Do more niches or better niches promote species richness? Insight from local and regional drivers of lichen diversity across U.S. forests
Versions of this talk were presented at the 2014 Gordon Research Conference and Seminar on "Unifying Ecology Across Scales" as well as at the 2014 Ecological Society of America annual meeting. It describes an analysis of macrolichen species richness from 2,000 forest inventory plots surveyed by the U.S. Forest Service. Specifically, we investigated whether the effects of environmental heterogeneity or mean environmental conditions on species richness differ between local and regional scales. We also assess the relative importance of local versus regional processes on local species richness. The presentation discusses a framework for generating and answering questions about how environmental heterogeneity and optimality influence species richness within the context of local-regional dynamics.