Data from: The biogeographical patterns of species richness and abundance distribution in stream diatoms are driven by climate and water chemistry
Passy, Sophia I. et al. (2018), Data from: The biogeographical patterns of species richness and abundance distribution in stream diatoms are driven by climate and water chemistry, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v1v7856
In this inter-continental study of stream diatoms, we asked three important but still unresolved ecological questions: 1) What factors drive the biogeography of species richness and species abundance distribution (SAD); 2) Are climate-related hypotheses, which have dominated the research on the latitudinal and altitudinal diversity gradients, adequate in explaining spatial biotic variability; and 3) Is the SAD response to the environment independent of richness? We tested a number of climatic theories and hypotheses (i.e., the species-energy and the metabolic theory; and the energy variability and the climatic tolerance hypothesis) but found no support for any of these concepts as the relationships of richness with explanatory variables were non-existent, weak or unexpected. Instead, we demonstrated that diatom richness and SAD evenness generally increased with temperature seasonality and at mid- to high total phosphorus concentrations. The spatial patterns of diatom richness and the SAD—mainly longitudinal in the US, but latitudinal in Finland—were defined primarily by the covariance of climate and water chemistry with space. The SAD was not entirely controlled by richness, emphasizing its utility for ecological research. Thus, we found support for the operation of both climate and water chemistry mechanisms in structuring diatom communities, which underscores their complex response to the environment and the necessity for novel predictive frameworks.
National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1745348