, Volume 805, Issue 1, pp 61–73 | Cite as

Local and regional effects structuring aquatic insect assemblages at multiple spatial scales in a Mainland-Island region of the Atlantic Forest

  • Ana Emilia Siegloch
  • Aurea Luiza Lemes da Silva
  • Pedro Giovâni da Silva
  • Malva Isabel Medina Hernández
Primary Research Paper


Species diversity can be a result of environmental and spatial constrains that act at small and large spatial scales. An important question in community ecology is to know the contribution of each one in studies with multiple spatial scales. We examined aquatic insect assemblages in small streams from the Atlantic Forest in a mainland-island scenario, with the aim of measuring which variables explain the β-diversity of insects at three spatial scales (streams, ecoregions, mainland-island). We sampled 20 streams across four ecoregions, two on the mainland and two on the island. Spatial distribution of streams was hierarchical and ecoregions were isolated. The β-diversity decreased with increasing spatial scale, where higher values were found among streams and not among ecoregions or mainland-island. Our results indicate that the contribution of environmental and spatial predictors to the β-diversity of aquatic insect varies according to the scale of observation. Environmental variables of water and riparian forest had a greater effect on β-diversity among stream sites, while spatial and landscape (physical barriers) variables seem to be key factors at larger scales (ecoregions and mainland-island, respectively), which can prevent dispersal. Our study shows that local environmental heterogeneity had a great importance for maintaining regional diversity of aquatic insects.


Metacommunity Alpha diversity Beta diversity Low-order streams 



We would like to Rafael Schmitt, Franciéle Garcês da Silva, Javier Toso, Jéssica Pires, Juliano Bogoni, Renata Calixto, and Tamyris Gregolini for help during fieldwork. The authors would like to thank Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) for the Doctoral and Post-Doctoral scholarship (PNPD) received during the study period. M.I.M.H thanks CNPq for the scholarship Research Productivity (Process: 303800/2010-0). We also thank the logistical support provided by the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), as well as the Lagoa do Peri Municipal Park. We thank the Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio/MMA) and Fundação do Meio Ambiente (FATMA-SC) for permission to collect material (permit #32333-3 to MIMH).

Supplementary material

10750_2017_3277_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1586 kb)


  1. Algar, C. A., J. T. Kerr & D. J. Currie, 2011. Quantifying the importance of regional and local filters for community trait structure in tropical and temperate zones. Ecology 92: 903–914.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Allan, J. D., 1975. The distributional ecology and diversity of benthic insects in Cement Creek, Colorado. Ecology 56: 1040–1053.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allan, J. D., 2004. Landscapes and Riverscapes: the influence of land use on stream ecosystems. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 35: 257–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amaral, P. H. M., L. S. Silveira, B. F. J. V. Rosa, V. C. Oliveira & R. G. Alves, 2015. Influence of habitat and land use on the assemblages of ephemeroptera, plecoptera, and trichoptera in neotropical streams. Journal of Insect Science 15: 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bain, M. B. & N. J. Stevenson, 1999. Aquatic Habitat Assessment: Common Methods. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda.Google Scholar
  6. Bisheimer, M. V., C. Santos & V. E. Carlson, 2013. A mata Atlântica da Ilha de Santa Catarina, 2nd ed. Lagoa Editora, Florianópolis.Google Scholar
  7. Bilton, D. T., J. R. Freeland & B. Okamura, 2001. Dispersal in freshwater invertebrates. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 32: 159–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blanchet, F. G., P. Legendre & D. Borcard, 2008. Forward selection of explanatory variables. Ecology 89: 2623–2632.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bonada, N., M. Rieradevall, H. Dallas, J. Davis, J. Day, R. Figueroa, V. H. Resh & N. Prat, 2008. Multi-scale assessment of macroinvertebrate richness and composition in Mediterranean-climate rivers. Freshwater Biology 53: 772–788.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bonnet, A. & M. H. Queiroz, 2006. Estratificação vertical de bromélias epifíticas em diferentes estádios sucessionais da Floresta Ombrófila Densa, Ilha de Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina, Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Botânica 29: 217–228.Google Scholar
  11. Borcard, D. P., P. Legendre & P. Drapeau, 1992. Partialling out the spatial component of ecological variation. Ecology 73: 1045–1055.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Borcard, D. P., P. Legendre, C. Avois-Jacquet & H. Tuomisto, 2004. Dissecting the spatial structure of ecological data at multiple scales. Ecology 85: 1826–1832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Borcard, D., F. Gillet & P. Legendre, 2011. Numerical Ecology with R. Springer, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brower, J. E., J. H. Zar & C. N. Von-Ende, 1998. Field and Laboratory Methods for General Ecology, 4th ed. McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math, Boston.Google Scholar
  15. Boyero, L. & R. C. Bailey, 2001. Organization of macroinvertebrate communities at a hierarchy of spatial scales in a tropical stream. Hydrobiologia 464: 219–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clarke, A., R. M. Nally, N. Bond & P. S. Lake, 2008. Macroinvertebrate diversity in headwater streams: a review. Freshwater Biology 53: 1707–1721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Costa, S. S. & A. S. Melo, 2008. Beta diversity in stream macroinvertebrate assemblages: among-site and among-microhabitat components. Hydrobiologia 598: 131–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crist, T. O., J. A. Veech, J. C. Gering & K. S. Summerville, 2003. Partitioning species diversity across landscapes and regions: a hierarchical analysis of a, b, and c diversity. The American Naturalist 162: 734–743.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. da Silva, P. G. & M. I. M. Hernández, 2014. Local and regional effects on community structure of dung beetles in a mainland-island scenario. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111883.Google Scholar
  20. da Silva, P. G. & M. I. M. Hernández, 2015. Scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities using functional diversity and community deconstruction approaches. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123030.Google Scholar
  21. Datry, T., A. M. Melo, N. Moya, J. Zubieta, E. De La Barra & T. Oberdorff, 2016. Metacommunity patterns across three Neotropical catchments with varying environmental harshness. Freshwater Biology 61: 277–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Declerck, S. A. J., J. S. Coronel, P. Legendre & L. Brendonck, 2011. Scale dependency of processes structuring metacommunities of cladocerans in temporary pools of High-Andes wetlands. Ecography 34: 296–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Domínguez, E., C. Molineri, M. Pescador, M. Hubbard & C. Nieto, 2006. Aquatic Biodiversity in Latin America: Ephemeroptera of South America, Vol. 2. Pensoft, Moscow.Google Scholar
  24. Domínguez, E. & H. R. Fernández, 2009. Macroinvertebrados Bentónicos Sudamericanos: Sistemática y Biología. Fundación Miguell Lillo, Tucumán.Google Scholar
  25. Dray, S., R. Pélissier, P. Couteron, M. J. Fortin & P. Legendre, 2012. Community ecology in the age of multivariate multiscale spatial analysis. Ecological Monographs 82: 257–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ferreira, W. R., L. U. Hepp, R. Ligeiro, D. R. Macedo, R. M. Hughes, P. R. Kaufman & M. Callisto, 2017. Partitioning taxonomic diversity of aquatic insect assemblages and functional feeding groups in neotropical savanna headwater streams. Ecological Indicators 72: 365–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Flach, P. Z. S., C. P. Ozorio & A. S. Melo, 2012. Alpha and beta components of diversity of freshwater nematodes at different spatial scales in subtropical coastal lakes. Fundamental and Applied Limnology 180: 249–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Frissell, C. L. J., W. J. Liss, N. B. Grimm & D. E. Bush, 1986. A hierarchical framework for stream habitat classification: viewing streams in a watershed context. Environmental Management 10: 199–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Heino, J., P. Louhi & T. Muotka, 2004. Identifying the scales of variability in stream macroinvertebrate abundance, functional composition and assemblage structure. Freshwater Biology 49: 1230–1239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Heino, J., A. S. Melo & L. M. Bini, 2014. Reconceptualising the beta diversity-environmental heterogeneity relationship in running water systems. Freshwater Biology. doi: 10.1111/fwb.12502.Google Scholar
  31. Hepp, L. U. & A. S. Melo, 2013. Dissimilarity of stream insect assemblages: effects of multiple scales and spatial distances. Hydrobiologia 703: 239–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hepp, L. U., L. A. Landeiro & A. S. Melo, 2012. Experimental assessment of the effects of environmental factors and longitudinal position on alpha and beta diversities of aquatic insects in a neotropical stream. International Review of Hydrobiology 97: 157–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jost, L., 2006. Entropy and diversity. Oikos 113: 363–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jost, L., 2007. Partitioning diversity into independent alpha and beta components. Ecology 88: 2427–2439.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Jost, L., P. DeVries, T. Walla, H. Greeney, A. Chao & C. Ricotta, 2010. Partitioning diversity for conservation analyses. Diversity and Distributions 16: 65–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Klein, A. H. F., J. T. Menezes, F. L. Diehl, J. G. N. Abreu & M. Polette, 2006. Erosão e progradação do litoral brasileiro—Santa Catarina. In Muehe, D. (ed), Erosão e Progradação do Litoral Brasileiro. Ministério do Meio Ambiente, Brasília: 401–436.Google Scholar
  37. Li, J., A. Herlihy, W. Gerth & P. Kaufmann, 2001. Variability in stream macroinvertebrates at multiple spatial scales. Freshwater Biology 46: 87–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Leibold, M. A., M. Holyoak, N. Mouquet, P. Amarasekare, J. M. Chase, M. F. Hoopes, R. D. Holt, J. B. Shurin, R. Law, D. Tilman, M. Loreau & A. Gonzalez, 2004. The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology. Ecology Letters 7: 601–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Legendre, P. & L. Legendre, 1998. Numerical Ecology. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  40. Legendre, P. & E. Gallagher, 2001. Ecologically meaningful transformations for ordination of species data. Oecologia 129: 271–280.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Legendre, P. & M. De Cáceres, 2013. Beta diversity as the variance of community data: dissimilarity coefficients and partitioning. Ecology Letters 16: 951–963.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Ligeiro, R., A. S. Melo & M. Callisto, 2010. Spatial scale and the diversity of macroinvertebrates in a neotropical catchment. Freshwater Biology 55: 424–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lorenzen, C. J., 1967. Determination of chlorophyll and pheopigments: spectrophotometric equations. Limnology and Oceanography 12: 343–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Malmqvist, B., 2002. Aquatic invertebrates in riverine landscapes. Freshwater Biology 47: 679–694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Molozzi, J., L. U. Hepp & M. Callisto, 2013. The additive partitioning of macroinvertebrate diversity in tropical reservoirs. Marine and Freshwater Research 64: 609–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Myers, N., R. A. Mittermeier, C. G. Mittermeier, G. A. B. Fonseca & J. Kents, 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 845–853.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Oksanen, J, F. G. Blanchet, R. Kindt, P. Legendre, R. G. O’Hara, G. L. Simpson, P. Solymos, M. H. H. Stevens, E. Szoecs & H. Wagner, 2013. Vegan: community ecology package. R package version 2.0–7 [available on internet at].
  48. Peres-Neto, P. R., P. Legendre, S. Dray & D. Borcard, 2006. Variation partitioning of species data matrices: estimation and comparison of fractions. Ecology 87: 2614–2625.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Petersen, I., Z. Masters, A. G. Hildrew & S. J. Ormerod, 2004. Dispersal of adult aquatic insects in cathments of differing land use. Journal of Applied Ecology 41: 934–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pires, M. M., C. B. Kotzian, M. R. Spies & V. A. Baptista, 2016. Comparative assessment of aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity in irrigated rice fields and wetlands through different spatial scales: an additive partitioning approach. Marine and Freshwater Research 67: 368–379.Google Scholar
  51. Poff, N. L., 1997. Landscape filters and species traits: towards mechanistic understanding and prediction in stream ecology. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 16: 391–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. R Core Team, 2013. R: A language and environment for statistical computing, Vienna, Austria [Available on internet at].
  53. Ribeiro, M. C., J. P. Metzger, A. C. Martensen, F. J. Ponzoni & M. M. Hirota, 2009. The Brazilian Atlantic Forest: how much is left, and how is the remaining forest distributed? Implications for conservation. Biological Conserv 142: 1141–1153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Salles, F. F., E. R. Da-Silva, J. E. Serrão & C. N. Francischetti, 2004. Baetidae (Ephemeroptera) na região sudeste do Brasil: novos registros e chave para os gêneros no estágio ninfal. Neotropical Entomology 33: 569–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shurin, J. B., K. Cottenie & H. Hillebrand, 2009. Spatial autocorrelation and dispersal limitation in freshwater organisms. Oecologia 159: 151–159.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Siegloch, A. E., R. Schmitt, M. Spies, M. Petrucio & M. I. M. Hernández, 2016. Effects of small changes in riparian forest complexity on aquatic insect bioindicators in Brazilian subtropical streams. Marine and Freshwater Research. doi: 10.1071/MF15162.Google Scholar
  57. Souza, A. L. T., D. G. Fonseca, R. Libório & M. O. Tanaka, 2013. Influence of riparian vegetation and forest structure on the water quality of rural low-order streams in SE Brazil. Forest Ecology Management 298: 12–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Stendera, S. E. S. & R. K. Johnson, 2005. Additive partitioning of aquatic invertebrate species diversity across multiple spatial scales. Freshwater Biology 50: 1360–1375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Townsend, C. R., S. Dolédec, R. Norris, K. Peacock & C. Arbuckle, 2003. The influence of scale and geography on relationships between stream community composition and landscape variables: description and prediction. Freshwater Biology 48: 768–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Vadeboncoeur, Y., M. J. Vander Zanden & D. M. Lodge, 2002. Putting the lake back together: reintegrating benthic pathways into lake food web models. Bioscience 52: 44–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Veech, J. A. & T. O. Crist, 2009. Partition: software for hierarchical partitioning of species diversity. Program version 3.0 [available on internet at].
  62. Veloso, H. P., A. L. R. Rangel-Filho & J. C. A. Lima, 1991. Classificação da vegetação brasileira, adaptada a um sistema universal. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, Rio de Janeiro: 124.Google Scholar
  63. Vinson, M. R. & C. P. Hawkins, 1998. Biodiversity of stream insects: variation at local, basin, and regional scales. Annual Review of Entomology 43: 271–293.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Ward, J. V., 1992. Aquatic Insect Ecology: Biology and Habitat. Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  65. Wiggins, G. B., 1996. Larvae of the North American Caddisfly Genera (Trichoptera), 2nd ed. University of Toronto Press, Toronto.Google Scholar
  66. Whittaker, R. H., 1960. Vegetation of the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon and California. Ecological Monographs 30: 279–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Emilia Siegloch
    • 1
  • Aurea Luiza Lemes da Silva
    • 1
  • Pedro Giovâni da Silva
    • 1
  • Malva Isabel Medina Hernández
    • 1
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia, Centro de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

Personalised recommendations