University of Oulu

Rocha, M.P., Bini, L.M., Siqueira, T. et al. Oecologia (2018) 186: 205.

Predicting occupancy and abundance by niche position, niche breadth and body size in stream organisms

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Author: Rocha, Mariana P.1,2,3; Bini, Luis M.4; Siqueira, Tadeu5;
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Biodiversity, Natural Environment Centre, Finnish Environment Institute, Oulu, Finland
3CAPES Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil, Brasília, Brazil
4Department of Ecology (ICB), Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG), Goiânia, Brazil
5Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Rio Claro, Brazil
6Department of Environmental Sciences, Section of Environmental Ecology, University of Helsinki, Lahti, Finland
7Freshwater Center, Finnish Environment Institute, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-06-13


The regional occupancy and local abundance of species are thought to be strongly correlated to their body size, niche breadth and niche position. The strength of the relationships among these variables can also differ between different organismal groups. Here, we analyzed data on stream diatoms and insects from a high-latitude drainage basin to investigate these relationships. To generate measures of niche position and niche breadth for each species, we used sets of local environmental and catchment variables separately, applying the outlying mean index analysis. Beta regression and negative binomial generalized linear models were run to predict regional occupancy and mean local abundance, respectively. We found a positive occupancy–abundance relationship in both diatoms and insects, and that niche-based variables were the main predictors of variation in regional occupancy and local abundance. This finding was mainly due to local environmental niche position, whereas the effects of niche breadth on regional occupancy and local abundance were less important. We also found a relationship between body size and local abundance or regional occupancy of diatoms. Our results thus add to current macroecological research by emphasizing the strong importance of niche position rather than niche breadth and body size for regional occupancy and local abundance in rarely studied organisms (e.g., diatoms and insects) and ecosystems (i.e., wilderness streams).

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Series: Oecologia
ISSN: 0029-8549
ISSN-E: 1432-1939
ISSN-L: 0029-8549
Volume: 186
Issue: 1
Pages: 205 - 216
DOI: 10.1007/s00442-017-3988-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: MPR is funded by thank CAPES Foundation-Brazil (Grant number 11877-13-8). TS is funded by Grant #2013/50424-1, São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). Work by LMB have been continuously supported by CNPq Productivity Grants and is developed in the context of National Institutes for Science and Technology (INCT) in Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation, supported by MCTIC/CNPq (proc. 465610/2014-5) and FAPEG. This study was also supported by grants from the Academy of Finland to JHeino and JHjort.
Copyright information: © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Oecologia. The final authenticated version is available online at: