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      Landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns and processes - eight hypotheses

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          Abstract

          Understanding how landscape characteristics affect biodiversity patterns and ecological processes at local and landscape scales is critical for mitigating effects of global environmental change. In this review, we use knowledge gained from human-modified landscapes to suggest eight hypotheses, which we hope will encourage more systematic research on the role of landscape composition and configuration in determining the structure of ecological communities, ecosystem functioning and services. We organize the eight hypotheses under four overarching themes. Section A: 'landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns' includes (1) the landscape species pool hypothesis-the size of the landscape-wide species pool moderates local (alpha) biodiversity, and (2) the dominance of beta diversity hypothesis-landscape-moderated dissimilarity of local communities determines landscape-wide biodiversity and overrides negative local effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Section B: 'landscape moderation of population dynamics' includes (3) the cross-habitat spillover hypothesis-landscape-moderated spillover of energy, resources and organisms across habitats, including between managed and natural ecosystems, influences landscape-wide community structure and associated processes and (4) the landscape-moderated concentration and dilution hypothesis-spatial and temporal changes in landscape composition can cause transient concentration or dilution of populations with functional consequences. Section C: 'landscape moderation of functional trait selection' includes (5) the landscape-moderated functional trait selection hypothesis-landscape moderation of species trait selection shapes the functional role and trajectory of community assembly, and (6) the landscape-moderated insurance hypothesis-landscape complexity provides spatial and temporal insurance, i.e. high resilience and stability of ecological processes in changing environments. Section D: 'landscape constraints on conservation management' includes (7) the intermediate landscape-complexity hypothesis-landscape-moderated effectiveness of local conservation management is highest in structurally simple, rather than in cleared (i.e. extremely simplified) or in complex landscapes, and (8) the landscape-moderated biodiversity versus ecosystem service management hypothesis-landscape-moderated biodiversity conservation to optimize functional diversity and related ecosystem services will not protect endangered species. Shifting our research focus from local to landscape-moderated effects on biodiversity will be critical to developing solutions for future biodiversity and ecosystem service management. © 2012 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2012 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

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          Functional diversity: back to basics and looking forward.

          Functional diversity is a component of biodiversity that generally concerns the range of things that organisms do in communities and ecosystems. Here, we review how functional diversity can explain and predict the impact of organisms on ecosystems and thereby provide a mechanistic link between the two. Critical points in developing predictive measures of functional diversity are the choice of functional traits with which organisms are distinguished, how the diversity of that trait information is summarized into a measure of functional diversity, and that the measures of functional diversity are validated through quantitative analyses and experimental tests. There is a vast amount of trait information available for plant species and a substantial amount for animals. Choosing which traits to include in a particular measure of functional diversity will depend on the specific aims of a particular study. Quantitative methods for choosing traits and for assigning weighting to traits are being developed, but need much more work before we can be confident about trait choice. The number of ways of measuring functional diversity is growing rapidly. We divide them into four main groups. The first, the number of functional groups or types, has significant problems and researchers are more frequently using measures that do not require species to be grouped. Of these, some measure diversity by summarizing distances between species in trait space, some by estimating the size of the dendrogram required to describe the difference, and some include information about species' abundances. We show some new and important differences between these, as well as what they indicate about the responses of assemblages to loss of individuals. There is good experimental and analytical evidence that functional diversity can provide a link between organisms and ecosystems but greater validation of measures is required. We suggest that non-significant results have a range of alternate explanations that do not necessarily contradict positive effects of functional diversity. Finally, we suggest areas for development of techniques used to measure functional diversity, highlight some exciting questions that are being addressed using ideas about functional diversity, and suggest some directions for novel research.
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            Confounding factors in the detection of species responses to habitat fragmentation.

            Habitat loss has pervasive and disruptive impacts on biodiversity in habitat remnants. The magnitude of the ecological impacts of habitat loss can be exacerbated by the spatial arrangement -- or fragmentation -- of remaining habitat. Fragmentation per se is a landscape-level phenomenon in which species that survive in habitat remnants are confronted with a modified environment of reduced area, increased isolation and novel ecological boundaries. The implications of this for individual organisms are many and varied, because species with differing life history strategies are differentially affected by habitat fragmentation. Here, we review the extensive literature on species responses to habitat fragmentation, and detail the numerous ways in which confounding factors have either masked the detection, or prevented the manifestation, of predicted fragmentation effects. Large numbers of empirical studies continue to document changes in species richness with decreasing habitat area, with positive, negative and no relationships regularly reported. The debate surrounding such widely contrasting results is beginning to be resolved by findings that the expected positive species-area relationship can be masked by matrix-derived spatial subsidies of resources to fragment-dwelling species and by the invasion of matrix-dwelling species into habitat edges. Significant advances have been made recently in our understanding of how species interactions are altered at habitat edges as a result of these changes. Interestingly, changes in biotic and abiotic parameters at edges also make ecological processes more variable than in habitat interiors. Individuals are more likely to encounter habitat edges in fragments with convoluted shapes, leading to increased turnover and variability in population size than in fragments that are compact in shape. Habitat isolation in both space and time disrupts species distribution patterns, with consequent effects on metapopulation dynamics and the genetic structure of fragment-dwelling populations. Again, the matrix habitat is a strong determinant of fragmentation effects within remnants because of its role in regulating dispersal and dispersal-related mortality, the provision of spatial subsidies and the potential mediation of edge-related microclimatic gradients. We show that confounding factors can mask many fragmentation effects. For instance, there are multiple ways in which species traits like trophic level, dispersal ability and degree of habitat specialisation influence species-level responses. The temporal scale of investigation may have a strong influence on the results of a study, with short-term crowding effects eventually giving way to long-term extinction debts. Moreover, many fragmentation effects like changes in genetic, morphological or behavioural traits of species require time to appear. By contrast, synergistic interactions of fragmentation with climate change, human-altered disturbance regimes, species interactions and other drivers of population decline may magnify the impacts of fragmentation. To conclude, we emphasise that anthropogenic fragmentation is a recent phenomenon in evolutionary time and suggest that the final, long-term impacts of habitat fragmentation may not yet have shown themselves.
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              Habitat management to conserve natural enemies of arthropod pests in agriculture.

              Many agroecosystems are unfavorable environments for natural enemies due to high levels of disturbance. Habitat management, a form of conservation biological control, is an ecologically based approach aimed at favoring natural enemies and enhancing biological control in agricultural systems. The goal of habitat management is to create a suitable ecological infrastructure within the agricultural landscape to provide resources such as food for adult natural enemies, alternative prey or hosts, and shelter from adverse conditions. These resources must be integrated into the landscape in a way that is spatially and temporally favorable to natural enemies and practical for producers to implement. The rapidly expanding literature on habitat management is reviewed with attention to practices for favoring predators and parasitoids, implementation of habitat management, and the contributions of modeling and ecological theory to this developing area of conservation biological control. The potential to integrate the goals of habitat management for natural enemies and nature conservation is discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biological Reviews
                Wiley
                14647931
                August 2012
                August 2012
                January 24 2012
                : 87
                : 3
                : 661-685
                Article
                10.1111/j.1469-185X.2011.00216.x
                22272640
                © 2012

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