Species extinction thresholds in the face of spatially correlated periodic disturbance
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
London :Nature Publishing Group
Engineering sciences. Technology
Scientific reports. - London, 2011, currens
, 9 p.
University of Antwerp
The spatial correlation of disturbance is gaining attention in landscape ecology, but knowledge is still lacking on how species traits determine extinction thresholds under spatially correlated disturbance regimes. Here we develop a pair approximation model to explore species extinction risk in a lattice-structured landscape subject to aggregated periodic disturbance. Increasing disturbance extent and frequency accelerated population extinction irrespective of whether dispersal was local or global. Spatial correlation of disturbance likewise increased species extinction risk, but only for local dispersers. This indicates that models based on randomly simulated disturbances (e.g., mean-field or non-spatial models) may underestimate real extinction rates. Compared to local dispersal, species with global dispersal tolerated more severe disturbance, suggesting that the spatial correlation of disturbance favors long-range dispersal from an evolutionary perspective. Following disturbance, intraspecific competition greatly enhanced the extinction risk of distance-limited dispersers, while it surprisingly did not influence the extinction thresholds of global dispersers, apart from decreasing population density to some degree. As species respond differently to disturbance regimes with different spatiotemporal properties, different regimes may accommodate different species.