Distinguishing between signal and noise in faunal responses to environmental change

Erica Fleishman, Ralph MAC NALLY

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aim
    We tested whether variation in snapshots of butterfly species composition and species richness taken from one to six years apart could be interpreted as an ecologically meaningful trend or whether they might merely reflect stochasticity.

    Location
    Field research was conducted in the Toquima Range and Shoshone Mountains, Lander and Nye counties, Nevada, USA.

    Methods
    We obtained data for 49 sites in the Toquima Range from 1996 to 2002 and 39 sites in the Shoshone Mountains from 2000 to 2002. Sites spanned the gradient of local topographic and climatic conditions in those mountain ranges. Data on species composition and species richness were based on comprehensive field inventories. We calculated similarity of species composition using the Jaccard index. We conducted one-factor repeated-measures analyses of variance to test whether the distribution of similarity of species composition and the distribution of mean species richness depended on the number of years between inventories.

    Results
    In both mountain ranges, much less of the difference in species composition was attributable to turnover of species composition within sites over time than to spatial differences among sites. Annual species richness in the Toquima Range was more variable than in the Shoshone Mountains, but again far less of the variation in species richness was attributable to year than to differences among sites.

    Main conclusions
    Despite the fact that desert ecosystems are not expected to be highly resilient to global environmental change, there may be a time lag between deterministic environmental changes and a detectable faunal response, even in taxonomic groups that are known to be sensitive to changes in climate and vegetation. Although information on species richness and similarity of species composition are among the most practical data to collect in managed landscapes, these measures may not be highly sensitive to environmental changes over the short to moderate term.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)395-402
    Number of pages8
    JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
    Volume12
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Fingerprint

    environmental change
    species richness
    species diversity
    mountains
    mountain
    stochasticity
    butterfly
    turnover
    desert
    ecosystem
    vegetation
    global change
    climate
    butterflies
    deserts
    analysis of variance
    climate change
    ecosystems
    distribution
    mountain range

    Cite this

    @article{802338d0635946dfb1230b2605afd72c,
    title = "Distinguishing between signal and noise in faunal responses to environmental change",
    abstract = "AimWe tested whether variation in snapshots of butterfly species composition and species richness taken from one to six years apart could be interpreted as an ecologically meaningful trend or whether they might merely reflect stochasticity.LocationField research was conducted in the Toquima Range and Shoshone Mountains, Lander and Nye counties, Nevada, USA.MethodsWe obtained data for 49 sites in the Toquima Range from 1996 to 2002 and 39 sites in the Shoshone Mountains from 2000 to 2002. Sites spanned the gradient of local topographic and climatic conditions in those mountain ranges. Data on species composition and species richness were based on comprehensive field inventories. We calculated similarity of species composition using the Jaccard index. We conducted one-factor repeated-measures analyses of variance to test whether the distribution of similarity of species composition and the distribution of mean species richness depended on the number of years between inventories.ResultsIn both mountain ranges, much less of the difference in species composition was attributable to turnover of species composition within sites over time than to spatial differences among sites. Annual species richness in the Toquima Range was more variable than in the Shoshone Mountains, but again far less of the variation in species richness was attributable to year than to differences among sites.Main conclusionsDespite the fact that desert ecosystems are not expected to be highly resilient to global environmental change, there may be a time lag between deterministic environmental changes and a detectable faunal response, even in taxonomic groups that are known to be sensitive to changes in climate and vegetation. Although information on species richness and similarity of species composition are among the most practical data to collect in managed landscapes, these measures may not be highly sensitive to environmental changes over the short to moderate term.",
    author = "Erica Fleishman and {MAC NALLY}, Ralph",
    note = "Cited By :12 Export Date: 6 June 2017",
    year = "2003",
    doi = "10.1046/j.1466-822X.2003.00049.x",
    language = "English",
    volume = "12",
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    }

    Distinguishing between signal and noise in faunal responses to environmental change. / Fleishman, Erica; MAC NALLY, Ralph.

    In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 12, No. 5, 2003, p. 395-402.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Distinguishing between signal and noise in faunal responses to environmental change

    AU - Fleishman, Erica

    AU - MAC NALLY, Ralph

    N1 - Cited By :12 Export Date: 6 June 2017

    PY - 2003

    Y1 - 2003

    N2 - AimWe tested whether variation in snapshots of butterfly species composition and species richness taken from one to six years apart could be interpreted as an ecologically meaningful trend or whether they might merely reflect stochasticity.LocationField research was conducted in the Toquima Range and Shoshone Mountains, Lander and Nye counties, Nevada, USA.MethodsWe obtained data for 49 sites in the Toquima Range from 1996 to 2002 and 39 sites in the Shoshone Mountains from 2000 to 2002. Sites spanned the gradient of local topographic and climatic conditions in those mountain ranges. Data on species composition and species richness were based on comprehensive field inventories. We calculated similarity of species composition using the Jaccard index. We conducted one-factor repeated-measures analyses of variance to test whether the distribution of similarity of species composition and the distribution of mean species richness depended on the number of years between inventories.ResultsIn both mountain ranges, much less of the difference in species composition was attributable to turnover of species composition within sites over time than to spatial differences among sites. Annual species richness in the Toquima Range was more variable than in the Shoshone Mountains, but again far less of the variation in species richness was attributable to year than to differences among sites.Main conclusionsDespite the fact that desert ecosystems are not expected to be highly resilient to global environmental change, there may be a time lag between deterministic environmental changes and a detectable faunal response, even in taxonomic groups that are known to be sensitive to changes in climate and vegetation. Although information on species richness and similarity of species composition are among the most practical data to collect in managed landscapes, these measures may not be highly sensitive to environmental changes over the short to moderate term.

    AB - AimWe tested whether variation in snapshots of butterfly species composition and species richness taken from one to six years apart could be interpreted as an ecologically meaningful trend or whether they might merely reflect stochasticity.LocationField research was conducted in the Toquima Range and Shoshone Mountains, Lander and Nye counties, Nevada, USA.MethodsWe obtained data for 49 sites in the Toquima Range from 1996 to 2002 and 39 sites in the Shoshone Mountains from 2000 to 2002. Sites spanned the gradient of local topographic and climatic conditions in those mountain ranges. Data on species composition and species richness were based on comprehensive field inventories. We calculated similarity of species composition using the Jaccard index. We conducted one-factor repeated-measures analyses of variance to test whether the distribution of similarity of species composition and the distribution of mean species richness depended on the number of years between inventories.ResultsIn both mountain ranges, much less of the difference in species composition was attributable to turnover of species composition within sites over time than to spatial differences among sites. Annual species richness in the Toquima Range was more variable than in the Shoshone Mountains, but again far less of the variation in species richness was attributable to year than to differences among sites.Main conclusionsDespite the fact that desert ecosystems are not expected to be highly resilient to global environmental change, there may be a time lag between deterministic environmental changes and a detectable faunal response, even in taxonomic groups that are known to be sensitive to changes in climate and vegetation. Although information on species richness and similarity of species composition are among the most practical data to collect in managed landscapes, these measures may not be highly sensitive to environmental changes over the short to moderate term.

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    DO - 10.1046/j.1466-822X.2003.00049.x

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    SP - 395

    EP - 402

    JO - Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters

    JF - Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters

    SN - 1466-822X

    IS - 5

    ER -