INSTITUTO DE DIVERSIDAD Y ECOLOGIA ANIMAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Functional traits reveal environmental constraints on amphibian community assembly in a subtropical dry forest
MILOCH, DANIELA; LEYNAUD, GERARDO C.; LESCANO, JULIÁN N.
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Año: 2018 vol. 43 p. 623 - 623
The relationships between functional traits and environmental gradients are useful to identify different community assembly processes. In this work, we used an approach based on functional traits to analyse if changes in hydroperiod and tree covers of ponds are relevant for local amphibian community assembly processes. Ephemeral ponds with low vegetation cover are expected to impose constraints on different species with particular trait combinations and, therefore, to exhibit communities with lower functional diversity than more stable ponds with greater tree cover. Sampling was conducted in 39 temporary ponds located along vegetation and hydroperiod gradients in the most arid portion of the Chaco ecoregion. Seven functional traits were measured ineach species present in the regional pool. Associations between these traits and environmental gradients were detected using multivariate ordination techniques and permutation test (RLQ and fourth-corner analyses respectively). Functional diversity indices were then calculated and related to variations in the environmental gradients. The results obtained allowed us to identify different sets of traits associated with hydroperiod and tree cover,suggesting that these environmental variables are relevant for structuring amphibian communities according to interspecific variations in functional traits from both, larval and adult stages. Contrary to our expectations, communities associated with more stable ponds and with greater tree cover exhibited lower functional diversity than expected by chance (and were the ponds with highest species richness). This result indicates that the reduction in relative importance of environmental restrictions imposed by a very short hydroperiod and the lack of tree cover, favours different species of the regional pool that are similar in several functional traits. Accordingly, communities associated with stable ponds with high tree cover exhibited high functional redundancy.