Effects of land use on taxonomic and functional diversity: a cross-taxon analysis in a Mediterranean landscape

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Violeta Hevia
  • Carlos P. Carmona
  • Francisco M. Azcárate
  • Mario Torralba
  • Paloma Alcorlo
  • Rubén Ariño
  • Jorge Lozano
  • Sara Castro-Cobo
  • José A. González

Land-use change is the major driver of biodiversity loss. However, taxonomic diversity (TD) and functional diversity (FD) might respond differently to land-use change, and this response might also vary depending on the biotic group being analysed. In this study, we compare the TD and FD of four biotic groups (ants, birds, herbaceous, woody vegetation) among four land-use types that represent a gradient of land-use intensity in a Mediterranean landscape (Mediterranean shrublands, dehesas, mixed-pine forests, olive groves). Analyses were performed separately at two different spatial scales: the sampling unit scale and the site scale. Land-use intensity effects on TD and FD were quite different and highly varied among the four biotic groups, with no single clear pattern emerging that could be considered general for all organisms. Additive partitioning of species diversity revealed clear contrasting patterns between TD and FD in the percentage of variability observed at each spatial scale. While most variability in TD was found at the larger scales, irregardless of organism group and land-use type, most variability in FD was found at the smallest scale, indicating that species turnover among communities is much greater than functional trait turnover. Finally, we found that TD and FD did not vary consistently, but rather followed different trajectories that largely depended on the biotic group and the intensity of land-use transformation. Our results highlight that the relationship of land use with TD and FD is highly complex and context-dependent.

Seiten (von - bis)959-970
Anzahl der Seiten12
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.08.2016