Title
Macroinvertebrate richness patterns in North African streams Macroinvertebrate richness patterns in North African streams
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Journal of biogeography. - Oxford
Volume/pages
30(2003) :12 , p. 1821-1833
ISSN
0305-0270
ISI
000186873300004
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Abstract
Aim  To test the hypothesis that macroscale environmental variables explain local taxonomic richness of stream macroinvertebrates, and then to identify the relationships between these variables and benthic fauna richness in North Africa. Location  North Africa, from West Morocco to East Tunisia. Methods  Using a large-scale data base made of 211 sampling sites gathered from an area of 500,000 km2, an artificial neural network model has been built to identify and predict the influence of macroscale environmental variables on local macroinvertebrate richness. Results  The correlation coefficient (r) between observed and estimated taxon richness values was 0.75 (P < 0.001), and the model explained more than 55% (r2 = 0.563) of the macroinvertebrate richness variation. Macroinvertebrate richness was, therefore, accurately predicted using only three environmental variables accounting for hydrology (number of rainy days), geographical factors, i.e. connections between European and North African land masses (longitude) and climatic gradient (altitude). Main conclusions  Stream macroinvertebrate richness in North Africa results from a combination of climatic, geographical and hydrological parameters. Although consistent with current biogeographic and ecological concepts mainly derived from European and North American streams, this study underlines the specificity of dry Mediterranean ecosystems. The shape of diversity patterns results from climatic conditions and their associated environmental seasonal dynamics, which screens geographical processes.
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