Dornelas, M., Magurran, A.E., Buckland, S.T., Chao, A., Chazdon, R.L., Colwell, R.K., Curtis, T. Gaston, K.J., Gotelli, N.J., Kosnik, M.A., McGill, B., McCune, J.L., Morlon, H., Mumby, P.J., Øvreås, L., Studeny, A. & Vellend, M. 2013. Quantifying temporal change in biodiversity: challenges and opportunities. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B 280, 20121931.
Growing concern about biodiversity loss underscores the need to quantify and understand temporal change. Here, we review the opportunities presented by biodiversity time series, and address three related issues: (i) recognizing the characteristics of temporal data; (ii) selecting appropriate statistical procedures for analysing temporal data; and (iii) inferring and forecasting biodiversity change. With regard to the first issue, we draw attention to defining characteristics of biodiversity time series – lack of physical boundaries, uni-dimensionality, autocorrelation and directionality – that inform the choice of analytic methods. Second, we explore methods of quantifying change in biodiversity at different timescales, noting that autocorrelation can be viewed as a feature that sheds light on the underlying structure of temporal change. Finally, we address the transition from inferring to forecasting biodiversity change, highlighting potential pitfalls associated with phase-shifts and novel conditions.
- Hidden carbon
- Fearing the feline