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Science of The Total Environment
Volume 763, 2021, 142945

Damming affects riverine macroinvertebrate metacommunity dynamics: Insights from taxonomic and functional beta diversity

Jun Wanga,b, Chengzhi Dinga,b, Juan Taoa,b, Xiaoming Jiangc, Jani Heinod, Liuyong Dinga,b, Wan Sua,b, Meiling Chena,b, Kai Zhanga,b, Daming Hea,b

Yunnan Key Laboratory of International Rivers and Transboundary Eco-Security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China.


Understanding ecological processes that drive metacommunity dynamics is essential for elucidating the mechanisms of community assembly and for guiding biodiversity conservation. This is especially important in dammed rivers. Here, we examined the taxonomic and functional beta diversity of macroinvertebrates and their underlying drivers in a dammed tropical river and compared the patterns with those in an adjacent undammed river. We found that both taxonomic and functional beta diversities were higher in the dammed river than in the undammed river across wet and dry seasons. The replacement component contributed most to the overall beta diversity for both taxonomic and functional facets, and this component was higher in the dammed river than in the undammed river. In addition, the taxonomic richness difference component was significantly higher in the dammed river in the dry season, but the functional richness difference component showed no difference between the two rivers and between the two seasons. Environmental filtering was the primary driver of total beta diversity and its replacement component, whereas the richness difference component was mainly explained by spatial factors, but these drivers varied in the dammed river in different seasons. Overall, our results indicated that damming induced changes in physiochemical variables (e.g., temperature, conductivity, and nutrients), accompanied by alterations in flow regime and longitudinal connectivity, increased replacement and loss of taxa or traits. These changes have consequently led to alteration of macroinvertebrate taxonomic and functional community dissimilarity and affected the relative effects of environmental and spatial factors on beta diversity and its components. Our study helps understand the ecological processes associated with dam impacts on macroinvertebrate biodiversity and the conservation potential of undammed rivers. In addition, our results showed that taxonomic and functional beta diversities can provide complementary information about dam impacts on riverine biodiversity.

Keywords: DamsMacroinvertebrates, diversity, Replacement, Ecological processes, Lancang River.

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