Risk of global extinctions in metacommunities exposed to a highly variable environment: local and spatial processes
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Here we analyze how metacommunities (a set of local communities coupled by species dispersal) in spatially explicit landscapes respond to environmental variation. We examine how this response is affected by 1) species richness in the local communities, 2) the degree of correlation in species response to the environmental variation both between species within patches (species correlation) and among patches (spatial correlation) and 3) dispersal pattern of species. We find that the risk of global extinction increases with increasing species richness in the local communities and with decreasing correlation among species in their response to environmental fluctuations. We also show that the pattern of spatial correlation is of great importance; the risk of global extinctions increases with increasing spatial correlation. Moreover, we find that the pattern and rate of dispersal are important; a high migration rate in combination with localized dispersal decrease the risk of global extinctions whereas a global dispersal pattern increases the risk of global extinctions. When dispersal is global the subpopulations of a species become more synchronized which reduces the potential for a patch to become recolonized following extinctions. We also demonstrate the importance of both local and spatial processes when examining the temporal stability of primary production at the scale of metapopulations, local communities and metacommunities.
Metacommunities; biodiversity; climate change; dispersal; extinction risks; food-web; spatial synchrony; stability; stochastic models; weather extremes
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-76162OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-76162DiVA: diva2:512851