Metacommunity phylogenetics: separating the roles of environmental filters and historical biogeography

Authors

  • Mathew A. Leibold,

    Corresponding author
    1. Section of Integrative Biology, 1 University Station C0930, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 76712, USA
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  • Evan P. Economo,

    1. Section of Integrative Biology, 1 University Station C0930, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 76712, USA
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    • Present address: University of Michigan, 2014 Kraus Natural Science Building, 830 N. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048, USA

  • Pedro Peres-Neto

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal, Case Postale 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville Montréal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
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E-mail: mleibold@mail.utexas.edu

Abstract

Ecology Letters (2010)

Abstract

Biogeographical, evolutionary and ecological processes interact to regulate patterns in metacommunities. However, as there are few quantitative methods for evaluating their joint effects, resolving this interaction is difficult. We develop a method that aims to evaluate the interaction between phylogenetic structure, historical biogeographic events and environmental filtering in driving species distributions in a large-scale metacommunity. Using freshwater zooplankton as a case study, we contrast the phylogenetic metacommunity structure of calanoid copepods and an ecologically similar but more vagile group, daphniids, in the northeastern US. We find that legacies of historical biogeographical events have strongly constrained calanoid distributions within this area, but that adaptation to different water chemistry and lake morphology drives the metacommunity structure of daphniids. Our findings show that biogeographic history and metacommunity processes jointly regulate community structure in these lakes and suggest that this also depends on factors that affect the colonization rate of different types of organisms.

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