Disturbance macroecology: Integrating disturbance ecology and macroecology with different-age post-fire stands of a closed-cone pine forest

Erica A. Newman, Mark Q. Wilber, Karen E. Kopper, Max A. Moritz, Donald A. Falk, Don McKenzie, John Harte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Macroecological studies have generally restricted their scope to relatively steady-state systems, and as a result, how biodiversity and abundance metrics are expected to scale in disturbance-dependent ecosystems is unknown. We examine macroecological patterns in a fire-dependent forest of Bishop pine (Pinus muricata). We target two different-aged stands in a stand-replacing fire regime, one a characteristically mature stand with a diverse understory, and one more recently disturbed by a stand-replacing fire (17 years prior to measurement). We compare the stands using macroecological metrics of species richness, abundance and spatial distributions that are predicted by the Maximum Entropy Theory of Ecology (METE), an information-entropy based theory that has proven highly successful in predicting macroecological metrics across a wide variety of systems and taxa. Ecological patterns in the mature stand more closely match METE predictions than do data from the recently disturbed stand. This suggests METE’s predictions are more robust in late-successional, slowly changing, or steady-state systems than those in rapid flux with respect to species composition, abundances, and organisms’ sizes. Our findings highlight the need for a macroecological theory that incorporates natural disturbance and other ecological perturbations into its predictive capabilities, because most natural systems are not in a steady state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2018

Keywords

  • closed-cone pine forest
  • macroecology
  • Maximum Entropy Theory of Ecology (METE)
  • natural disturbance
  • species abundance relationship
  • species-area relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Disturbance macroecology: Integrating disturbance ecology and macroecology with different-age post-fire stands of a closed-cone pine forest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this