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An inter-dependence of flood and drought: disentangling amphibian beta diversity in seasonal floodplains
Species composition in floodplains is often affected by different structuring factors. Although floods play a key ecological role, habitat selection in the dry periods may blur patterns of biodiversity distribution. Here, we employed a partitioning framework to investigate the contribution of turnover and nestedness to beta diversity patterns in non-arboreal amphibians from southern Pantanal ecoregion. We investigated whether beta diversity components changed by spatial and environmental factors. We sampled grasslands and dense arboreal savannas distributed in 12 sampling sites across rainy and dry seasons, and analyzed species dissimilarities using quantitative data. In the savannas, both turnover and nestedness contributed similarly to beta diversity. However, we found that beta diversity is driven essentially by turnover, in the grasslands. In the rainy season, balanced variation in abundance was more related to altitude and factors that induce spatial patterns, while dissimilarities were not related to any explanatory variable during dry season. In the Pantanal ecoregion, amphibian assemblages are influenced by a variety of seasonal constraints on terrestrial movements and biotic interactions. Our findings highlight the role of guild-specific patterns and indicate that mass effects are important mechanisms creating amphibian community structure in the Pantanal.
MF16391 Accepted 14 March 2017
© CSIRO 2017