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This content will become publicly available on September 13, 2023

Title: Multispecies coexistence in fragmented landscapes
Spatial dynamics have long been recognized as an important driver of biodiversity. However, our understanding of species’ coexistence under realistic landscape configurations has been limited by lack of adequate analytical tools. To fill this gap, we develop a spatially explicit metacommunity model of multiple competing species and derive analytical criteria for their coexistence in fragmented heterogeneous landscapes. Specifically, we propose measures of niche and fitness differences for metacommunities, which clarify how spatial dynamics and habitat configuration interact with local competition to determine coexistence of species. We parameterize our model with a Bayesian approach using a 36-y time-series dataset of three Daphnia species in a rockpool metacommunity covering >500 patches. Our results illustrate the emergence of interspecific variation in extinction and recolonization processes, including their dependencies on habitat size and environmental temperature. We find that such interspecific variation contributes to the coexistence of Daphnia species by reducing fitness differences and increasing niche differences. Additionally, our parameterized model allows separating the effects of habitat destruction and temperature change on species extinction. By integrating coexistence theory and metacommunity theory, our study provides platforms to increase our understanding of species’ coexistence in fragmented heterogeneous landscapes and the response of biodiversity to environmental changes.
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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