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Sink populations decouple species occupancy and persistence across a productivity gradient
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  • Emilie Craig,
  • Megan Szojka,
  • Rachel Germain,
  • Lauren Shoemaker
Emilie Craig
University of Colorado Boulder
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Megan Szojka
University of Wyoming

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Rachel Germain
University of British Columbia
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Lauren Shoemaker
University of Wyoming
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For decades community ecology has examined empirical relationships between ecosystem productivity and diversity. Despite this long history, tests of hypothesized mechanisms, namely the interplay between environmental filtering, biotic interactions, and dispersal, are lacking, largely due to their intractability using traditional approaches. Across a productivity gradient in a serpentine grassland in California, USA, we coupled occupancy data for four annual plants with persistence measures of paired transplants under natural conditions and reduced biotic interactions with neighbors. We found a positive relationship between productivity and biodiversity (i.e., the proportion of our four focal species found in a location) despite strong competition limiting species persistence in productive environments. Additionally, across species and for the community, we found a strong mismatch between occupancy and persistence, largely due to dispersal excess. Our results suggest that biodiversity-productivity relationships can be largely driven by dispersal and its interactive effects with local biotic and abiotic conditions.
26 Sep 2023Submitted to Ecology Letters
28 Sep 2023Assigned to Editor
28 Sep 2023Submission Checks Completed
28 Sep 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major