The area-independent effects of habitat complexity on biodiversity vary between regions


Johnson, Mark P., Frost, Natalie J., Mosley, Matthew W.J., Roberts, Malcolm.F. and Hawkins, Stephen J. (2003) The area-independent effects of habitat complexity on biodiversity vary between regions. Ecology Letters, 6, (2), 126-132. (doi:10.1046/j.1461-0248.2003.00404.x).

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Description/Abstract

Potential explanatory variables often co-vary in studies of species richness. Where topography varies within a survey it is difficult to separate area and habitat-diversity effects. Topographically complex surfaces may contain more species due to increased habitat diversity or as a result of increased area per se . Fractal geometry can be used to adjust species richness estimates to control for increases in area on complex surfaces. Application of fractal techniques to a survey of rocky shores demonstrated an unambiguous area-independent effect of topography on species richness in the Isle of Man. In contrast, variation in species richness in south-west England reflected surface availability alone. Multivariate tests and variation in limpet abundances also demonstrated regional variation in the area-independent effects of topography. Community composition did not vary with increasing surface complexity in south-west England. These results suggest large-scale gradients in the effects of heterogeneity on community processes or demography.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1461-023X (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: fractal, heterogeneity, lottery, spacing, topography
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Biological Sciences
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 57734
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:40
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/57734

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