Geographical variation in the trait‐based assembly patterns of multitrophic invertebrate communities - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Functional Ecology Year : 2023

Geographical variation in the trait‐based assembly patterns of multitrophic invertebrate communities

1 UBC - University of British Columbia
2 LEFE - Laboratoire Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement
3 CESAB - Centre de Synthèse et d’Analyse sur la Biodiversité
4 UFRGS - Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul [Porto Alegre]
5 QMUL - Queen Mary University of London
6 - Simon Fraser University = Université Simon Fraser
7 DECOD - Dynamique et durabilité des écosystèmes : de la source à l’océan
8 ECOFOG - Ecologie des forêts de Guyane
9 Universidad Nacional de Rosario [Santa Fe]
10 UNICAMP - Universidade Estadual de Campinas = University of Campinas
11 UFPA - Federal University of Para - Universidade Federal do Pará - UFPA [Belém, Brazil]
12 Université des Andes
13 Universidad de Caldas [Manizales, Colombia]
14 UFRJ - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro [Brasil] = Federal University of Rio de Janeiro [Brazil] = Université fédérale de Rio de Janeiro [Brésil]
15 UMR AMAP - Botanique et Modélisation de l'Architecture des Plantes et des Végétations
16 UMR ECOFOG - Ecologie des forêts de Guyane
17 UPR - University of Puerto Rico
18 USP - Universidade de São Paulo = University of São Paulo
19 LMGE - Laboratoire Microorganismes : Génome et Environnement
20 Universität Salzburg
21 AU - American University Washington D.C.
22 RBINS - Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
23 Institut Pasteur de la Guyane
24 MIVEGEC - Maladies infectieuses et vecteurs : écologie, génétique, évolution et contrôle
25 Unifesp - Federal University of Sao Paulo
26 University of British Columbia [Vancouver]
27 UVIC - University of Victoria [Canada]
Pavel Kratina
Mark Kurtis Trzcinski
Barbara Richardson
Jana Petermann
Michael Melnychuk
Brian Starzomski


It has been argued that the mechanisms structuring ecological communities may be more generalizable when based on traits than on species identities. If so, patterns in the assembly of community-level traits along environmental gradients should be similar in different places in the world. Alternatively, geographical change in the species pool and regional variation in climate might result in site-specific relationships between community traits and local environments. These competing hypotheses are particularly untested for animal communities. Here we test the geographical constancy of trait-based assembly patterns using a widespread multi-trophic community: aquatic macroinvertebrates within bromeliads. We used data on 615 invertebrate taxa from 1,656 bromeliads in 26 field sites from Mexico to Argentina. We summarized invertebrate traits with four orthogonal axes, and used these trait axes to examine trait convergence and divergence assembly patterns along three environmental gradients: detrital biomass and water volume in bromeliads, and canopy cover over bromeliads. We found no overall signal of trait-based assembly patterns along any of the environmental gradients. However, individual sites did show trait convergence along detrital and water gradients, and we built predictive models to explore these site differences. Sites that showed trait convergence along detrital gradients were all north of the Northern Andes. This geographical pattern may be related to phylogeographical differences in bromeliad morphology. Bromeliads with low detritus were dominated by detritivorous collectors and filter feeders, where those with high detritus had more sclerotized and predatory invertebrates. Sites that showed the strongest trait convergence along gradients in bromeliad water were in regions with seasonal precipitation. In such sites, bromeliads with low water were dominated by soft-bodied, benthic invertebrates with simple life cycles. In less seasonal sites, traits associated with short-term desiccation resistance, such as hard exoskeletons, were more important. In summary, we show that there are strong geographical effects on the trait-based assembly patterns of this invertebrate community, driven by the biogeography of their foundational plant species as well as by regional climate. We suggest that inclusion of biogeography and climate in trait-based community ecology could help make it a truly general theory.

Dates and versions

hal-03720922 , version 1 (12-07-2022)



Diane Srivastava, A. Andrew M. Macdonald, Valério D. Pillar, Pavel Kratina, Vanderlei Debastiani, et al.. Geographical variation in the trait‐based assembly patterns of multitrophic invertebrate communities. Functional Ecology, 2023, 37 (1), pp.73-86. ⟨10.1111/1365-2435.14096⟩. ⟨hal-03720922⟩
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