Beta-diversity partitioning and drivers of variations in tropical fish community structure in central India
Flow regulations, human activities and drying events have been shown to drive diversity patterns of stream fish communities globally. Along with alpha-diversity distributions across space and time, study of beta-diversity patterns provides a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and processes of overall diversity distributions. It has been shown that water flow conditions can determine the beta-diversity patterns in stream fish communities: in general, perennial habitats are more similar, while intermittent and regulated conditions tend to increase dissimilarities among sites. However, it is not clear whether these patterns result from changes in abundance replacement or from differences in species abundance. Here, we investigated beta-diversity patterns in tropical fish communities of central India and their relation to habitat structural properties and water conditions. We performed our analysis for the overall region (18 sites) and also across three distinct flow conditions (6 sites for each flow regime). We used a partitioning framework to uncover the contribution of abundance replacement and abundance difference to beta-diversity patterns for the overall region and for three flow conditions separately. Our results suggest that at a regional scale all the sites show an equal contribution of replacement and abundance difference components, while seasonal samples were homogeneous. Our results confirmed that intermittent and regulated sites are more heterogeneous than perennial sites. The observed changes in beta-diversity in intermittent and regulated sites were related to both abundance difference and replacement components. Dissimilarities between sites were explained by physicochemical (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen) parameters but not by habitat structural (stream width, depth) parameters.
KeywordsCommunity structure Spatio-temporal patterns Perennial flow Intermittent streams Fish diversity
The authors thank Durlabh Shukla for field assistance and local fish collectors for help with collections of fish and data on environmental parameters at the study sites. The authors also wish to thank the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata (IISER-Kolkata, India) for financial support during this study. RS was supported through Institutional Junior and Senior Research Fellowships provided by IISER Kolkata. We thank Dr. Florian Altermatt for very helpful and constructive suggestions.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.
No animals were harmed during this study and all individuals were returned to their natural habitats in the field. The study protocol carried out were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution (Institutional Animal Ethics Committee’s (IAEC)), IISER Kolkata and adhered to the guidelines of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), Government of India.
- Daniels RJR (2002) Freshwater fishes of peninsular India. University Press, IndiaGoogle Scholar
- Dudgeon D (2008) Tropical streams ecology. Elsevier, USAGoogle Scholar
- Jayaram KC (2012) The freshwater fishes of the indian region, second. Narendra Publishing House, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
- Legendre P, Legendre L (1998) Numerical ecology, second. Elsevier Science BV, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
- MacArthur RH, Wilson EO (1967) The theory of island biogeography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
- Oksanen J, Blanchet FG, Friendly M et al (2015) vegan: community ecology package. R package version 2.2-1Google Scholar
- QGIS Development Team (2016) QGIS geographic information system. Open source geospatial foundation. http://qgis.osgeo.org. Accessed 19 Sept 2017
- R Core Team (2015). R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
- Rodriguez MA (2010) A modeling framework for assessing long-distance dispersal and loss of connectivity in stream fish. In: Gido KB, Jackson DA (eds) Community ecology of stream fishes: concepts, approaches, and techniques. American Fisheries Society Symposium, BethesdaGoogle Scholar
- Tyers MB (2017) riverdist: river network distance computation and applications. R package version 0.15.0Google Scholar
- Unni KS (1996) Ecology of river Narmada. APH, OntarioGoogle Scholar
- Winemiller KO, Jepsen DB (1998) Effects of seasonality and fish movement on tropical river food webs. J Fish Biol 53:267–296. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1998.tb01032.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar