Monday, July 25, 2011

Common versus rare species in a metacommunity context

It is finally online, the first publication from the Brazilian side of the lab ;-). In this article, we made competing predictions about how common and rare species should behave in a metacommunity context. The, very surprising, result was that both common and rare species reacted very similarly to environmental gradients, which was very counterintuitive from both a metacommunity and macro-ecology point of view.

Another side effect of this study was our new definition for rareness, based on a slightly subjective but less arbitrary definition compared to other studies. By plotting rank-abundance curves on a linear scale instea of the more common logarithmic scale, you can see the tail-end of the distribution much more clearly, and this makes it easier to identify the transition between common and rare species as the inflection point were species "move away" from the imaginary horizontal asymptote.

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