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Data from: Shifts and linkages of functional diversity between above- and below-ground compartments along a flooding gradient

Cite this dataset

Abgrall, Corentin et al. (2016). Data from: Shifts and linkages of functional diversity between above- and below-ground compartments along a flooding gradient [Dataset]. Dryad.


Trait-based approaches have the potential to reveal general and predictive relationships between organisms and ecosystem functioning. However, the mechanisms underlying the functional structure of communities are still unclear. Within terrestrial ecosystems, several studies have shown that many ecological processes are controlled by the interacting above- and below-ground compartments. However, few studies have used traits to reveal the functional relationships between plants and soil fauna. Mostly, research combining plants and soil fauna solely used the traits of one assemblage in predictive studies. Above-ground (plants) and below-ground (Collembola) compartments were sampled over a flooding gradient in northern France along the Seine River. First, we measured the effect of flooding on functional and taxonomic assembly within both communities. We then considered the linkages between plant and Collembolan species richness, community traits and assessed whether traits of both compartments converged at high flooding intensity (abiotic filtering) and diverged when this constraint is released (biotic filtering). Species richness of both taxa followed the same bell-shaped pattern along the gradient, while a similar significant pattern of functional richness was only observed for plants. Further analyses revealed a progressive shift from trait convergence to divergence for plants, but not for Collembola, as constraints intensity decreased. Instead, our results highlighted that Collembola traits were mainly linked to the variations in plant traits. This leads, within Collembola assemblages, to convergence of a subset of perception and habitat-related traits for which the relationship with plant traits was assessed. Synthesis. Using a trait-based approach, our study highlighted that functional relationships occur between above- and below-ground compartments. We underlined that functional composition of plant communities plays a key role in structuring Collembola assemblages in addition to the role of abiotic variables. Our study clearly shows that functional diversity provides a new approach to link the above- and below-ground compartments and might, therefore, be further considered when studying ecological processes at the interface between both compartments.

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