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Abstract Detail


Ecological Section

Prunier, Rachel [1], Wilson, Adam [2], Holsinger, Kent E. [3], Rebelo, Anthony [4], Barraclough, Timothy [5].

Community assembly in the genus Protea (Proteaceae L.): phylogeny, functional traits, and scale.

The rules that govern the assembly of biological communities have long been of interest to ecologists. It is clear that a balance between competition and habitat filtering influences the composition of communities, but their relative importance is not well understood. Because the functional traits that mediate these interactions often have phylogenetic signal many recent studies have used patterns of phylogenetic distance within communities to identify the dominant underlying process. In this study, we use a novel regression-based approach to investigate the ecological processes that structure Protea (Proteaceae L.) communities in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa. Our method allows us to simultaneously estimate the influence of both functional traits and phylogenetic distance on the co-occurrence of species. Using 45,000 presence/absence data points across the entirety of the CFR, we repeat this analysis across a wide range of scales, from 500m2 to 100km2, to determine the scale at which the balance shifts from competition to habitat filtering. Our results give us insight into the evolutionary processes that underlie the stunning diversity in the CFR.


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1 - University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 N. Eagleville Rd., U-3043, Storrs, CT, 06269, USA
2 - University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75. N. Eagleville Rd., U-3043, Storrs, CT, 06269, United States
3 - University of Connecticut, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Road, U-3043, Storrs, Connecticut, 062693043, USA
4 - South African National Biodiversity Institute, Private Bag X7, Claremont, 7735, South Africa
5 - Imperial College London, Division of Biology, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7PY, UK

Keywords:
community assembly
Protea
spatial scale
phylogeny
functional traits
competition
habitat filtering.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 31
Location: Wasatch B/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 4:00 PM
Number: 31002
Abstract ID:334


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