1.Range migrations in response to climate change, invasive species and the emergence of novel ecosystems highlight the importance of temporal turnover in community composition as a fundamental part of global change in the Anthropocene. Temporal turnover is usually quantified using a variety of metrics initially developed to capture spatial change. However, temporal turnover is the consequence of unidirectional community dynamics resulting from processes such as population growth, colonisation and local extinction.

2.Here, we develop a framework based on community dynamics, and propose a new temporal turnover measure.

3.A simulation study and an analysis of an estuarine fish community both clearly demonstrate that our proposed turnover measure offers additional insights relative to spatial-context-based metrics.

4.Our approach reveals whether community turnover is due to shifts in community composition or in community abundance, and identifies the species and/or environmental factors that are responsible for any change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1384-1394
JournalMethods in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number12
Early online date22 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Beta diversity
  • Biodiversity
  • Population dynamics
  • Temporal turnover


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