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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 781, Issue 1, pp 109–125 | Cite as

Hydrological dynamics drives zooplankton metacommunity structure in a Neotropical floodplain

  • Juliana Déo DiasEmail author
  • Nadson Ressyé Simões
  • Mariana Meerhoff
  • Fábio Amodêo Lansac-Tôha
  • Luiz Felipe Machado Velho
  • Cláudia Costa Bonecker
Primary Research Paper

Abstract

The maintenance of biodiversity in dynamic landscapes can be explained through the unifying concept of the metacommunity, an ecological system with a changing structure that arises from both the biotic features of its component species and from changing temporal processes. We evaluated the relative importance of environmental factors and spatial factors on the structure of metacommunities of zooplankton in a Neotropical floodplain system, in relation to hydrological dynamics and potential connections among lakes. Zooplankton was sampled from 16 to 22 shallow lakes during droughts and floods in two hydrologically contrasting years. Copepods appeared to be more limited by their dispersal potential, while testate amoebae and rotifers seemed to be controlled mostly by environmental variables. These findings stress the importance of the species sorting metacommunity paradigm for groups with the smallest propagules and adult body sizes. The importance of environmental factors rather than spatial factors was apparent during floods, likely due to the facilitation of animal dispersal by floods. Our results demonstrate that the importance of these factors depends on both the functional traits of major zooplankton groups and the hydrological dynamics of the region.

Keywords

Body size Dispersal Flood dynamics Spatial heterogeneity Variance partitioning 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the Nupélia and the Graduate Program in Continental Aquatic Environments for logistical support, and PROEX/Capes. The PIAP–PELD LTER site provided financial support, and CNPq provided doctoral, post-doctoral, and Research Productivity scholarships. MM was supported by SNI-ANII and the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science national award (Uruguay). Ciro Y. Joko (Centro de Ensino Unificado do Distrito Federal, Brazil) kindly furnished the drawing of the testate amoebae, rotifers, cladocerans, and copepods used in the conceptual model. We would like to thank the Ichthyology Lab/Nupélia for providing the fish database, particularly Professor Angelo A. Agostinho. We also thank Luc De Meester, Angelo A. Agostinho, Sidinei M. Thomaz, Luiz C. Gomes, and the anonymous reviewers for insightful comments that greatly improved the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10750_2016_2827_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliana Déo Dias
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nadson Ressyé Simões
    • 2
  • Mariana Meerhoff
    • 3
  • Fábio Amodêo Lansac-Tôha
    • 1
  • Luiz Felipe Machado Velho
    • 1
  • Cláudia Costa Bonecker
    • 1
  1. 1.Programa de Pós Graduação em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais, Núcleo de Pesquisa em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura (Nupélia)Universidade Estadual de MaringáMaringáBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal do Sul da BahiaPorto SeguroBrazil
  3. 3.Grupo de Ecología y Rehabilitación de Sistemas Acuáticos, Departamento de Ecología Teórica y Aplicada, Centro Universitario de la Región Este-Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de la RepúblicaMaldonadoUruguay

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