A naturally heterogeneous landscape can effectively slow down dispersal of aquatic microcrustaceans

P.J. Juračka, S.A.J. Declerck, D. Vondrák, L. Beran, M. Černý, A. Petrusek

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dispersers in a variety of landscapes, whereas others have indicated dispersal
limitation at large spatial scales or under specific circumstances. Based on a survey of
a set of recently created ponds in an area of approximately 18×25 km, we found
multiple indications of dispersal limitation affecting the community assembly of
microcrustacean communities. Spatial patterns in the community composition were
better explained by the geomorphological structure of the landscape than by mere
geographic distances. This suggests that ridges separating the network of valleys act
as dispersal barriers, and as such may channel the dispersal routes of the studied taxa
and, likely, of their animal vectors as well. Dispersal limitation was further supported by
a strong positive relationship between species richness and the abundance of
neighbouring water bodies, suggesting that isolation affects colonization rates. Finally,
the apparent dispersal limitation of microcrustaceans is further corroborated by the
observation of low colonization rates in newly dug experimental ponds in the study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-796
Issue number3
Early online date18 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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