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Metapopulation stability in branching river networks

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Title: Metapopulation stability in branching river networks
Authors: Terui, Akira Browse this author
Ishiyama, Nobuo Browse this author
Urabe, Hirokazu Browse this author
Ono, Satoru Browse this author
Finlay, Jacques C. Browse this author
Nakamura, Futoshi Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: dendritic ecological network
portfolio effect
spatially structured population
Issue Date: 26-Jun-2018
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences.
Journal Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Volume: 115
Issue: 26
Start Page: E5963
End Page: E5969
Publisher DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1800060115
Abstract: Intraspecific population diversity (specifically, spatial asynchrony of population dynamics) is an essential component of metapopulation stability and persistence in nature. In 2D systems, theory predicts that metapopulation stability should increase with ecosystem size (or habitat network size): Larger ecosystems will harbor more diverse subpopulations with more stable aggregate dynamics. However, current theories developed in simplified landscapes may be inadequate to predict emergent properties of branching ecosystems, an overlooked but widespread habitat geometry. Here, we combine theory and analyses of a unique long-term dataset to show that a scale-invariant characteristic of fractal river networks, branching complexity (measured as branching probability), stabilizes watershed metapopulations. In riverine systems, each branch (i.e., tributary) exhibits distinctive ecological dynamics, and confluences serve as "merging" points of those branches. Hence, increased levels of branching complexity should confer a greater likelihood of integrating asynchronous dynamics over the landscape. We theoretically revealed that the stabilizing effect of branching complexity is a consequence of purely probabilistic processes in natural conditions, where within-branch synchrony exceeds among-branch synchrony. Contrary to current theories developed in 2D systems, metapopulation size (a variable closely related to ecosystem size) had vague effects on metapopulation stability. These theoretical predictions were supported by 18-y observations of fish populations across 31 watersheds: Our cross-watershed comparisons revealed consistent stabilizing effects of branching complexity on metapopulations of very different riverine fishes. A strong association between branching complexity and metapopulation stability is likely to be a pervasive feature of branching networks that strongly affects species persistence during rapid environmental changes.
Type: article (author version)
Appears in Collections:農学院・農学研究院 (Graduate School of Agriculture / Faculty of Agriculture) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 中村 太士

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