Low functional β-diversity despite high taxonomic beta-diversity among tropical estuarine fish communities

Villéger, Sebastien, Miranda, Julia Ramos, Hernandez, Domingo Flores, and Mouillot, David (2012) Low functional β-diversity despite high taxonomic beta-diversity among tropical estuarine fish communities. PLoS ONE, 7 (7). e40679. pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

The concept of β-diversity, defined as dissimilarity among communities, has been widely used to investigate biodiversity patterns and community assembly rules. However, in ecosystems with high taxonomic β-diversity, due to marked environmental gradients, the level of functional β-diversity among communities is largely overlooked while it may reveal processes shaping community structure. Here, decomposing biodiversity indices into α (local) and γ (regional) components, we estimated taxonomic and functional β-diversity among tropical estuarine fish communities, through space and time. We found extremely low functional β-diversity values among fish communities (<1.5%) despite high dissimilarity in species composition and species dominance. Additionally, in contrast to the high α and γ taxonomic diversities, α and γ functional diversities were very close to the minimal value. These patterns were caused by two dominant functional groups which maintained a similar functional structure over space and time, despite the strong dissimilarity in taxonomic structure along environmental gradients. Our findings suggest that taxonomic and functional β-diversity deserve to be quantified simultaneously since these two facets can show contrasting patterns and the differences can in turn shed light on community assembly rules.

Item ID: 23187
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2012 05:25
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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