Contrasting processes drive alpha and beta taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity of orthopteran communities in grasslands

Taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversities can respond differently to biotic and abiotic filters. However, biodiversity management tends to focus on a single index, generally taxonomic diversity, assuming a strong positive correlation among biodiversity components across scales. This can result in a mismanagement of functional and phylogenetic diversities with negative consequences for ecosystem functioning and long-term maintenance of services. Understanding the relationships among biodiversity components, how they change across scales and which their main drivers are can lead to more sustainable management of biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services and functions. We used an integrative approach of biodiversity where we investigated alpha and beta taxonomic (TD), functional (FD) and phylogenetic (PD) diversity of orthopteran communities as well as species and functional traits composition and their associated drivers at the local and landscape scales in permanent mesic grasslands of the French Jura Mountains. We assessed whether orthopteran TD, FD and PD were positively correlated. We also determined the drivers of TD, FD and PD and their changes across scales and among indices using data related to soil, agricultural practices, elevation, and biotic interactions with plants. Our results showed that (i) elevation was a strong driver of orthopteran community trait composition, (ii) orthopteran alpha TD, FD and PD were correlated among themselves and increased with plant species richness, and (iii) local beta diversity was not correlated with alpha diversity. Beta diversity had different drivers at local and landscape scale: it was influenced by soil chemistry and texture at the local scale and increased with the difference in elevation among plots at the landscape scale. This study evidences distinct processes driving alpha and beta diversity of orthopteran communities at both the local and landscape scales. It supports the hypothesis that less intensive agricultural practices enhance orthopteran diversity and highlights the importance to consider beta diversity at both local and landscape scale when designing and assessing the management regimes of grassland ecosystems. Prioritizing the importance of the different biodiversity components and spatial scales constitutes an important challenge for sustainable grassland management.

Published in:
Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 242, 43-52
Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Bv

 Record created 2017-07-10, last modified 2018-12-03

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