The working group has two goals, including (1) a descriptive synthesis of long-term trends in biodiversity metrics commonly reported in empirical metacommunity studies and (2) a meta-analysis to assess if metacommunity attributes can be used to predict local and/or regional scale responses to severe disturbance events (e.g., severe floods, droughts, fires, hurricanes, etc.). We have identified 35+ prospective data sets with substantial temporal resolution and/or extent (e.g., often > 10 years). Leading up to the 2016 ESA meeting, participants will collaborate using the project website (http://tinyurl.com/j9yfxw9) and GitHub to manage and analyze selected LTER metacommunity biodiversity data sets. Analyses will focus on diversity partitioning, variation partitioning, and elements of community structure (EMS metrics, described by Leibold and Mikkelson). At the 2016 ESA meeting, we will present and discuss preliminary results from the descriptive synthesis of long-term metacommunity diversity patterns. We will use the descriptive synthesis findings to inform a discussion about how the metacommunity concept can be applied to understand links between disturbance events trends in biodiversity across LTER sites.
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