Aquatic Sciences

, 80:16 | Cite as

Factors affecting the metacommunity structure of periphytic ostracods (Crustacea, Ostracoda): a deconstruction approach based on biological traits

  • Ramiro de Campos
  • Fernando Miranda Lansac-Tôha
  • Eliezer de Oliveira da Conceição
  • Koen Martens
  • Janet Higuti
Research Article


Metacommunity studies using the deconstruction approach based on biological traits have received a great deal of attention in recent years as they often better describe characteristics of the species that reflect adaptations to a specific environment. This approach has not yet been used for ostracods, which are nevertheless highly diverse crustaceans and abundant in continental aquatic environments. Here, we investigate the influence of environmental and spatial factors on the metacommunity structure of periphytic ostracods in 27 tropical floodplain lakes in the Upper Paraná River floodplain (Brazil). An analysis of variance partitioning was used to estimate the relative importance of these factors (environmental and spatial) on both the entire community as well as after its deconstruction according to the biological traits (size and locomotion mode). Ostracods, regardless of body size, are good dispersers at regional scales. In addition, as expected, swimming ostracods were better dispersers at local scales than non-swimmers, which were influenced mainly by the diversity of aquatic macrophytes. Environmental factors (species sorting mechanism) seem important in structuring the entire ostracods metacommunity, as well as for most categories of biological traits. The unexplained variability remained high showing that other variables, not measured here, must be important. The analysis based on deconstruction, when compared to the analysis based on the metacommunity as a whole, contributed to a better assessment of ostracod metacommunity structuring.


Microcrustacean Dispersal Body size Aquatic vegetation Partitioning Upper Paraná River floodplain 



We thank Jaime Luiz Lopes Pereira (Maringá, Brazil) for the production of the map, Julien Cillis (Brussels, Belgium) provided technical assistance with the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images used for the ostracod measurements. We thank the Ministry of Science and Technology (Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia, MCT) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, CNPq) for financial support (Edital Universal nr 476130/2010-7), coordinated by Dr Fábio Amodêo Lansac-Tôha, to whom we are also most grateful. We would like to thank the Nucleus of Research in Limnology, Ichthyology and Aquaculture (Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura, Nupélia) and the Post-graduate Program in the Ecology of Continental Aquatic Environments (Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais, PEA) of the State University of Maringá (Universidade Estadual de Maringá, UEM) for continuous logistic support. RC, FMLT and EOC would like to thank the Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, CAPES) and CNPq for granting their scholarships. The Universidade Estadual de Maringá, (UEM, Maringá) and the Royal Belgian Institute of natural Sciences (RBINS, Brussels) have a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding regarding collaborative Scientific Research. Two anonymous referees suggested important improvements.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCM 452 KB)


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais (PEA)Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM)MaringáBrazil
  2. 2.Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)BrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of GhentGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM), Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura (Nupélia), Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais (PEA)MaringáBrazil

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