Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Effects of spatial distance and woody plant cover on beta diversity point to dispersal limitation as a driver of community assembly during post-fire succession in a Mediterranean shrubland

Citation

Torres Galán, Iván; Parra, Antonio; Moreno, José M. (2022), Effects of spatial distance and woody plant cover on beta diversity point to dispersal limitation as a driver of community assembly during post-fire succession in a Mediterranean shrubland, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7h44j0zx5

Abstract

Beta diversity, and its components of turnover and nestedness, reflect the processes governing community assembly, such as dispersal limitation or biotic interactions, but it is unclear how they operate at the local scale and how their role changes along post-fire succession. Here, we analyzed the patterns of beta diversity and its components in a herbaceous plant community after fire, and in relation to dispersal ability, in Central Spain. We calculated multiple site beta diversity (βSOR) and its components of turnover (βSIM) and nestedness (βSNE) of all herbaceous plants, or grouped by dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory, zoochory), during the first three years after wildfire. We evaluated the relationship between pairwise beta diversity (βsor), and its components (βsim, βsne), and spatial distance or differences in woody plant cover, a proxy of biotic interactions. We found high multiple-site beta diversity dominated by the turnover component. Community dissimilarity increased with spatial distance, driven mostly by the turnover component. Species with less dispersal ability (i. e. autochory) showed a stronger spatial pattern of dissimilarity. Biotic interactions with woody plants contributed less to community dissimilarity, which tended to occur through the nestedness component. These results suggest that dispersal limitation prevails over biotic interactions with woody plants as a driver of local community assembly, even for species with high dispersal ability. These results contribute to our understanding of post-fire community assembly and vegetation dynamics.

Funding

European Commission, Award: EVG1-CT-2001-00043

This research was part of the INFORICAM project funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033/ and by “European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR”, Award: PID2020-119402RB-I00.