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Keywords:

  • Biodiversity;
  • El Niño;
  • extirpation;
  • forest fire;
  • genetic loss;
  • recovery;
  • species loss;
  • species-genetic diversity correlation;
  • time scale

Abstract

Species diversity within communities and genetic diversity within species are two fundamental levels of biodiversity. Positive relationships between species richness and within-species genetic diversity have recently been documented across natural and semi-natural habitat islands, leading Vellend to suggest a novel macro-ecological pattern termed the species-genetic diversity correlation. We tested whether this prediction holds for areas affected by recent habitat disturbance using butterfly communities in east Kalimantan, Indonesia. Here, we show that both strong spatial and temporal correlations exist between species and allelic richness across rainforest habitats affected by El Niño Southern Oscillation-induced disturbance. Coupled with evidence that changes in species richness are a direct result of local extirpation and lower recruitment, these data suggest that forces governing variation at the two levels operate over parallel and short timescales, with implications for biodiversity recovery following disturbance. Remnant communities may be doubly affected, with reductions in species richness being associated with reductions in genetic diversity within remnant species.