Data from: The role of species traits in mediating functional recovery during matrix restoration

  • Andrew D. Barnes (Creator)
  • Rowan M. Emberson (Creator)
  • Frank-Thorsten Krell (Creator)
  • Raphael Didham (Contributor)



Reversing anthropogenic impacts on habitat structure is frequently successful through restoration, but the mechanisms linking habitat change, community reassembly and recovery of ecosystem functioning remain unknown. We test for the influence of edge effects and matrix habitat restoration on the reassembly of dung beetle communities and consequent recovery of dung removal rates across tropical forest edges. Using path modelling, we disentangle the relative importance of community-weighted trait means and functional trait dispersion from total biomass effects on rates of dung removal. Community trait composition and biomass of dung beetle communities responded divergently to edge effects and matrix habitat restoration, yielding opposing effects on dung removal. However, functional dispersion—used in this study as a measure of niche complementarity—did not explain a significant amount of variation in dung removal rates across habitat edges. Instead, we demonstrate that the path to functional recovery of these altered ecosystems depends on the trait-mean composition of reassembling communities, over and above purely biomass-dependent processes that would be expected under neutral theory. These results suggest that any ability to manage functional recovery of ecosystems during habitat restoration will demand knowledge of species' roles in ecosystem processes.,dung beetle response-effect trait dataThis is the data set used to fit the edge response function in Figure 2, and to develop the path model testing the trait dependence of functional recovery of dung removal across regenerating habitat edges. The column heading "site" indicates the edge gradient sampling site, "restoration" is a binary variable coding whether the adjacent matrix underwent habitat restoration, and "edge.distance" indicates the sampling point's distance from the habitat edge, whereby positive numbers are located in the matrix and negative numbers are located in the adjacent forest habitat. "Biomass" gives the total community biomass (mg) for each sample, "FDis" is the calculated functional dispersion of each community, "body.mass" is the arithmetic community mean body mass (mg), "BSI" gives the community mean pronotum width/body mass ratio, "wing.loading" is the community mean wing area/body mass ratio, "wing.area" gives the community mean wing area (mm^2), "pronotum" provides the community mean pronotum width (mm), and "dung.removal" gives the proportion of dung removed at each sampling point.dung beetle response effect trait data.csv,
Date made available1 Jan 2014

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