Intraspecific positive relationships between abundance and occupancy are observed for many species, suggesting that the same processes drive local and regional species dynamics. Two main groups of mechanisms explain this relationship: spatiotemporal variation in local population growth rates due to variation in habitat quality, or dispersal effects that increase occupancy of a species when locally abundant. Several studies show that spatiotemporal variation in population growth rates causes positive abundance–occupancy relationships, but few have shown dispersal effects. It is believed that such effects should be more evident for species whose dispersal is limited, e.g. metapopulations, but those studies are limited. This study investigates abundance–occupancy relationships in three Daphnia metapopulations in rock pools and the degree to which dispersal or habitat quality affect their local abundances and occurrence. Daphnia longispina and Daphnia magna showed positive abundance–occupancy relationships, but not Daphnia pulex. No single ecological factor could explain the abundance–occupancy relationships of any given species. Instead, dispersal processes and rock pool quality (mainly salinity and depth) seem to act together to shape the abundance–occupancy relationships. Such a conclusion is also supported by an immigration experiment in natural rock pools. This study suggests that although positive abundance–occupancy relationships may be commonly found for metapopulations, both dispersal processes and variation in habitat quality can be factors determining the abundance–occupancy relationship of metapopulations experiencing habitat heterogeneity.
Cladocera Environmental heterogeneity Fragmented distribution Metacommunities Patches
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
I am grateful to the handling editor of Oecologia, two anonymous referees, and Anna Gårdmark for their suggestions for improvements on earlier versions of this manuscript. This study was financed by the Swedish Research Council (VR).
Altermatt F, Ebert D (2008) The influence of pool volume and summer desiccation on the production of the resting and dispersal stage in a Daphnia metapopulation. Oecologia 157:441–452CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Bengtsson J (1986) Life histories and interspecific competition between 3 Daphnia species in rock pools. J Anim Ecol 55:641–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bengtsson J (1987) Competitive dominance among Cladocera: are single-factor explanations enough? Hydrobiologia 145:245–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bengtsson J (1991) Interspecific competition in metapopulations. Biol J Linn Soc 42:219–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Borregaard MK, Rahbek C (2010) Causality of the relationship between geographic distribution and species abundance. Quart Rev Biol 85:3–25CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Ebert D, Haag C, Kirkpatrick M, Riek M, Hottinger JW, Pajunen VI (2002) A selective advantage to immigrant genes in a Daphnia metapopulation. Science 295:485–488CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Freckleton RP, Gill JA, Noble D, Watkinson AR (2005) Large-scale population dynamics, abundance–occupancy relationships and the scaling from local to regional population size. J Anim Ecol 74:353–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freckleton RP, Noble D, Webb TJ (2006) Distributions of habitat suitability and the abundance–occupancy relationship. Am Nat 167:260–275CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Sjögren-Gulve P (1994) Distribution and extinction patterns within a northern metapopulation of the pool frog, Rana lessonea. Ecology 75:1357–1367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Webb TJ, Noble D, Freckleton RP (2007) Abundance-occupancy dynamics in a human dominated environment: linking interspecific and intraspecific trends in British farmland and woodland birds. J Anim Ecol 76:123–134CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Wolfinger R, O’Conell M (1993) Generalized linear mixed models: a pseudo-likelihood approach. J Stat Comput Simul 48:233–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar