University of Oulu

Li, Z., García-Girón, J., Zhang, J., Jia, Y., Jiang, X., & Xie, Z. (2023). Anthropogenic impacts on multiple facets of macroinvertebrate α and β diversity in a large river-floodplain ecosystem. Science of The Total Environment, 874, 162387.

Anthropogenic impacts on multiple facets of macroinvertebrate α and β diversity in a large river-floodplain ecosystem

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Author: Li, Zhengfei1; García-Girón, Jorge2,3; Zhang, Junqian1;
Organizations: 1The Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
2Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
3Department of Biodiversity and Environmental Management, University of León, Campus de Vegazana, 24007 León, Spain
4State Key Laboratory of Eco-hydraulic in Northwest Arid Region of China, Xi'an University of Technology, Xi'an, 710048, Shaanxi, China
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2025-02-25


Anthropogenic disturbances have become one of the primary causes of biodiversity decline in freshwater ecosystems. Beyond the well-documented loss of taxon richness in increasingly impacted ecosystems, our knowledge on how different facets of α and β diversity respond to human disturbances is still limited. Here, we examined the responses of taxonomic (TD), functional (FD) and phylogenetic (PD) α and β diversity of macroinvertebrate communities to human impact across 33 floodplain lakes surrounding the Yangtze River. We found that most pairwise correlations between TD and FD/PD were low and non-significant, whereas FD and PD metrics were instead positively and significantly correlated. All facets of α diversity decreased from weakly to strongly impacted lakes owing to the removal of sensitive species harboring unique evolutionary legacies and phenotypes. By contrast, the three facets of β diversity responded inconsistently to anthropogenic disturbance: while FDβ and PDβ showed significant impairment in moderately and strongly impacted lakes as a result of spatial homogenization, TDβ was lowest in weakly impacted lakes. The multiple facets of diversity also responded differently to the underlying environmental gradients, re-emphasizing that taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversities provide complementary information on community dynamics. However, the explanatory power of our machine learning and constrained ordination models was relatively low and suggests that unmeasured environmental features and stochastic processes may strongly contribute to macroinvertebrate communities in floodplain lakes suffering from variable levels of anthropogenic degradation. We finally suggested guidelines for effective conservation and restoration targets aimed at achieving healthier aquatic biotas in a context of increasing human impact across the ‘lakescape’ surrounding the Yangtze River, the most important being the control of nutrient inputs and increased spatial spillover effects to promote natural metasystem dynamics.

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Series: Science of the total environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
ISSN-E: 1879-1026
ISSN-L: 0048-9697
Volume: 874
Article number: 162387
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162387
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: Z. L. & Z. X. was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. U22A20454; grant no.32271664) and Biodiversity Survey, Monitoring and Assessment Project of the Department of Ecology and Envi- ronment of Hubei Province, China. J. G.G. received support from the European Union Next Generation EU/PRTR (grant no. AG325) and the Academy of Finland (grant no. 331957).
Copyright information: © 2023. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license