Aquatic communities in arid landscapes: local conditions, dispersal traits and landscape configuration determine local biodiversity

Alejandra Moran-Ordonez, Alexandra Pavlova, Adrian M Pinder, Lien Sim, Paul Sunnucks, Ross Thompson, Jenny Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Aim: To understand how environmental conditions and landscape structure interact at different spatial scales to shape the community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates with different dispersal abilities. Location: Australia. Methods: For each of five drainage basins and for their encompassing region (Pilbara), we built matrices of dissimilarities in presence-absence patterns of aquatic invertebrate community composition. This was carried out for all taxa collectively and separately for five dispersal trait groups: obligate aquatics, passive aerial dispersers, animals moving by aerial phoresy, weak and strong fliers. We analysed correlations between community dissimilarities and (1) dissimilarities in local environmental conditions, (2) geographic distances and (3) landscape resistance distances among the sites from which invertebrates were sampled. Calculation of landscape resistances accounted for longitudinal connectivity along the river channels (least-cost-path), lateral connectivity between streams and the potential effects of rugged topography on invertebrate dispersal. Results: Local environmental factors and landscape resistances explained differences in community composition at the regional scale. In basins with complex topography, local environmental conditions were the main factor explaining community dissimilarities in most dispersal groups. Conversely, in basins where flatter topography meant that moderate to high lateral connectivity between streams is possible, the spatial configuration of the dendritic network determined the community composition of most dispersal trait groups. Geographic and least-cost-path distances were poor predictors of community composition. None of the groups showed a consistent correlation with environmental factors alone, or just landscape resistances, across all basins. Main conclusions: Local environmental conditions, hydrological connectivity and landscape resistance to dispersal are all important influences on community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates. The impact of each of these factors varies with dispersal trait group and spatial configuration of basins: the importance of lateral connectivity for explaining a substantial proportion of community composition points to a major role of flooding regimes in maintaining biological communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1230-1241
Number of pages12
JournalDiversity and Distributions
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • CIRCUITSCAPE
  • Community structure
  • Functional connectivity
  • Mantel tests
  • Resistance distance
  • River networks

Cite this

Moran-Ordonez, Alejandra ; Pavlova, Alexandra ; Pinder, Adrian M ; Sim, Lien ; Sunnucks, Paul ; Thompson, Ross ; Davis, Jenny. / Aquatic communities in arid landscapes: local conditions, dispersal traits and landscape configuration determine local biodiversity. In: Diversity and Distributions. 2015 ; Vol. 21, No. 10. pp. 1230-1241.
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title = "Aquatic communities in arid landscapes: local conditions, dispersal traits and landscape configuration determine local biodiversity",
abstract = "Aim: To understand how environmental conditions and landscape structure interact at different spatial scales to shape the community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates with different dispersal abilities. Location: Australia. Methods: For each of five drainage basins and for their encompassing region (Pilbara), we built matrices of dissimilarities in presence-absence patterns of aquatic invertebrate community composition. This was carried out for all taxa collectively and separately for five dispersal trait groups: obligate aquatics, passive aerial dispersers, animals moving by aerial phoresy, weak and strong fliers. We analysed correlations between community dissimilarities and (1) dissimilarities in local environmental conditions, (2) geographic distances and (3) landscape resistance distances among the sites from which invertebrates were sampled. Calculation of landscape resistances accounted for longitudinal connectivity along the river channels (least-cost-path), lateral connectivity between streams and the potential effects of rugged topography on invertebrate dispersal. Results: Local environmental factors and landscape resistances explained differences in community composition at the regional scale. In basins with complex topography, local environmental conditions were the main factor explaining community dissimilarities in most dispersal groups. Conversely, in basins where flatter topography meant that moderate to high lateral connectivity between streams is possible, the spatial configuration of the dendritic network determined the community composition of most dispersal trait groups. Geographic and least-cost-path distances were poor predictors of community composition. None of the groups showed a consistent correlation with environmental factors alone, or just landscape resistances, across all basins. Main conclusions: Local environmental conditions, hydrological connectivity and landscape resistance to dispersal are all important influences on community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates. The impact of each of these factors varies with dispersal trait group and spatial configuration of basins: the importance of lateral connectivity for explaining a substantial proportion of community composition points to a major role of flooding regimes in maintaining biological communities.",
keywords = "CIRCUITSCAPE, Community structure, Functional connectivity, Mantel tests, Resistance distance, River networks",
author = "Alejandra Moran-Ordonez and Alexandra Pavlova and Pinder, {Adrian M} and Lien Sim and Paul Sunnucks and Ross Thompson and Jenny Davis",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1111/ddi.12342",
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Aquatic communities in arid landscapes: local conditions, dispersal traits and landscape configuration determine local biodiversity. / Moran-Ordonez, Alejandra; Pavlova, Alexandra; Pinder, Adrian M; Sim, Lien; Sunnucks, Paul; Thompson, Ross; Davis, Jenny.

In: Diversity and Distributions, Vol. 21, No. 10, 2015, p. 1230-1241.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Aquatic communities in arid landscapes: local conditions, dispersal traits and landscape configuration determine local biodiversity

AU - Moran-Ordonez, Alejandra

AU - Pavlova, Alexandra

AU - Pinder, Adrian M

AU - Sim, Lien

AU - Sunnucks, Paul

AU - Thompson, Ross

AU - Davis, Jenny

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Aim: To understand how environmental conditions and landscape structure interact at different spatial scales to shape the community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates with different dispersal abilities. Location: Australia. Methods: For each of five drainage basins and for their encompassing region (Pilbara), we built matrices of dissimilarities in presence-absence patterns of aquatic invertebrate community composition. This was carried out for all taxa collectively and separately for five dispersal trait groups: obligate aquatics, passive aerial dispersers, animals moving by aerial phoresy, weak and strong fliers. We analysed correlations between community dissimilarities and (1) dissimilarities in local environmental conditions, (2) geographic distances and (3) landscape resistance distances among the sites from which invertebrates were sampled. Calculation of landscape resistances accounted for longitudinal connectivity along the river channels (least-cost-path), lateral connectivity between streams and the potential effects of rugged topography on invertebrate dispersal. Results: Local environmental factors and landscape resistances explained differences in community composition at the regional scale. In basins with complex topography, local environmental conditions were the main factor explaining community dissimilarities in most dispersal groups. Conversely, in basins where flatter topography meant that moderate to high lateral connectivity between streams is possible, the spatial configuration of the dendritic network determined the community composition of most dispersal trait groups. Geographic and least-cost-path distances were poor predictors of community composition. None of the groups showed a consistent correlation with environmental factors alone, or just landscape resistances, across all basins. Main conclusions: Local environmental conditions, hydrological connectivity and landscape resistance to dispersal are all important influences on community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates. The impact of each of these factors varies with dispersal trait group and spatial configuration of basins: the importance of lateral connectivity for explaining a substantial proportion of community composition points to a major role of flooding regimes in maintaining biological communities.

AB - Aim: To understand how environmental conditions and landscape structure interact at different spatial scales to shape the community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates with different dispersal abilities. Location: Australia. Methods: For each of five drainage basins and for their encompassing region (Pilbara), we built matrices of dissimilarities in presence-absence patterns of aquatic invertebrate community composition. This was carried out for all taxa collectively and separately for five dispersal trait groups: obligate aquatics, passive aerial dispersers, animals moving by aerial phoresy, weak and strong fliers. We analysed correlations between community dissimilarities and (1) dissimilarities in local environmental conditions, (2) geographic distances and (3) landscape resistance distances among the sites from which invertebrates were sampled. Calculation of landscape resistances accounted for longitudinal connectivity along the river channels (least-cost-path), lateral connectivity between streams and the potential effects of rugged topography on invertebrate dispersal. Results: Local environmental factors and landscape resistances explained differences in community composition at the regional scale. In basins with complex topography, local environmental conditions were the main factor explaining community dissimilarities in most dispersal groups. Conversely, in basins where flatter topography meant that moderate to high lateral connectivity between streams is possible, the spatial configuration of the dendritic network determined the community composition of most dispersal trait groups. Geographic and least-cost-path distances were poor predictors of community composition. None of the groups showed a consistent correlation with environmental factors alone, or just landscape resistances, across all basins. Main conclusions: Local environmental conditions, hydrological connectivity and landscape resistance to dispersal are all important influences on community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates. The impact of each of these factors varies with dispersal trait group and spatial configuration of basins: the importance of lateral connectivity for explaining a substantial proportion of community composition points to a major role of flooding regimes in maintaining biological communities.

KW - CIRCUITSCAPE

KW - Community structure

KW - Functional connectivity

KW - Mantel tests

KW - Resistance distance

KW - River networks

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