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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/31138

Title: What Ecological Factors Shape Species-Area Curves in Neutral Models?
Authors: Cencini, Massimo
Pigolotti, Simone
Muñoz Martínez, Miguel Ángel
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Understanding factors that shape biodiversity and species coexistence across scales is of utmost importance in ecology, both theoretically and for conservation policies. Species-area relationships (SARs), measuring how the number of observed species increases upon enlarging the sampled area, constitute a convenient tool for quantifying the spatial structure of biodiversity. While general features of species-area curves are quite universal across ecosystems, some quantitative aspects can change significantly. Several attempts have been made to link these variations to ecological forces. Within the framework of spatially explicit neutral models, here we scrutinize the effect of varying the local population size (i.e. the number of individuals per site) and the level of habitat saturation (allowing for empty sites). We conclude that species-area curves become shallower when the local population size increases, while habitat saturation, unless strongly violated, plays a marginal role. Our findings provide a plausible explanation of why SARs for microorganisms are flatter than those for larger organisms.
Sponsorship: This work was supported by Spanish MICINN project FIS2009-08451 and Junta de Andalucia, Proyecto de Excelencia P09-FQM4682.
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Keywords: Biodiversity
Death rates
Population genetics
Population size
Theoretical ecology
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/31138
ISSN: 1932-6203
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Cencini, M.; Pigolotti, S.; Muñoz, M.A. What Ecological Factors Shape Species-Area Curves in Neutral Models?. Plos One, 7(6): e38232 (2012). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/31138]
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