Long-term studies are essential to understand the impacts of global changes on the multiple facets of biological diversity. Here, we use distribution data for over 600 species of arthropods collected over 150 years from locations across Italy and test how multiple environmental stressors (climate, land use and human population density) influenced assemblage composition and functionality. By carefully reconstructing the temporal changes in these stressors, we explicitly tested how environmental changes can determine the observed changes in taxonomic and functional diversity. We found that rapid changes in precipitation destabilize the assemblages and maximize colonization and extinction rates, especially when coupled with changes in human population density (for taxonomy) or temperature (for functionality). Higher microclimatic heterogeneity increases the stability of biodiversity by reducing taxonomic and functional loss. Finally, changes in natural habitats increased colonization, influencing taxonomic nestedness and functional replacement. The integration of long-term datasets combining distributions, climate and traits may deepen our understanding of the processes underlying biodiversity responses to global-scale drivers.
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The R codes used to run the analyses are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14748057.
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We thank D. O’Brien for the revision of an early version of the manuscript. S.M. and G.F.F. are funded by the European Research Council under the European Community’s Horizon 2020 Programme, grant agreement no. 772284 (‘IceCommunities—Reconstructing community dynamics and ecosystem functioning after glacial retreat’).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Nature Ecology & Evolution thanks Alistair Auffret and Marta Jarzyna for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Peer reviewer reports are available.
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Extended Data Fig. 1 Relationships between the rate of change of precipitation at slower, medium and faster changes of the human population density and taxonomic indices (βsim, βsne, Dgain, Dloss).
Relationships between taxonomic indices and the rate of change of precipitation (mm/year) at slower (−0.45), medium (0.72) and faster (1.82) changes of the human population density (cube-root transformed; (inhabitants/km2/year)1/3). In each plot, the thick red line represents the average predicted relationship on the link scale, while the grey lines represent 500 samples of the posterior distribution. a–c, turnover (βsim). d–f, nestedness (βsne). g–i, standardized gain (Dgain). j–l, standardized loss (Dloss).
Extended Data Fig. 2 Relationships between the rate of change of temperature with negative, stable and positive rate of changes of precipitation and functional indices (βsim, βsne, Dgain, Dloss).
Relationships between functional indices and the rate of change of temperature (°C/year) with negative (−10.06), stable (−1.96) and positive (5.4) rates of change in precipitation (mm/year). In each plot, the thick red line represents the average predicted relationship on the link scale, while the grey lines represent 500 samples of the posterior distribution. a–c, turnover (βsim). d–f, nestedness (βsne). g–i, standardized gain (Dgain). j–l, standardized loss (Dloss).
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Marta, S., Brunetti, M., Manenti, R. et al. Climate and land-use changes drive biodiversity turnover in arthropod assemblages over 150 years. Nat Ecol Evol 5, 1291–1300 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01513-0
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