Re-structuring of marine communities exposed to environmental change: a global study on the interactive effects of species and functional richness
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AuthorsWahl, M. (Martin); Link, H. (Heike); Alexandridis, N. (Nicolaos); Thomason, J.C. (Jeremy C.); Cifuentes, M. (Mauricio); Costello, M.J. (Mark J.); da Gama, B.A.P (Bernardo A. P.); Hillock, K. (Kristina); Hobday, A.J.(Alistair J.); Kaufmann, M.J. (Manfred J.); Keller, S. (Stefanie); Kraufvelin, P. (Patrik); Krüger, I. (Ina); Lauterbach, L. (Lars); Antunes, B.L. (Bruno L.); Molis, M. (Markus); Nakaoka, M. (Masahiro); Nyström, J. (Julia); bin Radzi, Z. (Zulkamal); Stockhausen, B. (Björn); Thiel, M. (Martin); Vance, T. (Thomas); Weseloh, A. (Annika); Whittle, M. (Mark); Wiesmann, L. (Lisa); Wunderer, L. (Laura); Yamakita, T. (Takehisa); Lenz, M. (Mark)
Species richness is the most commonly used but controversial biodiversity metric in studies on aspects of community stability such as structural composition or productivity. The apparent ambiguity of theoretical and experimental findings may in part be due to experimental shortcomings and/or heterogeneity of scales and methods in earlier studies. This has led to an urgent call for improved and more realistic experiments. In a series of experiments replicated at a global scale we translocated several hundred marine hard bottom communities to new environments simulating a rapid but moderate environmental change. Subsequently, we measured their rate of compositional change (re-structuring) which in the great majority of cases represented a compositional convergence towards local communities. Re-structuring is driven by mortality of community components (original species) and establishment of new species in the changed environmental context. The rate of this re-structuring was then related ...
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