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Title: Historical stability promoted higher functional specialization and originality in Neotropical stream fish assemblages
Authors: Rodrigues-Filho, Carlos Alberto de Sousa
Leitão, Rafael Pereira
Zuanon, Jansen
Sánchez-Botero, Jorge Iván
Baccaro, Fabricio Beggiato
Keywords: Adaptation
Climate Change
Community Structure
Environmental Conditions
Freshwater Environment
Historical Geography
Neotropical Region
Amazon Basin
Issue Date: 2018
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Journal of Biogeography
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 45, Número 6, Pags. 1345-1354
Abstract: Aim: Disturbances are events that influence the structure of biological assemblages, yet how historical disturbances have affected the functional structure of recent assemblages is still poorly known. We used species functional traits to investigate the effects of historical disturbances, such as past climate change (aridification), on the current structure of stream fish assemblages. Location: Amazon Basin and Brazilian Northeast streams. Methods: We used measures of functional specialization and originality to assess the effects of historical disturbances on the structure of fish assemblages in streams with similar local environmental conditions in each biome (Amazonia and Caatinga). For this, we measured 15 traits related to locomotion, feeding and habitat use for each species sampled. We then compared the functional structure of each assemblage expressed as functional richness (FRic) and evenness (FEve) between biomes. We also used structured and random simulations of species extinctions to identify the influence of the loss of original and specialized species due to historical disturbance. Results: We found high levels of functional specialization in Amazonia (historically more stable) and redundancy in Caatinga (higher frequency of historical disturbances) regional assemblages, regardless of the inter-biome differences in species richness. These results were also detected in local assemblages, suggesting that the effect of historical disturbances influences the structure of fish assemblages, both at small and large spatial scales. Main conclusions: The historical stability in Amazonian fish assemblages may have favoured a higher taxonomic and FRic, as well as greater functional specialization and originality, compared to Caatinga assemblages. Our results reinforce the importance of understanding and evaluating the evolutionary history of ecosystems in order to describe the current functional structure of species assemblages. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1111/jbi.13205
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