Environmental variation in ecological communities and inferences from single-species data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Data are often collected for a single species within an ecological community, so quantitative tools for drawing inferences about the unobserved portions of the community from single-species data are valuable. In this paper, we present and examine a method for estimating community dimension (the number of strongly interacting species or groups) from time series data on a single species. The dynamics of one species can be strongly affected by environmental stochasticity acting not only on itself, but also on other species with which it interacts. By fully accounting for the effects of stochasticity on populations embedded in a community, our approach gives better estimates of community dimension than commonly used methods. Using a combination of time series data and simulations, we show that failing to properly account for stochasticity when attempting to relate population dynamics to attributes of the community can give misleading information about community dimension.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • time series analysis, dynamics, population, environmental stochasticity, ARMA, community dimension
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1268-1278
JournalEcology
Volume90
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes