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      Isolated alpine habitats reveal disparate ecological drivers of taxonomic and functional beta-diversity of small mammal assemblages

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          Abstract

          The interpretation of patterns of biodiversity requires the disentanglement of geographical and environmental variables. Disjunct alpine communities are geographically isolated from one another but experience similar environmental impacts. Isolated homogenous habitats may promote speciation but constrain functional trait variation. In this study, we examined the hypothesis that dispersal limitation promotes taxonomic divergence, whereas habitat similarity in alpine mountains leads to functional convergence. We performed standardized field investigation to sample non-volant small mammals from 18 prominent alpine sites in the Three Parallel Rivers area. We estimated indices quantifying taxonomic and functional alpha- and beta-diversity, as well as beta-diversity components. We then assessed the respective importance of geographical and environmental predictors in explaining taxonomic and functional compositions. No evidence was found to show that species were more functionally similar than expected in local assemblages. However, the taxonomic turnover components were higher than functional ones (0.471±0.230 vs. 0.243±0.215), with nestedness components showing the opposite pattern (0.063±0.054 vs. 0.269±0.225). This indicated that differences in taxonomic compositions between sites occurred from replacement of functionally similar species. Geographical barriers were the key factor influencing both taxonomic total dissimilarity and turnover components, whereas functional beta-diversity was primarily explained by climatic factors such as minimum temperature of the coldest month. Our findings provide empirical evidence that taxonomic and functional diversity patterns can be independently driven by different ecological processes. Our results point to the importance of clarifying different components of beta-diversity to understand the underlying mechanisms of community assembly. These results also shed light on the assembly rules and ecological processes of terrestrial mammal communities in extreme environments.

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          New multidimensional functional diversity indices for a multifaceted framework in functional ecology.

          Functional diversity is increasingly identified as an important driver of ecosystem functioning. Various indices have been proposed to measure the functional diversity of a community, but there is still no consensus on which are most suitable. Indeed, none of the existing indices meets all the criteria required for general use. The main criteria are that they must be designed to deal with several traits, take into account abundances, and measure all the facets of functional diversity. Here we propose three indices to quantify each facet of functional diversity for a community with species distributed in a multidimensional functional space: functional richness (volume of the functional space occupied by the community), functional evenness (regularity of the distribution of abundance in this volume), and functional divergence (divergence in the distribution of abundance in this volume). Functional richness is estimated using the existing convex hull volume index. The new functional evenness index is based on the minimum spanning tree which links all the species in the multidimensional functional space. Then this new index quantifies the regularity with which species abundances are distributed along the spanning tree. Functional divergence is measured using a novel index which quantifies how species diverge in their distances (weighted by their abundance) from the center of gravity in the functional space. We show that none of the indices meets all the criteria required for a functional diversity index, but instead we show that the set of three complementary indices meets these criteria. Through simulations of artificial data sets, we demonstrate that functional divergence and functional evenness are independent of species richness and that the three functional diversity indices are independent of each other. Overall, our study suggests that decomposition of functional diversity into its three primary components provides a meaningful framework for its quantification and for the classification of existing functional diversity indices. This decomposition has the potential to shed light on the role of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and on the influence of biotic and abiotic filters on the structure of species communities. Finally, we propose a general framework for applying these three functional diversity indices.
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            Rarefaction and extrapolation with Hill numbers: a framework for sampling and estimation in species diversity studies

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              Partitioning the turnover and nestedness components of beta diversity

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Zool Res
                Zool Res
                ZR
                Zoological Research
                Science Press (16 Donghuangchenggen Beijie, Beijing 100717, China )
                2095-8137
                18 November 2020
                : 41
                : 6
                : 670-683
                Affiliations
                [1 ] State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan 650223 China
                [2 ] Kunming College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan 650223 China
                [3 ] Collaborative Innovation Center of Recovery and Reconstruction of Degraded Ecosystem in Wanjiang Basin Co-founded by Anhui Province and Ministry of Education, School of Ecology and Environment, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui 241000 China
                Author notes
                Article
                zr-41-6-670
                10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.085
                7671915
                32918407
                a3e8c24d-3d4e-47b0-bb77-ac1bad7e2c67
                Editorial Office of Zoological Research, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 16 April 2020
                : 28 August 2020
                Funding
                This work was supported by the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (STEP, 2019QZKK0501), National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0505202), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31601874), Biodiversity Survey, Monitoring, and Assessment Program (2019HB2096001006), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (31702007)
                Categories
                Articles

                beta-diversity partitioning,community assembly,environmental stress,habitat homogeneity,hengduan mountains,river barriers,sky islands,tree line

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