, Volume 179, Issue 2, pp 527–535 | Cite as

Concordance and discordance between taxonomic and functional homogenization: responses of soil mite assemblages to forest conversion

  • Akira S. Mori
  • Aino T. Ota
  • Saori Fujii
  • Tatsuyuki Seino
  • Daisuke Kabeya
  • Toru Okamoto
  • Masamichi T. Ito
  • Nobuhiro Kaneko
  • Motohiro Hasegawa
Community ecology - Original research


The compositional characteristics of ecological assemblages are often simplified; this process is termed “biotic homogenization.” This process of biological reorganization occurs not only taxonomically but also functionally. Testing both aspects of homogenization is essential if ecosystem functioning supported by a diverse mosaic of functional traits in the landscape is concerned. Here, we aimed to infer the underlying processes of taxonomic/functional homogenization at the local scale, which is a scale that is meaningful for this research question. We recorded species of litter-dwelling oribatid mites along a gradient of forest conversion from a natural forest to a monoculture larch plantation in Japan (in total 11 stands), and collected data on the functional traits of the recorded species to quantify functional diversity. We calculated the taxonomic and functional β-diversity, an index of biotic homogenization. We found that both the taxonomic and functional β-diversity decreased with larch dominance (stand homogenization). After further deconstructing β-diversity into the components of turnover and nestedness, which reflect different processes of community organization, a significant decrease in the response to larch dominance was observed only for the functional turnover. As a result, there was a steeper decline in the functional β-diversity than the taxonomic β-diversity. This discordance between the taxonomic and functional response suggests that species replacement occurs between species that are functionally redundant under environmental homogenization, ultimately leading to the stronger homogenization of functional diversity. The insights gained from community organization of oribatid mites suggest that the functional characteristics of local assemblages, which support the functionality of ecosystems, are of more concern in human-dominated forest landscapes.


Community reassembly Ecosystem functioning Forest restoration Oribatid mites Soil arthropods Taxonomic and functional homogenization 



The authors thank the staff of the Insect Ecology Laboratory and the Kiso Experimental Station at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute and those at the Soil Ecology Laboratory of Yokohama National University for their help and guidance in the research. Budgetary support was provided by a Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan (to M. H.) and from the Asahi Glass Foundation (to A. S. M.).

Supplementary material

442_2015_3342_MOESM1_ESM.docx (397 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 396 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akira S. Mori
    • 1
  • Aino T. Ota
    • 1
  • Saori Fujii
    • 1
  • Tatsuyuki Seino
    • 2
  • Daisuke Kabeya
    • 3
  • Toru Okamoto
    • 3
  • Masamichi T. Ito
    • 1
    • 4
  • Nobuhiro Kaneko
    • 1
  • Motohiro Hasegawa
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Environment and Information SciencesYokohama National UniversityHodogayaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Forestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of Economics and ManagementSurugadai UniversityHannoJapan

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