Characteristics of temporal changes in communities where dynamics differ between species
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionTheoretical Population Biology 2016, 111:65-74 10.1016/j.tpb.2016.06.001
Communities with different phenotypic variation among species can have identical species abundance distributions, although their temporal dynamics may be very different. By using stochastic species abundance models, both the lognormal and beta prime abundance distributions can be obtained with either homogeneous or heterogeneous dynamics among species. Assuming that anthropogenic activity disturbs the communities such that species’ carrying capacities are decreasing deterministically, the structure of the communities are studied using simulations. In order to construct homogeneous communities with reasonable variation in abundance, the parameter values describing the dynamics of the species can be unrealistic in terms of long return times to equilibrium. Species in heterogeneous communities can have stronger density regulation, while maintaining the same variation in abundance, by assuming heterogeneity in one of the dynamical parameters. The heterogeneity generates variation in carrying capacity among species, while reducing the temporal stochasticity. If carrying capacity decreases, changes in community structure occur at a much slower rate for the homogeneous compared to the heterogeneous communities. Even over short time periods, the difference in response to deterministic changes in carrying capacity between homogeneous and heterogeneous community models can be substantial, making the heterogeneous model a recommended starting point for commu Community dynamics Lognormal species abundance model Beta prime species abundance distribution Beverton–Holt density regulation Time dependent parameters Environmental stochasticitynity analysis. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.