Evol Ecol Res 16: 315-322 (2014) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
An assembly rule could explain the canonical property of the lognormal species-abundance distribution
Julián Simón López-Villalta
Departamento Biología y Geología, IES Pedro Simón Abril, Alcaraz, Albacete, Spain
Correspondence: J.S. López-Villalta, Departamento Biología y Geología, IES Pedro Simón Abril, Paseo de San Francisco 89, 02300 Alcaraz, Albacete, Spain.
Background: The lognormal distribution of species abundances is a classic model of ecology whose canonical property consists of the fact that the individuals curve tends to peak at the rightmost species-abundance class. Currently ecology lacks any compelling biological or mathematical explanation of the canonical property.
Goal: Propose a hypothesis for the canonical property by comparing the results of a maximum entropy niche-assembly model to the patterns obtained from the canonical relationship in empirical data.
Data: Published data of the numbers of species in lognormal communities, and their standard deviations.
Method: Let a niche dimension be any independent characteristic of the habitat that can be subdivided by species to reduce competition. Obtain relative species abundances as the product of randomly assigned species occupancies along multiple niche dimensions. Plot the standard deviation of the resulting lognormal-like species histogram for different niche dimensions and numbers of species. Estimate the number of species added with each niche dimension by interpolation along the line representing the canonical property and the regression line of empirical data.
Results: Randomly assigning species occupancies along multiple niche dimensions produces lognormal-like distributions. Each added niche dimension roughly doubles the number of species in the community.
Conclusions: The canonical property may originate from the doubling of the number of species with each added niche dimension. This assembly rule is supported by analyses on the relationship between bird species and habitat complexity.
Keywords: assembly rules, biodiversity, community ecology, macroecology, niche assembly, resource partitioning.
DOWNLOAD A FREE, FULL PDF COPY
IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.
© 2015 Julián Simón López-Villalta. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.
Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.
All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.