Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Species assortment or habitat filtering: a case study of spider communities on lake islands

  • 549 Accesses

  • 12 Citations

Abstract

Competition theory predicts that species of similar ecological niches are less likely to coexist than species with different niches, a process called species assortment. In contrast, the concept of habitat filtering implies that species with similar ecological requirements should co-occur more often than expected by chance. Here we use environmental and ecological data to assess patterns of co-occurrence of regional communities of spiders distributed across two assemblies of lake islands in northern Poland. We found aggregated and random co-occurrences of species of the same genus and a significant tendency of species segregation across genera. We also found that species of the same genus react similarly to important environmental variables. A comparison of ecological traits of species of the local communities with those expected from a random sample from the regional Polish species pool corroborated partly the habitat filtering hypothesis. On the other hand, we did not find evidence for species assortment. Our results also imply that at least some observed species co-occurrences result from niche differentiation.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Arachnological Section of Polish Zoological Society (2008) Check-list of spiders (Araneae) of Poland. http://www.arachnologia.edu.pl

  2. Barluenga M, Stölting KM, Salzburger W, Muschick M, Meyer A (2006) Sympatric speciation in Nicaraguan crater like cichlid fish. Nature 439:719–723

  3. Bell G (2005) The co-distribution of species in relation to the neutral theory of community ecology. Ecology 86:1757–1770

  4. Brualdi RA, Sanderson JG (1999) Nested species subsets gaps and discrepancy. Oecologia 119:256–264

  5. Chase T, Leibold MA (2003) Ecological niches: linking classical and contemporary approaches. Chicago University Press, Chicago

  6. Chave J (2004) Neutral theory and community ecology. Ecol Lett 7:241–253

  7. Cornwell WK, Schwilk DW, Ackerly DD (2006) A trait-based test for habitat filtering: convex hull volume. Ecology 87:1465–1471

  8. Darwin C (1959) On the origin of species. J. Murray, London

  9. Davies TJ (2006) Evolutionary ecology: when relatives cannot live together. Curr Biol 16:R646

  10. Diamond JM (1975) Assembly of species communities. In: Cody ML, Diamond JM (eds) Ecology and evolution of communities. Harvard University Press, Harvard, pp 342–444

  11. Donoghue MJ (2008) A phylogenetic perspective on the distribution of plant diversity. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105:11549–11555

  12. Ellenberg H et al (1992) Zeigerwerte von Pflanzen in Mitteleuropa. Scripta Geobot 18:1–258

  13. Emerson BC, Gillespie RG (2008) Phylogenetic analysis of community assembly and structure over space and time. Trends Ecol Evol 23:619–630

  14. Entling W, Schmidt MH, Bacher S, Brandl R, Nentwig W (2007) Niche properties of Central European spiders: shading moisture and the evolution of the habitat niche. Global Ecol Biogeogr 16:440–448

  15. Gotelli NJ (2000) Null model analysis of species co-occurrence patterns. Ecology 81:2606–2621

  16. Gotelli NJ, Graves GR (1996) Null models in ecology. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC

  17. Heimer S, Nentwig W (1991) Spinnen Mitteleuropas. Ein Bestimmungsbuch, Parey

  18. Hubbell SP (2001) The unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey

  19. Johnson MTJ, Stinchcombe JR (2007) An emerging synthesis between community ecology and evolutionary biology. Trends Ecol Evol 22:250–257

  20. Kembel SW, Hubbell SP (2006) The phylogenetic structure of a neotropical forest tree community. Ecology 87:86–99

  21. Kraft NJB, Cornwell WK, Webb CO, Ackerly DD (2007) Trait evolution community assembly and the phylogenetic structure of ecological communities. Am Nat 170:271–283

  22. Kraft NJB, Valencia R, Ackerly DD (2008) Functional traits and niche-based tree community assembly in an Amazonian forest. Science 322:580–582

  23. Losos JB (2008) Phylogenetic niche conservation phylogenetic signal and the relationship between phylogenetic relatedness and ecological similarity among species. Ecol Lett 11:995–1007

  24. Lovette IJ, Hochatka WM (2006) Simultaneous effects of phylogenetic niche conservatism and competition on avian community structure. Ecology 87:14–28

  25. Peterson AT, Soberón J, Sanchez-Cordero V (1999) Conservatism of ecological niches in evolutionary time. Science 285:1265–1267

  26. Platen R, von Broen B, Herrman A, Ratschker UM, Sacher P (1999) Gesamtartenliste und Rote Liste der Webspinnen Weberknechte und Pseudoskorpione des Landes Brandenburg (Arachnida: Araneae Opiliones Pseudoscorpiones) mit Angaben zur Häufigkeit und Ökologie. Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege in Brandenburg 8(2)

  27. Platnick NI (2007) The world spider catalog version 7.5. American Museum of Natural History. http://research.amnh.org/entomology/spiders/catalog/INTRO3.html

  28. Prinzing A, Durka W, Klotz S, Brandl R (2001) The niche of higher plants: evidence for phylogenetic conservatism. Proc R Soc Lond B 268:2383–2389

  29. Prinzing A, Reiffers R, Braakhekke WG, Hennekens SM, Tackenberg O, Ozinga WA, Schamine JHJ, van Groenendael JM (2008) Less lineages more trait variation: phylogenetically clustered plant communities are functionally more diverse. Ecol Lett 11:809–819

  30. Roberts MJ (1995) Collins field guide. Spiders of Britain and Northern Europe. Harper Collins, London

  31. Stone L, Roberts A (1990) The checkerboard score and species distributions. Oecologia 85:74–79

  32. Tofts R, Silvertown J (2000) A phylogenetic approach to community assembly from a local species pool. Proc R Soc Lond B 267:363–369

  33. Uetz GW, Halaj J, Cady AB (1999) Guild structure of spiders in major crops. J Arachnol 27:270–280

  34. Ulrich W (2004) Species co-occurrences and neutral models: reassessing J. M. Diamond’s assembly rules. Oikos 107:603–609

  35. Ulrich W, Gotelli NJ (2007a) Null model analysis of species nestedness patterns. Ecology 88:1824–1831

  36. Ulrich W, Gotelli NJ (2007b) Disentangling community patterns of nestedness and species co-occurrence. Oikos 116:2053–2061

  37. Ulrich W, Zalewski M (2007) Are ground beetles neutral? Basic Appl Ecol 8:411–420

  38. Ulrich W, Zalewski M, Hajdamowicz I, Stańska M, Ciurzycki W, Tykarski P (2009) Tourism disassembles patterns of co-occurrence and weakens responses to environmental conditions of spider communities on small lake islands. Acta Oecologica (in press)

  39. Valiente-Banuet A, Verdú M (2007) Facilitation can increase the phylogenetic diversity of plant communities. Ecol Lett 10:1029–1036

  40. Vamosi JC, Vamosi SM (2007) Body size rarity and phylogenetic community structure: insights from diving beetle assemblages of Alberta. Divers Distrib 13:1–10

  41. Verdú M, Pausas JG (2007) Fire drives phylogenetic clustering in Mediterranean basin woody plant communities. J Ecol 95:1316–1323

  42. Webb CO, Ackerly DD, McPeek MA, Donoghue MJ (2002) Phylogenies and community ecology. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 33:475–505

  43. Weiher E, Keddy PA (1999) Ecological assembly rules: perspectives, advances, retreats. Cambridge University Press, London

  44. Wiens JJ, Graham CH (2005) Niche conservatism: integrating evolution ecology and conservation biology. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 36:519–539

  45. Zalewski M, Ulrich W (2006) Dispersal as a key element of community structure: the case of ground beetles on lake islands. Divers Distrib 12:767–775

  46. Zarzycki K et al (2002) Ecological indicator values of vascular plants of Poland. W. Szafer Institute of Botany Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków

  47. Zillio T, Condit R (2007) The impact of neutrality niche differentiation and species input on diversity and abundance distributions. Oikos 116:931–940

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank Maciej Kamiński and the Wigry National Park staff for their generous help during field studies. Andreas Hirler helped to compile data of habitat use and phylogeny. Miss Hazel Pearson kindly improved our English. This work was supported by a grant from the Polish Science Committee (PBZ KBN 087 P04 2003 01 20).

Author information

Correspondence to Werner Ulrich.

About this article

Cite this article

Ulrich, W., Hajdamowicz, I., Zalewski, M. et al. Species assortment or habitat filtering: a case study of spider communities on lake islands. Ecol Res 25, 375–381 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11284-009-0661-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Araneae
  • Spiders
  • Habitat filtering
  • Phylogenetic signal
  • Species/genus ratios
  • Canonical correspondence analysis
  • Ordination