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Premium Latitudinal variation in global range‐size of aquatic macrophyte species shows evidence for a Rapoport effect
Murphy Kevin,
Carvalho Priscilla,
Efremov Andrey,
Tapia Grimaldo Julissa,
MolinaNavarro Eugenio,
Davidson Thomas A.,
Thomaz Sidinei Magela
Publication year2020
Publication title
freshwater biology
Resource typeJournals
Abstract To test hypotheses concerning the applicability of the Rapoport effect (RE: “species that occur at higher latitudes tend to have greater geographical range‐size than species which have ranges limited to latitudes closer to the equator”) to aquatic macrophytes at global scale, we analysed the world latitudinal distribution and range‐size of 1,083 vascular aquatic macrophyte species, from 91 genera in 11 families. We targeted macrophyte families strongly associated with inland aquatic habitats (i.e. with a zero, or only very low, proportion of constituent species which occur also in non‐aquatic habitats), and which are distributed across a substantial latitudinal gradient, a necessary condition to test our hypotheses. The macrophyte species present in these families include plants from all the normally accepted life form‐defined functional groups of macrophytes, namely submerged, free‐floating, floating‐leaf rooted and emergent species, and represent the three major vascular taxonomic groups occurring as aquatic macrophytes (ferns/fern allies, monocots, and dicots). For the analysis, we used both latitude‐only and areal measures of macrophyte species geographic range‐size, within a 10 × 10° (latitude × longitude) grid of 238 grid cells, covering the six world ecozones (Palaearctic, Orient, Australasia, Nearctic, Neotropics, Afrotropics) that primarily contain inland freshwater and brackish macrophyte habitats. The results provide new insight into the relationships between global range‐size of macrophytes, latitude, and other potential spatio‐environmental and anthropogenic drivers acting upon these plants at world scale. In particular, the outcomes indicated that: (1) the range‐size versus latitude distribution of macrophytes shows evidence of a strong RE influence, with significantly greater species range‐size at higher latitudes; and (2) the β‐diversity pattern of species distribution along this latitudinal gradient is poorly explained by nestedness organisation, and species turnover is a more likely explanation of the observed changes in species distribution with latitude. Spatio‐environmental and anthropogenic variables other than latitude may also influence the observed global geographical pattern of macrophyte range‐size, although their importance as predictors varies between individual families. Extent of agricultural land use, altitude, and historic (post‐Quaternary) climate change velocity were all significant predictor variables for some families. However, interestingly, neither the area of land nor the area of waterbody present per grid cell were major influences on macrophyte range‐size distribution. Our finding of evidence for an RE, acting at global scale in aquatic macrophytes, contributes to increasing the generality of conclusions so far reached about the large‐scale factors that drive patterns of species range‐size at global scale. The study also provides a baseline for future macroecological work on aquatic plants, and potentially other freshwater organisms, particularly in the context of predicting how the world ranges of freshwater biota will respond to ongoing global environmental change.
Subject(s)aquatic plant , astrophysics , biology , composite material , ecology , environmental science , macrophyte , materials science , physics , range (aeronautics) , variation (astronomy)
SCImago Journal Rank1.297

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