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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

The influence of niche and neutral processes on a neotropical anuran metacommunity

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Prado, Vitor H. M. [1] ; Rossa-Feres, Denise de C. [2]
Total Authors: 2
[1] Univ Estadual Paulista, Programa Posgrad Biol Anim, Sao Jose Do Rio Preto, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Estadual Paulista, Dept Zool & Bot, Sao Jose Do Rio Preto, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: AUSTRAL ECOLOGY; v. 39, n. 5, p. 540-547, AUG 2014.
Web of Science Citations: 5

One of the most important questions in ecology is the relative importance of local conditions (niche processes) and dispersal ability (neutral processes) in driving metacommunity structure. Although many studies have been conducted in recent years, there is still much debate. We evaluated the processes (niche and neutral) responsible for variation in anuran composition in 28 lentic water bodies in southeastern Brazil. Because anurans depend heavily on environmental conditions, we hypothesized that environmental variables (niche processes) are the most important drivers of community composition. Additionally, as anurans have limited dispersal abilities, and the study region presents harsh conditions (high forest fragmentation, low rainfall and long dry season), we expected a lower, but significant, spatial signature in metacommunity structure, due to neutral dynamics. We used a partial redundancy analysis with variation partitioning to evaluate the relative influence of environmental and spatial variables as drivers of metacommunity structure. Additionally, we used a recently developed spatial autocorrelation analysis to test if neutral dynamics can be attributed to the pure spatial component. This analysis is based on predictions that species abundances are independent but similarly spatially structured, with correlograms similar in shape. Therefore, under neutral dynamics there is no expectation of a correlation between the pairwise distance of spatial correlograms and the pairwise correlation of species abundances predicted by the pure spatial component. We found that the environmental component explained 21.5%, the spatial component 10.2%, and the shared component 6.4% of the metacommunity structure. We found no correlation between correlograms and correlation of abundances predicted by the pure spatial component (Mantel test = -0.109, P = 0.961). In our study, niche-based processes are the dominant process that explained community composition. However, neutral processes are important because spatial variation can be attributed to pure neutral dynamics rather than to missing spatially structured environmental factors. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 04/04820-3 - Fauna and flora from forest fragments in the northwest region of São Paulo State: the basis to biodiversity conservational studies
Grantee:Orlando Necchi Junior
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Thematic Grants
FAPESP's process: 06/51534-1 - Use of forest remnants by anurans in the North-east region of the State of São Paulo
Grantee:Vitor Hugo Mendonça do Prado
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate