Affiliations 

  • 1 Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling, Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station, CNRS and Paul Sabatier University, 09200 Moulis, France
  • 2 Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Science, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, 100871 Beijing, China
  • 3 Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Selangor Darul Ehsan, 52109 Kepong, Malaysia
Nat Commun, 2017 05 19;8:15211.
PMID: 28524860 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15211

Abstract

The spatial scaling of stability is key to understanding ecological sustainability across scales and the sensitivity of ecosystems to habitat destruction. Here we propose the invariability-area relationship (IAR) as a novel approach to investigate the spatial scaling of stability. The shape and slope of IAR are largely determined by patterns of spatial synchrony across scales. When synchrony decays exponentially with distance, IARs exhibit three phases, characterized by steeper increases in invariability at both small and large scales. Such triphasic IARs are observed for primary productivity from plot to continental scales. When synchrony decays as a power law with distance, IARs are quasilinear on a log-log scale. Such quasilinear IARs are observed for North American bird biomass at both species and community levels. The IAR provides a quantitative tool to predict the effects of habitat loss on population and ecosystem stability and to detect regime shifts in spatial ecological systems, which are goals of relevance to conservation and policy.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.