Global patterns of stream detritivore distribution: implications for biodiversity loss in changing climates

Authors

  • Luz Boyero,

    Corresponding author
    1. Wetland Ecology Department, Doñana Biological Station-CSIC, Avda Americo Vespucio s/n, 41092 Sevilla, Spain
    2. School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
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  • Richard G. Pearson,

    1. School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
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  • David Dudgeon,

    1. School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
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  • Verónica Ferreira,

    1. IMAR-CMA and Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3001-401 Coimbra, Portugal
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  • Manuel A. S. Graça,

    1. IMAR-CMA and Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3001-401 Coimbra, Portugal
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  • Mark O. Gessner,

    1. Department of Aquatic Ecology, Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Überlandstrasse 133, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
    2. Institute of Integrative Biology (IBZ), ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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    • Present address: Department of Stratified Lakes, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Alte Fischerhütte 2, 16775 Stechlin, Germany.

    • Present address: Department of Ecology, Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin), Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1, 10587 Berlin, Germany.

  • Andrew J. Boulton,

    1. Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia
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  • Eric Chauvet,

    1. Université de Toulouse, UPS, INPT; EcoLab (Laboratoire d'Écologie Fonctionnelle), 29 Rue Jeanne Marvig, F-31055 Toulouse, France
    2. CNRS, EcoLab, F-31055 Toulouse, France
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  • Catherine M. Yule,

    1. School of Science, Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, 46150, Selangor, Malaysia
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  • Ricardo J. Albariño,

    1. Laboratorio de Limnología, INIBIOMA, Universidad Nacional del Comahue-CONICET, Quintral 1250, 8400, Argentina
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  • Alonso Ramírez,

    1. Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, University of Puerto Rico, PO Box 70377, San Juan, PR 00936, USA
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  • Julie E. Helson,

    1. Surface and Groundwater Ecology Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, Canada M1C1A4
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  • Marcos Callisto,

    1. Laboratório de Ecologia de Bentos, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, CP 486, CEP 30.161-970, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
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  • Muthukumarasamy Arunachalam,

    1. Sri Paramakalyani Centre for Environmental Sciences, Manonmainam Sundaranar University, Alwarkuruchi, Tamil Nadu 627 412, India
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  • Julián Chará,

    1. Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción Agropecuaria, CIPAV, Carrera 25 no. 6-62, Cali, Colombia
    2. Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios en Biodiversidad y Recursos Genéticos, CIEBREG, POB 97, Pereira, Colombia
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  • Ricardo Figueroa,

    1. Aquatic Systems Research Unit, Environmental Science Center EULA-Chile, University of Concepción, PO Box 160-C, Concepción, Chile
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  • Jude M. Mathooko,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University, PO Box 536, Egerton, Kenya
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  • José F. Gonçalves Jr,

    1. Laboratório de Ecologia de Bentos, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, CP 486, CEP 30.161-970, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
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    • Present address: Laboratório de Limnologia, Departamento de Ecología, IB, Universidade de Brasília, CEP 70910-900, Brasília, DF, Brazil.

  • Marcelo S. Moretti,

    1. Laboratório de Ecologia de Bentos, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, CP 486, CEP 30.161-970, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
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    • Present address: Centro Universitário Vila Velha, Programa de Pós Graduação em Ecología de Ecosistemas, 29102-770, Vila Velha, ES, Brazil.

  • Ana Marcela Chará-Serna,

    1. Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción Agropecuaria, CIPAV, Carrera 25 no. 6-62, Cali, Colombia
    2. Departamento de Biología, Grupo de Investigaciones Entomológicas, Universidad del Valle, Apartado Aéreo 25360, Cali, Colombia
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  • Judy N. Davies,

    1. Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia
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  • Andrea Encalada,

    1. IMAR-CMA and Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3001-401 Coimbra, Portugal
    2. Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Campus Cumbayá, PO BOX 17-1200-841, Quito, Ecuador
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  • Sylvain Lamothe,

    1. Université de Toulouse, UPS, INPT; EcoLab (Laboratoire d'Écologie Fonctionnelle), 29 Rue Jeanne Marvig, F-31055 Toulouse, France
    2. CNRS, EcoLab, F-31055 Toulouse, France
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  • Leonardo M. Buria,

    1. Laboratorio de Limnología, INIBIOMA, Universidad Nacional del Comahue-CONICET, Quintral 1250, 8400, Argentina
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  • José Castela,

    1. IMAR-CMA and Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3001-401 Coimbra, Portugal
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  • Aydeé Cornejo,

    1. Programa Centroamericano de Maestría en Entomología, University of Panama, Estafeta Universitaria, Apdo. 3366, Panama City, Panama
    2. Sección de Entomología, Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas de Estudios de la Salud, Avenida Justo Arosemena & Calle 35, 0816-02593 Panama City, Panama
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  • Aggie O. Y. Li,

    1. School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
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  • Charles M'Erimba,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University, PO Box 536, Egerton, Kenya
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  • Verónica Díaz Villanueva,

    1. Laboratorio de Limnología, INIBIOMA, Universidad Nacional del Comahue-CONICET, Quintral 1250, 8400, Argentina
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  • María del Carmen Zúñiga,

    1. Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción Agropecuaria, CIPAV, Carrera 25 no. 6-62, Cali, Colombia
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  • Christopher M. Swan,

    1. Department of Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA
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  • Leon A. Barmuta

    1. Freshwater Ecology Group, School of Zoology, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 5, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
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Luz Boyero, Wetland Ecology Department, Doñana Biological Station-CSIC, Avda Americo Vespucio s/n, 41092 Sevilla, Spain. E-mail: luz.boyero@ebd.csic.es

ABSTRACT

Aim  We tested the hypothesis that shredder detritivores, a key trophic guild in stream ecosystems, are more diverse at higher latitudes, which has important ecological implications in the face of potential biodiversity losses that are expected as a result of climate change. We also explored the dependence of local shredder diversity on the regional species pool across latitudes, and examined the influence of environmental factors on shredder diversity.

Location  World-wide (156 sites from 17 regions located in all inhabited continents at latitudes ranging from 67° N to 41° S).

Methods  We used linear regression to examine the latitudinal variation in shredder diversity at different spatial scales: alpha (α), gamma (γ) and beta (β) diversity. We also explored the effect of γ-diversity on α-diversity across latitudes with regression analysis, and the possible influence of local environmental factors on shredder diversity with simple correlations.

Results  Alpha diversity increased with latitude, while γ- and β-diversity showed no clear latitudinal pattern. Temperate sites showed a linear relationship between γ- and α-diversity; in contrast, tropical sites showed evidence of local species saturation, which may explain why the latitudinal gradient in α-diversity is not accompanied by a gradient in γ-diversity. Alpha diversity was related to several local habitat characteristics, but γ- and β-diversity were not related to any of the environmental factors measured.

Main conclusions  Our results indicate that global patterns of shredder diversity are complex and depend on spatial scale. However, we can draw several conclusions that have important ecological implications. Alpha diversity is limited at tropical sites by local factors, implying a higher risk of loss of key species or the whole shredder guild (the latter implying the loss of trophic diversity). Even if regional species pools are not particularly species poor in the tropics, colonization from adjacent sites may be limited. Moreover, many shredder species belong to cool-adapted taxa that may be close to their thermal maxima in the tropics, which makes them more vulnerable to climate warming. Our results suggest that tropical streams require specific scientific attention and conservation efforts to prevent loss of shredder biodiversity and serious alteration of ecosystem processes.

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