Species diversity patterns at ecotones Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Senft, Amanda Ruth
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology
Abstract
  • This thesis aims to clarify species richness patterns at ecotones, the mechanisms underlying these patterns, and the challenges faced when trying to link diversity patterns to ecotone properties. Species present at ecotones may be characterized as coming from two sources: those that derive from additive blending of species from adjoining communities and those that are from ecotonal specialists. Diversity at ecotones is dependent on multiple factors, including environmental heterogeneity, spatial mass effect, invasive species spread, animal activities, and hybridization. To clarify the importance of these factors, I constructed vegetation transects across field/forest edges which varied in their disturbance regimes and landscape position. I found that, in general, these ecotones did not have higher species richness than the adjacent vegetation, and that the species present were mostly also present on either side of the transition, with very few species unique to the ecotone. The results of this study provide a starting point for linking patterns of diversity with ecotone properties.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Peet, Robert K.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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  • Open access
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