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Community assembly in Nothobranchius annual fishes: Nested patterns, environmental niche and biogeographic history

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ABSTRACT

The assembly of local communities from regional species pools is shaped by historical aspects of distribution, environmental conditions, and biotic interactions. We studied local community assembly patterns in African annual killifishes of the genus Nothobranchius (Cyprinodontiformes), investigating data from 168 communities across the entire range of regionally co‐existing species. Nothobranchius are small fishes associated with annually desiccating pools. We detected a nested pattern of local communities in one region (Southern Mozambique, with Nothobranchius furzeri as the core and dominant species), but no nestedness was found in the second region (Central Mozambique, with Nothobranchius orthonotus being the dominant species). A checkerboard pattern of local Nothobranchius community assembly was demonstrated in both regions. Multivariate environmental niche modeling revealed moderate differences in environmental niche occupancy between three monophyletic clades that largely co‐occurred geographically and greater differences between strictly allopatric species within the clades. Most variation among species was observed along an altitudinal gradient; N. furzeri and Nothobranchius kadleci were absent from coastal plains, Nothobranchius pienaari, Nothobranchius rachovii, and Nothobranchius krysanovi were associated with lower altitude and N. orthonotus was intermediate and geographically most widespread species. We discuss implications for ecological and evolutionary research in this taxon.

No MeSH data available.


Quantification of species co‐existence in local Nothobranchius communities. Venn diagrams visualizing proportional species co‐occurrence (a) within Nothobranchius furzeri range, (b) within Nothobranchius kadleci range and (c) outside the range of F‐clade. Diagrams were constructed using Venny 2.0.2 (Oliveros, 2007–2015)
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ece32851-fig-0003: Quantification of species co‐existence in local Nothobranchius communities. Venn diagrams visualizing proportional species co‐occurrence (a) within Nothobranchius furzeri range, (b) within Nothobranchius kadleci range and (c) outside the range of F‐clade. Diagrams were constructed using Venny 2.0.2 (Oliveros, 2007–2015)

Mentions: In Southern Mozambique, N. furzeri was the core species. Positive co‐occurrence between N. orthonotus and N. pienaari (p = .004) and negative co‐occurrence between N. furzeri and N. pienaari (p = .004) was demonstrated. However, all three species also co‐occurred relatively frequently in three‐species communities (Figure 3a). Their distribution was significantly nested (NODF = 64.7, p = .001). Quantitatively, N. furzeri was the dominant species, followed by N. orthonotus and N. pienaari when all three species co‐existed in a single pool. Nothobranchius furzeri populations were also numerically larger than populations of the other co‐existing species in two‐species communities with N. orthonotus (Figure 4a). Exclusive co‐existence of N. furzeri and N. pienaari was too rare (two pools) to be analyzed quantitatively.


Community assembly in Nothobranchius annual fishes: Nested patterns, environmental niche and biogeographic history
Quantification of species co‐existence in local Nothobranchius communities. Venn diagrams visualizing proportional species co‐occurrence (a) within Nothobranchius furzeri range, (b) within Nothobranchius kadleci range and (c) outside the range of F‐clade. Diagrams were constructed using Venny 2.0.2 (Oliveros, 2007–2015)
© Copyright Policy - creativeCommonsBy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383470&req=5

ece32851-fig-0003: Quantification of species co‐existence in local Nothobranchius communities. Venn diagrams visualizing proportional species co‐occurrence (a) within Nothobranchius furzeri range, (b) within Nothobranchius kadleci range and (c) outside the range of F‐clade. Diagrams were constructed using Venny 2.0.2 (Oliveros, 2007–2015)
Mentions: In Southern Mozambique, N. furzeri was the core species. Positive co‐occurrence between N. orthonotus and N. pienaari (p = .004) and negative co‐occurrence between N. furzeri and N. pienaari (p = .004) was demonstrated. However, all three species also co‐occurred relatively frequently in three‐species communities (Figure 3a). Their distribution was significantly nested (NODF = 64.7, p = .001). Quantitatively, N. furzeri was the dominant species, followed by N. orthonotus and N. pienaari when all three species co‐existed in a single pool. Nothobranchius furzeri populations were also numerically larger than populations of the other co‐existing species in two‐species communities with N. orthonotus (Figure 4a). Exclusive co‐existence of N. furzeri and N. pienaari was too rare (two pools) to be analyzed quantitatively.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

The assembly of local communities from regional species pools is shaped by historical aspects of distribution, environmental conditions, and biotic interactions. We studied local community assembly patterns in African annual killifishes of the genus Nothobranchius (Cyprinodontiformes), investigating data from 168 communities across the entire range of regionally co‐existing species. Nothobranchius are small fishes associated with annually desiccating pools. We detected a nested pattern of local communities in one region (Southern Mozambique, with Nothobranchius furzeri as the core and dominant species), but no nestedness was found in the second region (Central Mozambique, with Nothobranchius orthonotus being the dominant species). A checkerboard pattern of local Nothobranchius community assembly was demonstrated in both regions. Multivariate environmental niche modeling revealed moderate differences in environmental niche occupancy between three monophyletic clades that largely co‐occurred geographically and greater differences between strictly allopatric species within the clades. Most variation among species was observed along an altitudinal gradient; N. furzeri and Nothobranchius kadleci were absent from coastal plains, Nothobranchius pienaari, Nothobranchius rachovii, and Nothobranchius krysanovi were associated with lower altitude and N. orthonotus was intermediate and geographically most widespread species. We discuss implications for ecological and evolutionary research in this taxon.

No MeSH data available.