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Negative and matrix-dependent effects of dispersal corridors in an experimental metacommunity

Åström, Jens and Pärt, Tomas (2013). Negative and matrix-dependent effects of dispersal corridors in an experimental metacommunity. Ecology. 94 :1 , 72-82
[Research article]

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Negative effects of habitat fragmentation are well-known phenomena in ecology, and the use of corridors is one suggested remedy to ameliorate community disassembly. Most experiments of landscape structure, however, do not consider matrix quality and environmental conditions, despite their potential to affect both landscape permeability and population densities. For the first time in fragmented landscapes, we simultaneously investigated the effects of local disturbance, dispersal corridors, matrix quality, and environmental stress, as well as their interactions, on species richness and abundance. We used a natural micro-ecosystem of bryophyte patches with microarthropods as a model system. Contrary to expectations, there were no negative responses to fragmentation of large continuous habitats. Surprisingly, connecting fragmented patches with dispersal corridors had negative effects on the abundance and species richness of the most species-rich group, oribatid mites. It had also negative effects on the abundance of collembolans and predatory mites in landscapes with complex matrix, which was also generally detrimental. Environmental stress was detrimental for all taxa but interacted with matrix type for oribatid species richness and juvenile oribatid abundance. Our results indicate that interactions can strongly alter community responses to common explanatory factors such as fragmentation, disturbance, connectivity, and environmental quality. Future studies of metacommunity dynamics need to consider the potential for such interactions in order to produce robust predictions of spatially structured landscapes.

Authors/Creators:Åström, Jens and Pärt, Tomas
Title:Negative and matrix-dependent effects of dispersal corridors in an experimental metacommunity
Series Name/Journal:Ecology
Year of publishing :2013
Page range:72-82
Number of Pages:11
Publisher:The Ecological Society of America
Additional Information:Published by permission from the Ecological Society of America. "Copyright by the Ecological Society of America"
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:bryophyte, dispersal corridor, disturbance, environmental quality, fragmentation, matrix quality, metacommunity, microarthropods, micro-ecosystem, oribatid mites
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Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000316186900010
ID Code:11045
Faculty:NL - Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences (until 2013)
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:27 Mar 2014 08:10
Metadata Last Modified:15 Dec 2015 13:22

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