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Strauss, Axel; Guilhaumon, Francois; Randrianiaina, Roger Daniel; Valero, Katharina C. Wollenberg; Vences, Miguel; Glos, Julian (2016): Opposing Patterns of Seasonal Change in Functional and Phylogenetic Diversity of Tadpole Assemblages.
In: PLOS ONE 11(3), e0151744


Assemblages that are exposed to recurring temporal environmental changes can show changes in their ecological properties. These can be expressed by differences in diversity and assembly rules. Both can be identified using two measures of diversity: functional (FD) and phylogenetic diversity (PD). Frog communities are understudied in this regard, especially during the tadpole life stage. We utilised tadpole assemblages from Madagascan rainforest streams to test predictions of seasonal changes on diversity and assemblage composition and on diversity measures. From the warm-wet to the cool-dry season, species richness (SR) of tadpole assemblages decreased. Also FD and PD decreased, but FD less and PD more than expected by chance. During the dry season, tadpole assemblages were characterised by functional redundancy (among assemblages-with increasing SR), high FD (compared to a null model), and low PD (phylogenetic clustering;compared to a null model). Although mutually contradictory at first glance, these results indicate competition as tadpole community assembly driving force. This is true during the limiting cool-dry season but not during the more suitable warm-wet season. We thereby show that assembly rules can strongly depend on season, that comparing FD and PD can reveal such forces, that FD and PD are not interchangeable, and that conclusions on assembly rules based on FD alone are critical.