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Title: Direct and indirect effects of geographic and environmental factors on ant beta diversity across Amazon basin
Authors: Souza, Jorge Luiz Pereira
Santos Neto, Cláudio Rabelo dos
Franklin, E.
Baccaro, Fabricio Beggiato
Pequeno, Pedro Aurélio Costa Lima
Guilherme, Diego R.
Keywords: Composition dissimilarity
Dispersal limitation
Issue Date: 2021
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Oecologia
Abstract: Understanding the direct and indirect effects of niche and neutral processes in structuring species diversity is particularly challenging because environmental factors are often geographically structured. Here, we used Structural Equation Modeling to quantify direct and indirect effects of geographic distance, the Amazon River’s opposite margins, and environmental differences in temperature, precipitation, and vegetation density (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index—NDVI) on ant beta diversity (Jaccard’s dissimilarity) across Amazon basin. We used a comprehensive survey of ground-dwelling ant species from 126 plots distributed across eight sampling sites along a broad environmental gradient. We found that geographic distance and NDVI differences were the major direct predictors of ant composition dissimilarity. The major indirect effect was that of temperature through NDVI, whereas precipitation neither had direct or indirect detectable effects on beta diversity. Thus, ant compositional dissimilarity seems to be mainly driven by a combination of isolation by distance (through dispersal limitation) and selection imposed by vegetation density, and indirectly, by temperature. Our results suggest that neutral and niche processes have been similarly crucial in driving the current beta diversity patterns of Amazonian ground-dwelling ants. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1007/s00442-021-05083-7
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