NCEAS Project 12437

A synthesis of patterns, analyses, and mechanisms of beta-diversity along ecological gradients

  • Jonathan M. Chase
  • Amy L. Freestone
  • Nathan J. Sanders

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group9th—13th November 2009Participant List  
Working Group24th—28th April 2010Participant List  
Working Group4th—8th November 2010Participant List  

β-diversity, the change in species composition across localities, describes how communities respond to spatial and environmental heterogeneity. As the scalar between local (α) and regional (γ) diversity, β-diversity is fundamental to understanding patterns of biodiversity. However its measurement, analyses, patterns, and mechanisms are much more poorly understood than its local and regional counterparts. Here, we propose a working group that will bring together ecologists with varied expertise in biodiversity and its statistical analysis. We will develop a synthesis of β-diversity metrics and analyses, and then use these to synthesize the patterns of β-diversity along key ecological gradients to understand how and why β-diversity varies spatially, and how it influences the relationship between α- and γ-diversity. Finally, we will develop analyses that will help to discern the relative importance of stochastic and deterministic processes that underlie the patterns of β-diversity in the assembly of communities.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Anderson, Marti J.; Crist, Thomas O.; Chase, Jonathan M.; Vellend, Mark; Inouye, Brian D.; Freestone, Amy L.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Cornell, Howard V.; Comita, Liza S.; Davies, Kendi F.; Harrison, Susan P.; Kraft, Nathan J.B.; Stegen, James C.; Swenson, Nathan G. 2011. Navigating the multiple meanings of beta diversity: A roadmap for the practicing ecologist. Ecology Letters. Vol: 14. Pages 19-28.
Journal Article Chase, Jonathan M.; Myers, Jonathan A. 2011. Disentangling the importance of ecological niches from stochastic processes across scales. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Vol: 366(1576). Pages 2351-2363.
Journal Article Chase, Jonathan M.; Kraft, Nathan J.B.; Smith, Kevin G.; Vellend, Mark; Inouye, Brian D. 2011. Using null models to disentangle variation in community dissimilarity from variation in alpha-diversity. Ecosphere. Vol: 2(2). Pages Art24.
Journal Article Chase, Jonathan M.; Knight, Tiffany M. 2013. Scale-dependent effect sizes of ecological drivers on biodiversity: Why standardised sampling is not enough. Ecology Letters. Vol: 16. Pages 17-26. (Online version)
Journal Article Freestone, Amy L.; Osman, Richard W. 2011. Latitudinal variation in local interactions and regional enrichment shape patterns of marine community diversity. Vol: 92(1). Pages 208-217.
Journal Article Harrison, Susan P.; Vellend, Mark; Damschen, Ellen I. 2011. 'Structured' beta diversity increases with climatic productivity in a classic dataset. Vol: 2(1). Pages Art11. (Online version)
Journal Article Kraft, Nathan J.B.; Comita, Liza S.; Chase, Jonathan M.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Swenson, Nathan G.; Crist, Thomas O.; Stegen, James C.; Vellend, Mark; Boyle, Brad; Anderson, Marti J.; Cornell, Howard V.; Davies, Kendi F.; Freestone, Amy L.; Inouye, Brian D.; Harrison, Susan P.; Myers, Jonathan A. 2011. Disentangling the drivers of beta diversity along latitudinal and elevational gradients. Science. Vol: 333(6050). Pages 1755-1758.
Journal Article Millar, R. M.; Anderson, Marti J.; Tolimieri, Nick. 2011. Much ado about nothings: Using zero similarity points in distance-decay curves. Ecology. Vol: 92(9). Pages 1717-1722.
Journal Article Stegen, James C.; Freestone, Amy L.; Crist, Thomas O.; Anderson, Marti J.; Chase, Jonathan M.; Comita, Liza S.; Cornell, Howard V.; Davies, Kendi F.; Harrison, Susan P.; Hurlbert, Allen H.; Inouye, Brian D.; Kraft, Nathan J.B.; Myers, Jonathan A.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Swenson, Nathan G. 2013. Stochastic and deterministic drivers of spatial and temporal turnover in breeding bird communities. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Vol: 22. Pages 202-212. (Online version)
Journal Article Swenson, Nathan G.; Anglada-Cordero, Pedro; Barone, John A. 2011. Deterministic tropical tree community turnover: Evidence from patterns of functional beta diversity along an elevational gradient. Vol: 278. Pages 877-884. (Online version)