Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Habitat requirements and ecological niche of two cryptic amphipod species at landscape and local scales


Eisenring, Michael; Altermatt, Florian; Westram, Anja Marie; Jokela, Jukka (2015). Habitat requirements and ecological niche of two cryptic amphipod species at landscape and local scales. Ecosphere, 7(5):e01319.

Abstract

Cryptic species are phylogenetically diverged taxa that are morphologically indistinguishable and may differ in their ecological and behavioral requirements. This may have important implications for ecosystem services and conservation of biodiversity. We investigated whether two ecologically important cryptic species of the freshwater amphipod Gammarus fossarum (types A and B) are associated with different habitats. We collected data on their occurrence at both the landscape scale (large watersheds) and at the local scale (river reach) to compare macro-and microscale environmental parameters associated with their presence. Analysis of the landscape scale data showed that occurrence of types A and B differ with respect to watershed and river size and, interestingly, human impact on river ecomorphology. Whereas type B was mainly found in less forested areas with higher human impact, type A showed the opposite occurrence pattern. Analyses of the local scale data suggested that habitats occupied by type A were characterized by larger gravel, larger stones and less macrophytes than habitats occupied by type B. The landscape and local data set showed contradicting patterns with regard to stream size. Overall, the observed differences between the two types of G. fossarum most likely reflect ecological differences between them, but alternative explanations (e.g., historical colonization processes) cannot be completely ruled out. Our study underlines that common cryptic species can differ in their ecology and response to anthropogenic influence. Such differences in habitat requirements among difficult-to-identify taxa present a challenge for biodiversity and ecosystem management. Our results emphasize the importance of conservative and precautionary approaches in maintenance of habitat diversity and environmental heterogeneity.

Abstract

Cryptic species are phylogenetically diverged taxa that are morphologically indistinguishable and may differ in their ecological and behavioral requirements. This may have important implications for ecosystem services and conservation of biodiversity. We investigated whether two ecologically important cryptic species of the freshwater amphipod Gammarus fossarum (types A and B) are associated with different habitats. We collected data on their occurrence at both the landscape scale (large watersheds) and at the local scale (river reach) to compare macro-and microscale environmental parameters associated with their presence. Analysis of the landscape scale data showed that occurrence of types A and B differ with respect to watershed and river size and, interestingly, human impact on river ecomorphology. Whereas type B was mainly found in less forested areas with higher human impact, type A showed the opposite occurrence pattern. Analyses of the local scale data suggested that habitats occupied by type A were characterized by larger gravel, larger stones and less macrophytes than habitats occupied by type B. The landscape and local data set showed contradicting patterns with regard to stream size. Overall, the observed differences between the two types of G. fossarum most likely reflect ecological differences between them, but alternative explanations (e.g., historical colonization processes) cannot be completely ruled out. Our study underlines that common cryptic species can differ in their ecology and response to anthropogenic influence. Such differences in habitat requirements among difficult-to-identify taxa present a challenge for biodiversity and ecosystem management. Our results emphasize the importance of conservative and precautionary approaches in maintenance of habitat diversity and environmental heterogeneity.

Statistics

Citations

3 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

9 downloads since deposited on 21 Sep 2016
9 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not 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)
Language:English
Date:December 2015
Deposited On:21 Sep 2016 12:41
Last Modified:25 Sep 2016 06:12
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
ISSN:2150-8925
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1319

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 2MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations