The contribution of intra- and interspecific tolerance variability to biodiversity changes along toxicity gradients

De Laender, Frederik; Melian, Carlos J.; Bindler, Richard; Van den Brink, Paul J.; Daam, Michiel; Roussel, Helene; Juselius, Jonas; Verschuren, Dirk; Janssen, Colin R. (2014). The contribution of intra- and interspecific tolerance variability to biodiversity changes along toxicity gradients. Ecology Letters, 17(1), pp. 72-81. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/ele.12210

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The worldwide distribution of toxicants is an important yet understudied driver of biodiversity, and the mechanisms relating toxicity to diversity have not been adequately explored. Here, we present a community model integrating demography, dispersal and toxicant-induced effects on reproduction driven by intraspecific and interspecific variability in toxicity tolerance. We compare model predictions to 458 species abundance distribu- tions (SADs) observed along concentration gradients of toxicants to show that the best predictions occur when intraspecific variability is five and ten times higher than interspecific variability. At high concentrations, lower settings of intraspecific variability resulted in predictions of community extinction that were not supported by the observed SADs. Subtle but significant species losses at low concentrations were predicted only when intraspecific variability dominated over interspecific variability. Our results propose intraspecific variability as a key driver for biodiversity sustenance in ecosystems challenged by environmental change.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Melian Penate, Carlos Javier

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

1461-023X

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

29 Apr 2014 08:58

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2015 09:57

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/ele.12210

Additional Information:

the first two authors are shared first authors

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.44156

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/44156

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