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Invertebrate communities in gravel-bed, braided rivers are highly resilient to flow intermittence

Abstract : In naturally disturbed systems, harsh environmental conditions act as filters on the regional species pool, restricting the number of taxa able to form a local community to those with traits promoting resistance or resilience. Thus, communities in highly disturbed ecosystems may be less sensitive to a given disturbance than those in less disturbed ecosystems. We explored this idea by examining the response of aquatic invertebrate communities to flow intermittence in gravel-bed, braided rivers (BRs). Flow intermittence is considered a major driver of communities in rivers, but its influence on communities in BRs, which are recognized as naturally highly disturbed environments, is relatively unexplored. We used a multisite Before-After–Control- Impact (BACI) design to quantify the effects of drying events of different durations (moderate: 2–3 wk, severe:1–3 mo) on invertebrate communities in 8 BRs in southeastern France. As predicted, no effects of flow intermittence were detected 1 to 4 mo after flow resumption on taxonomic richness, composition, or functional diversity of communities facing moderate drying events. Communities subjected to severe drying events were similar to those in perennial reaches as few as 19 d after flow resumption. Moreover, communities showed functional redundancy and no loss of functional diversity after drying events. These results differ from those of studies in other river systems, where persistent effects of flow intermittence on communities generally have been found, and highlight the need for cross-system comparisons that explore the effects of drying on communities. Identifying the processes (e.g., niche selection, cotolerance) and habitat features (e.g., hyporheic zone refugia) that promote community resilience in BRs will advance our understanding of how anthropogenic stressors and climate change may affect communities in freshwater ecosystems.
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Déposant : Import Ws Irstea <>
Soumis le : mercredi 24 janvier 2018 - 10:00:17
Dernière modification le : vendredi 19 juin 2020 - 09:04:03
Archivage à long terme le : : jeudi 24 mai 2018 - 15:24:09


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R. Vander Vorste, R. Corti, A. Sagouis, T. Datry. Invertebrate communities in gravel-bed, braided rivers are highly resilient to flow intermittence. Freshwater Science, 2016, 35 (1), pp.164-177. ⟨10.1086/683274⟩. ⟨hal-01691540⟩



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