Separating the determinants of phylogenetic community structure

Separating the determinants of phylogenetic community structure The role of competition in forbidding similar species from co‐occurring has long been debated. A difficulty in identifying this repulsion of similar species is that similar species share similar environmental requirements and hence show an attraction to communities where these requirements are met. To disentangle these opposing patterns, we use phylogenetic relatedness as an objective metric of species similarities. Studying 11 sunfishes (Centrarchidae) from 890 lakes, we first show no phylogenetic pattern in the raw community data. We then regressed sunfish presence/absence against seven environmental variables and show that lakes with similar water clarity and latitude likely contain closely related species. After statistically removing the environmental effects, phylogenetic repulsion was apparent, with closely related sunfishes less likely to co‐occur. Thus, both phylogenetic attraction, driven by environmental filtering, and phylogenetic repulsion, possibly caused by competition, simultaneously occur and obscure one another in the overall phylogenetic structure of sunfish communities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Letters Wiley

Separating the determinants of phylogenetic community structure

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1461-023X
eISSN
1461-0248
DOI
10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01083.x
pmid
17845292
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The role of competition in forbidding similar species from co‐occurring has long been debated. A difficulty in identifying this repulsion of similar species is that similar species share similar environmental requirements and hence show an attraction to communities where these requirements are met. To disentangle these opposing patterns, we use phylogenetic relatedness as an objective metric of species similarities. Studying 11 sunfishes (Centrarchidae) from 890 lakes, we first show no phylogenetic pattern in the raw community data. We then regressed sunfish presence/absence against seven environmental variables and show that lakes with similar water clarity and latitude likely contain closely related species. After statistically removing the environmental effects, phylogenetic repulsion was apparent, with closely related sunfishes less likely to co‐occur. Thus, both phylogenetic attraction, driven by environmental filtering, and phylogenetic repulsion, possibly caused by competition, simultaneously occur and obscure one another in the overall phylogenetic structure of sunfish communities.

Journal

Ecology LettersWiley

Published: Oct 1, 2007

References

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