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Local and regional drivers of turnover and nestedness components of species and functional beta diversity in lake macrophyte communities in China

Fu, Hui, Yuan, Guixiang, Jeppesen, Erik, Ge, Dabing, Li, Wei, Zou, Dongsheng, Huang, Zhenrong, Wu, Aiping, Liu, Qiaolin
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.687 pp. 206-217
altitude, climate, lakes, macrophytes, nestedness, species diversity, total phosphorus, watersheds, China, Yangtze River
Beta diversity describes the variation in species composition between sites and is often influenced by both local and regional processes. Partitioning beta diversity into turnover (species replacement between sites) and nestedness (richness difference between sites) components may enhance our understanding of the mechanisms behind the local and regional drivers determining species composition across spatial scales. We sampled macrophyte communities in 24 lakes in two regions (Yangtze River basin and Yunnan-Guizhou plateau) of China covering broad climate and nutrient gradients. Based on both species and functional approaches, we calculated multiple-site beta diversity using the Sørensen dissimilarity index and partitioned it into turnover and nestedness coefficients crossed with two nested spatial scales: among depths within transects (transect scale) and among transects within lakes (lake scale). The overall species beta diversity and functional beta diversity (i.e. Sørensen coefficient) were significantly lower and thus more homogeneous at lake scale. Across spatial scales, species beta diversity was mainly explained by turnover patterns (56–61%) and functional beta diversity primarily by nestedness patterns (58–65%). Both local and regional drivers contributed to structuring species and functional beta diversity patterns, largely through changes in species turnover and functional nestedness, respectively. Overall, we observed a significant increase in species beta diversity and its turnover component while a decreasing trend in functional beta diversity and its nestedness component at high altitude. Our results further emphasized that the species beta diversity and its turnover component decreased at high total phosphorus concentration (TP) across the two spatial scales, while the functional beta diversity and its nestedness component decreased at high TP at the transect scale. We conclude that understanding of the relative role of local and regional drivers in determining macrophyte diversity patterns may help managers to select the most appropriate conservation strategies for preservation of biodiversity varying with the scale in focus.