Stygofaunal community trends along varied rainfall conditions: Deciphering ecological niche dynamics of a shallow calcrete in Western Australia

Type Article
Date 2020-01
Language English
Author(s) Saccò Mattia1, Blyth Alison J.1, Humphreys William F.2, 3, Karasiewicz Stephane4, Meredith Karina T.5, Laini Alex6, Cooper Steven J.B.7, 8, Bateman Philip W.9, Grice Kliti1
Affiliation(s) 1 : WA‐Organic Isotope Geochemistry Centre, The Institute for Geoscience Research, School of Earth and Planetary SciencesCurtin University Perth Western Australia 6102 ,Australia
2 : Collections and Research Centre Western Australian Museum Welshpool Western Australia 6986 , Australia
3 : School of Biological Sciences University of Western Australia Crawley Western Australia 6009, Australia
4 : Centre de Brest, Unité Dynamiques des Écosystèmes Côtiers, Laboratoire D'écologie Pélagique, Département Océanographie et Dynamique des EcosystèmesIFREMER Plouzané F‐9280, France
5 : Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Locked Bag 2001 Kirrawee DC NSW 2232 , Australia
6 : Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainabilit University of Parma Viale G. P. Usberti 33/A Parma 43124 ,Italy
7 : Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, School of Biological Sciences University of Adelaide Adelaide South Australia 5005 ,Australia
8 : Evolutionary Biology Unit South Australian Museum North Terrace Adelaide South Australia 5000, Australia
9 : Behavioural Ecology Lab, School of Molecular and Life Sciences Curtin University Perth Western Australia 6102, Australia
Source Ecohydrology (1936-0584) (Wiley), 2020-01 , Vol. 13 , N. 1 , P. e2150 (19p.)
DOI 10.1002/eco.2150
WOS© Times Cited 19
Keyword(s) stygofauna, ecological niche, groundwater, calcrete, rainfall, WitOMI

Groundwaters host highly adapted fauna, known as stygofauna, which play a key role in maintaining the functional integrity of subterranean ecosystems. Stygofaunal niche studies provide insights into the ecological dynamics shaping the delicate balance between the hydrological conditions and community diversity patterns. This work aims to unravel the ecological trends of a calcrete stygofaunal community, with special focus on niche dynamics through the Outlying Mean Index analysis (OMI) and additional calculation of Within Outlying Mean Indexes (WitOMI), under three rainfall regimes. Temperature and pH changed significantly among different rainfall conditions (P < .001), and together with salinity were the most influential drivers in shaping stygofaunal assemblages. These environmental conditions, linked with nutrient fluctuations in the groundwater, constrained changes in niche occupation for water mites, two species of beetles and juvenile amphipods (OMI analysis, P < .05). The WitOMI analysis revealed differential subniche breadths linked with taxa‐specific adaptations after different rainfall conditions. Our results indicate that stygofaunal niches are closely linked to the hydrodynamic conditions influenced by different rainfall regimes. Further long‐term investigations, incorporating broader ecological perspectives, will help to understand the impacts associated with climate change and anthropogenic pressures on one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
19 4 MB Access on demand
649 KB Access on demand
9 KB Access on demand
12 KB Access on demand
Author's final draft 40 1 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Saccò Mattia, Blyth Alison J., Humphreys William F., Karasiewicz Stephane, Meredith Karina T., Laini Alex, Cooper Steven J.B., Bateman Philip W., Grice Kliti (2020). Stygofaunal community trends along varied rainfall conditions: Deciphering ecological niche dynamics of a shallow calcrete in Western Australia. Ecohydrology, 13(1), e2150 (19p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :