bullock, J., Brown, D., Brown, M., Walls, R. and Diaz, A., 2023. Correlated biodiversity change between plant and insect assemblages resurveyed after 80 years across a dynamic habitat mosaic. Ecology and Evolution, 13 (6), 1-13.

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Ecology and Evolution - 2023 - Carroll - Correlated biodiversity change between plant and insect assemblages resurveyed.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1002/ece3.10168


Historical data on co-occurring taxa are extremely rare. As such, the extent to which distinct co-occurring taxa experience similar long-term patterns in species richness and compositional change (e.g., when exposed to a changing environment) is not clear. Using data from a diverse ecological community surveyed in the 1930s and resurveyed in the 2010s, we investigated whether local plant and insect assemblages displayed cross-taxon congruence—that is, spatiotemporal correlation in species richness and compositional change—across six co-occurring taxa: vascular plants, non-vascular plants, grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), ants (Hymenoptera: Formicinae), hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), and dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata). All taxa exhibited high levels of turnover across the ca. 80-year time period. Despite minimal observed changes at the level of the whole study system, species richness displayed widespread cross-taxon congruence (i.e., correlated temporal change) across local assemblages within the study system. Hierarchical logistic regression models suggest a role for shared responses to environmental change underlying cross-taxon correlations and highlight stronger correlations between vascular plants and their direct consumers, suggesting a possible role for biotic interactions between these groups. These results provide an illustration of cross-taxon congruence in biodiversity change using data unique in its combination of temporal and taxonomic scope, and highlight the potential for cascading and comparable effects of environmental change (abiotic and biotic) on co-occurring plant and insect communities. However, analyses of historical resurveys based on currently available data come with inherent uncertainties. As such, this study highlights a need for well-designed experiments, and monitoring programs incorporating co-occurring taxa, to determine the underlying mechanisms and prevalence of congruent biodiversity change as anthropogenic environmental change accelerates apace.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Funded by: National Trust and by a Leverhulme Trust Research Centre – the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity. Grant Number: RC-2018-021.
Uncontrolled Keywords:biodiversity change; community ecology; cross-taxon correlation; re-visitation study
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:38678
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:16 Jun 2023 11:06
Last Modified:16 Jun 2023 11:06


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