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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), pp. 126-132. (doi:10.1046/j.1461-0248.2003.00404.x).

Record type: Article


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.

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Submitted date: 4 October 2002
Published date: February 2003
Keywords: fractal, heterogeneity, lottery, spacing, topography


Local EPrints ID: 57734
ISSN: 1461-023X
PURE UUID: ea2a1c3d-6459-4be8-a809-280d4633b571

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Date deposited: 08 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:28

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Author: Mark P. Johnson
Author: Natalie J. Frost
Author: Matthew W.J. Mosley
Author: Malcolm.F. Roberts

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