Community Patterns in Source‐Sink Metacommunities

  title={Community Patterns in Source‐Sink Metacommunities},
  author={Nicolas Mouquet and Michel Loreau},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={544 - 557}
We present a model of a source‐sink competitive metacommunity, defined as a regional set of communities in which local diversity is maintained by dispersal. Although the conditions of local and regional coexistence have been well defined in such systems, no study has attempted to provide clear predictions of classical community‐wide patterns. Here we provide predictions for species richness, species relative abundances, and community‐level functional properties (productivity and space… 

Sources of Diversity in a Grassland Metacommunity: Quantifying the Contribution of Dispersal to Species Richness

A metacommunity perspective is relevant and necessary to understand the diversity and community assembly of this study system and quantifies distances through space and time to the nearest potential seed source for naturally occurring recruits in target communities.

Metacommunities: Spatial Community Ecology

Metacommunity ecology studies the interactions among species as they occur across a network of patches and provides a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of species loss, and suggests solutions to mitigate these effects.

Spatial averaging and disturbance lead to high productivity in aquatic metacommunities

The observations suggest that localized environmental fluctuations and the identity of species seem to be more influential than dispersal in shaping the diversity and composition of phytoplankton assemblages and stabilizing productivity.

Interpreting beta‐diversity components over time to conserve metacommunities in highly dynamic ecosystems

  • A. RuhíT. DatryJ. Sabo
  • Environmental Science
    Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
  • 2017
It is proposed that recent advances in diversity-partitioning methods may allow for a better understanding of metacommunity dynamics and the identification of keystone sites and this framework may be used to guide conservation actions in highly dynamic ecosystems when time-series data describing biodiversity across sites connected by dispersal are available.

Experimental test of diversity effects in marine metacommunities

It is concluded that the general relationship between richness and ecosystem functioning remains valid in open systems, but the maintenance of ecosystem processes significantly depends on the mechanism of species coexistence.

Metacommunity structure in a small boreal stream network.

The study of hierarchically organized ecosystems uncovers complex patterns of metacommunity organization that may deviate substantially from those of systems with insular structure and discrete habitat boundaries, and dispersal constraints imposed by the dendritic structure of stream networks and distinct dispersal mechanisms may be evident also at very small spatial extents.

Dispersal ability links to cross‐scale species diversity patterns across the Eurasian Arctic tundra

The negative link between dispersal ability and spatial species turnover and the corresponding positive link between dispersed ability and the ratio of local-to-regional species richness support the idea that dispersal affects community structure and diversity patterns across spatial scales.

Disentangling the effects of local and regional processes on biodiversity patterns through taxon‐contingent metacommunity network analysis

The results provide empirical support for the proposed role of metacommunity networks as determinants of community diversity and show the taxon-dependent nature of these networks.

Spatial Structures of the Environment and of Dispersal Impact Species Distribution in Competitive Metacommunities

It is found that neutrality increases and the strength of species-sorting decreases with the centrality of a community in the landscape when the average dispersal among communities is low, whereas the opposite was found at elevated dispersal.

Coexistence patterns and diversity in a trait-based metacommunity on an environmental gradient

It is found that both the strength of dispersal and the range of spatial environmental variability affect coexistence patterns, spatial structure, trait distribution and local and regional diversity.




Assemblages of coexisting species are formed by immigration from a re- gional pool of colonists and local interactions among species and with the physical envi- ronment. Theory suggests that the

Comparing Classical Community Models: Theoretical Consequences for Patterns of Diversity

Overall, however, communities in which different processes operated showed surprisingly similar patterns, which suggests that the form of community‐level patterns cannot in general be used to distinguish among mechanisms maintaining diversity there.

Community Diversity: Relative Roles of Local and Regional Processes

Observations suggest that regional and historical processes, as well as unique events and circumstances, profoundly influence local community structure and ecologists must broaden their concepts of community processes and incorporate data from systematics, biogeography, and paleontology into analyses of ecological patterns and tests of community theory.

Immigration and the Maintenance of Local Species Diversity

A simple theoretical model is presented to explore the influence of immigration from an external source on local coexistence, species abundance patterns, and ecosystem processes in plant communities and shows that immigration can have a huge effect on local species diversity in competitive communities where competition for space would lead to the exclusion of all but one species if the community were closed.

Coexistence in Metacommunities: The Regional Similarity Hypothesis

This work has shown that there are no limits to diversity except those arising from the size of the regional species pool and the constraints on immigration events (continent-island distance).

The role of habitat connectivity and landscape geometry in experimental zooplankton metacommunities

The notion that increased connectance among local patches may decrease regional diversity when patches are heterogeneous is supported, but previous experimental studies of metacommunities found no effect of habitat connectivity rate on local species diversity.

Coexistence of plant species with similar niches

In the context of a simple mathematical model, we derive several mechanisms whereby plant species can coexist in a community without differing in their trophic niches (their relations with habitats,

Community assembly time and the relationship between local and regional species richness

The results suggest the number of coexisting species is a function of local and regional processes whose relative influences might vary over time and that research using the relationship between local and Regional species richness to infer mechanisms limiting species richness must have knowledge of the assembly time of the community.


Local communities can be structured by both local interactions (competition, predation, environmental variables, etc.) and by regional interactions (dispersal of individuals between habitats). Using

Complex Interactions in Metacommunities, with Implications for Biodiversity and Higher Levels of Selection

This computer simulation study examines the effect of complex interactions on the global and local dynamics of metacommunity dynamics, finding that complex interactions provide a new source of variation upon which natural selection can operate at the patch level, providing a mechanism for the evolution of more functionally organized communities.