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Title: Hierarchical effects of historical and environmental factors on lizard assemblages in the upper Madeira River, Brazilian Amazonia
Authors: Peixoto, Gabriela
Fraga, Rafael de
Araújo, Maria C.
Kaefer, Igor L.
Lima, Albertina Pimental
Keywords: animal experiment
animal tissue
Environmental Factor
Leaf Litter
predictor variable
Riparian Ecosystem
Issue Date: 2020
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: PLoS ONE
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 15, Número 6
Abstract: Investigating the role of historical and ecological factors structuring assemblages is relevant to understand mechanisms and processes affecting biodiversity across heterogeneous habitats. Considering that community assembly often involves scale-dependent processes, different spatial scales may reveal distinct factors structuring assemblages. In this study we use arboreal and leaf-litter lizard abundance data from 83 plots to investigate assemblage spatial structure at two distinct scales in southwestern Brazilian Amazonia. At a regional scale, we test the general hypothesis that the Madeira River acts as a barrier to dispersal of some lizard species, which results in distinct assemblages between river banks. At a local scale, we test the hypothesis that assemblages are not evenly distributed across heterogeneous habitats but respond to a continuum of inadequate-to-optimal portions of environmental predictors. Our results show that regional lizard assemblages are structured by the upper Madeira River acting as a regional barrier to 29.62% of the species sampled. This finding suggests species have been historically isolated at one of the river banks, or that distinct geomorphological features influence species occurrence at each river bank. At a local scale, different sets of environmental predictors affected assemblage composition between river banks or even along a river bank. These findings indicate that environmental filtering is a major cause of lizard assemblage spatial structure in the upper Madeira River, but predictor variables cannot be generalized over the extensive (nearly 500 km) study area. Based on a single study system we demonstrate that lizard assemblages along the forests near the banks of the upper Madeira River are not randomly structured but respond to multiple factors acting at different and hierarchical spatial scales. © 2020 Marques Peixoto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0233881
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