Discussion Questions

  • What is temporal alpha diversity and temporal beta diversity as defined in this paper?
  • How are they changing through time?
  • According to the authors, “An analysis of slopes by climatic regions reveals that temperate time series have a significantly positive trend in species richness, and time series sampled at a global scale show a significantly negative trend in species richness.” What could be driving these differences?
  • Every study is limited by its data. What limits on our ability to understand the dynamics of nature are imposed by their data?
  • Thinking both about their results and their data: What do these results suggest to you about how communities and ecosystems are changing?
  • Apply the insights you gained from this paper to forecasting. What challenges might we have? If you were going to forecast biodiversity, what aspects of it might be easier to forecast or harder to forecast?