Data from: Predator identity influences metacommunity assembly
Johnston, Nicole K.; Pu, Zhichao; Jiang, Lin (2017), Data from: Predator identity influences metacommunity assembly, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8487r
1.Predation is among the most important biotic factors influencing natural communities, yet we have a rather rudimentary understanding of its role in modulating metacommunity assembly. 2.We experimentally examined the effects of two different predators (a generalist and a specialist) on metacommunity assembly, using protist microcosm metacommunities that varied in predator identity, dispersal among local communities, and the history of species colonization into local communities. 3.Generalist predation resulted in reduced α diversity and increased β diversity irrespective of dispersal, likely due to predation-induced stochastic extinction of different prey species in different local communities. Dispersal, however, induced source-sink dynamics in the presence of specialist predators, resulting in higher α diversity and marginally lower β diversity. 4.These results demonstrate the distinct effects of different predators on prey metacommunity assembly, emphasizing the need to explore the role of predator diet breadth in structuring metacommunities.