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Environmental filtering and spatial effects on metacommunity organisation differ among littoral macroinvertebrate groups deconstructed by biological traits

Abstract

We examined spatial and environmental effects on the deconstructed assemblages of littoral macroinvertebrates within a large lake. We deconstructed assemblages by three biological trait groups: body size, dispersal mode and oviposition behaviour. We expected that spatial effects on assemblage structuring decrease and environmental effects increase with increasing body size. We also expected stronger environmental filtering and weaker spatial effect on the assemblages of flying species compared with assemblages of non-flying species. Stronger effect of environmental filtering was expected on the assemblages with species attaching eggs compared with assemblages of species with free eggs. We used redundancy analysis with variation partitioning to examine spatial and environmental effects on the deconstructed assemblages. As expected, the importance of environmental filtering increased and that of spatial effects decreased with increasing body size. Opposite to our expectations, assemblages of non-flying species were more affected by environmental conditions compared to assemblages of flying species. Concurring with our expectations, the importance of environmental filtering was higher in structuring assemblages of species attaching eggs than in structuring those with freely laid eggs. The amount of unexplained variation was higher for assemblages with small-sized to medium-sized species, flying species and species with free eggs than those with large-sized species, non-flying species and species with attached eggs. Our observations of decreasing spatial and increasing environmental effects with increasing body size of assemblages deviated from the results of previous studies. These results suggest differing metacommunity dynamics between within-lake and among-lake levels and between studies covering contrasting taxonomic groups and body size ranges.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Marja Manninen, Sari Latvala, Minna Kuoppala, Eeva Kosola, Mika Visuri, Juha Riihimäki, Osmo Murtovaara, Riku Paavola, Jukka Leppälä, Yrjö Kivinen, Tiina Nokela and Susan Kunnas for their help during different stages of the study. This study was financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and by Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation.

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Correspondence to Kimmo T. Tolonen.

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Tolonen, K.T., Cai, Y., Vilmi, A. et al. Environmental filtering and spatial effects on metacommunity organisation differ among littoral macroinvertebrate groups deconstructed by biological traits. Aquat Ecol 52, 119–131 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10452-018-9649-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10452-018-9649-4

Keywords

  • Metacommunity organisation
  • Niche width
  • Biological traits
  • Large lakes