Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit


Date of this Version



Göthe, E., L. Sandin, C.R. Allen and D.G. Angeler. 2014. Quantifying spatial scaling patterns and their local and regional correlates in headwater streams: implications for resilience. Ecology and Society 19(3): 15.


US government work.


The distribution of functional traits within and across spatiotemporal scales has been used to quantify and infer the relative resilience across ecosystems. We use explicit spatial modeling to evaluate within- and cross-scale redundancy in headwater streams, an ecosystem type with a hierarchical and dendritic network structure. We assessed the cross-scale distribution of functional feeding groups of benthic invertebrates in Swedish headwater streams during two seasons. We evaluated functional metrics, i.e., Shannon diversity, richness, and evenness, and the degree of redundancy within and across modeled spatial scales for individual feeding groups. We also estimated the correlates of environmental versus spatial factors of both functional composition and the taxonomic composition of functional groups for each spatial scale identified. Measures of functional diversity and within-scale redundancy of functions were similar during both seasons, but both within- and cross-scale redundancy were low. This apparent low redundancy was partly attributable to a few dominant taxa explaining the spatial models. However, rare taxa with stochastic spatial distributions might provide additional information and should therefore be considered explicitly for complementing future resilience assessments. Otherwise, resilience may be underestimated. Finally, both environmental and spatial factors correlated with the scale-specific functional and taxonomic composition. This finding suggests that resilience in stream networks emerges as a function of not only local conditions but also regional factors such as habitat connectivity and invertebrate dispersal.