Patterns of functional biodiversity and function-environment relationships in lake littoral macroinvertebrates

Heino, Jani

Limnol. Oceanogr., 53(4), 2008, 1446-1455 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2008.53.4.1446

ABSTRACT: I examined variability in the abundances of functional groups, functional diversity measures, and functional structure of littoral macroinvertebrate communities in relation to the environmental features of boreal lakes. The most important environmental variables shaping variation in the abundances of functional groups and functional structure were lake surface area, macrophyte cover, total phosphorous, and water hardness. The same environmental variables (i.e., lake surface area, macrophyte cover) accounted for variability in functional richness and functional diversity, while functional evenness was related to different environmental variables (i.e., hardness, color). Lake surface area and macrophyte cover comprised the most important axes of habitat templets shaping the functional trait structure and biodiversity in boreal lakes: lake area mirrors habitat differences between smaller and larger lakes, and macrophyte cover portrays the effects of habitat structural complexity on functional biodiversity. Functional biodiversity measures were also strongly correlated to species-level measures, and the correlation between similarity in functional and taxonomic structure was strong. Functional and taxonomic measures of macroinvertebrate communities thus provide rather similar information about littoral communities and ecosystem functioning.

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