Dynamics in the effects of the species–area relationship versus local environmental factors in bomb crater ponds

Abstract

The species–area relationship (SAR) is a well-investigated subject raising questions nonetheless. We hypothesized that SAR can be modified by naturally extreme conditions (high pH, conductivity, and total phosphorus) in a small spatial scale. A bombing range was chosen as a sampling location with a densely scattered cluster of bomb crater ponds, which vary in size and in extremity to study the hypothesis. Macroinvertebrate communities from 25 bomb crater ponds were sampled, along with the macrophyte community, while pH, conductivity, total phosphorus, and area were also registered. A decision tree was used to separate extreme from normal ponds based on their chemical characteristics. SAR was found to be the dominant driving force, increasing species richness in the extreme ponds. However, in the normal ponds, the small island effect was observed. The macroinvertebrate communities and macrophyte community types are congruent in normal ponds. Our findings imply that rules in ecology cannot be handled rigidly and there are dynamics existing between the factors that influence the composition of a macroinvertebrate community that cannot be ignored at habitat restorations.

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Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to Csaba Deák for the identification of multiple taxa. The authors would also like to say thanks to the anonymous Reviewers for the effort they put into improving the manuscript and Joan Mattia for the linguistic help. This work was funded by the GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00019, OTKA K104279, PD120775 Grants. Balázs András Lukács was supported by the Bolyai János Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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Krasznai-K, E.Á., Boda, P., Borics, G. et al. Dynamics in the effects of the species–area relationship versus local environmental factors in bomb crater ponds. Hydrobiologia 823, 27–38 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-018-3693-x

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Keywords

  • Habitat diversity
  • Ponds
  • Macroinvertebrates
  • Naturally extreme environment
  • Species accumulation curves