1932

Abstract

Spatial processes underlie major species coexistence mechanisms. A range of spatial analysis techniques are increasingly applied to data of fully mapped communities to quantify spatial structures in species and phylogenetic and functional diversity at some given spatial scale with the goal of gaining insights into processes of community assembly and dynamics. We review these techniques, including spatial point pattern analysis, quadrat-based analyses, and individual-based neighborhood models, and provide a practical roadmap for ecologists in the analysis of local spatial structures in species and phylogenetic and functional diversity. We show how scale-dependent metrics of spatial diversity can be used in concert with ecological null models, statistical models, and dynamic community simulation models to detect spatial patterns, reveal the influence of the biotic neighborhood on plant performance, and quantify the relative contribution of species interactions, habitat heterogeneity, and stochastic processes to community assembly across scale. Future works should integrate these approaches into a dynamic spatiotemporal framework.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110316-022936
2017-11-02
2024-07-21
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