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Effects of compositional heterogeneity and spatial autocorrelation on richness and diversity in simulated landscapes
  • Joseph Tardanico,
  • Thomas Hovestadt
Joseph Tardanico
Julius-Maximilians-Universitat Wurzburg

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Thomas Hovestadt
Julius-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt W├╝rzburg
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Landscape structure plays a key role in mediating a variety of ecological processes affecting biodiversity patterns, however its precise effects and the mechanisms underpinning them remain unclear. While the effects of landscape structure have been extensively investigated both empirically, and theoretically from a metapopulation perspective, the effects of spatial structure at the landscape scale remain poorly explored from a metacommunity perspective. Here, we attempt to address this gap using a spatially explicit, individual-based metacommunity model to explore the effects of landscape compositional heterogeneity and per se spatial configuration on diversity at the landscape and patch level via their influence on long term community assembly processes. Our model simulates communities composed of lineages of annual, asexual organisms living, reproducing, dispersing, and competing within grid-based, fractal landscapes which vary in their magnitude of spatial environmental heterogeneity and in their degree of spatial environmental autocorrelation. Communities are additionally subject to temporal environmental fluctuation and external immigration, allowing for turnover in community composition. We found that compositional heterogeneity and spatial autocorrelation had differing effects on richness and diversity and the landscape and patch scales. We also note a slight negative effect of compositional heterogeneity on median total landscape population size. Landscape level diversity was driven by community dissimilarity at the patch level and increased with greater heterogeneity, while landscape richness was largely the result of short-term accumulation of immigrants and decreased with greater compositional heterogeneity. Both richness and diversity decreased in variance with greater compositional heterogeneity, indicating a reduction in community turnover over time. Patch-level richness and diversity patterns appeared to be driven by overall landscape richness and local mass effects, resulting in maximum patch level richness and diversity at moderate levels of compositional heterogeneity and high spatial autocorrelation.
10 Jun 2023Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
15 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
15 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
15 Jun 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
08 Aug 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
14 Aug 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
01 Nov 20231st Revision Received
20 Nov 2023Submission Checks Completed
20 Nov 2023Assigned to Editor
20 Nov 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending