Evidence against the use of surrogates for biomonitoring of Neotropical floodplains

A.A. Padial, S.A.J. Declerck, L. De Meester, C.C. Bonecker, F.A. Lansac-Toha, L.C. Rodrigues, A. Takeda, S. Train, L.F.M. Velho, L.M.S Bini

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


1. Community concordance measures the level of association between the compositional patterns shown by two groups of organisms. If strong community concordance occurs, one group could be used as a surrogate for another in conservation planning and biodiversity monitoring. In this study, we evaluated the variability in the strength of community concordance, the likely mechanisms underlying community concordance and the degree to which one community can predict another in a set of Neotropical floodplain lakes (Upper Parana´ River floodplain, Brazil). 2. We used a data set including six aquatic communities: fish, macrophytes, benthic macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, phytoplankton and periphyton. We used Mantel and PROTEST approaches to evaluate the levels of community concordance in up to four sampling periods. Also, we used partial Mantel test and information about biotic interactions to investigate reasons for observed patterns of concordance. Finally, we used co-correspondence analysis to evaluate the performance of one taxonomic group in predicting the structures of other communities. 3. The levels of community concordance varied over time for almost all cross-taxa comparisons. Concordance between phytoplankton and periphyton probably resulted from similar responses to environmental gradients, whereas other patterns of concordance were likely generated by interactions among groups. However, the levels of predictability were low, and no particular taxonomic group significantly predicted all other groups. 4. The low and temporally variable levels of community concordance cast doubts on the use of surrogate groups for biodiversity management in Neotropical floodplains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2411-2423
JournalFreshwater Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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