Erica F. Stuber
Joseph J. Fontaine
Date of this Version
Mirochnitchenko, Nadejda, A. "Relationships Among Biodiversity Dimensions of Birds in Nebraska" (2018) MS Thesis, School of Natural Resources. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln. 2018.
Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is a multi-dimensional concept that can be decomposed to measure information about taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional variation within communities. Although the dimensions of biodiversity are interrelated, the assumption that measuring one dimension of diversity can inform about patterns in another dimension does not necessarily follow from theory or empirical study. The relationships among biodiversity dimensions is not well understood, nor how differences among dimensions could influence conservation decision making. Using the avian community as a study system, we explored the relationships of breadth metrics from the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional dimensions among each other and across six gradients of land cover in Nebraska, USA. We found that all three metrics had a high between-sites correlation, yet the within-site correlation was weaker and even slightly negative, which suggests that these metrics could be used as adequate surrogates for one another broadly, yet they would generally be poor predictors locally. We also found substantial differences in spatial scale selection among the diversity metrics, which suggests that these metrics are being influences by different ecological and evolutionary processes. Within each metric’s selected spatial scale, land cover relationships were generally similar, yet projected differences in the relationships across land cover resulted in spatial mismatches, often of substantial magnitude. Differences among diversity metrics may help identify drivers of biodiversity patterns and predict community assembly. Furthermore, the taxonomic metric showed relative insensitivity compared to the phylogenetic and functional metric, suggesting managing for high taxonomic diversity offers a simple and strategic conservation opportunity to preserve phylogenetic and functional diversity as well. Once conservation areas are selected, holistic or intensively managed conservation approaches are recommended.
Advisors: Erica F. Stuber and Joseph J. Fontaine
Biodiversity Commons, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Commons, Natural Resources and Conservation Commons, Natural Resources Management and Policy Commons, Ornithology Commons, Poultry or Avian Science Commons