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Understanding spatial variation in biodiversity along environmental gradients is a central theme in ecology. Differences in species compositional turnover among sites (β diversity) occurring along gradients are often used to infer variation in the processes structuring communities. Here, we show that sampling alone predicts changes in β diversity caused(More)
A recent increase in studies of β diversity has yielded a confusing array of concepts, measures and methods. Here, we provide a roadmap of the most widely used and ecologically relevant approaches for analysis through a series of mission statements. We distinguish two types of β diversity: directional turnover along a gradient vs. non-directional variation.(More)
A major goal of microbial community ecology is to understand the forces that structure community composition. Deterministic selection by specific environmental factors is sometimes important, but in other cases stochastic or ecologically neutral processes dominate. Lacking is a unified conceptual framework aiming to understand why deterministic processes(More)
Spatial turnover in the composition of biological communities is governed by (ecological) Drift, Selection and Dispersal. Commonly applied statistical tools cannot quantitatively estimate these processes, nor identify abiotic features that impose these processes. For interrogation of subsurface microbial communities distributed across two geologically(More)
• It has long been believed that plant species from the tropics have higher levels of traits associated with resistance to herbivores than do species from higher latitudes. A meta-analysis recently showed that the published literature does not support this theory. However, the idea has never been tested using data gathered with consistent methods from a(More)
A recent increase in studies of b diversity has yielded a confusing array of concepts, measures and methods. Here, we provide a roadmap of the most widely used and ecologically relevant approaches for analysis through a series of mission statements. We distinguish two types of b diversity: directional turnover along a gradient vs. non-directional variation.(More)
Several theories predict whole-tree function on the basis of allometric scaling relationships assumed to emerge from traits of branching networks. To test this key assumption, and more generally, to explore patterns of external architecture within and across trees, we measure branch traits (radii/lengths) and calculate scaling exponents from five(More)
Increasing evidence has emerged for non-random spatial distributions of microbes, but knowledge of the processes that cause variation in microbial assemblage among ecosystems is lacking. For instance, some studies showed that deterministic processes such as habitat specialization are important, while other studies hold that bacterial communities are(More)
The degree to which turnover in biological communities is structured by deterministic or stochastic factors and the identities of influential deterministic factors are fundamental, yet unresolved, questions in ecology. Answers to these questions are particularly important for projecting the fate of forests with diverse disturbance histories worldwide. To(More)
Ecological succession and the balance between stochastic and deterministic processes are two major themes within microbial ecology, but these conceptual domains have mostly developed independent of each other. Here we provide a framework that integrates shifts in community assembly processes with microbial primary succession to better understand mechanisms(More)