Data from: Untangling interactions: do temperature and habitat fragmentation gradients simultaneously impact biotic relationships?
Lakeman-Fraser, Poppy; Ewers, Rob M. (2014), Data from: Untangling interactions: do temperature and habitat fragmentation gradients simultaneously impact biotic relationships?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gs3r8
Gaining insight into the impact of anthropogenic change on ecosystems requires investigation into interdependencies between multiple drivers of ecological change and multiple biotic responses. Global environmental change drivers can act simultaneously to impact the abundance and diversity of biota, but few studies have also measured the impact across trophic levels. We firstly investigated whether climate (using temperature differences across a latitudinal gradient as a surrogate) interacts with habitat fragmentation (measured according to fragment area and distance to habitat edges) to impact a New Zealand tri-trophic food chain (plant, herbivore and natural enemy). Secondly, we examined how these interactions might differentially impact both the density and biotic processes of species at each of the three trophic levels. We found evidence to suggest that these drivers act non-additively across trophic levels. The nature of these interactions however varied: location synergistically interacted with fragmentation measures to exacerbate the detrimental effects on consumer density; and antagonistically interacted to ameliorate the impact on plant density and on the interactions between trophic levels (herbivory and parasitoid attack rate). Our findings indicate that the ecological consequences of multiple global change drivers are strongly interactive and vary according to the trophic level studied and whether density or ecological processes are investigated.