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Aquatic communities in arid landscapes: Local conditions, dispersal traits and landscape configuration determine local biodiversity

Moran-Ordonez, Alejandra, Pavlova, Alexandra, Pinder, Adrian M., Sim, Lien, Sunnucks, Paul, Thompson, Ross M. and Davis, Jenny A. (2015). Aquatic communities in arid landscapes: Local conditions, dispersal traits and landscape configuration determine local biodiversity. Diversity and Distributions: a journal of conservation biogeography,21(10):1230-1241.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 81144320xPUB208
Title Aquatic communities in arid landscapes: Local conditions, dispersal traits and landscape configuration determine local biodiversity
Author Moran-Ordonez, Alejandra
Pavlova, Alexandra
Pinder, Adrian M.
Sim, Lien
Sunnucks, Paul
Thompson, Ross M.
Davis, Jenny A.
Journal Name Diversity and Distributions: a journal of conservation biogeography
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 21
Issue Number 10
ISSN 1366-9516   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84941024539
Start Page 1230
End Page 1241
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Field of Research ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Aim
To understand how environmental conditions and landscape structure interact at different spatial scales to shape the community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates with different dispersal abilities.

Location

Australia.

Methods

For each of five drainage basins and for their encompassing region (Pilbara), we built matrices of dissimilarities in presence–absence patterns of aquatic invertebrate community composition. This was carried out for all taxa collectively and separately for five dispersal trait groups: obligate aquatics, passive aerial dispersers, animals moving by aerial phoresy, weak and strong fliers. We analysed correlations between community dissimilarities and (1) dissimilarities in local environmental conditions, (2) geographic distances and (3) landscape resistance distances among the sites from which invertebrates were sampled. Calculation of landscape resistances accounted for longitudinal connectivity along the river channels (least-cost-path), lateral connectivity between streams and the potential effects of rugged topography on invertebrate dispersal.

Results

Local environmental factors and landscape resistances explained differences in community composition at the regional scale. In basins with complex topography, local environmental conditions were the main factor explaining community dissimilarities in most dispersal groups. Conversely, in basins where flatter topography meant that moderate to high lateral connectivity between streams is possible, the spatial configuration of the dendritic network determined the community composition of most dispersal trait groups. Geographic and least-cost-path distances were poor predictors of community composition. None of the groups showed a consistent correlation with environmental factors alone, or just landscape resistances, across all basins.

Main conclusions

Local environmental conditions, hydrological connectivity and landscape resistance to dispersal are all important influences on community composition of arid zone aquatic invertebrates. The impact of each of these factors varies with dispersal trait group and spatial configuration of basins: the importance of lateral connectivity for explaining a substantial proportion of community composition points to a major role of flooding regimes in maintaining biological communities.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12342   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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