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DNA metabarcoding reveals impact of local recruitment, dispersal, and hydroperiod on assembly of a zooplankton metacommunity

Citation

Kiemel, Katrin; Weithoff, Guntram; Tiedemann, Ralph (2022), DNA metabarcoding reveals impact of local recruitment, dispersal, and hydroperiod on assembly of a zooplankton metacommunity , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kprr4xh74

Abstract

Understanding the environmental impact on the assembly of local communities in relation to their spatial and temporal connectivity is still a challenge in metacommunity ecology. This study aims to unravel underlying metacommunity processes and environmental factors that result in observed zooplankton communities. Unlike most metacommunity studies, we jointly examine active and dormant zooplankton communities using a DNA metabarcoding approach to overcome limitations of morphological species identification. We applied two-fragment (COI and 18S) metabarcoding to monitor communities of 24 kettle holes over a two-year period to unravel (I) spatial and temporal connectivity of the communities, (II) environmental factors influencing local communities, and (III) dominant underlying metacommunity processes in this system. We found a strong separation of zooplankton communities from kettle holes of different hydroperiods (degree of permanency) throughout the season, while the community composition within single kettle holes did not differ between years. Species richness was primarily dependent on pH and permanency, while species diversity (Shannon Index) was influenced by kettle hole location. Community composition was impacted by kettle hole size and surrounding field crops. Environmental processes dominated temporal and spatial processes. Sediment communities showed a different composition compared to water samples but did not differ between ephemeral and permanent kettle holes. Our results suggest that communities are mainly structured by environmental filtering based on pH, kettle hole size, surrounding field crops, and permanency. Environmental filtering based on specific conditions in individual kettle holes seems to be the dominant process in community assembly in the studied zooplankton metacommunity.

Funding

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Award: DFG-GRK 2118