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Partitioning taxon, phylogenetic and functional beta diversity into replacement and richness difference components

Authors

  • Pedro Cardoso,

    Corresponding author
    1. Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Azorean Biodiversity Group (CITA-A) and Portuguese Platform for Enhancing Ecological Research & Sustainability (PEERS), University of the Azores, Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
    • Correspondence: Pedro Cardoso, Finnish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 17, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.

      E-mail: pedro.cardoso@helsinki.fi

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  • François Rigal,

    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group (CITA-A) and Portuguese Platform for Enhancing Ecological Research & Sustainability (PEERS), University of the Azores, Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
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  • José C. Carvalho,

    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group (CITA-A) and Portuguese Platform for Enhancing Ecological Research & Sustainability (PEERS), University of the Azores, Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
    2. Department of Biology, CBMA – Molecular and Environmental Centre, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
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  • Mikael Fortelius,

    1. Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
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  • Paulo A. V. Borges,

    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group (CITA-A) and Portuguese Platform for Enhancing Ecological Research & Sustainability (PEERS), University of the Azores, Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
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  • Janos Podani,

    1. Department of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Institute of Biology, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary
    2. Ecology Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
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  • Denes Schmera

    1. Section of Conservation Biology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
    2. Balaton Limnological Institute, Centre for Ecological Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Tihany, Hungary
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Abstract

Aim

To propose a unified framework for quantifying taxon (Tβ), phylogenetic (Pβ) and functional (Fβ) beta diversity via pairwise comparisons of communities, which allows these types of beta diversity to be partitioned into ecologically meaningful additive components.

Location

Global, with case studies in Europe and the Azores archipelago.

Methods

Using trees as a common representation for taxon, phylogenetic and functional diversity, we partition total beta diversity (βtotal) into its replacement (turnover, βrepl) and richness difference (βrich) components according to which part of a global tree was shared by or unique to communities that were being compared. We demonstrate the application of this framework using artificial and empirical examples (mammals in Europe and epigean arthropods in the Azores).

Results

Our empirical examples show that comparing Pβ and Fβ with the most commonly used Tβ revealed previously hidden patterns of beta diversity. More importantly, we demonstrate that partitioning Pβtotal and Fβtotal into their respective βrepl and βrich components facilitates the detection of more complex patterns than using the overall coefficients alone, further elucidating the different forces operating in community assembly.

Main conclusions

The methods presented here allow the integration and full comparison of Tβ, Pβ and Fβ. They provide a tool for effectively disentangling the replacement (turnover) and richness difference components of the different biodiversity facets within the same methodological framework.

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