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Concordance of taxonomic richness patterns across multiple assemblages in lakes of the

Summary: Concordance of taxonomic richness patterns
across multiple assemblages in lakes of the
northeastern United States
Andrew P. Allen, Thomas R. Whittier, Philip R. Kaufmann, David P. Larsen,
Raymond J. O'Connor, Robert M. Hughes, Richard S. Stemberger,
Sushil S. Dixit, Ralph O. Brinkhurst, Alan T. Herlihy, and Steven G. Paulsen
Abstract: We investigated the concordance of taxonomic richness patterns and their environmental correlates for
assemblages of benthic macroinvertebrates, riparian birds, sedimentary diatoms, fish, planktonic crustaceans, and
planktonic rotifers in 186 northeastern U.S. lakes. Taxon counts were standardized with respect to sampling effort using
rarefaction. The degree of concordance among assemblage richness measures was low, but this was at least partly
attributable to measurement precision. Aspects of lake morphology (area, depth) superseded other environmental
features (climate, human development, water chemistry, nearshore physical habitat) as correlates of assemblage richness
and were the strongest source of concordance. The benthic macroinvertebrates, birds, fish, and zooplankton all showed
positive associations between richness and lake area. The diatoms showed negligible associations between richness and
area and negative associations between richness and depth. Associations with human development were much weaker
than with lake morphology and varied from positive (fish, planktonic crustaceans) to negative (diatoms). We conclude
that taxonomic richness alone may be of ambiguous value as an indicator of biological integrity in lakes and that its
natural drivers must be controlled for prior to assessing anthropogenic effects.
Résumé : Nous avons étudié la concordance de profils de diversité taxonomique avec leurs corrélats environnementaux
chez des groupements de macroinvertébrés benthiques, d'oiseaux de rivage, de diatomées sédimentaires, de poissons et


Source: Allen, Andrew P. - National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California at Santa Barbara


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology