Ecological processes underlying community assembly of aquatic bacteria and macroinvertebrates under contrasting climates on the Tibetan Plateau

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Vilmi, A. et al. 2019. Ecological processes underlying community assembly of aquatic bacteria and macroinvertebrates under contrasting climates on the Tibetan Plateau. Science of the Total Environment 702: 134974. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134974

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Title: Ecological processes underlying community assembly of aquatic bacteria and macroinvertebrates under contrasting climates on the Tibetan Plateau
Author: Vilmi, A.; Zhao, W.; Picazo, F.; Li, M.; Heino, J.; Soininen, J.; Wang, J.
Date: 2019-12-05
Belongs to series: Science of the Total Environment 702: 134974
ISSN: 0048-9697
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307954
Abstract: Understanding the role of climatic variation on biodiversity is of chief importance due to the ongoing biodiversity loss and climate change. Freshwaters, one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, offer a valuable context to study biodiversity patterns of distinct organism groups in relation to climatic variation. In the Tibetan Plateau biodiversity hotspot - Hengduan Mountain region, we studied the effects of climate and local physico-chemical factors on stream microorganisms (i.e. bacteria) and macroorganisms (i.e. macroinvertebrates) in two parallel catchments with contrasting precipitation and temperature, that is, the Nujiang and Lancang Rivers. Diversities and community structures were better explained by climatic and local environmental variables in the drier and colder catchment and at higher elevations, than in the warmer and wetter conditions and at lower elevations. This suggests that communities may be more strongly assembled by deterministic processes in the former, comparatively harsher conditions, compared to the latter, more benign conditions. Macroinvertebrates were more strongly affected by climatic and local environmental factors compared to bacteria, but the diversities and community structures of the two groups showed spatially similar responses to overall abiotic variation, being especially evident with their community structures' responses to climate. Furthermore, bacterial and macroinvertebrate diversities were positively correlated in the drier and colder catchment, implying that these biologically and ecologically distinct organism groups are likely to be driven by similar processes in areas with such climatic conditions. We conclude that changes in climatic and local environmental conditions may affect the diversity of macroorganisms more strongly than that of microorganisms, at least in subtropical mountainous stream ecosystems studied here, but simultaneous responses of both groups to environmental changes can also be expected.
Subject: assembly processes
body size
biodiversity hotspot
climate change
elevation
Hengduan Mountain
microorganisms
macroorganisms
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