Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Estimates of local biodiversity change over time stand up to scrutiny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Mark Vellend, Maria Dornelas, Lander Baeten, Robin Beauséjour, Carissa D. Brown, Pieter De Frenne, Sarah C. Elmendorf, Nicholas J. Gotelli, Faye Moyes, Isla H. Myers-Smith, Anne E. Magurran, Brian J. McGill, Hideyasu Shimadzu, Caya Sievers

School/Research organisations

Abstract

We present new data and analyses revealing fundamental flaws in a critique of two recent meta-analyses of local-scale temporal biodiversity change. First, the conclusion that short-term time series lead to biased estimates of long-term change was based on two errors in the simulations used to support it. Second, the conclusion of negative relationships between temporal biodiversity change and study duration was entirely dependent on unrealistic model assumptions, the use of a subset of data, and inclusion of one outlier data point in one study. Third, the finding of a decline in local biodiversity, after eliminating post-disturbance studies, is not robust to alternative analyses on the original dataset, and is absent in a larger, updated dataset. Finally, the undebatable point – noted in both original papers – that studies in the ecological literature are geographically biased, was used to cast doubt on the conclusion that, outside of areas converted to croplands or asphalt, the distribution of biodiversity trends is centered approximately on zero. Future studies may modify conclusions, but at present, alternative conclusions based on the geographic-bias argument rely on speculation. In sum, the critique raises points of uncertainty typical of all ecological studies, but does not provide an evidence-based alternative interpretation.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-590
Number of pages8
JournalEcology
Volume98
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jan 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Biodiversity, Meta-analysis, Species richness, Temporal change

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. BioTIME: a database of biodiversity time series for the Anthropocene

    Dornelas, M. , Antão, L. H. , Moyes, F. , Bates, A. E. , Magurran, A. E. , Adam, D. , Akhmetzhanova, A. A. , Appeltans, W. , Arcos, J. M. , Arnold, H. , Ayyappan, N. , Badihi, G. , Baird, A. H. , Barbosa, M. , Barreto, T. E. , Bässler, C. , Bellgrove, A. , Belmaker, J. , Benedetti-cecchi, L. , Bett, B. J. & 250 others Bjorkman, A. D., Błażewicz, M., Blowes, S. A., Bloch, C. P., Bonebrake, T. C., Boyd, S., Bradford, M., Brooks, A. J., Brown, J. H., Bruelheide, H., Budy, P., Carvalho, F., Castañeda-moya, E., Chen, C. A., Chamblee, J. F., Chase, T. J., Siegwart Collier, L., Collinge, S. K., Condit, R., Cooper, E. J., Cornelissen, J. H. C., Cotano, U., Kyle Crow, S., Damasceno, G., Davies, C. H., Davis, R. A., Day, F. P., Degraer, S., Doherty, T. S., Dunn, T. E., Durigan, G., Duffy, J. E., Edelist, D., Edgar, G. J., Elahi, R., Elmendorf, S. C., Enemar, A., Ernest, S. K. M., Escribano, R., Estiarte, M., Evans, B. S., Fan, T., Turini Farah, F., Loureiro Fernandes, L., Farneda, F. Z., Fidelis, A., Fitt, R., Fosaa, A. M., Daher Correa Franco, G. A., Frank, G. E., Fraser, W. R., García, H., Cazzolla Gatti, R., Givan, O., Gorgone-barbosa, E., Gould, W. A., Gries, C., Grossman, G. D., Gutierréz, J. R., Hale, S., Harmon, M. E., Harte, J., Haskins, G., Henshaw, D. L., Hermanutz, L., Hidalgo, P., Higuchi, P., Hoey, A., Van Hoey, G., Hofgaard, A., Holeck, K., Hollister, R. D., Holmes, R., Hoogenboom, M., Hsieh, C., Hubbell, S. P., Huettmann, F., Huffard, C. L., Hurlbert, A. H., Macedo Ivanauskas, N., Janík, D., Jandt, U., Jażdżewska, A., Johannessen, T., Johnstone, J., Jones, J., Jones, F. A. M., Kang, J., Kartawijaya, T., Keeley, E. C., Kelt, D. A., Kinnear, R., Klanderud, K., Knutsen, H., Koenig, C. C., Kortz, A. R., Král, K., Kuhnz, L. A., Kuo, C., Kushner, D. J., Laguionie-marchais, C., Lancaster, L. T., Min Lee, C., Lefcheck, J. S., Lévesque, E., Lightfoot, D., Lloret, F., Lloyd, J. D., López-baucells, A., Louzao, M., Madin, J. S., Magnússon, B., Malamud, S., Matthews, I., Mcfarland, K. P., Mcgill, B., Mcknight, D., Mclarney, W. O., Meador, J., Meserve, P. L., Metcalfe, D. J., Meyer, C. F. J., Michelsen, A., Milchakova, N., Moens, T., Moland, E., Moore, J., Mathias Moreira, C., Müller, J., Murphy, G., Myers-smith, I. H., Myster, R. W., Naumov, A., Neat, F., Nelson, J. A., Paul Nelson, M., Newton, S. F., Norden, N., Oliver, J. C., Olsen, E. M., Onipchenko, V. G., Pabis, K., Pabst, R. J., Paquette, A., Pardede, S., Paterson, D. M., Pélissier, R., Peñuelas, J., Pérez-matus, A., Pizarro, O., Pomati, F., Post, E., Prins, H. H. T., Priscu, J. C., Provoost, P., Prudic, K. L., Pulliainen, E., Ramesh, B. R., Mendivil Ramos, O., Rassweiler, A., Rebelo, J. E., Reed, D. C., Reich, P. B., Remillard, S. M., Richardson, A. J., Richardson, J. P., Van Rijn, I., Rocha, R., Rivera-monroy, V. H., Rixen, C., Robinson, K. P., Ribeiro Rodrigues, R., De Cerqueira Rossa-feres, D., Rudstam, L., Ruhl, H., Ruz, C. S., Sampaio, E. M., Rybicki, N., Rypel, A., Sal, S., Salgado, B., Santos, F. A. M., Savassi-coutinho, A. P., Scanga, S., Schmidt, J., Schooley, R., Setiawan, F., Shao, K., Shaver, G. R., Sherman, S., Sherry, T. W., Siciński, J., Sievers, C., Da Silva, A. C., Rodrigues Da Silva, F., Silveira, F. L., Slingsby, J., Smart, T., Snell, S. J., Soudzilovskaia, N. A., Souza, G. B. G., Maluf Souza, F., Castro Souza, V., Stallings, C. D., Stanforth, R., Stanley, E. H., Mauro Sterza, J., Stevens, M., Stuart-smith, R., Rondon Suarez, Y., Supp, S., Yoshio Tamashiro, J., Tarigan, S., Thiede, G. P., Thorn, S., Tolvanen, A., Teresa Zugliani Toniato, M., Totland, Ø., Twilley, R. R., Vaitkus, G., Valdivia, N., Vallejo, M. I., Valone, T. J., Van Colen, C., Vanaverbeke, J., Venturoli, F., Verheye, H. M., Vianna, M., Vieira, R. P., Vrška, T., Quang Vu, C., Van Vu, L., Waide, R. B., Waldock, C., Watts, D., Webb, S., Wesołowski, T., White, E. P., Widdicombe, C. E., Wilgers, D., Williams, R., Williams, S. B., Williamson, M., Willig, M. R., Willis, T. J., Wipf, S., Woods, K. D., Woehler, E. J., Zawada, K. & Zettler, M. L. 24 Jul 2018 In : Global Ecology and Biogeography. 27, 7, p. 760-786 27 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Divergent biodiversity change within ecosystems

    Magurran, A. E., Deacon, A. E., Moyes, F. H., Shimadzu, H., Azeredo de Dornelas, M. A., Phillip, D. & Ramnarine, I. 20 Feb 2018 In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115, 8, p. 1843-1847 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Community-level regulation of temporal trends in biodiversity

    Gotelli, N., Shimadzu, H., Dornelas, M., McGill, B., Moyes, F. & Magurran, A. E. 26 Jul 2017 In : Science Advances. 3, 7, 8 p., e1700315

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Rapid biotic homogenization of marine fish assemblages

    Magurran, A., Dornelas, M., Moyes, F. H., Gotelli, N. J. & McGill, B. 24 Sep 2015 In : Nature Communications. 6, 8405

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Assemblage time series reveal biodiversity change but not systematic loss

    Dornelas, M., Gotelli, N. J., McGill, B., Shimadzu, H., Moyes, F., Sievers, C. & Magurran, A. E. 18 Apr 2014 In : Science. 344, 6181, p. 296-299 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Ecology (Journal)

    MacKenzie, M. L. (Editor)
    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Negligible effect of competition on coral colony growth

    Alvarez-Noriega, M., Baird, A. H., Dornelas, M., Madin, J. S. & Connolly, S. R. Jun 2018 In : Ecology. 99, 6, p. 1347-1356 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Estimation and simulation of foraging trips in land-based marine predators

    Michelot, T., Langrock, R., Bestley, S., Jonsen, I. D., Photopoulou, T. & Patterson, T. A. Jul 2017 In : Ecology. 98, 7, p. 1932-1944 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Fecundity and the demographic strategies of coral morphologies

    Álvarez-Noriega, M., Baird, A. H., Dornelas, M., Madin, J. S., Cumbo, V. R. & Connolly, S. R. 2 Dec 2016 In : Ecology. 97, 12, p. 3485-3493 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Capital and income breeding: the role of food supply

    Stephens, P. A., Houston, A. I., Harding, K. C., Boyd, I. L. & McNamara, J. M. Apr 2014 In : Ecology. 95, 4, p. 882-896 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 247837696