, Volume 819, Issue 1, pp 123–143 | Cite as

Environmental and spatial drivers of beta diversity components of chironomid metacommunities in contrasting freshwater systems

  • András SpecziárEmail author
  • Diána Árva
  • Mónika Tóth
  • Arnold Móra
  • Dénes Schmera
  • Gábor Várbíró
  • Tibor Erős
Primary Research Paper


Partition of beta diversity into components is a modern method that allows inferences about the underlying processes driving metacommunities. Based on two alternative approaches, we examined the patterns of beta diversity components of chironomids in relation to environmental and spatial gradients in three contrasting freshwater ecosystems. Beta diversity and its replacement component increased from environmentally less heterogeneous lake, through more complex wetland to stream network. Constrained ordination revealed that environmental heterogeneity and spatial processes explain some variation of the patterns of pairwise beta diversity components. Both beta diversity partitioning approaches emphasised the importance of habitat structure and food resource in structuring chironomid metacommunities. However, concurrent approaches provided contrasting results regarding the relative role of underlying mechanisms related to species replacement and richness. Therefore, further research is needed to clarify which of the beta diversity partitioning approaches should be preferred more widely in ecological studies.


Dispersal Environmental filtering Assemblage Niche-based mechanisms Species richness Species turnover 



We thank Endre Bajka, Pál Boda, Gabriella Bodnár, Máté Bolbás, Tamás Bozoki, András Csercsa, Eszter Krasznai, Attila Mozsár and Adrienn Tóth for their assistance in the field. This research was supported by the OTKA K104279 grant. The work of Mónika Tóth was also supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 67 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 72 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 71 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • András Specziár
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diána Árva
    • 2
  • Mónika Tóth
    • 1
  • Arnold Móra
    • 3
  • Dénes Schmera
    • 1
  • Gábor Várbíró
    • 4
  • Tibor Erős
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Balaton Limnological Institute, MTA Centre for Ecological ResearchTihanyHungary
  2. 2.Research Institute for Fisheries and AquacultureNational Agricultural Research and Innovation CentreSzarvasHungary
  3. 3.Department of Hydrobiology, Institute of Biology, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of PécsPécsHungary
  4. 4.Department of Tisza River ResearchDanube Research Institute, MTA Centre for Ecological ResearchDebrecenHungary
  5. 5.Danube Research Institute, MTA Centre for Ecological ResearchBudapestHungary

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