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      Multitrophic diversity in a biodiverse forest is highly nonlinear across spatial scales

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          Abstract

          Subtropical and tropical forests are biodiversity hotspots, and untangling the spatial scaling of their diversity is fundamental for understanding global species richness and conserving biodiversity essential to human well-being. However, scale-dependent diversity distributions among coexisting taxa remain poorly understood for heterogeneous environments in biodiverse regions. We show that diversity relations among 43 taxa—including plants, arthropods and microorganisms—in a mountainous subtropical forest are highly nonlinear across spatial scales. Taxon-specific differences in β-diversity cause under- or overestimation of overall diversity by up to 50% when using surrogate taxa such as plants. Similar relationships may apply to half of all (sub)tropical forests—including major biodiversity hotspots—where high environmental heterogeneity causes high biodiversity and species turnover. Our study highlights that our general understanding of biodiversity patterns has to be improved—and that much larger areas will be required than in better-studied lowland forests—to reliably estimate biodiversity distributions and devise conservation strategies for the world's biodiverse regions.

          Abstract

          Measurements of biodiversity may differ according to the extent of area sampled, although how this changes across taxa is not well understood. Here, Schuldt et al. find that the diversity of plants, arthropods and microorganisms in a heterogeneous subtropical forest is highly nonlinear across spatial scales.

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          Most cited references 51

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          Scale and species richness: towards a general, hierarchical theory of species diversity

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            Terrestrial insects along elevation gradients: species and community responses to altitude.

            The literature on the response of insect species to the changing environments experienced along altitudinal gradients is diverse and widely dispersed. There is a growing awareness that such responses may serve as analogues for climate warming effects occurring at a particular fixed altitude or latitude over time. This review seeks, therefore, to synthesise information on the responses of insects and allied groups to increasing altitude and provide a platform for future research. It focuses on those functional aspects of insect biology that show positive or negative reaction to altitudinal changes but avoids emphasising adaptation to high altitude per se. Reactions can be direct, with insect characteristics or performance responding to changing environmental parameters, or they can be indirect and mediated through the insect's interaction with other organisms. These organisms include the host plant in the case of herbivorous insects, and also competitor species, specific parasitoids, predators and pathogens. The manner in which these various factors individually and collectively influence the morphology, behaviour, ecophysiology, growth and development, survival, reproduction, and spatial distribution of insect species is considered in detail. Resultant patterns in the abundance of individual species populations and of community species richness are examined. Attempts are made throughout to provide mechanistic explanations of trends and to place each topic, where appropriate, into the broader theoretical context by appropriate reference to key literature. The paper concludes by considering how montane insect species will respond to climate warming.
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              Phylogenetic relationships of Thiomicrospira species and their identification in deep-sea hydrothermal vent samples by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 16S rDNA fragments.

              Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rDNA fragments was used to explore the genetic diversity of hydrothermal vent microbial communities, specifically to determine the importance of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria therein. DGGE analysis of two different hydrothermal vent samples revealed one PCR band for one sample and three PCR bands for the other sample, which probably correspond to the dominant bacterial populations in these communities. Three of the four 16S rDNA fragments were sequenced. By comparison with 16S rRNA sequences of the Ribosomal Database Project, two of the DGGE-separated fragments were assigned to the genus Thiomicrospira. To identify these 'phylotypes' in more detail, a phylogenetic framework was created by determining the nearly complete 16S rRNA gene sequence (approx. 1500 nucleotides) from three described Thiomicrospira species, viz., Tms. crunogena, Tms. pelophila, Tms. denitrificans, and from a new isolate, Thiomicrospira sp. strain MA2-6. All Thiomicrospira species except Tms. denitrificans formed a monophyletic group within the gamma subdivision of the Proteobacteria. Tms. denitrificans was assigned as a member of the epsilon subdivision and was distantly affiliated with Thiovulum, another sulfur-oxidizing bacterium. Sequences of two dominant 16S rDNA fragments obtained by DGGE analysis fell into the gamma subdivision Thiomicrospira. The sequence of one fragment was in all comparable positions identical to the 16S rRNA sequence of Tms. crunogena. Identifying a dominant molecular isolate as Tms. crunogena indicates that this species is a dominant community member of hydrothermal vent sites. Another 'phylotype' represented a new Thiomicrospira species, phylogenetically in an intermediate position between Tms. crunogena and Tms. pelophila. The third 'phylotype' was identified as a Desulfovibrio, indicating that sulfate-reducing bacteria, as sources of sulfide, may complement sulfur- and sulfide-oxidizing bacteria ecologically in these sulfide-producing hydrothermal vents.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Publishing Group
                2041-1723
                10 December 2015
                2015
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute of Ecology, Leuphana University Lüneburg , Scharnhorst Straße 1, D-21335 Lüneburg, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Soil Ecology, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research , Theodor-Lieser-Straße 4, D-06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
                [3 ]German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig , Deutscher Platz 5e, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [4 ]Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg , Tennenbacher Straße 4, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany
                [5 ]Institute of Biology/Geobotany and Botanical Garden, University of Halle , Am Kirchtor 1, D-06108 Halle, Germany
                [6 ]Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen , St Machar Drive 23, AB24 3UU Aberdeen, UK
                [7 ]Institute for Ecosystem Research, University of Kiel , Olshausenstrasse 75, 24118 Kiel, Germany
                [8 ]Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100093, China
                [9 ]Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity, University of Leipzig , Johannisallee 21-23, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [10 ]Institute of Ecology, Zhejiang Normal University , Yinbing Road 688, Jinhua 321004, China
                Author notes
                Article
                ncomms10169
                10.1038/ncomms10169
                4682160
                26658136
                Copyright © 2015, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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