Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
Volume 49, Number 1, 2013
|Page(s)||31 - 41|
|Published online||18 April 2013|
Environmental and spatial processes determining Ephemeroptera (Insecta) structures in tropical streams
1 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Pará, Rua Augusto Correia, no 1 Bairro Guama, 66.075-110, Belém, PA, Brazil
2 Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Rua Augusto Correia, no 1 Bairro Guamá, 66.075-110, Belém, PA, Brazil
3 Departamento de Ciências Agrárias e Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Espírito Santo, Centro Universitário Norte do Espírito Santo, São Mateus, ES, Brazil
4 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Evolução, Universidade Federal do Goiás, Goiânia, GO, Brazil
5 Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso, Nova Xavantina, MT, Brazil
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 21 May 2012
Accepted: 22 February 2013
Community diversity is expected to reflect variations in local conditions but, recently, ecologists have started to realize that local diversity is also under pressure from global processes. As a result, the traditional view of community structure based on local interspecific interactions was replaced by the idea that community structure is a result of multiple processes acting in different spatial scales. This study is aimed at quantifying the relative importance of spatial, environmental and spatially structured processes on Ephemeroptera community in Cerrado streams in Brazil. Thirty-four rivers and streams in the Brazilian state Mato Grosso were sampled. Ephemeroptera species composition, based on abundance and presence data, was evaluated in relation to niche and neutral predictors by using a partial redundancy analysis (pRDA). Results obtained through the pRDA indicated that both environmental and spatial processes influenced Ephemeroptera abundance. On the other hand, only environmental processes showed effects on community patterns when using species presence data from preserved, altered and large streams and also when looking only at the preserved sites. When streams larger than 20 m were excluded from analysis, both environmental and spatially processes showed influence on Ephemeroptera composition. Adjusted R2 values were higher for environmental than for spatial processes in all analyses. The relatively high influence of both environmental processes and stream width in the analyses highlights the sensitivity of mayflies assemblies to environmental variation, and emphasizes the importance of local processes, as predicted by niche theory, while neutral processes act to a lesser extent on the structure of the studied communities.
Key words: Niche theory / neutral theory / environmental variables / aquatic insects / Brazilian streams
© EDP Sciences, 2013
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