The temporal patterns of six biotic groups (from phytoplankton to amphibians) and their responses to environmental variation were studied in a set of Mediterranean temporary ponds. These biotic groups differed widely in dispersal ability and dispersal mode (active v. passive) and, for this reason, we predicted that they would exhibit different temporal patterns and responses to environmental factors. Six temporary ponds were sampled three times: At the beginning (January), middle (March) and end (May) of the hydroperiod. For each biotic group, we evaluated temporal variation in composition, species richness, among-pond similarities and number of typifying taxa. Moreover, a β diversity partitioning procedure was used to obtain the relative contributions of the replacement and richness components to overall β diversity. Finally, the effects of water, pond and landscape variables on composition and taxa richness were analysed for each group. Different temporal patterns were observed among the biotic groups studied, and in some (but not all) cases these differences were explained by their dispersal ability. Similarly, we observed that environmental control was group specific. These results advance the notion that communities in Mediterranean temporary ponds are highly variable over time and that generalisations with regard to patterns and controls across taxonomic groups are not supported.
Contrasting intra-annual patterns of six biotic groups with different dispersal mode and ability in Mediterranean temporary ponds / Boix, Dani; Caria, Maria Carmela; Gascón, Stéphanie; Mariani, Maria Antonietta; Sala, Jordi; Ruhí, Albert; Compte, Jordi; Bagella, Simonetta. - In: MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH. - ISSN 1323-1650. - 68:6(2017), pp. 1044-1060. [10.1071/MF15435]