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Drought survival strategies, dispersal potential and persistence of invertebrate species in an intermittent stream landscape

Chester, Edwin T, Miller, Adam D, Valenzuela, Isabel, Wickson, Steven J and Robson, BJ 2015, Drought survival strategies, dispersal potential and persistence of invertebrate species in an intermittent stream landscape, Freshwater biology, vol. 60, no. 10, pp. 2066-2083, doi: 10.1111/fwb.12630.

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Title Drought survival strategies, dispersal potential and persistence of invertebrate species in an intermittent stream landscape
Author(s) Chester, Edwin T
Miller, Adam DORCID iD for Miller, Adam D orcid.org/0000-0002-1632-7206
Valenzuela, Isabel
Wickson, Steven J
Robson, BJ
Journal name Freshwater biology
Volume number 60
Issue number 10
Start page 2066
End page 2083
Total pages 18
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2015-10
ISSN 0046-5070
1365-2427
Keyword(s) climate change
gene-flow models
headwater streams
refuges
species traits
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Marine & Freshwater Biology
POPULATION GENETIC-STRUCTURE
FRESH-WATER CRAYFISH
NON-PERENNIAL STREAMS
AQUATIC INVERTEBRATES
CLIMATE-CHANGE
HABITAT USE
ARID ZONE
AUSTRALIA
PATTERNS
BIODIVERSITY
Summary Intermittent stream systems create a mosaic of aquatic habitat that changes through time, potentially challenging freshwater invertebrate dispersal. Invertebrates inhabiting these mosaics may show stronger dispersal capacity than those in perennial stream systems. To relate different combinations of dispersal and drought survival strategies to species persistence, we compared the distribution and dispersal potential of six invertebrate species across all streams in a montane landscape where drying is becoming increasingly frequent and prolonged. Invertebrates were collected from seventeen streams in the Victoria Range, Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia. The species analysed were as follows: the caddisflies Lectrides varians Moseley (Leptoceridae) and Agapetus sp. (Glossosomatidae); the mayflies Nousia AV1 and Koorrnonga AV3 (Leptophlebiidae); the water penny beetle Sclerocyphon sp. (Psephenidae); and a freshwater crayfish Geocharax sp. nov. 1 (Parastacidae). These species were widespread in the streams and varied in their dispersal and drought survival strategies. The distribution of each species across the Victoria Range, their drought responses and within-stream habitat associations were determined. Hypotheses of the dispersal capacity and population structure for each species were developed and compared to four models of gene flow: Death Valley Model (DVM), Stream Hierarchy Model (SHM), Headwater Model (HM) or panmixia (PAN). Molecular genetic methods were then used to infer population structure and dispersal capacity for each species. The large caddisfly Lectrides resisted drought through aestivation and was panmictic (PAN) indicating strong dispersal capacity. Conversely, the small caddisfly Agapetus relied on perennially flowing reaches and gene flow was limited to short distances among stream headwaters, resembling the HM. Both mayflies depended on perennial surface water during drying and showed evidence of gene flow among streams: Koorrnonga mainly dispersed along stream channels within catchments, resembling the SHM, whereas Nousia appeared to disperse across land by adult flight. Sclerocyphon relied on perennial water to survive drying and showed an unusual pattern of genetic structure that indicated limited dispersal but did not resemble any of the models. Geocharax survived drought through aestivation or residence in perennial pools, and high levels of genetic structure indicated limited dispersal among streams, resembling the DVM. Despite good knowledge of species' drought survival strategies, the population structure of four species differed from predictions. Dispersal capacity varied strongly among species; most species were poor dispersers and only one species showed panmixia. Therefore, intermittent stream species may not necessarily be better dispersers than those in perennial streams. Species showing strong drought resistance strategies differed in dispersal capacity. Knowledge of life-history characteristics, distribution and refuge use does not necessarily enable successful prediction of invertebrate dispersal pathways or population structure. Dispersal among intermittent streams may be restricted to relatively short distances (km) for most invertebrate species. Thus, frequent drought refuges (perennial water) that provide strong connectivity to subpopulations through stream flow (hydrological dispersal), or continuous terrestrial vegetation (flight dispersal), will be critical to maintain genetic diversity, adaptability and population persistence.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/fwb.12630
Field of Research 060204 Freshwater Ecology
050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
050206 Environmental Monitoring
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30088467

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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