Community Diversity and Community Analyses: How Choices Aid Or Confound

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 2:00 PM
Pope (Statehouse Convention Center)
Donald A. Jackson , Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Edie Marsh-Matthews , Biology, The University of Oklahoma, Norman
William Matthews , Biology, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Ecologists frequently examine communities through the use of multivariate statistical approaches.  The outcomes of these analyses are dependent on our choices in approach and the diversity of our communities, but often these influences are overlooked.  We examine a series of fish community datasets that range in their turnover of species along each series of sites and the size of the datasets.  We use these datasets in combination with a series of different multivariate resemblance measures to show how our results are affected by the interaction between these two factors.  Enhanced understanding of how these effects of species turnover (maximum extent of beta diversity) interact with various resemblance measures can provide us with opportunities to tailor our analyses, thereby enhancing our abilities to recover meaningful ecological gradients rather than having confounded results and misleading interpretations.