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  1. Abstract

    Biodiversity is believed to be closely related to ecosystem functions. However, the ability of existing biodiversity measures, such as species richness and phylogenetic diversity, to predict ecosystem functions remains elusive. Here, we propose a new vector of diversity metrics, structural diversity, which directly incorporates niche space in measuring ecosystem structure. We hypothesize that structural diversity will provide better predictive ability of key ecosystem functions than traditional biodiversity measures. Using the new lidar-derived canopy structural diversity metrics on 19 National Ecological Observation Network forested sites across the USA, we show that structural diversity is a better predictor of key ecosystem functions, such as productivity, energy, and nutrient dynamics than existing biodiversity measures (i.e. species richness and phylogenetic diversity). Similar to existing biodiversity measures, we found that the relationships between structural diversity and ecosystem functions are sensitive to environmental context. Our study indicates that structural diversity may be as good or a better predictor of ecosystem functions than species richness and phylogenetic diversity.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  3. Sabatini, Francesco Maria (Ed.)
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  5. Spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), is a non-native planthopper that recently established in the Northeastern United States. Little is known about the spatial dynamics of its invasion and key drivers associated with its regional spread. Here, using field survey data from a total of 241,366 survey locations from 2014–2019 in the eastern USA, we quantified rates of SLF spread and modeled factors associated with the risk of SLF invasion. During the study period, SLF invasion appears to be associated with both short- and long-distance dispersal. On average, the number of newly invaded counties per year increased since initial discovery, with 0–14 long-distance dispersal events per year and median jump distances ranging from 55 to 92 km/year throughout the study period. Radial rates of spread, based on two of the three analysis methods applied, varied from 38.6 to 46.2 km/year. A Cox proportional hazards model suggested that risk of SLF invasion increased with a proxy for human-aided dispersal, human population per county. We anticipate that SLF will continue to spread via both long- and short-distance dispersals, especially via human activities. Efforts to manage SLF populations potentially could target human-mediated movement of SLF to reduce rates of spread.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 6, 2022
  6. Most biological invasion literature—including syntheses and meta-analyses and the resulting theory—is reported from temperate regions, drawing only minimally from the tropics except for some island systems. The lack of attention to invasions in the tropics results from and reinforces the assumption that tropical ecosystems, and especially the continental tropics, are more resistant to invasions. We have critically assessed biological invasions in the tropics and compared them with temperate regions, finding relatively weak evidence that tropical and temperate regions differ in their invasibility and in the traits that determine invader success and impacts. Propagule pressure and the traits that promote adaptation to disturbances (e.g., high fecundity or fast growth rates) are generally favorable to invasions in both tropical and temperate regions. We emphasize the urgent need for greater investment and regional cooperation in the study, prevention, and management of biological invasions in the tropics.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 2, 2022