Detecting the Small Island Effect and Nestedness of Anoles of the West Indies

Figure1. Saddled anole on a fallen tree trunk, Guana Island of the British Virgin Islands.

Figure1. Saddled anole on a fallen tree trunk, Guana Island of the British Virgin Islands.

De Gao and Gad Perry have recently detected the small island effect (SIE) and nestedness patterns of Anolis Lizards of the West Indies. We applied regression-based analyses, including linear regression and piecewise regressions with two (two-slope function and left-horizontal with one threshold function) and three (three-slope function and left-horizontal with two thresholds function) segments, to detect the SIE and then used the Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) as a criterion to select the best model. We used the NODF (a nestedness metric based on overlap and decreasing fill) to quantify nestedness and employed two null models to determine significance. Moreover, a random sampling effort was made to infer about the degree of nestedness at portions of the entire community.

Figure 2. SAR

Figure 2. SAR

Figure 3. Nestedness

We found piecewise regression with three segments performed best, suggesting the species–area relationships (SARs) possess three different patterns that resulted from two area thresholds: a first one, delimiting the SIE, and a second one, delimiting evolutionary processes. Moreover, the traditional two-segment piecewise regression method may cause poor estimations for both slope and threshold value of the SIE. Thereby, we suggest previous SIE detection works that conducted by two-segment piecewise regression method, ignoring the possibility of three segments, need to be reanalyzed. Anti-nestedness occurred in the entire system, whereas high degree of nestedness could still occur in portions within the region. So, nestedness may still be applicable to conservation planning at portions even if it is anti-nested at the regional scale.

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