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Beta diversity of diatom species and ecological guilds: Response to environmental and spatial mechanisms along the stream watercourse

Abstract : Understanding the mechanisms that drive beta diversity, an important aspect of regional biodiversity, remains a key ecological question. Beta diversity and its components can provide an insight into the processes generating regional biodiversity patterns. We tested whether environmental filtering or dispersal related processes predominated along the stream watercourse by analysing the responses of taxonomic and functional diatom beta diversity to environmental and spatial factors. We examined the variation of total beta diversity and its components (turnover and nestedness) in benthic diatom species and ecological guilds (motile, planktonic, low- and high profile) with respect to watercourse position (up-, mid-, and downstream) in 2182 sites throughout France. We tested the effects of pure environmental and pure spatial factors on beta diversity with partial Mantel tests. Environmental factors included eight physico-chemical variables, while geographical distances between sites were used as spatial factors. We also correlated alpha and gamma diversity, and the degree of nestedness (NODF metric) with environmental variables. Total beta diversity and its turnover component displayed higher values upstream than mid- and downstream. The nestedness component exhibited low values, even when NODF values increased from up- to downstream. Pure environmental factors were highly significant for explaining total beta diversity and turnover regardless of watercourse position, but pure spatial factors were mostly significant mid- and downstream, with geographical distance being positively correlated with beta diversity. Across sites, nutrient enrichment decreased turnover but increased the degree of nestedness. Motile and low profile diatoms comprised the most abundant guilds, but their beta diversity patterns varied in an opposite way. The lowest guild beta diversity was observed upstream for low profile species, and downstream for motile species. In conclusion, environmental filtering seemed to play a major role in structuring metacommunities irrespective of site watercourse position. Filtering promoted strong turnover patterns, especially in disconnected upstream sites. The greater role of spatial factors mid- and downstream was consistent with mass effects rather than neutral processes because these sites had lower total beta diversity than upstream sites. Motile species were most strongly affected by mass effects processes, whereas low profile species were primarily influenced by environmental conditions. Collectively, these findings suggest that partitioning of total beta diversity into its components and the use of diatom ecological guilds provide a useful framework for assessing the mechanisms underlying the metacommunity patterns along the stream watercourse.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 12:47:56 PM
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Aurélien Jamoneau, S. I. Passy, J. Soininen, Thibault Leboucher, Juliette Tison-Rosebery. Beta diversity of diatom species and ecological guilds: Response to environmental and spatial mechanisms along the stream watercourse. Freshwater Biology, 2018, 63 (1), pp.62-73. ⟨10.1111/fwb.12980⟩. ⟨hal-02606590⟩



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