Vander Vorste et al 2021.pdf (1.48 MB)

Climatic aridity increases temporal nestedness of invertebrate communities in naturally drying rivers

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journal contribution
posted on 04.03.2021, 11:24 by Ross Vander Vorste, Rachel Stubbington, Vicenç Acuña, Michael T Bogan, Núria Bonada, Núria Cid, Thibault Datry, Richard Storey, Paul Wood, Albert Ruhí
Climate change is altering the water cycle globally, increasing the frequency and magnitude of floods and droughts. An outstanding question is whether biodiversity responses to hydrological disturbance depend on background climatic context – and if so, which contexts increase vulnerability to disturbance. Answering this question requires comparison of organismal responses across environmental gradients. However, opportunities to track disturbed communities against an undisturbed baseline remain rare. Here we gathered a global dataset capturing responses of aquatic invertebrate communities to river drying, which includes 112 sites spanning a gradient of climatic aridity. We measured the effects of river drying on taxonomic richness and temporal β-diversity (turnover and nestedness components). We also measured the relative abundance of aquatic invertebrates with strategies that confer resilience (or resistance) to drying. Contrary to our expectations, we found that taxonomic richness recovered from drying similarly across the aridity gradient. The turnover component of β-diversity (i.e. species replacements over time) largely accounted for differences in community composition before versus after drying. However, increasing aridity was associated with greater nestedness-driven compositional changes at intermittent sites – that is, after drying communities became subsets of those before drying. These results show that climatic context can explain variation in community responses to the same hydrological disturbance (drying), and suggest that increased aridity will constrain biodiversity responses at regional scales. Further consideration of the climatic context in hydroecological research may help improve predictions of the local impacts of hydrological disturbance by identifying climate regions where communities are more (or less) sensitive to extremes, including river drying events.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Ecography

Publisher

Wiley

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Wiley under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

25/01/2021

Publication date

2021-02-23

ISSN

0906-7590

eISSN

1600-0587

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Paul Wood. Deposit date: 3 March 2021

Article number

ecog.05349

Licence

Exports