Using functional diversity components to describe phytoplankton community assembly processes in Turkish shallow lakes

Acar, Vildan
The recent increase in biodiversity loss due to various anthropogenic effects makes it crucial to understand the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning for the conservation and preservation of ecosystems. Clasically, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning studies use species diversity as a measure of biodiversity, but functional diversity has been shown in some cases to better explain and predict ecosystem-level processes. In this study, we investigated the role of dispersal, environmental filtering and limiting similarity in the assembly of phytoplankton communities from 44 Turkish lakes. Dispersal drives both local and regional diversity patterns, while environmental filtering and limiting similarity affect local community structure. At the local level, species traits are expected to converge as a result of environmental filtering or diverge due to limiting similarity. The study firstly found that dispersal limitation was not of importance for the phytoplankton community assembly in study lakes. Some functional traits were affected only by environmental filtering (i.e. unicellularity, silica demand) or limiting similarity (i.e. toxin production, mixotrophy) or both processes acted simultaneously on other traits (i.e. sexual reproduction). Also, the effects of different assembly processes varied along different environmental gradients such as total nitrogen or salinity.


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Citation Formats
V. Acar, “Using functional diversity components to describe phytoplankton community assembly processes in Turkish shallow lakes,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.