Spatial patterns and β-diversity of phytoplankton assemblages depend on the relative importance of species dispersal capacity and species-sorting. Variability in species composition, composed by differences in species richness (nestedness) and/or species replacement, may be caused by niche availability and environmental selection. A field survey was carried out in Tibetan plateau on 38 lakes. Tibetan plateau lakes, located at high elevation, are harsh ecosystems characterized by low temperatures, low available nutrients, high UV amount, and strong salinity gradients. Only well-adapted species can survive in these environments. We therefore hypothesized that environmental filtering was the main factor determining phytoplankton assemblage structure in these lakes, and that species nestedness largely contributed to Î²-diversity. Spatial analysis showed that both environmental variables and broad-scale spatial variables accounted for the variation of phytoplankton assemblages. In particular, phytoplankton was mainly shaped by spatially structured environmental heterogeneity, which resulted in low Î±-diversity and high Î²-diversity. In contrast to our assumption, species turnover contributed to the majority of Î²-diversity of the studied assemblages. Local environments selected species with the corresponding stress-tolerant traits. Within the narrow range of available niches, environmental filtering of phytoplankton traits induced speciesâ replacement along environmental gradients.
|Numero di pagine||14|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2018|
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