Metacommunities and biodiversity patterns in Mediterranean temporary ponds: the role of pond size, network connectivity and dispersal mode

We sampled the macrofaunal metacommunities in four networks of Mediterranean temporary ponds covering a wide range of pond sizes and different spatial extents. 1) In the smallest pond network, pond size was not related to any of the environmental factors and neither to community structure but had an effect on community composition. The effect of a high connectivity could explain the absence of differences in community structure. 2) Environmental distance had larger effects than spatial distance in the decay of community similarities. In the smaller network, the biotic groups showed different distance-decay patterns. In the larger network all the groups fit in the species sorting archetype. 3) We observed that centrality metrics affect regional and local pond biodiversity. Biodiversity metrics were not explained by environmental characteristics or centrality metrics alone, but through a combination of them. Regional biodiversity metrics showed similar patterns in all the networks, whereas local ones showed greater network-dependent patterns ​
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