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Scale and scope matter when explaining varying patterns ofcommunity diversity in riverine metacommunities


Seymour, Mathew; Deiner, Kristy; Altermatt, Florian (2016). Scale and scope matter when explaining varying patterns ofcommunity diversity in riverine metacommunities. Basic and Applied Ecology, 17(2):134-144.

Abstract

Large-scale species and genetic metacommunity patterns are influenced by variation in environmental factors and distancebetween communities, according to previous studies. However, these studies often used different measures to assess patternsof metacommunity diversity, distances between communities and grain sizes at which environmental variables are measured.This hinders interpretations and generalizations of the underlying process that drive metacommunity diversity. We applied asynthetic and multi-analytical approach to identify general factors structuring the diversity of a large riverine metacommunity.Using complementing approaches we analyzed how distance, measured as Euclidean or topological distance, and environmentalfactors, assessed at different grain sizes, influenced different measures of metacommunity diversity (species richness, functionalrichness and phylogenetic diversity) of mayfly, stonefly and caddisfly species in a large river network (river Rhine, Switzerland).We found the amount of explained variation in species diversity was generally unaffected by grain size, but improved with the useof topological distance, compared to Euclidean distance. Variation in functional diversity was best explained by environmentalfactors at small grain sizes and topological distance. Variation in phylogenetic diversity was best explained when environmentalvariables were assessed at larger grain sizes and Euclidean distance was used. Overall, our results indicate that processesstructuring metacommunity diversity may differ at the species, functional or phylogenetic level of the community, as recentlypostulated in the metacommunity–phylogenetics approach. While such differences may hinder comparisons across studiesusing different methodologies, it offers opportunities to disentangle the structuring factors within metacommunities by applyingmultiple analytical approaches to the same dataset.

Abstract

Large-scale species and genetic metacommunity patterns are influenced by variation in environmental factors and distancebetween communities, according to previous studies. However, these studies often used different measures to assess patternsof metacommunity diversity, distances between communities and grain sizes at which environmental variables are measured.This hinders interpretations and generalizations of the underlying process that drive metacommunity diversity. We applied asynthetic and multi-analytical approach to identify general factors structuring the diversity of a large riverine metacommunity.Using complementing approaches we analyzed how distance, measured as Euclidean or topological distance, and environmentalfactors, assessed at different grain sizes, influenced different measures of metacommunity diversity (species richness, functionalrichness and phylogenetic diversity) of mayfly, stonefly and caddisfly species in a large river network (river Rhine, Switzerland).We found the amount of explained variation in species diversity was generally unaffected by grain size, but improved with the useof topological distance, compared to Euclidean distance. Variation in functional diversity was best explained by environmentalfactors at small grain sizes and topological distance. Variation in phylogenetic diversity was best explained when environmentalvariables were assessed at larger grain sizes and Euclidean distance was used. Overall, our results indicate that processesstructuring metacommunity diversity may differ at the species, functional or phylogenetic level of the community, as recentlypostulated in the metacommunity–phylogenetics approach. While such differences may hinder comparisons across studiesusing different methodologies, it offers opportunities to disentangle the structuring factors within metacommunities by applyingmultiple analytical approaches to the same dataset.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Macroinvertebrates; Freshwater; Variance partitioning; Phylogenetic; Functional; Metacommunity phylogenetics
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:14 Apr 2016 17:43
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 09:55
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1439-1791
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2015.10.007

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