Higher alpha and gamma, but not beta diversity in tropical than in Mediterranean temporary ponds: a multi‐taxon spatiotemporal approach

Ángel Gálvez, Andreu Castillo‐Escrivà, Anne Magurran, Iván Alambiaga, Fabián Bonilla, Antonio Camacho, Eduardo M. García‐Roger, Sanda Iepure, Javier Miralles‐Lorenzo, Juan S. Monrós, Carla Olmo, Antonio Picazo, Carmen Rojo, Juan Rueda, Mahmood Sasa, Mati Segura, Xavier Armengol, Francesc Mesquita‐Joanes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The latitudinal diversity gradient predicts that tropical regions should have higher alpha, beta, and gamma diversity than temperate areas. However, only a few studies have assessed the temporal variability of the different components of diversity across climatic regions. In this study, we compare, using a spatial and temporal approach, the diversity of multiple taxa inhabiting tropical and Mediterranean temporary ponds. We sampled the biological communities of each set of ponds on three occasions during the same hydrological year. Under a spatial framework, we analyzed, alpha, beta, and gamma diversities. With a temporal approach, we compared the coefficients of variation in alpha diversity for each local community, and temporal beta diversity. Differences between regions and sampling periods were tested using generalized linear mixed models. We found higher gamma and alpha diversity in the tropical ponds, as expected given the latitudinal differences between them. However, phytoplankton and microinvertebrates from the Mediterranean region, matched or even exceeded tropical alpha diversity on some occasions. Spatial beta diversity did not differ between regions, and it showed lower values at the middle or the end of the hydroperiod in bacteria, micro‐ and macroinvertebrates and amphibians. Thus, processes homogenizing and heterogenising pond metacommunities must be balanced in both studied regions. Temporal variation in alpha and beta diversity was similar for ponds in both regions, except for macroinvertebrates and amphibians, suggesting differential effects on community variation observable only in animals with longer life‐spans, at our temporal scale of analysis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Early online date7 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sept 2023


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