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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 59(5)

Microinvertebrate and plant beta diversity in dry soils of a semiarid agricultural wetland complex

David G. Angeler A D, Olga Viedma A, Santos Cirujano B, Miguel Alvarez-Cobelas C, Salvador Sánchez-Carrillo C

A Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avda Carlos III s/n, E-45071 Toledo, Spain.
B Royal Botanical Garden, Madrid (CSIC), Plaza de Murillo 2, E-28014 Madrid, Spain.
C Institute of Natural Resources (CSIC), Serrano 115 dpdo, E-28006 Madrid, Spain.
D Corresponding author. Email: david.angeler@uclm.es
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The relationship between environmental features and the β diversity of the propagule bank of dry soils of temporary wetlands has relevance to ecological theories of community structure and to the conservation of wetland biodiversity. The correlation of β diversity of microinvertebrates and macrophytes derived from propagules in dry soils with wetland habitat characteristics, catchment land-use, and the distance between wetlands in a remnant pond complex in central Spain was assessed. Redundancy analyses showed that β diversity of both groups correlated with habitat characteristics, whereas associations with catchment agricultural practices were weaker. Nestedness analyses showed that species-poor communities from degraded sites tended to form nested subsets of less degraded ponds with higher species richness. Distance between the ponds had no significant association with community similarity, suggesting that fragmentation did not shape β diversity at the scale of our study area. To maintain high β diversity in this area, ponds with species-rich propagule banks should receive conservation priority. Given the functional dependence by much wildlife on these propagule banks once these wetlands rewet, conservation of this hidden biodiversity is crucial for providing ecosystem services to humans and wildlife.

Keywords: agricultural landscape, anthropogenic stress, conservation ecology, macrophytes, propagule banks, spatial species turnover.

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