Bimodal trait distributions with large variances question the reliability of trait-based aggregate models

dc.contributor.authorCoutinho, Renato Mendes [UNESP]
dc.contributor.authorKlauschies, Toni
dc.contributor.authorGaedke, Ursula
dc.contributor.institutionUniversidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp)
dc.contributor.institutionUniv Potsdam
dc.description.abstractFunctionally diverse communities can adjust their species composition to altered environmental conditions, which may influence food web dynamics. Trait-based aggregate models cope with this complexity by ignoring details about species identities and focusing on their functional characteristics (traits). They describe the temporal changes of the aggregate properties of entire communities, including their total biomasses, mean trait values, and trait variances. The applicability of aggregate models depends on the validity of their underlying assumptions that trait distributions are normal and exhibit small variances. We investigated to what extent this can be expected to work by comparing an innovative model that accounts for the full trait distributions of predator and prey communities to a corresponding aggregate model. We used a food web structure with well-established trade-offs among traits promoting mutual adjustments between prey edibility and predator selectivity in response to selection. We altered the shape of the trade-offs to compare the outcome of the two models under different selection regimes, leading to trait distributions increasingly deviating from normality. Their biomass and trait dynamics agreed very well for stabilizing selection and reasonably well for directional selection, under which different trait values are favored at different times. However, for disruptive selection, the results of the aggregate model strongly deviated from the full trait distribution model that showed bimodal trait distributions with large variances. Hence, the outcome of aggregate models is reliable under ideal conditions but has to be questioned when confronted with more complex selection regimes and trait distributions, which are commonly observed in nature.en
dc.description.affiliationUniv Estadual Paulista, Inst Fis Teor, Sao Paulo, Brazil
dc.description.affiliationUniv Potsdam, Inst Biochem & Biol, Dept Ecol & Ecosyst Modeling, Potsdam, Germany
dc.description.affiliationUnespUniv Estadual Paulista, Inst Fis Teor, Sao Paulo, Brazil
dc.description.sponsorshipFundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)
dc.description.sponsorshipCoordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES)
dc.description.sponsorshipGerman Research Foundation (DFG)
dc.description.sponsorshipIdFAPESP: 2012/05949-6
dc.description.sponsorshipIdGerman Research Foundation (DFG): GA 401/19-1
dc.description.sponsorshipIdGerman Research Foundation (DFG): 26-1
dc.identifier.citationTheoretical Ecology. Heidelberg: Springer Heidelberg, v. 9, n. 4, p. 389-408, 2016.
dc.relation.ispartofTheoretical Ecology
dc.rights.accessRightsAcesso aberto
dc.sourceWeb of Science
dc.subjectFitness gradient
dc.subjectCommunities as complex adaptive systems
dc.subjectMoment closure for trait-based aggregate model approaches
dc.subjectMultimodal trait distributions
dc.subjectLumpiness in pattern formation and self-organization
dc.subjectShape of trade-offs and stabilizing and disruptive selection
dc.titleBimodal trait distributions with large variances question the reliability of trait-based aggregate modelsen


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