Distance Decay of Similarity in Neotropical Diatom Communities

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Wetzel , C E , Bicudo , D D C , Ector , L , Lobo , E A , Soininen , J , Landeiro , V L & Bini , L M 2012 , ' Distance Decay of Similarity in Neotropical Diatom Communities ' , PLoS One , vol. 7 , no. 9 , pp. e45071 . https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0045071

Title: Distance Decay of Similarity in Neotropical Diatom Communities
Author: Wetzel, Carlos E.; Bicudo, Denise de C.; Ector, Luc; Lobo, Eduardo A.; Soininen, Janne; Landeiro, Victor L.; Bini, Luis M.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
Date: 2012-09-13
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: PLoS One
ISSN: 1932-6203
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/165843
Abstract: Background The regression of similarity against distance unites several ecological phenomena, and thus provides a highly useful approach for illustrating the spatial turnover across sites. Our aim was to test whether the rates of decay in community similarity differ between diatom growth forms suggested to show different dispersal ability. We hypothesized that the diatom group with lower dispersal ability (i.e. periphyton) would show higher distance decay rates than a group with higher dispersal ability (i.e. plankton). Methods/Principal findings Periphyton and phytoplankton samples were gathered at sites distributed over an area of approximately 800 km length in the Negro River, Amazon basin, Brazil, South America (3°08′00″S; 59°54′30″W). Distance decay relationships were then estimated using distance-based regressions, and the coefficients of these regressions were compared among the groups with different dispersal abilities to assess our predictions. We found evidence that different tributaries and reaches of the Negro River harbor different diatom communities. As expected, the rates of distance decay in community similarity were higher for periphyton than for phytoplankton indicating the lower dispersal ability of periphytic taxa. Conclusions/Significance Our study demonstrates that the comparison of distance decay relationships among taxa with similar ecological requirements, but with different growth form and thus dispersal ability provides a sound approach to evaluate the effects of dispersal ability on beta diversity patterns. Our results are also in line with the growing body of evidence indicating that microorganisms exhibit biogeographic patterns. Finally, we underscore that clumbing all microbial taxa into one group may be a flawed approach to test whether microbes exhibit biogeographic patterns.
1172 Environmental sciences

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