University of Oulu

Schmera, D., Heino, J. & Podani, J. Characterising functional strategies and trait space of freshwater macroinvertebrates. Sci Rep 12, 12283 (2022).

Characterising functional strategies and trait space of freshwater macroinvertebrates

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Author: Schmera, Dénes1; Heino, Jani2; Podani, János3,4
Organizations: 1Balaton Limnological Research Institute, Klebelsberg K. u. 3, Tihany, 8237, Hungary
2Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Institute of Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány P. s. 1/C, Budapest, 1117, Hungary
4Institute of Evolution, Centre for Ecological Research, Budapest, Hungary
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-24


We examined the functional strategies and the trait space of 596 European taxa of freshwater macroinvertebrates characterized by 63 fuzzy coded traits belonging to 11 trait groups. Principal component analysis was used to reduce trait dimensionality, to explain ecological strategies, and to quantify the trait space occupied by taxa. Null models were used to compare observed occupancy with theoretical models, and randomization-based analyses were performed to test whether taxonomic relatedness, a proxy of phylogenetic signal, constrains the functional trait space of freshwater macroinvertebrates. We identified four major strategies along which functional traits of the taxa examined show trade-offs. In agreement with expectations and in contrast to existing evidence we found that life cycles and aquatic strategies are important in shaping functional structure of freshwater macroinvertebrates. Our results showed that the taxonomic groups examined fill remarkably different niches in the functional trait space. We found that the functional trait space of freshwater macroinvertebrates is reduced compared to the range of possibilities that would exist if traits varied independently. The observed decrease was between 23.44 and 44.61% depending on the formulation of the null expectations. We demonstrated also that taxonomic relatedness constrains the functional trait space of macroinvertebrates.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-16472-0
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1171 Geosciences
Funding: The research was supported by the NKFIH K 140352 and NKFIH 471-3/2021 Grants. JH was supported by Grant No. 331957 from the Academy of Finland. Open access funding provided by Balaton Limnological Research Institute.
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