Environmental drivers of invertebrate population dynamics in Neotropical tank bromeliads

Abstract : Tank bromeliads form a conspicuous, yet neglected freshwater habitat in Neotropical forests. Recent studies driven by interests in medical entomology, fundamental aspects of bromeliad ecology and experimental research on food webs have, however, prompted increasing interest in bromeliad aquatic ecosystems. As yet, there is nothing in the literature about the life histories and environmental drivers of invertebrate population dynamics in tank bromeliads. Based on fortnightly samples taken over oneyear, size frequency plots and individual dry masses allowed us to establish the life cycles and growth rates of the dominant aquatic invertebrates in a common bromeliad species of French Guiana. Linear mixed-effect models and Mantel tests were used to predict changes in density, biomass, and growth rates in relation to temperature, rainfall, humidity and detrital resources. Annual variations in invertebrate densities and biomasses could be described according to three types of distribution: unimodal, bimodal or almost constant. Despite seasonal variations, precipitation, temperature, relative humidity and detritus concentration accounted significantly for changes in density and biomass, but we found no significant responses in growth rates of most invertebrate species. Species rather displayed non-seasonal life cycles with overlapping cohorts throughout the year. There was also a trend for delayed abundance peaks among congeneric species sharing similar functional traits, suggesting temporal partitioning of available resources. Beyond novel knowledge, quantitative information on life histories is important to predict food-web dynamics under the influence of external forcing and self-organisation. Our results suggest that changes in species distribution that will affect population dynamics through biotic interactions in space and/or time could have greater effects on food webs and ecosystem functioning than changes in environmental factors per se.
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Journal articles
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 12:16:31 AM
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Olivier Dezerald, Céline Leroy, Bruno Corbara, Alain Dejean, Stanislas Talaga, et al.. Environmental drivers of invertebrate population dynamics in Neotropical tank bromeliads. Freshwater Biology, Wiley, 2017, 62 (2), pp.229-242. ⟨10.1111/fwb.12862⟩. ⟨hal-01607779⟩

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