Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Crustacean assemblages of coastal wetlands from fragmented and scarcely isolated islands compared with the mainland

Paloma Lucena-Moya A C , Stéphanie Gascón B , Daniel Boix B , Isabel Pardo A , Jordi Sala B and Xavier D. Quintana B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Ecology and Animal Biology, University of Vigo, Campus Lagoas-Marcosende, E-36310 Vigo, Spain.

B GRECO, Institute of Aquatic Ecology, University of Girona, Campus de Montilivi, E-17071 Girona, Spain.

C Corresponding author. Present address: Tvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki, J.A. Palménin tie, 260, FI-10900 Hanko, Finland. Email: palomalucenamoya@gmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research 68(5) 889-899 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF15457
Submitted: 14 December 2015  Accepted: 5 May 2016   Published: 18 July 2016

Abstract

The present study compared crustacean assemblages from coastal wetlands between a fragment archipelago and a landmass. The study included four typical crustacean taxonomic groups (i.e. Cladocera, Copepoda, Ostracoda and Malacostraca) from the Balearic Archipelago region as an example of a fragment island (‘Archipelago’) and the Catalonia region as the landmass (‘Mainland’; Spanish Mediterranean coast). We tested null hypotheses based on the expected similarity between Archipelago and Mainland in terms of crustacean assemblages and biodiversity. Similar relationships of those community attributes with environmental variables were also expected in both regions. The results partially met the null hypotheses. We found that crustacean taxonomic composition varied between Archipelago and Mainland, likely due to peculiar biological and biogeographical processes acting in the Archipelago. The relationship between crustacean assemblages and the environmental variables was mostly similar between Archipelago and Mainland, as expected. Both regions also showed similar patterns of species distribution (i.e. Archipelago and Mainland coastal wetlands were characterised by a few dominant species). This result could be masked by the ‘filter’ effect exercised by the harsh conditions of coastal wetlands. Moreover, the total diversity values (gamma biodiversity) in the Archipelago were similar to the values for the Mainland, supporting the hypothesis that fragment islands can be of substantial value for the conservation of global biodiversity.

Additional keywords: crustacean diversity, fragment islands, island biogeography, Mediterranean ecoregion.


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