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Journal Articles Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Year : 2023

Morphological diversity increases with decreasing resources along a zooplankton time series

Abstract

Biodiversity is studied notably because of its reciprocal relationship with ecosystem functions such as production. Diversity is traditionally described from a taxonomic, genetic or functional point of view but the diversity in organism morphology is seldom explicitly considered, except for body size. We describe morphological diversity of marine zooplankton seasonally and over 12 years using quantitative imaging of weekly plankton samples, in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. We extract 45 morphological features on greater than 800 000 individuals, which we summarize into four main morphological traits (size, transparency, circularity and shape complexity). In this morphological space, we define objective morphological groups and, from those, compute morphological diversity indices (richness, evenness and divergence) using metrics originally defined for functional diversity. On both time scales, morphological diversity increased when nutritive resources and plankton concentrations were low, thus matching the theoretical reciprocal relationship. Over the long term at least, this diversity increase was not fully attributable to taxonomic diversity changes. The decline in the most common plankton forms and the increase in morphological variance and in extreme morphologies suggest a mechanism akin to specialization under low production, with likely consequences for trophic structure and carbon flux.
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Dates and versions

hal-04385533 , version 1 (10-01-2024)

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Miriam Beck, Caroline Cailleton, Lionel Guidi, Corinne Desnos, Laetitia Jalabert, et al.. Morphological diversity increases with decreasing resources along a zooplankton time series. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2023, 290 (2011), ⟨10.1098/rspb.2023.2109⟩. ⟨hal-04385533⟩
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