Divergent biodiversity change within ecosystems

Our new paper, led by Anne and Amy, is out now in PNAS

The world’s biodiversity is under unprecedented threat due to human activities, yet we have an incomplete understanding of ecosystem change in response to these pressures. This paper describes data from a new 5 year study of a tropical freshwater ecosystem showing that change in the two dimensions of biodiversity—assemblage diversity (number and abundance of species) and assemblage composition—is decoupled from and uncorrelated among taxa.

Assemblage diversity is typically stable over time. However, in line with Darwin’s expectation that community composition is constantly changing, this stability can be accompanied by marked turnover in species identities. Our paper thus identifies an important question for future research: at what point does compositional turnover threaten ecosystem resilience?

To read the paper in full – click here

To read the associated commentary available in PNAS, click here