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Altitude acts as an environmental filter on phylogenetic composition, traits and diversity in bee communities.

Hoiss, B., Krauss, J., Potts, S. G., Roberts, S. and Steffan-Dewenter, I. (2012) Altitude acts as an environmental filter on phylogenetic composition, traits and diversity in bee communities. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 279 (1746). pp. 4447-4456. ISSN 1471-2954

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1581

Abstract/Summary

Knowledge about the phylogeny and ecology of communities along environmental gradients helps to disentangle the role of competition-driven processes and environmental filtering for community assembly. In this study, we evaluated patterns in species richness, phylogenetic structure and life-history traits of bee communities along altitudinal gradients in the Alps, Germany. We found a linear decline in species richness and abundance but increasing phylogenetic clustering in communities with increasing altitude. The proportion of social- and ground-nesting species, as well as mean body size and altitudinal range of bee communities, increased with increasing altitude, whereas the mean geographical distribution decreased. Our results suggest that community assembly at high altitudes is dominated by environmental filtering effects, whereas the relative importance of competition increases at low altitudes. We conclude that inherent phylogenetic and ecological species attributes at high altitudes pose a threat for less competitive alpine specialists with ongoing climate change.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Food Security
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:31426
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing

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