High resolution 3D forest structure explains ecomorphological trait variation in assemblages of saproxylic beetles
Drag, L., Burner, R. C., Stephan, J. G., Birkemoe, T., Doerfler, I., Gossner, M. M., Magdon, P., Ovaskainen, O., Potterf, M., Schall, P., Snäll, T., Sverdrup‐Thygeson, A., Weisser, W., & Müller, J. (2022). High resolution 3D forest structure explains ecomorphological trait variation in assemblages of saproxylic beetles. Functional Ecology, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.14188
Published inFunctional Ecology
© 2022 The Authors. Functional Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society. This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.
Climate, topography and the 3D structure of forests are major drivers affecting local species communities. However, little is known about how the specific functional traits of saproxylic (wood-living) beetles, involved in the recycling of wood, might be affected by those environmental characteristics. Here we combine ecological and morphological traits available for saproxylic beetles and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data in Bayesian trait-based joint species distribution models to study how traits drive the distributions of more than 230 species in temperate forests of Europe. We found that elevation (as a proxy for temperature and precipitation) and the proportion of conifers played important roles in species occurrences while variables related to habitat heterogeneity and forest complexity were less relevant. Further, we showed that local communities were shaped by environmental variation primarily through their ecological traits whereas morphological traits were involved only marginally. As predicted, ecological traits influenced species’ responses to forest structure, and to other environmental variation, with canopy niche, wood decay niche, and host preference as the most important ecological traits. Conversely, no links between morphological traits and environmental characteristics were observed. Both models, however, revealed strong phylogenetic signal in species’ response to environmental characteristics. These findings imply that alterations of climate and tree species composition have the potential to alter saproxylic beetle communities in temperate forests. Additionally, ecological traits help explain species’ responses to environmental characteristics and thus should prove useful in predicting their responses to future change. It remains challenging, however, to link simple morphological traits to species’ complex ecological niches. ...
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Additional information about fundingThis research was funded through the 2017-2018 Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA joint call for research proposals under the BiodivScen ERA-Net COFUND programme, as "BioESSHealth: Scenarios for biodiversity and ecosystem services acknowledging health". The data collection was partly funded by the German research Foundation DFG Priority Program SPP1374 “Infrastructure-Biodiversity-Exploratories” (DFG-Az: AM 149/16-3; Regions Swabian Alb, Hainich-Dün, and Schorfheide-Chorin in Germany), project Arthropods (WE3081/21), the Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten, grant L55 (Region Steigerwald in Germany), and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (Bavarian Forest). OO was funded by Academy of Finland (grantno. 309581), Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence Funding Scheme (223257), and the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 856506; ERC-synergy project LIFEPLAN). Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. ...
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