Context-dependent resistance of freshwater invertebrate communities to drying

Abstract : More freshwater ecosystems are drying in response to global change thereby posing serious threat to freshwater biota and functions. The production of desiccation-resistant forms is an important adaptation that helps maintain biodiversity in temporary freshwa-ters by buffering communities from drying, but its potential to mitigate the negative effects of drying in freshwater ecosystems could vary greatly across regions and ecosystem types. We explored this context dependency by quantifying the potential contribution of desiccation-resistance forms to invertebrate community recovery across levels of regional drying prevalence (defined as the occurrence of drying events in freshwaters in a given region) and ecosystem types (lentic, lotic) in temporary neotropical freshwaters. We first predicted that regional drying prevalence influences the selection of species with desiccation-resistant forms from the regional species pools and thus increases the ability of communities to recover from drying. Second, we predicted lentic freshwaters harbor higher proportions of species with desiccation-resistant forms compared to lotic, in response to contrasted hydrologic connectivity. To test these predictions, we used natural experiments to quantify the contribution of desiccation-resistant forms to ben-thic invertebrate community recovery in nine intermittent streams and six geographically isolated temporary wetlands from three Bolivian regions differing in drying prevalence. The contribution of desiccation-resistant forms to community recovery was highest where regional drying prevalence was high, suggesting the species pool was adapted to regional disturbance regimes. The contribution of desiccation-resistant forms to community recovery was lower in streams than in wetlands, emphasizing the importance of hydrologic connectivity and associated recolonization processes from in-stream refuges to recovery in lotic systems. In all regions, the majority of functional traits were present in desiccation-resistant taxa indicating this adaptation may help maintain ecosystem functions by buffering communities from the loss of functional traits. Accounting for regional context and hydrologic connectivity in community recovery processes following drying can help refine predictions of freshwater biodiversity response to global change.
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Thibault Datry, Ross Vander Vorste, Edgar Goïtia, Nabor Moya, Melina Campero, et al.. Context-dependent resistance of freshwater invertebrate communities to drying. Ecology and Evolution, Wiley Open Access, 2017, 7 (9), pp.3201-3211. ⟨10.1002/ece3.2870⟩. ⟨hal-01541622⟩

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