Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 158, Issue 2, pp 329–342 | Cite as

Metacommunity patterns in larval odonates

  • Shannon J. McCauleyEmail author
  • Christopher J. Davis
  • Rick A. Relyea
  • Kerry L. Yurewicz
  • David K. Skelly
  • Earl E. Werner
Community Ecology - Original Paper

Abstract

The growth of metacommunity ecology as a subdiscipline has increased interest in how processes at different spatial scales structure communities. However, there is still a significant knowledge gap with respect to relating the action of niche- and dispersal-assembly mechanisms to observed species distributions across gradients. Surveys of the larval dragonfly community (Odonata: Anisoptera) in 57 lakes and ponds in southeast Michigan were used to evaluate hypotheses about the processes regulating community structure in this system. We considered the roles of both niche- and dispersal-assembly processes in determining patterns of species richness and composition across a habitat gradient involving changes in the extent of habitat permanence, canopy cover, area, and top predator type. We compared observed richness patterns and species distributions in this system to patterns predicted by four general community models: species sorting related to adaptive trade-offs, a developmental constraints hypothesis, dispersal assembly, and a neutral community assemblage. Our results supported neither the developmental constraints nor the neutral-assemblage models. Observed patterns of richness and species distributions were consistent with patterns expected when adaptive tradeoffs and dispersal-assembly mechanisms affect community structure. Adaptive trade-offs appeared to be important in limiting the distributions of species which segregate across the habitat gradient. However, dispersal was important in shaping the distributions of species that utilize habitats with a broad range of hydroperiods and alternative top predator types. Our results also suggest that the relative importance of these mechanisms may change across this habitat gradient and that a metacommunity perspective which incorporates both niche- and dispersal-assembly processes is necessary to understand how communities are organized.

Keywords

Local-regional Metacommunity Habitat gradient Niche assembly Dispersal assembly 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Many people provided useful comments on this manuscript at various stages in its development, including M. Benard, T. Brodin, J. Middlemas-Brown, D. Dritz, P. Epanchin, S. Fogarty, M. Fraker, D. Goldberg, B. Hazlett, M. Holyoak, S. Lawler, B. Luttbeg, T. Morgan, J. Saltz, S. Schneider, A. Sih, E. Silverman, W. White, and A. Zellmer. Too many researchers to name individually helped with sampling, and we are grateful to all of them. Access to the ESGR was provided by the Museum of Zoology and R. Nussbaum. J. Bolgos provided logistical support. This research was funded by NSF grants: DEB-9727014 to E. Werner, D. Skelly, R. Relyea, and K. Yurewicz, and DEB-0089809 to E. Werner and S. Peacor. S. McCauley received funding to sample water bodies off the ESGR from the Michigan Natural Heritage program funded by citizen contributions to the State of Michigan’s Nongame Wildlife Fund (NH01-034), and from a Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research award. S. McCauley was supported by a University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship during the initial writing of this manuscript, and by a Center for Population Biology Postdoctoral Research Fellowship during the revision of this manuscript. This research complies with the current laws of the United States.

Supplementary material

442_2008_1141_MOESM1_ESM.doc (58 kb)
Electronic supplementary material S1 (DOC 58 kb)
442_2008_1141_MOESM2_ESM.doc (108 kb)
Electronic supplementary material S2 (DOC 108 kb)

References

  1. Bell G (2001) Ecology—neutral macroecology. Science 293:2413–2418PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernath B, Szedenics G, Molnar G, Kriska G, Horvath G (2001) Visual ecological impact of “shiny black anthropogenic products” on aquatic insects: oil reservoirs and plastic sheets as polarized traps for insects associated with water. Arch Nat Conserv Landsc Res 40:89–109Google Scholar
  3. Bernath B, Szedenics G, Wildermuth H, Horvath G (2002) How can dragonflies discern bright and dark waters from a distance? The degree of polarisation of reflected light as a possible cue for dragonfly habitat selection. Freshw Biol 47:1707–1719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chase JM (2003) Community assembly: when should history matter? Oecologia 136:489–498PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Collins SL (2000) Disturbance frequency and community stability in native tallgrass prairie. Am Nat 155:311–325PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Colwell RK, Coddington JA (1994) Estimating terrestrial biodiversity through extrapolation. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 345:101–118PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Connell JH (1978) Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs—high diversity of trees and corals is maintained only in a non-equilibrium state. Science 199:1302–1310PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cornell HV, Lawton JH (1992) Species interactions, local and regional processes, and limits to the richness of ecological communities—a theoretical perspective. J Anim Ecol 61:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cottenie K (2005) Integrating environmental and spatial processes in ecological community dynamics. Ecol Lett 8:1175–1182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cottenie K, De Meester L (2004) Metacommunity structure: synergy of biotic interactions as selective agents and dispersal as fuel. Ecology 85:114–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cottenie K, Nuytten N, Michels E, De Meester L (2001) Zooplankton community structure and environmental conditions in a set of interconnected ponds. Hydrobiologia 442:339–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Driscoll DA (2008) The frequency of metapopulations, metacommunities and nestedness in a fragmented landscape. Oikos 117:297–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ellis AM, Lounibos LP, Holyoak M (2006) Evaluating the long-term metacommunity dynamics of tree hole mosquitoes. Ecology 87:2582–2590PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Friedenberg NA (2003) Determinism in a transient assemblage: the roles of dispersal and local competition. Am Nat 162:586–596PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gilbert B, Lechowicz MJ (2004) Neutrality, niches, and dispersal in a temperate forest understory. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:7651–7656PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gotelli NJ, Entsminger GL (2001) EcoSim: null models software for ecology, 7.0 edn. Acquired Intelligence Inc. & Kesey-Bear, Jericho (see http://homepages.together.net/~gentsmin/ecosim.htm, last accessed 4 Sept 2008)
  17. Gotthard K (2000) Increased risk of predation as a cost of high growth rate: an experimental test in a butterfly. J Anim Ecol 69:896–902CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Holt RD (1997) On the evolutionary stability of sink populations. Evol Ecol 11:723–731CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Holyoak M, Leibold MA, Holt RD (2005) Metacommunities: spatial dynamics and ecological communities. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  20. Hubbell SP (2001) The unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  21. Jackson DA (1993) Stopping rules in principal components-analysis—a comparison of heuristic and statistical approaches. Ecology 74:2204–2214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Johansson F, Suhling F (2004) Behaviour and growth of dragonfly larvae along a permanent to temporary water habitat gradient. Ecol Entomol 29:196–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johansson F, Englund G, Brodin T, Gardfjell H (2006) Species abundance models and patterns in dragonfly communities: effects of fish predators. Oikos 114:27–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kneitel JM, Miller TE (2003) Dispersal rates affect species composition in metacommunities of Sarracenia purpurea inquilines. Am Nat 162:165–171Google Scholar
  25. Lehman CL, Tilman D (1997) Competition in spatial habitats. In: Tilman D, Kareiva P (eds) Spatial ecology: the role of space in population dynamics and interspecific interactions. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 185–203Google Scholar
  26. Leibold MA, Mikkelson GM (2002) Coherence, species turnover, and boundary clumping: elements of meta-community structure. Oikos 97:237–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Leibold MA et al (2004) The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology. Ecol Lett 7:601–613Google Scholar
  28. Loreau M, Mouquet N (1999) Immigration and the maintenance of local species diversity. Am Nat 154:427–440PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McCauley SJ (2005) Species distributions in anisopteran odonates: effects of local and regional processes. Dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann ArborGoogle Scholar
  30. McCauley SJ (2007) The role of local and regional processes in structuring larval dragonfly distributions across habitat gradients. Oikos 116:121–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McCauley SJ (2008) Slow, fast and in between: habitat distribution and behaviour of larvae in nine species of libellulid dragonfly. Freshw Biol 53:253–263Google Scholar
  32. McPeek MA (1989) Differential dispersal tendencies among enallagma damselflies (odonata) inhabiting different habitats. Oikos 56:187–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McPeek MA (2004) The growth/predation risk trade-off: So what is the mechanism? Am Nat 163:E88–E111PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. O’Brien M (2008) Michigan Odonata Survey (online): Odonata known from Michigan. http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/MICHODO/michodolist.html, last accessed 4 Sept 2008
  35. Patterson BD, Atmar W (1986) Nested subsets and the structure of insular mammalian faunas and archipelagoes. Biol J Linn Soc 28:65–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Resetarits WJ Jr, Binckley CA, Chalcraft DR (2005) Habitat selection, species interactions, and processes of community assembly in complex landscapes: a metacommunity perspective. In: Holyoak M, Leibold MA, Holt RD (eds) Metacommunities spatial dynamics and ecological communities. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 374–398Google Scholar
  37. Schneider D, Frost T (1996) Habitat duration and community structure in temporary ponds. J North Am Benthol Soc 15:64–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shmida A, Wilson MV (1985) Biological determinants of species-diversity. J Biogeogr 12:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shurin JB (2001) Interactive effects of predation and dispersal on zooplankton communities. Ecology 82:3404–3416Google Scholar
  40. Skelly DK (1995) A behavioral trade-off and its consequences for the distribution of pseudacris treefrog larvae. Ecology 76:150–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Skelly DK (1996) Pond drying, predators, and the distribution of Pseudacris tadpoles. Copeia 3:599–605Google Scholar
  42. Skelly DK, Werner EE, Cortwright SA (1999) Long-term distributional dynamics of a Michigan amphibian assemblage. Ecology 80:2326–2337Google Scholar
  43. Skelly DK, Bolden SR, Holland MP, Freidenburg LK, Freidenfelds NA, Malcolm TR (2006) Urbanization and disease in amphibians. In: S Collinge, C Ray (eds) Ecology of disease: community context and pathogen dynamics. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  44. Stoks R, McPeek MA (2003) Predators and life histories shape Lestes damselfly assemblages along a freshwater habitat gradient. Ecology 84:1576–1587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tilman D (1994) Competition and biodiversity in spatially structured habitats. Ecology 75:2–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tilman D (1997) Community invasibility, recruitment limitation, and grassland biodiversity. Ecology 78:81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tofts R, Silvertown J (2002) Community assembly from the local species pool: an experimental study using congeneric species pairs. J Ecol 90:385–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Urban MC (2004) Disturbance heterogeneity determines freshwater metacommunity structure. Ecology 85:2971–2978CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Vandvik V, Goldberg DE (2006) Sources of diversity in a grassland metacommunity: quantifying the contribution of dispersal to species richness. Am Nat 168:157–167PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vanschoenwinkel B, De Vries C, Seaman M, Brendonck L (2007) The role of metacommunity processes in shaping invertebrate rock pool communities along a dispersal gradient. Oikos 116:1255–1266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Walker EM, Corbet PS (1978) The Odonata of Canada and Alaska. University of Toronto Press, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  52. Wellborn GA, Skelly DK, Werner EE (1996) Mechanisms creating community structure across a freshwater habitat gradient. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 27:337–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Werner EE, Anholt BR (1993) Ecological consequences of the trade-off between growth and mortality-rates mediated by foraging activity. Am Nat 142:242–272CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Werner EE, Skelly DK, Relyea RA, Yurewicz KL (2007) Amphibian species richness across environmental gradients. Oikos 116:1697–1712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wissinger SA, Whiteman HH, Sparks GB, Rouse GL, Brown WS (1999) Foraging trade-offs along a predator-permanence gradient in subalpine wetlands. Ecology 80:2102–2116Google Scholar
  56. Woodward BD (1983) Predator–prey interactions and breeding-pond use of temporary-pond species in a desert anuran community. Ecology 64:1549–1555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wright JP, Flecker AS, Jones CG (2003) Local vs. landscape controls on plant species richness in beaver meadows. Ecology 84:3162–3173CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shannon J. McCauley
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Christopher J. Davis
    • 1
  • Rick A. Relyea
    • 2
  • Kerry L. Yurewicz
    • 3
  • David K. Skelly
    • 4
  • Earl E. Werner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Biological SciencesPlymouth State UniversityPlymouthUSA
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, School of Forestry and Environmental StudiesYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Center for Population BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations