2Corresponding author; e-mail: email@example.com
Structural Complexity and Distance from Source Habitat Determine Invertebrate Abundance and Diversity
Article first published online: 8 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2011 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Volume 43, Issue 6, pages 738–745, November 2011
How to Cite
Mormul, R. P., Thomaz, S. M., Takeda, A. M. and Behrend, R. D. (2011), Structural Complexity and Distance from Source Habitat Determine Invertebrate Abundance and Diversity. Biotropica, 43: 738–745. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2011.00762.x
- Issue published online: 2 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 8 MAR 2011
- Received 17 May 2010; revision accepted 2 December 2010.
- dispersion source;
- fractal dimension;
The structural complexity of habitats and the distance from the dispersion source are considered important determinants of species diversity. The fractal dimensions of substrates are a strong alternative measure for quantifying the structural complexity. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that structural complexity and distance from a dispersion source affect the density and diversity of macro-invertebrates on submersed macrophytes. To test this hypothesis, we used artificial substrates with different fractal dimensions, which were incubated at different distances from a dispersion source (a stand of macrophytes) in a Neotropical floodplain lake. The relationship between the structural complexity of macrophytes and the density and diversity of invertebrates attached to artificial substrates was positive and significant. On the other hand, distance from the dispersion source negatively affected both the density and diversity of the attached invertebrates. For Oligochaeta, however, there was a significant effect of structural complexity for the artificial plants positioned further away, but it was not significant in the plants positioned closer to the dispersion source. Thus, the effects of complexity depended on the distance from the dispersion source, at least for this specific group of macro-invertebrates. These results suggest that both structural complexity and distance from the dispersion source should be considered together to explain the diversity of invertebrates in river–floodplain systems. In addition, our results show that there is great potential for using fractal dimensions as a tool to quantify structural complexity in aquatic habitats, especially at the small spatial scales perceived by macro-invertebrates.
Abstract in Portuguese is available at http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/btp.