Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide

Yuanzhi Li, Bill Shipley, Jodi N. Price, Vinícius de L. Dantas, Riin Tamme, Mark Westoby, Andrew Siefert, Brandon S. Schamp, Marko J. Spasojevic, Vincent Jung, Daniel C. Laughlin, Sarah J. Richardson, Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Christian Schöb, Antonio Gazol, Honor C. Prentice, Nicolas Gross, Jake Overton, Marcus V. Cianciaruso, Frédérique Louault & 10 others Chiho Kamiyama, Tohru Nakashizuka, Kouki Hikosaka, Takehiro Sasaki, Masatoshi Katabuchi, Cédric Frenette Dussault, Stephanie Gaucherand, Ning Chen, Marie Vandewalle, Marco Antônio Batalha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

How the patterns of niche occupancy vary from species-poor to species-rich communities is a fundamental question in ecology that has a central bearing on the processes that drive patterns of biodiversity. As species richness increases, habitat filtering should constrain the expansion of total niche volume, while limiting similarity should restrict the degree of niche overlap between species. Here, by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variability, we investigate the relationship between functional niche occupancy and species richness at the global scale. We assembled 21 datasets worldwide, spanning tropical to temperate biomes and consisting of 313 plant communities representing different growth forms. We quantified three key niche occupancy components (the total functional volume, the functional overlap between species and the average functional volume per species) for each community, related each component to species richness, and compared each component to the null expectations. As species richness increased, communities were more functionally diverse (an increase in total functional volume), and species overlapped more within the community (an increase in functional overlap) but did not more finely divide the functional space (no decline in average functional volume). Null model analyses provided evidence for habitat filtering (smaller total functional volume than expectation), but not for limiting similarity (larger functional overlap and larger average functional volume than expectation) as a process driving the pattern of functional niche occupancy. Synthesis. Habitat filtering is a widespread process driving the pattern of functional niche occupancy across plant communities and coexisting species tend to be more functionally similar rather than more functionally specialized. Our results indicate that including intraspecific trait variability will contribute to a better understanding of the processes driving patterns of functional niche occupancy.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1001-1009
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ecology
Volume106
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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plant community
plant communities
niche
niches
habitat
habitats
species richness
species diversity
niche overlap
growth form
biome
biodiversity
ecology
synthesis
ecosystems

Keywords

  • community assembly
  • determinants of plant community diversity and structure
  • habitat filtering
  • intraspecific trait variability
  • limiting similarity
  • niche occupancy
  • species richness

Cite this

Li, Y., Shipley, B., Price, J. N., Dantas, V. D. L., Tamme, R., Westoby, M., ... Batalha, M. A. (2018). Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide. Journal of Ecology, 106(3), 1001-1009. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12802
Li, Yuanzhi ; Shipley, Bill ; Price, Jodi N. ; Dantas, Vinícius de L. ; Tamme, Riin ; Westoby, Mark ; Siefert, Andrew ; Schamp, Brandon S. ; Spasojevic, Marko J. ; Jung, Vincent ; Laughlin, Daniel C. ; Richardson, Sarah J. ; Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann Le ; Schöb, Christian ; Gazol, Antonio ; Prentice, Honor C. ; Gross, Nicolas ; Overton, Jake ; Cianciaruso, Marcus V. ; Louault, Frédérique ; Kamiyama, Chiho ; Nakashizuka, Tohru ; Hikosaka, Kouki ; Sasaki, Takehiro ; Katabuchi, Masatoshi ; Frenette Dussault, Cédric ; Gaucherand, Stephanie ; Chen, Ning ; Vandewalle, Marie ; Batalha, Marco Antônio. / Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide. In: Journal of Ecology. 2018 ; Vol. 106, No. 3. pp. 1001-1009.
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abstract = "How the patterns of niche occupancy vary from species-poor to species-rich communities is a fundamental question in ecology that has a central bearing on the processes that drive patterns of biodiversity. As species richness increases, habitat filtering should constrain the expansion of total niche volume, while limiting similarity should restrict the degree of niche overlap between species. Here, by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variability, we investigate the relationship between functional niche occupancy and species richness at the global scale. We assembled 21 datasets worldwide, spanning tropical to temperate biomes and consisting of 313 plant communities representing different growth forms. We quantified three key niche occupancy components (the total functional volume, the functional overlap between species and the average functional volume per species) for each community, related each component to species richness, and compared each component to the null expectations. As species richness increased, communities were more functionally diverse (an increase in total functional volume), and species overlapped more within the community (an increase in functional overlap) but did not more finely divide the functional space (no decline in average functional volume). Null model analyses provided evidence for habitat filtering (smaller total functional volume than expectation), but not for limiting similarity (larger functional overlap and larger average functional volume than expectation) as a process driving the pattern of functional niche occupancy. Synthesis. Habitat filtering is a widespread process driving the pattern of functional niche occupancy across plant communities and coexisting species tend to be more functionally similar rather than more functionally specialized. Our results indicate that including intraspecific trait variability will contribute to a better understanding of the processes driving patterns of functional niche occupancy.",
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Li, Y, Shipley, B, Price, JN, Dantas, VDL, Tamme, R, Westoby, M, Siefert, A, Schamp, BS, Spasojevic, MJ, Jung, V, Laughlin, DC, Richardson, SJ, Bagousse-Pinguet, YL, Schöb, C, Gazol, A, Prentice, HC, Gross, N, Overton, J, Cianciaruso, MV, Louault, F, Kamiyama, C, Nakashizuka, T, Hikosaka, K, Sasaki, T, Katabuchi, M, Frenette Dussault, C, Gaucherand, S, Chen, N, Vandewalle, M & Batalha, MA 2018, 'Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide', Journal of Ecology, vol. 106, no. 3, pp. 1001-1009. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12802

Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide. / Li, Yuanzhi; Shipley, Bill; Price, Jodi N.; Dantas, Vinícius de L.; Tamme, Riin; Westoby, Mark; Siefert, Andrew; Schamp, Brandon S.; Spasojevic, Marko J.; Jung, Vincent; Laughlin, Daniel C.; Richardson, Sarah J.; Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann Le; Schöb, Christian; Gazol, Antonio; Prentice, Honor C.; Gross, Nicolas; Overton, Jake; Cianciaruso, Marcus V.; Louault, Frédérique; Kamiyama, Chiho; Nakashizuka, Tohru; Hikosaka, Kouki; Sasaki, Takehiro; Katabuchi, Masatoshi; Frenette Dussault, Cédric; Gaucherand, Stephanie; Chen, Ning; Vandewalle, Marie; Batalha, Marco Antônio.

In: Journal of Ecology, Vol. 106, No. 3, 05.2018, p. 1001-1009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide

AU - Li, Yuanzhi

AU - Shipley, Bill

AU - Price, Jodi N.

AU - Dantas, Vinícius de L.

AU - Tamme, Riin

AU - Westoby, Mark

AU - Siefert, Andrew

AU - Schamp, Brandon S.

AU - Spasojevic, Marko J.

AU - Jung, Vincent

AU - Laughlin, Daniel C.

AU - Richardson, Sarah J.

AU - Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann Le

AU - Schöb, Christian

AU - Gazol, Antonio

AU - Prentice, Honor C.

AU - Gross, Nicolas

AU - Overton, Jake

AU - Cianciaruso, Marcus V.

AU - Louault, Frédérique

AU - Kamiyama, Chiho

AU - Nakashizuka, Tohru

AU - Hikosaka, Kouki

AU - Sasaki, Takehiro

AU - Katabuchi, Masatoshi

AU - Frenette Dussault, Cédric

AU - Gaucherand, Stephanie

AU - Chen, Ning

AU - Vandewalle, Marie

AU - Batalha, Marco Antônio

PY - 2018/5

Y1 - 2018/5

N2 - How the patterns of niche occupancy vary from species-poor to species-rich communities is a fundamental question in ecology that has a central bearing on the processes that drive patterns of biodiversity. As species richness increases, habitat filtering should constrain the expansion of total niche volume, while limiting similarity should restrict the degree of niche overlap between species. Here, by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variability, we investigate the relationship between functional niche occupancy and species richness at the global scale. We assembled 21 datasets worldwide, spanning tropical to temperate biomes and consisting of 313 plant communities representing different growth forms. We quantified three key niche occupancy components (the total functional volume, the functional overlap between species and the average functional volume per species) for each community, related each component to species richness, and compared each component to the null expectations. As species richness increased, communities were more functionally diverse (an increase in total functional volume), and species overlapped more within the community (an increase in functional overlap) but did not more finely divide the functional space (no decline in average functional volume). Null model analyses provided evidence for habitat filtering (smaller total functional volume than expectation), but not for limiting similarity (larger functional overlap and larger average functional volume than expectation) as a process driving the pattern of functional niche occupancy. Synthesis. Habitat filtering is a widespread process driving the pattern of functional niche occupancy across plant communities and coexisting species tend to be more functionally similar rather than more functionally specialized. Our results indicate that including intraspecific trait variability will contribute to a better understanding of the processes driving patterns of functional niche occupancy.

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KW - determinants of plant community diversity and structure

KW - habitat filtering

KW - intraspecific trait variability

KW - limiting similarity

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