A unifying framework for analyzing temporal changes in functional and taxonomic diversity along disturbance gradients

Erin, I Larson, N. LeRoy Poff, W. Chris Funk, Rachel A. Harrington, Boris C. Kondratieff, Scott G. Morton, Alexander S. Flecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Frameworks exclusively considering functional diversity are gaining popularity, as they complement and extend the information provided by taxonomic diversity metrics, particularly in response to disturbance. Taxonomic diversity should be included in functional diversity frameworks to uncover the functional mechanisms causing species loss following disturbance events. We present and test a predictive framework that considers temporal functional and taxonomic diversity responses along disturbance gradients. Our proposed framework allows us to test different multidimensional metrics of taxonomic diversity that can be directly compared to calculated multidimensional functional diversity metrics. It builds on existing functional diversity–disturbance frameworks both by using a gradient approach and by jointly considering taxonomic and functional diversity. We used previously unpublished stream insect community data collected prior to, and for the two years following, an extreme flood event that occurred in 2013. Using 14 northern Colorado mountain streams, we tested our framework and determined that taxonomic diversity metrics calculated using multidimensional methods resulted in concordance between taxonomic and functional diversity responses. By considering functional and taxonomic diversity together and using a gradient approach, we were able to identify some of the mechanisms driving species losses following this extreme disturbance event.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere03503
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEcology
Volume102
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

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