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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00161

Spatially structured environmental variation plays a prominent role on the biodiversity of freshwater macrophytes across China

  • 1College of Fisheries, Huazhong Agricultural University, China
  • 2Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan
  • 3Université de Toulouse, France
  • 4Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Large-scale diversity patterns are generated by different non-mutually exclusive mechanisms. Understanding of multiple facets of diversity and their determinants in the freshwater realm remains limited compared to terrestrial environments. Here, we analyze the relative contribution of environmental gradients and spatial variables to patterns of taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity in macrpohyte assemblages across 214 Chinese watersheds. We found extremely high spatial congruence among most aspects of biodiversity, with some important exceptions. Variation partitioning was used to examine how much variation in macrophyte biodiversity was explained by environmental and spatial variables. All diversity facets were best explained by the selected spatially structured environmental variables, not the pure environment effect, implying that macrophyte are taxonomically, phylogenetically, and functionally clustered in space, which might be the result of environmental and/or evolutionary forces. Along with the potent effects of dispersal limitations, macrophytes seem to face general dispersal limitations although they are often recognized as good dispersers.

Keywords: Freshwater macrophyte, functional diversity, Spatial congruence, species richness, Taxonomic distinctness, phylogenetic diversity

Received: 12 Jul 2018; Accepted: 29 Jan 2019.

Edited by:

Sidinei M. Thomaz, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Brazil

Reviewed by:

Teresa Ferreira, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Yu An, Northeast Institute of Geography and Ggroecology, CAS, China
Gustavo G. Henry-Silva, Federal University Rural Semi-Arid, Brazil  

Copyright: © 2019 Zhang, García Molinos, Su and Xu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Jun Xu, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China, xujun@ihb.ac.cn