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Diversity 2010, 2(4), 550-560; doi:10.3390/d2040550

Spatial Structure Alters the Shape of the Unimodal Species Richness-Biomass Relationship in a Neutral Model

1
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
Department of Botany, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 January 2010 / Revised: 30 March 2010 / Accepted: 1 April 2010 / Published: 6 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity Theories and Perspectives)
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Abstract

Variation in individual density may explain the unimodal richness-biomass relationship in which species richness peaks at an intermediate level of total biomass. However, it is unclear how individual density is regulated by community thinning (i.e., mortality due to competition with neighbors) as total above-ground biomass increases. We developed a simulation model which demonstrates that the spatial structure of a population can influence the initiation and rate of community thinning and thus the shape of the richness-biomass relationship. Specifically, we found that more clustered populations resulted in a more abrupt initiation and rapid rate of thinning and thus a sharper unimodal richness-biomass relationship. Our simulation also demonstrated that a wide diversity of richness-biomass relationships can be produced by community-thinning. View Full-Text
Keywords: hump-shaped curve; productivity; biomass; community thinning; simulation; diversity hump-shaped curve; productivity; biomass; community thinning; simulation; diversity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

McGlinn, D.J.; Palmer, M.W. Spatial Structure Alters the Shape of the Unimodal Species Richness-Biomass Relationship in a Neutral Model. Diversity 2010, 2, 550-560.

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