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arXiv

Niv Demalach, Hugo Saiz and Fernando T. Maestre

Species accumulation curves (SAC), i.e. the relationship between species richness and the number of sampling units in a given community, can be used to describe diversity patterns while accounting for the well-known scale-dependence of species richness. Despite their value, the functional form and the parameters of SAC, as well as their determinants, have barely been investigated in plant communities, particularly in drylands. We characterized the SAC of perennial plant communities from 233 dryland ecosystems from six continents by comparing the fit of major functions (power-law, logarithmic and Michaelis-Menten). We tested the theoretical prediction that the effects of aridity and soil pH on SAC are mediated by vegetation attributes such as evenness, cover, and spatial aggregation. We found that the logarithmic relationship was the most common functional form, followed by Michaelis-Menten and power-law. Functional form was mainly determined by evenness while the SAC parameters (intercept and slope) were largely determined by spatial aggregation. In addition, aridity decreased small scale richness (intercept of SAC) but did not affect accumulation rate (slope of the SAC). Our results highlight the role that attributes such as spatial aggregation and evenness play as main mediators of the SAC of vegetation in drylands, the Earth's largest biome.

Article ID: 1802.09425

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Givat Ram, Jerusalem, 91904, Israel

Departamento de Biología y Geología, Física y Química Inorgánica, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, c/ Tulipán s/n, 28933 Móstoles, Spain

Department of Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Ministry of Agriculture, Gilat Research Center, Gilat 85280, Israel

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תנאי שימוש
Plant species accumulation curves are determined by evenness and spatial aggregation in drylands worldwide

Niv Demalach, Hugo Saiz and Fernando T. Maestre

Plant species accumulation curves are determined by evenness and spatial aggregation in drylands worldwide
Species accumulation curves (SAC), i.e. the relationship between species richness and the number of sampling units in a given community, can be used to describe diversity patterns while accounting for the well-known scale-dependence of species richness. Despite their value, the functional form and the parameters of SAC, as well as their determinants, have barely been investigated in plant communities, particularly in drylands. We characterized the SAC of perennial plant communities from 233 dryland ecosystems from six continents by comparing the fit of major functions (power-law, logarithmic and Michaelis-Menten). We tested the theoretical prediction that the effects of aridity and soil pH on SAC are mediated by vegetation attributes such as evenness, cover, and spatial aggregation. We found that the logarithmic relationship was the most common functional form, followed by Michaelis-Menten and power-law. Functional form was mainly determined by evenness while the SAC parameters (intercept and slope) were largely determined by spatial aggregation. In addition, aridity decreased small scale richness (intercept of SAC) but did not affect accumulation rate (slope of the SAC). Our results highlight the role that attributes such as spatial aggregation and evenness play as main mediators of the SAC of vegetation in drylands, the Earth's largest biome.

Article ID: 1802.09425

Scientific Publication
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