Island area, not isolation, drives taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity of ants on land-bridge islands

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  • jbi.13860

    Final published version, 1.21 MB, PDF document

  • Yuhao Zhao
  • Dunn, Rob
  • Haonan Zhou
  • Xingfeng Si
  • Ping Ding

Aim To explore the impact of island area and isolation on multiple dimensions of ant biodiversity (taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity) and the underlying processes of community assembly on islands.

Location Thousand Island Lake, Zhejiang, China, created by dam construction in 1959.

Taxon Ants.

Methods We sampled ants on 33 islands, built a species-level phylogenetic tree and measured five morphological traits of all species collected to estimate taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity. We used multiple linear regression models and null models to examine the relationships between diversity metrics and island variables (area and isolation).

Results We recorded 97 ant species on the study islands. We verified positive diversity-area relationships for species richness, phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity. However, although functional and phylogenetic community structure were indistinguishable from random communities, phylogenetic structure tended to be clustered, whereas functional structure tended to be overdispersed. Additionally, we found the structure of ant communities shifted from phylogenetic and functional clustering on smaller islands to phylogenetic and functional overdispersion on larger islands.

Main conclusions Our results support the hypothesis that environmental filtering is the dominant process structuring ant communities on smaller islands, and that competitive exclusion becomes more important on larger islands. Thus, island area acts as an important filter even though ant community structure on the study islands was indistinguishable from random communities. Moreover, our results show that environmental filtering influences phylogenetic community structure of ants, whereas competitive exclusion influences functional community structure of ants. These findings highlight the need to examine both phylogenetic and functional diversity in order to understand the mechanisms that govern the assembly of natural communities on islands.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biogeography
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1627-1637
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • ants, community structure, competitive exclusion, environmental filtering, island biogeography, morphological traits, phylogeny, Thousand Island Lake, DISPERSAL LIMITATION, SPECIES-DIVERSITY, R PACKAGE, COMMUNITY, BIOGEOGRAPHY, ECOLOGY, BIODIVERSITY, COEXISTENCE, DISTURBANCE, RICHNESS

ID: 246736976