Characterizing the phylogenetic structure of communities by an additive partitioning of phylogenetic diversity

Authors

  • OLIVIER J. HARDY,

    1. Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology – CP 160/12, and *Laboratoire de Botanique systématique et de Phytosociologie – CP 169, Université Libre de Bruxelles, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
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  • and * BRUNO SENTERRE

    1. Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology – CP 160/12, and *Laboratoire de Botanique systématique et de Phytosociologie – CP 169, Université Libre de Bruxelles, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
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Olivier Hardy (tel. +32 (0)2650 6585; fax +32 (0)2650 2445, e-mail ohardy@ulb.ac.be).

Summary

  • 1Analysing the phylogenetic structure of natural communities may illuminate the processes governing the assembly and coexistence of species in ecological communities.
  • 2Unifying previous works, we present a statistical framework to quantify the phylogenetic structure of communities in terms of average divergence time between pairs of individuals or species, sampled from different sites. This framework allows an additive partitioning of the phylogenetic signal into alpha (within-site) and beta (among-site) components, and is closely linked to Simpson diversity. It unifies the treatment of intraspecific (genetic) and interspecific diversity, leading to the definition of differentiation coefficients among community samples (e.g. IST, PST) analogous to classical population genetics coefficients expressing differentiation among populations (e.g. FST, NST).
  • 3Two coefficients which express community differentiation among sites from species identity (IST) or species phylogeny (PST) require abundance data (number of individuals per species per site), and estimators that are unbiased with respect to sample size are given. Another coefficient (ΠST) expresses the gain of the mean phylogenetic distance between species found in different sites compared with species found within sites, and requires only incidence data (presence/absence of each species in each site).
  • 4We present tests based on phylogenetic tree randomizations to detect community phylogenetic clustering (PST > IST or ΠST > 0) or phylogenetic overdispersion (PST < IST or ΠST < 0). In addition, we propose a novel approach to detect phylogenetic clustering or overdispersion in different clades or at different evolutionary time depths using partial randomizations.
  • 5IST, PST or ΠST can also be used as distances between community samples and regressed on ecological or geographical distances, allowing us to investigate the factors responsible for the phylogenetic signal and the critical scales at which it appears.
  • 6We illustrate the approach on forest tree communities in Equatorial Guinea, where a phylogenetic clustering signal was probably due to phylogenetically conserved adaptations to the elevation gradient and was mostly contributed to by ancient clade subdivisions.
  • 7The approach presented should find applications for comparing quantitatively phylogenetic patterns of different communities, of similar communities in different regions or continents, or of populations (within species) vs. communities (among species).

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