Xavier Jordani, M. Mouquet, N., Casatti, L., Menin, M., de Cerqueira Rossa Feres, D. & Helene Albert, C.H. (2019).

Ecology and evolution 9 (7), 4025-4037, doi:10.1002/ece3.5031

Key message : Here, we quantified the intraspecific and interspecific components of tadpoles trait variability in order to investigate their relative role in shaping tadpole communities. We selected eight functional traits related to microhabitat use, foraging strategies, and swimming ability from 678 individuals from 22 species captured in 43 ponds in the Atlantic Forest. On average, 33% of trait variability was due to within‐species variation. This decomposition varied widely among traits. We found only a reduced effect of external filtering (low variation in the height of the ventral fin within ponds in comparison to the total variation), whereas the internal filtering was stronger than expected. Our study highlights the importance of incorporating both intraspecific and interspecific, trait differences and of focusing on a diversity of traits related to both stabilizing niche and fitness differences in order to better understand how trait variation relates to species coexistence.

Visual representation of the 10 external morphological features of tadpoles used to determine the 8 tadpole traits (BML: body maximum length; BMH: body maximum height; BMW: body maximum width; DNS: distance from nares to snout; ED: eye diameter; HDF: maximum height of dorsal fin; HVF: maximum height of ventral fin; ND: nares diameter; TMW: tail muscle width; TMH: tail muscle height). Species: Crossodactylus caramaschii. Scale: 10mm

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OTHER TOPICS: Aesthetics of Biodiversity, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Functioning, Biogeography, Macroecology & Ecophylogenetics, Experimental Evolution, Functional Biogeography, Functional Rarity, Metacommunities, Metaecosystems, Reviews and Synthesis, Trophic Biogeography & Metaweb