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Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 15;7(1):8294. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08844-8.

Scale-dependent changes in the functional diversity of macrophytes in subtropical freshwater lakes in south China.

Author information

1
Jiangxi Provincial Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Environment of Poyang Lake, Jiangxi Institute of Water Sciences, Nanchang, China. huifu367@163.com.
2
Jiangxi Provincial Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Environment of Poyang Lake, Jiangxi Institute of Water Sciences, Nanchang, China.
3
Hydrological Bureau of Jiangxi Province, Nanchang, China.
4
Faculty of Resources and Environment, Hubei University, Wuhan, 430062, China.
5
Jiangxi Academy of Environmental Sciences, Nanchang, 330029, China.
6
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Science, Nanchang Institute of Technology, Nanchang, 330099, China.
7
Institute of Hydrobiology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430072, China.

Abstract

Ecological processes are generally scale-dependent and there is little consensus about the relative importance of deterministic versus stochastic processes in driving patterns of biological diversity. We investigated how the relationship between functional dispersion and environmental gradients changes with spatial scale in subtropical freshwater lakes. The functional alpha and beta dispersions of all the tested traits were significantly under-dispersed across spatial scales and along environmental gradients. Results showed more functional similarity within communities in leaf dry mass content and flowering duration but less functional turnover among communities in all the tested traits at regional scales (Yunnan-Guizhou plateau and the middle and low reaches of the Yangtze River). The strengths and directions of environmental effects on the functional alpha and beta dispersions depended on the selected traits, diversity metrics and spatial scales. Surprisingly, broad-scale factors - elevation and water transparency - decreased the functional turnover for most traits along the gradients, whereas fine-scale factors - water depth - produced the opposite patterns along the gradient, depending on the trait selected. Our study highlights the dominant role of deterministic assembly processes in structuring the local functional composition and governing the spatial functional turnover of macrophyte communities across multiple spatial scales.

PMID:
28811648
PMCID:
PMC5557923
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-08844-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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