3 years ago

Urbanization-induced habitat fragmentation erodes multiple components of temporal diversity in a Southern California native bee assemblage

John S. Ascher, David A. Holway, Keng-Lou James Hung

by Keng-Lou James Hung, John S. Ascher, David A. Holway

Despite a large number of ecological studies that document diversity loss resulting from anthropogenic disturbance, surprisingly few consider how disturbance affects temporal patterns of diversity that result from seasonal turnover of species. Temporal dynamics can play an important role in the structure and function of biological assemblages. Here, we investigate the temporal diversity patterns of bee faunas in Southern California coastal sage scrub ecosystems that have been extensively fragmented by urbanization. Using a two-year dataset of 235 bee species (n = 12,036 specimens), we compared 1-ha plots in scrub fragments and scrub reserves with respect to three components of temporal diversity: overall plot-level diversity pooled over time (temporal gamma diversity), diversity at discrete points in time (temporal alpha diversity), and seasonal turnover in assemblage composition (temporal beta diversity). Compared to reserves, fragments harbored bee assemblages with lower species richness and assemblage evenness both when summed across temporal samples (i.e., lower temporal gamma diversity) and at single points in time (i.e., lower temporal alpha diversity). Bee assemblages in fragments also exhibited reduced seasonal turnover (i.e., lower temporal beta diversity). While fragments and reserves did not differ in overall bee abundance, bee abundance in fragments peaked later in the season compared to that in reserves. Our results argue for an increased awareness of temporal diversity patterns, as information about the distinct components of temporal diversity is essential both for characterizing the assemblage dynamics of seasonal organisms and for identifying potential impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystem function through its effects on assemblage dynamics.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184136

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