Species-Abundance Distribution under Pressure of Soil Disturbances (SADPD)

We aim to collect data on spatial scaling in Species-Abundance Distribution (SAD), and compare the mechanisms underlying this pattern between sites with various intensity of soil disturbance.

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  • field work
  • theoretical


  • terrestrial biology

Project Keywords

  • biosphere / ecological dynamics / species/population interactions
  • biosphere / ecological dynamics / community dynamics
  • biological classification / plants / angiosperms (flowering plants)
  • biosphere / vegetation / vegetation cover

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In simple, SAD is a pattern of ecology that shows the proportion of common and rare species in terms of their abundance, and this pattern has been shown to be sensitive to soil disturbances [1,2]. In particular, we have shown that SAD is driven by spatial autocorrelation of abundances [3], but it is still unclear which of two mechanisms actually works in nature. The data from Svalbard would resolve this question. Remote parts of Svalbard are the best environment to resolve this question, as (i) their exposure to anthropogenic management is negligible in large areas of the archipelago, (ii) there are plant assemblages with various degrees of disturbances and (iii) arctic ecosystems are simple and thus it is much easier to uncover the mechanisms that underlay the pattern in focus. We will use non-destructive method, which consists in making lists of species and their covers at several squares (standard botanical data collection). The squares will have various distances between themselves and will be placed in environments with various degrees of disturbances. We will visit the following sites: Reinsdyrflya, Ringhorndalen, Sorgfjordflya and evt. Mosseldalen. [1] Kammesheidt, L. 1998. The role of tree sprouts in the restorations of stand structure and species diversity in tropical moist forest after slash-and-burn agriculture in Eastern Paraguay, Plant Ecology, 139: 155. [2] Caruso, T.A., Migliorini, M. 2006. A new formulation of the geometric series with applications to oribatid (Acari, Oribatida) species assemblages from human disturbed Mediterranean areas, Ecological Modelling, 195: 402. [3] Šizling, A.L., Storch, D., Šizlingová, E., Reif, J. & Gaston, K.J. 2009. Species abundance distribution results from a spatial analogy of central limit theorem. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106:6691-6695.

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