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Biodiversity in a rapidly changing world

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TypeOfResource
Text
TitleInfo (ID = T-1)
Title
Biodiversity in a rapidly changing world
SubTitle
from local interactions to large scale patterns
PartName
PartNumber
NonSort
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ETD_2042
Identifier (type = hdl)
http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.2/rucore10001600001.ETD.000051983
Language (objectPart = )
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eng
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theses
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Topic
Ecology and Evolution
Subject (ID = SBJ-2); (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Biodiversity
Abstract
Invasions and extinctions have reorganized the earth’s biota and altered biodiversity across all spatial scales. At the local scale, invasions have outpaced extinctions for many taxonomic groups. This suggests that food webs, which represent feeding interactions at the local scale, may be increasing in species richness. Importantly, the non-random addition and deletion of species has also altered the compositional similarity between regions or locales (beta diversity). The result is that spatially distinct assemblages have become more or less similar in species composition and abundance through the processes of biotic homogenization and biotic differentiation, respectively. In this dissertation, I addressed local scale interactions by exploring the influence of food web structure on invasion success in model food webs. I also quantified patterns of change in taxonomic and functional similarity across space and time to understand the effects of invasions and extinctions on large scale spatial patterns of diversity.
I used a Lotka-Volterra food web model to develop predictions about how trophic structure influences invasion success (Chapter 1). I found that successful establishment in model food webs largely depends on the trophic level of the invader, due to interactions with adjacent trophic levels. My model makes four predictions that can be tested in natural or experimental communities; 1) invasion success of top predators will increase with greater diversity in native prey items, 2) basal invasion will be controlled by the number of native consumers, 3) invasive omnivore establishment will be controlled by diversity in the lowest trophic level of potential prey items, and 4) intermediate invasion success will be controlled by the diversity of native predators.
I developed two methods that measure large scale spatial patterns of biodiversity. The dendrogram-based method, which quantifies change in taxonomic similarity, (Chapter 2) introduces three metrics that each describes a different aspect of change in taxonomic similarity as depicted by a dendrogram. This method is unique in that the spatial and historical affinities of assemblages are tracked through time providing insight into how evolutionary history and spatial dynamics influence patterns of homogenization. The utility of the dendrogram-based method was exemplified by the case study of the Hawaiian Island avifauna, which showed that between-island similarity in the historical time period follows the geologic history of the islands and the influence of prior extinction filters on the perceived homogenization of assemblages. The second method is a trait based method for quantifying change in functional similarity through time (Chapter 3). Simulations indicate that functional and taxonomic similarity are positively correlated as trait complementarity increases. Functional and taxonomic similarity are positively correlated for the breeding and foraging traits in bird assemblages at ten locales across the United States from 1968 to 2008. This relationship suggests a high level of trait complementarity among the breeding bird assemblages, but further empirical examples are necessary to determine the bounds of trait complementarity in real assemblages.
The impact of humans on biodiversity is complex in that it involves measuring both taxonomic and functional attributes of communities across different spatial scales. Methods for elucidating anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function must take this into consideration when assessing impacts and developing conservation planning.
PhysicalDescription
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electronic resource
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xi, 123 p. : ill.
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Ph.D.
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Includes bibliographical references
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by Benjamin Baiser
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Baiser
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Benjamin
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1980-
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Benjamin Baiser
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Lockwood
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Julie
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chair
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Julie L Lockwood
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Morin
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Peter
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Peter J Morin
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Russell
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Gareth
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Gareth Russell
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Olden
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Julian
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Julian Olden
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Rutgers University
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degree grantor
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Graduate School - New Brunswick
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2009
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2009-10
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xx
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD
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Title
Graduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore19991600001
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Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T33J3D5W
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
Notice
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Open
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Permission or license
Note
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Baiser
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Benjamin
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Benjamin Baiser
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Rutgers University. Graduate School - New Brunswick
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Author Agreement License
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I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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