Processes shaping wintering waterbird communities in an intensive modified landscape: neutral assembly with dispersal limitation and localized competition

Yifei Jia, Qing Zeng, Yuyu Wang, Neil Saintilan, Guangchun Lei*, Li Wen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Better understanding of the mechanisms structuring ecological communities is not only a long-term theoretical pursuit in ecology but also critical for biodiversity conservation. Here, we used two complementary approaches (β-diversity partitioning, and phylogenetic and functional null models) to explore the processes structuring wintering waterbird communities in the floodplain lakes of middle-lower Yangtze River (MLYR), China. We found that 1) neutral assembly might be the predominant process shaping the composition of wintering waterbird communities in MLYR; 2) compared to environmental factors, spatial variables, in particular those describing the large scale spatial structure among lakes, contributed more in explaining the functional and phylogenetic composition variations across the region, indicating dispersal constraints might strongly mediate neutral processes. The dispersal constraint could be imposed by movement barriers caused by anthropogenic landscape modification, site fidelity, or both; and 3) strong dispersal constraints could lead to competitive exclusion superimposed over neutrally assembly isolated communities, a hypothesis confirmed by the α- and β-null models. These findings provide strong support for the importance of conserving and improving ecological connectivity at the regional scale as well as habitat quality enhancement at lake scale.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106330
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalEcological Indicators
    Volume114
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

    Keywords

    • Community assembly processes
    • Random community
    • Null model
    • α-and β-diversity
    • Dispersal barrier
    • Competition exclusion

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Processes shaping wintering waterbird communities in an intensive modified landscape: neutral assembly with dispersal limitation and localized competition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this