Trait-based community assembly is mostly driven by non-random processes of species sorting: habitat filtering and niche differentiation. The theories of community assembly have focused on interspecific difference between co-occurring species, disregarding intraspecific functional variability. Tadpoles metacommunities offer an excellent system to understand the relative influence of intra- and interspecific functional variability in assembling communities, due to their ecosystem role, phenotypic plasticity and sensitivity in their spatial distribution and performance due the influence of environment variables. In this project, we intend to disentangle the influence of intra- and interspecific trait variation in the establishment and persistence of traits and in species composition in tadpoles communities, at local and regional scales. Therefore, we selected eight functional traits from 10 morphological features of 384 tadpoles from 22 anurans species, sampled on 37 ponds located in open- and close-canopy areas at the Atlantic Rain Forest lowlands in São Paulo state. To determine how trait variability is structured between and within species we will decompose the trait variability according these different levels of variation, in both single-trait and multi-traits analyses. We hypothesize that incorporating functional intra- and interspecific trait variability will allow detection of the influence of canopy cover as an environmental filter in assembling tadpoles metacommunities.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: