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      Arthropods are not declining but are responsive to disturbance in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico

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          Abstract

          A number of recent studies have documented long-term declines in abundances of important arthropod groups, primarily in Europe and North America. These declines are generally attributed to habitat loss, but a recent study [B.C. Lister, A. Garcia, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 115, E10397–E10406 (2018)] from the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) in Puerto Rico attributed declines to global warming. We analyze arthropod data from the LEF to evaluate long-term trends within the context of hurricane-induced disturbance, secondary succession, and temporal variation in temperature. Our analyses demonstrate that responses to hurricane-induced disturbance and ensuing succession were the primary factors that affected total canopy arthropod abundances on host trees, as well as walkingstick abundance on understory shrubs. Ambient and understory temperatures played secondary roles for particular arthropod species, but populations were just as likely to increase as they were to decrease in abundance with increasing temperature. The LEF is a hurricane-mediated system, with major hurricanes effecting changes in temperature that are larger than those induced thus far by global climate change. To persist, arthropods in the LEF must contend with the considerable variation in abiotic conditions associated with repeated, large-scale, and increasingly frequent pulse disturbances. Consequently, they are likely to be well-adapted to the effects of climate change, at least over the short term. Total abundance of canopy arthropods after Hurricane Maria has risen to levels comparable to the peak after Hurricane Hugo. Although the abundances of some taxa have declined over the 29-y period, others have increased, reflecting species turnover in response to disturbance and secondary succession.

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          Modern Applied Statistics with S

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            Defaunation in the Anthropocene.

            We live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss: species and population extirpations and, critically, declines in local species abundance. Particularly, human impacts on animal biodiversity are an under-recognized form of global environmental change. Among terrestrial vertebrates, 322 species have become extinct since 1500, and populations of the remaining species show 25% average decline in abundance. Invertebrate patterns are equally dire: 67% of monitored populations show 45% mean abundance decline. Such animal declines will cascade onto ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Much remains unknown about this "Anthropocene defaunation"; these knowledge gaps hinder our capacity to predict and limit defaunation impacts. Clearly, however, defaunation is both a pervasive component of the planet's sixth mass extinction and also a major driver of global ecological change. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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              piecewiseSEM: Piecewise structural equation modelling inr for ecology, evolution, and systematics

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
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                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                January 11 2021
                January 12 2021
                January 11 2021
                January 12 2021
                : 118
                : 2
                : e2002556117
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.2002556117
                7812834
                33431569
                df3d3c78-f9bd-44ee-a94a-0b00727daf19
                © 2021

                Free to read

                https://www.pnas.org/site/aboutpnas/licenses.xhtml

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