Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (BiK-F)
Dealing with Varying Detection Probability, Unequal Sample Sizes and Clumped Distributions in Count Data
D. Johan Kotze
Robert B. O'Hara
- Temporal variation in the detectability of a species can bias estimates of relative abundance if not handled correctly. For example, when effort varies in space and/or time it becomes necessary to take variation in detectability into account when data are analyzed. We demonstrate the importance of incorporating seasonality into the analysis of data with unequal sample sizes due to lost traps at a particular density of a species. A case study of count data was simulated using a spring-active carabid beetle. Traps were ‘lost’ randomly during high beetle activity in high abundance sites and during low beetle activity in low abundance sites. Five different models were fitted to datasets with different levels of loss. If sample sizes were unequal and a seasonality variable was not included in models that assumed the number of individuals was log-normally distributed, the models severely under- or overestimated the true effect size. Results did not improve when seasonality and number of trapping days were included in these models as offset terms, but only performed well when the response variable was specified as following a negative binomial distribution. Finally, if seasonal variation of a species is unknown, which is often the case, seasonality can be added as a free factor, resulting in well-performing negative binomial models. Based on these results we recommend (a) add sampling effort (number of trapping days in our example) to the models as an offset term, (b) if precise information is available on seasonal variation in detectability of a study object, add seasonality to the models as an offset term; (c) if information on seasonal variation in detectability is inadequate, add seasonality as a free factor; and (d) specify the response variable of count data as following a negative binomial or over-dispersed Poisson distribution.
Comparing projections of future changes in runoff and water resources from hydrological and ecosystem models in ISI-MIP
Jemma C. S. Davie
Peter D. Falloon
Felix Theodor Portmann
Douglas B. Clark
Simon N. Gosling
- Projections of future changes in runoff can have important implications for water resources and flooding. In this study, runoff projections from ISI-MIP (Inter-sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project) simulations forced with HadGEM2-ES bias-corrected climate data under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 have been analysed. Projections of change from the baseline period (1981–2010) to the future (2070–2099) from a number of different ecosystems and hydrological models were studied. The differences between projections from the two types of model were looked at globally and regionally. Typically, across different regions the ecosystem models tended to project larger increases and smaller decreases in runoff than the hydrological models. However, the differences varied both regionally and seasonally. Sensitivity experiments were also used to investigate the contributions of varying CO2 and allowing vegetation distribution to evolve on projected changes in runoff. In two out of four models which had data available from CO2 sensitivity experiments, allowing CO2 to vary was found to increase runoff more than keeping CO2 constant, while in two models runoff decreased. This suggests more uncertainty in runoff responses to elevated CO2 than previously considered. As CO2 effects on evapotranspiration via stomatal conductance and leaf-area index are more commonly included in ecosystems models than in hydrological models, this may partially explain some of the difference between model types. Keeping the vegetation distribution static in JULES runs had much less effect on runoff projections than varying CO2, but this may be more pronounced if looked at over a longer timescale as vegetation changes may take longer to reach a new state.
Range expansion of Ambrosia artemisiifolia in Europe is promoted by climate change
Marion Carmen Leiblein
- Ambrosia artemisiifolia L., native to North America, is a problematic invasive species, because of its highly allergenic pollen. The species is expected to expand its range due to climate change. By means of ecological niche modelling (ENM), we predict habitat suitability for A. artemisiifolia in Europe under current and future climatic conditions. Overall, we compared the performance and results of 16 algorithms commonly applied in ENM. As occurrence records of invasive species may be dominated by sampling bias, we also used data from the native range. To assess the quality of the modelling approaches we assembled a new map of current occurrences of A. artemisiifolia in Europe. Our results show that ENM yields a good estimation of the potential range of A. artemisiifolia in Europe only when using the North American data. A strong sampling bias in the European Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) data for A. artemisiifolia causes unrealistic results. Using the North American data reflects the realized European distribution very well. All models predict an enlargement and a northwards shift of potential range in Central and Northern Europe during the next decades. Climate warming will lead to an increase and northwards shift of A. artemisiifolia in Europe.
A modification of the mixed form of Richards equation and its application in vertically inhomogeneous soils
- Recently, new soil data maps were developed, which include vertical soil properties like soil type. Implementing those into a multilayer Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere-Transfer (SVAT) scheme, discontinuities in the water content occur at the interface between dissimilar soils. Therefore, care must be taken in solving the Richards equation for calculating vertical soil water fluxes. We solve a modified form of the mixed (soil water and soil matric potential based) Richards equation by subtracting the equilibrium state of soil matrix potential ψE from the hydraulic potential ψh. The sensitivity of the modified equation is tested under idealized conditions. The paper will show that the modified equation can handle with discontinuities in soil water content at the interface of layered soils.
Parameter-induced uncertainty quantification of soil N 2 O, NO and CO 2 emission from Höglwald spruce forest (Germany) using the LandscapeDNDC model
- Assessing the uncertainties of simulation results of ecological models is becoming increasingly important, specifically if these models are used to estimate greenhouse gas emissions on site to regional/national levels. Four general sources of uncertainty effect the outcome of process-based models: (i) uncertainty of information used to initialise and drive the model, (ii) uncertainty of model parameters describing specific ecosystem processes, (iii) uncertainty of the model structure, and (iv) accurateness of measurements (e.g., soil-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange) which are used for model testing and development.
The aim of our study was to assess the simulation uncertainty of the process-based biogeochemical model LandscapeDNDC. For this we set up a Bayesian framework using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method, to estimate the joint model parameter distribution. Data for model testing, parameter estimation and uncertainty assessment were taken from observations of soil fluxes of nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric oxide (NO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) as observed over a 10 yr period at the spruce site of the Höglwald Forest, Germany. By running four independent Markov Chains in parallel with identical properties (except for the parameter start values), an objective criteria for chain convergence developed by Gelman et al. (2003) could be used.
Our approach shows that by means of the joint parameter distribution, we were able not only to limit the parameter space and specify the probability of parameter values, but also to assess the complex dependencies among model parameters used for simulating soil C and N trace gas emissions. This helped to improve the understanding of the behaviour of the complex LandscapeDNDC model while simulating soil C and N turnover processes and associated C and N soil-atmosphere exchange. In a final step the parameter distribution of the most sensitive parameters determining soil-atmosphere C and N exchange were used to obtain the parameter-induced uncertainty of simulated N2O, NO and CO2 emissions. These were compared to observational data of an calibration set (6 yr) and an independent validation set of 4 yr. The comparison showed that most of the annual observed trace gas emissions were in the range of simulated values and were predicted with a high certainty (Root-mean-squared error (RMSE) NO: 2.4 to 18.95 g N ha−1 d−1, N2O: 0.14 to 21.12 g N ha−1 d−1, CO2: 5.4 to 11.9 kg C ha−1 d−1). However, LandscapeDNDC simulations were sometimes still limited to accurately predict observed seasonal variations in fluxes.
Parameter-induced uncertainty quantification of soil N 2 O, NO and CO 2 emission from Höglwald spruce forest (Germany) using the LandscapeDNDC model
- Assessing the uncertainties of simulation results of ecological models is becoming of increasing importance, specifically if these models are used to estimate greenhouse gas emissions at site to regional/national levels. Four general sources of uncertainty effect the outcome of process-based models: (i) uncertainty of information used to initialise and drive the model, (ii) uncertainty of model parameters describing specific ecosystem processes, (iii) uncertainty of the model structure and (iv) accurateness of measurements (e.g. soil-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange) which are used for model testing and development.
The aim of our study was to assess the simulation uncertainty of the process-based biogeochemical model LandscapeDNDC. For this we set up a Bayesian framework using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method, to estimate the joint model parameter distribution. Data for model testing, parameter estimation and uncertainty assessment were taken from observations of soil fluxes of nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric oxide (NO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) as observed over a 10 yr period at the spruce site of the Höglwald Forest, Germany. By running four independent Markov Chains in parallel with identical properties (except for the parameter start values), an objective criteria for chain convergence developed by Gelman et al. (2003) could be used.
Our approach showed that by means of the joined parameter distribution, we were able not only to limit the parameter space and specify the probability of parameter values, but also to assess the complex dependencies among model parameters used for simulating soil C and N trace gas emissions. This helped to improve the understanding of the behaviour of the complex LandscapeDNDC model while simulating soil C and N turnover processes and associated C and N soil-atmosphere exchange.
In a final step the parameter distribution of the most sensitive parameters determining soil-atmosphere C and N exchange were used to obtain the parameter-induced uncertainty of simulated N2O, NO and CO2 emissions. These were compared to observational data of the calibration set (6 yr) and an independent validation set of 4 yr.
The comparison showed that most of the annual observed trace gas emissions were in the range of simulated values and were predicted with a high certainty (Residual mean squared error (RMSE) NO: 2.5 to 21.3 g N ha−1 d−1, N2O: 0.2 to 21.4 g N ha−1 d−1, CO2: 5.8 to 12.6 kg C ha−1 d−1). However, LandscapeDNDC simulations were sometimes limited to accurately predict observed seasonal variations in fluxes.
Physico-chemical variables determining the invasion risk of freshwater habitats by alien mollusks and crustaceans
- The aim of this study was to assess the invasion risk of freshwater habitats and determine the environmental variables that are most favorable for the establishment of alien amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and bivalves. A total of 981 sites located in streams and rivers in Germany. Therefore we analyzed presence-absence data of alien and indigenous amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and bivalves from 981 sites located in small to large rivers in Germany with regard to eight environmental variables: chloride, ammonium, nitrate, oxygen, orthophosphate, distance to the next navigable waterway, and maximum and minimum temperature. Degraded sites close to navigable waters were exposed to an increased invasion risk by all major groups of alien species. Moreover, invaded sites by all four groups of alien species were similar, whereas the sites where indigenous members of the four groups occurred were more variable. Increased temperature and chloride concentration as well as decreased oxygen concentration were identified as major factors for the invasibility of a site. Species-specific analyses showed that chloride was among the three most predictive environmental variables determining species assemblage in all four taxonomic groups. Also distance to the next navigable waterways was similarly important. Additionally, the minimum temperature was among the most important variables for amphipods, isopods, and bivalves. The bias in the occurrence patterns of alien species toward similarly degraded habitats suggests that the members of all four major groups of freshwater alien species are a non-random, more tolerant set of species. Their common tolerance to salinity, high temperature, and oxygen depletion may reflect that most alien species were spread in ballast water tanks, where strong selective pressures, particularly temperature fluctuations, oxygen depletion, and increased salinity may create a bottleneck for successful invasion. Knowledge on the major factors that influence the invasion risk of a habitat is needed to develop strategies to limit the spread of invasive species.
Which Morphological Characteristics Are Most Influenced by the Host Matrix in Downy Mildews? A Case Study in Pseudoperonospora cubensis
Marco Fabian Runge
- Before the advent of molecular phylogenetics, species concepts in the downy mildews, an economically important group of obligate biotrophic oomycete pathogens, have mostly been based upon host range and morphology. While molecular phylogenetic studies have confirmed a narrow host range for many downy mildew species, others, like Pseudoperonospora cubensis affect even different genera. Although often morphological differences were found for new, phylogenetically distinct species, uncertainty prevails regarding their host ranges, especially regarding related plants that have been reported as downy mildew hosts, but were not included in the phylogenetic studies. In these cases, the basis for deciding if the divergence in some morphological characters can be deemed sufficient for designation as separate species is uncertain, as observed morphological divergence could be due to different host matrices colonised. The broad host range of P. cubensis (ca. 60 host species) renders this pathogen an ideal model organism for the investigation of morphological variations in relation to the host matrix and to evaluate which characteristics are best indicators for conspecificity or distinctiveness. On the basis of twelve morphological characterisitcs and a set of twelve cucurbits from five different Cucurbitaceae tribes, including the two species, Cyclanthera pedata and Thladiantha dubia, hitherto not reported as hosts of P. cubensis, a significant influence of the host matrix on pathogen morphology was found. Given the high intraspecific variation of some characteristics, also their plasticity has to be taken into account. The implications for morphological species determination and the confidence limits of morphological characteristics are discussed. For species delimitations in Pseudoperonospora it is shown that the ratio of the height of the first ramification to the sporangiophore length, ratio of the longer to the shorter ultimate branchlet, and especially the length and width of sporangia, as well as, with some reservations, their ratio, are the most suitable characteristics for species delimitation.
Genetic Basis of Self-Incompatibility in the Lichen-Forming Fungus Lobaria pulmonaria and Skewed Frequency Distribution of Mating-Type Idiomorphs: Implications for Conservation
Francesco Dal Grande
- Fungal populations that reproduce sexually are likely to be genetically more diverse and have a higher adaptive potential than asexually reproducing populations. Mating systems of fungal species can be self-incompatible, requiring the presence of isolates of different mating-type genes for sexual reproduction to occur, or self-compatible, requiring only one. Understanding the distribution of mating-type genes in populations can help to assess the potential of self-incompatible species to reproduce sexually. In the locally threatened epiphytic lichen-forming fungus Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm., low frequency of sexual reproduction is likely to limit the potential of populations to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Our study provides direct evidence of self-incompatibility (heterothallism) in L. pulmonaria. It can thus be hypothesized that sexual reproduction in small populations might be limited by an unbalanced distribution of mating-type genes. We therefore assessed neutral genetic diversity (using microsatellites) and mating-type ratio in 27 lichen populations (933 individuals). We found significant differences in the frequency of the two mating types in 13 populations, indicating a lower likelihood of sexual reproduction in these populations. This suggests that conservation translocation activities aiming at maximizing genetic heterogeneity in threatened and declining populations should take into account not only presence of fruiting bodies in transplanted individuals, but also the identity and balanced representation of mating-type genes.
Evolution of microgastropods (Ellobioidea, Carychiidae): integrating taxonomic, phylogenetic and evolutionary hypotheses
Alexander M. Weigand
- BACKGROUND: Current biodiversity patterns are considered largely the result of past climatic and tectonic changes. In an integrative approach, we combine taxonomic and phylogenetic hypotheses to analyze temporal and geographic diversification of epigean (Carychium) and subterranean (Zospeum) evolutionary lineages in Carychiidae (Eupulmonata, Ellobioidea). We explicitly test three hypotheses: 1) morphospecies encompass unrecognized evolutionary lineages, 2) limited dispersal results in a close genetic relationship of geographical proximally distributed taxa and 3) major climatic and tectonic events had an impact on lineage diversification within Carychiidae.
RESULTS: Initial morphospecies assignments were investigated by different molecular delimitation approaches (threshold, ABGD, GMYC and SP). Despite a conservative delimitation strategy, carychiid morphospecies comprise a great number of unrecognized evolutionary lineages. We attribute this phenomenon to historic underestimation of morphological stasis and phenotypic variability amongst lineages. The first molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for the Carychiidae (based on COI, 16S and H3) reveals Carychium and Zospeum to be reciprocally monophyletic. Geographical proximally distributed lineages are often closely related. The temporal diversification of Carychiidae is best described by a constant rate model of diversification. The evolution of Carychiidae is characterized by relatively few (long distance) colonization events. We find support for an Asian origin of Carychium. Zospeum may have arrived in Europe before extant members of Carychium. Distantly related Carychium clades inhabit a wide spectrum of the available bioclimatic niche and demonstrate considerable niche overlap.
CONCLUSIONS: Carychiid taxonomy is in dire need of revision. An inferred wide distribution and variable phenotype suggest underestimated diversity in Zospeum. Several Carychium morphospecies are results of past taxonomic lumping. By collecting populations at their type locality, molecular investigations are able to link historic morphospecies assignments to their respective evolutionary lineage. We propose that rare founder populations initially colonized a continent or cave system. Subsequent passive dispersal into adjacent areas led to in situ pan-continental or mountain range diversifications. Major environmental changes did not influence carychiid diversification. However, certain molecular delimitation methods indicated a recent decrease in diversification rate. We attribute this decrease to protracted speciation.