University of Oulu

Huttunen, KL., Mykrä, H., Oksanen, J. et al. Habitat connectivity and in-stream vegetation control temporal variability of benthic invertebrate communities. Sci Rep 7, 1448 (2017).

Habitat connectivity and in-stream vegetation control temporal variability of benthic invertebrate communities

Saved in:
Author: Huttunen, K.-L.1; Mykrä, H.2; Oksanen, J.1;
Organizations: 1Department of Ecology & Genetics, University of Oulu, P.O.Box 8000, Oulu, 90014, Finland
2Freshwater Centre, Finnish Environment Institute, P.O.Box 413, Oulu, 90014, Finland
3Centro de Investigación en Ecosistemas de la Patagonia, Av. Almirante Simpson 471, Coyhaique, Chile
4Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, Facultad de Ciencias Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425 Ñuñoa - Casilla 653, Santiago, Chile
5Oulanka Research Station, University of Oulu Infrastructure Platform, Liikasenvaarantie 134, Kuusamo, 93900, Finland
6Natural Environment Centre, Finnish Environment Institute, P.O.Box 413, Oulu, 90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2021-03-25


One of the key challenges to understanding patterns of β diversity is to disentangle deterministic patterns from stochastic ones. Stochastic processes may mask the influence of deterministic factors on community dynamics, hindering identification of the mechanisms causing variation in community composition. We studied temporal β diversity (among-year dissimilarity) of macroinvertebrate communities in near-pristine boreal streams across 14 years. To assess whether the observed β diversity deviates from that expected by chance, and to identify processes (deterministic vs. stochastic) through which different explanatory factors affect community variability, we used a null model approach. We observed that at the majority of sites temporal β diversity was low indicating high community stability. When stochastic variation was unaccounted for, connectivity was the only variable explaining temporal β diversity, with weakly connected sites exhibiting higher community variability through time. After accounting for stochastic effects, connectivity lost importance, suggesting that it was related to temporal β diversity via random colonization processes. Instead, β diversity was best explained by in-stream vegetation, community variability decreasing with increasing bryophyte cover. These results highlight the potential of stochastic factors to dampen the influence of deterministic processes, affecting our ability to understand and predict changes in biological communities through time.

see all

Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 7
Issue: 1448
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00550-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Financial support was received from the Academy of Finland and University of Oulu (Thule institute and University of Oulu Graduate School).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit