Rancho Seco vernal pool community data

Julia Michaels
Disturbance often increases local-scale (α) diversity by suppressing dominant competitors. However, widespread disturbances may also reduce biotic heterogeneity (β diversity) by making the identities and abundances of species more similar among patches. Landscape-scale (γ) diversity may also decline if disturbance-sensitive species are lost. California’s vernal pool plant communities are species-rich due in part to two scales of β diversity: (1) within pools, as species composition changes with depth (referred to here as vertical β diversity),...
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