Measuring temporal turnover in ecological communities

Mary Woodcock Kroble
Tuesday 10 November 2015
Date: 3 February 2016
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Speaker: Hideyasu Shimadzu(School of Biology, University of St Andrews)


Range migrations in response to climate change, invasive species and the emergence of novel ecosystems highlight the importance of temporal turnover in community composition as a fundamental part of global change in the Anthropocene. Temporal turnover is usually quantified using a variety of metrics initially developed to capture spatial change.

However, temporal turnover is the consequence of unidirectional community dynamics resulting from processes such as population growth, colonisation and local extinction. Here, we develop a framework based on community dynamics and propose a new temporal turnover measure. A simulation study and an analysis of an estuarine fish community both clearly demonstrate that our proposed turnover measure offers additional insights relative to spatial context-based metrics. Our approach reveals whether community turnover is due to shifts in community composition or in community abundance and identifies the species and/or environmental factors that are responsible for any change.

Shimadzu, H., Dornelas, M., Magurran, A. E. (2015), Measuring temporal turnover in ecological communities. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 6: 1384–1394. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12438