Trait and phylogenetic diversity provide insights into community assembly of reef-associated shrimps (Palaemonidae) at different spatial scales across the Chagos Archipelago

Head, Catherine E.I., Koldewey, Heather, Pavoine, Sandrine, Pratchett, Morgan S., Rogers, Alex D., Taylor, Michelle L., and Bonsall, Michael B. (2018) Trait and phylogenetic diversity provide insights into community assembly of reef-associated shrimps (Palaemonidae) at different spatial scales across the Chagos Archipelago. Ecology and Evolution, 8 (8). pp. 4098-4107.

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Coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystem and one of the most threatened by global climate change impacts. The vast majority of diversity on reefs is comprised of small invertebrates that live within the reef structure, termed the cryptofauna. This component of biodiversity is hugely understudied, and many species remain undescribed. This study represents a rare analysis of assembly processes structuring a distinct group of cryptofauna, the Palaemonidae, in the Chagos Archipelago, a reef ecosystem under minimal direct human impacts in the central Indian Ocean. The Palaemonidae are a diverse group of Caridae (infraorder of shrimps) that inhabit many different niches on coral reefs and are of particular interest because of their varied habitat associations. Phylogenetic and trait diversity and phylogenetic signal were used to infer likely drivers of community structure. The mechanisms driving palaemonid community assembly and maintenance in the Chagos Archipelago showed distinct spatial patterns. At local scales, among coral colonies and among reefs fringing individual atolls, significant trait, and phylogenetic clustering patterns suggest environmental filtering may be a dominant ecological process driving Palaemonidae community structure, although local competition through equalizing mechanisms may also play a role in shaping the local community structure. Importantly, we also tested the robustness of phylogenetic diversity to changes in evolutionary information as multi-gene phylogenies are resource intensive and for large families, such as the Palaemonidae, are often incomplete. These tests demonstrated a very modest impact on phylogenetic community structure, with only one of the four genes (PEPCK gene) in the phylogeny affecting phylogenetic diversity patterns, which provides useful information for future studies on large families with incomplete phylogenies. These findings contribute to our limited knowledge of this component of biodiversity in a marine locality as close to undisturbed by humans as can be found. It also provides a rare evaluation of phylogenetic diversity methods.

Item ID: 53399
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-7758
Keywords: Chagos Archipelago, convergent and conserved evolution, coral reefs, cryptofauna, environmental filtering, metacommunity, phylogenetic diversity, trait diversity
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Projects and Grants: NERC grant no. NE/1018298/1
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 05:19
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310599 Genetics not elsewhere classified @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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