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Convergent Diversity and Trait Composition in Temporary Streams and Ponds

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Journal Article

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Oregon State University Corvallis United States

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Hydrology is the main environmental filter in aquatic ecosystems and may result in shared tolerances and functional traits among species in disparate ecosystems. We analyzed the associations between taxonomic and functional facets of diversity within aquatic ecosystems ponds vs. streams across a hydroperiod gradient 1365 d to untangle the hydrologic drivers of aquatic invertebrate diversity. We used invertebrate assemblage data from seven arid-land streams in southeastern Arizona, United States collected over 2 yr and nine temperate woodland ponds in Ontario, Canada collected over 2 yr. Our results showed that although invertebrate assemblages from streams and ponds differ taxonomically, hydroperiod had similar influence on invertebrate trait structure regardless of biogeographic and habitat differences. Streams and ponds independently showed strong positive relationships between functional richness and taxonomic richness however, the relationship showed a shallower slope in ponds, indicating higher functional redundancy. Intermittent ponds and streams tended to have lower functional and taxonomic richness than their perennial counterparts, but harbored greater beta diversity. Our results suggest that even though ponds and streams are fundamentally different habitats with distinct faunas and unique ecological processes, hydrology produces convergent patterns in both trait composition and diversity patterns.

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