sTURN Working Group: Does time drive space? Building a mechanistic linkage between spatial and temporal turnover in metacommunities 

Funding: Synthesis Centre of Biodiversity Sciences (sDiv) in Leipzig; DFG

Leaders: Zsófia Horváth, Robert Ptacnik

Collaborators: Jonathan Chase (iDiv, Germany), Florian Altermatt (Eawag, Switzerland), David Angeler (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden), María Antón-Pardo (Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil), Ana Borthagaray (Universidad de la República, Uruguay), Luc De Meester (KU Leuven, Belgium), Dagmar Frisch (University of Birmingham, UK), Stéphanie Gascón (University of Girona, Spain), Andros Gianuca (iDiv, Germany), Melissa Guzman (University of British Columbia, Canada), Jani Heino (Finnish Environment Institute, Finnland), Silke Langenheder (Uppsala University, Sweden), Jannicke Moe, (NIVA, Norway), Francesco Pomati (Eawag, Switzerland), Alexey Ryabov (ICBM, Germany), Patrick Thompson (University of British Columbia, Canada), Bram Vanschoenwinkel (Vrije Universiteit, Belgium), Duarte Viana (iDiv, Germany), Shaopeng Wang (iDiv, Germany)

project sTURN
2017-2019: sTURN Working Group – Does time drive space? Building a mechanistic linkage between spatial and temporal turnover in metacommunities

Project summary:

Maintenance of biodiversity at the landscape level is fundamentally linked to spatial turnover in composition of local communities (beta diversity). Theory suggests that temporal processes may be one key component sustaining beta diversity. These local temporal dynamics in turn may arise from a number of processes (including stochastic processes like ecological drift, or continuous deterministic species sorting through ongoing environmental changes). At present, we lack empirical evidence about the relative importance of these processes and their contribution to spatial turnover (i.e. beta diversity). The central synthesis aim of our working group is to better link temporal turnover to spatial beta diversity and metacommunity structure, and to understand the role of intrinsic and extrinsic forces in driving this spatio-temporal coupling. We will elucidate the importance of temporal turnover as a key driver of compositional dissimilarity in meta-analyses, and establish general scaling relationships between community turnover in space and time. By doing so, we will differentiate among the importance of alternative processes that drive temporal turnover (priority effects, transient dynamics, drift, and species sorting). Moreover, we will analyse how the coupling between temporal and spatial turnover is linked to essential habitat characteristics (habitat size, productivity), regional species pools and connectivity. The output of the working group will be a synthesis about the importance of key processes regulating diversity in biological communities across space and time.