3 years ago

Large-scale ocean connectivity and planktonic body size

Large-scale ocean connectivity and planktonic body size
J. Ignacio González-Gordillo, Caterina R. Giner, Xabier Irigoien, James R. Watson, Bror Jönsson, Susana Agustí, Leire Citores, Silvia G. Acinas, José Luis Acuña, Massimo C. Pernice, Elisa Martí, Carlos M. Duarte, Axayacatl Molina-Ramírez, M. Pilar Olivar, Naiara Rodríguez-Ezpeleta, Josep M. Gasol, Ramiro Logares, Guillem Chust, Ernesto Villarino, Ramón Massana, José A. Cuesta, Andrés Cózar, Marta Estrada, Eugenio Fraile-Nuez, Jon Corell, Guillem Salazar
Global patterns of planktonic diversity are mainly determined by the dispersal of propagules with ocean currents. However, the role that abundance and body size play in determining spatial patterns of diversity remains unclear. Here we analyse spatial community structure - β-diversity - for several planktonic and nektonic organisms from prokaryotes to small mesopelagic fishes collected during the Malaspina 2010 Expedition. β-diversity was compared to surface ocean transit times derived from a global circulation model, revealing a significant negative relationship that is stronger than environmental differences. Estimated dispersal scales for different groups show a negative correlation with body size, where less abundant large-bodied communities have significantly shorter dispersal scales and larger species spatial turnover rates than more abundant small-bodied plankton. Our results confirm that the dispersal scale of planktonic and micro-nektonic organisms is determined by local abundance, which scales with body size, ultimately setting global spatial patterns of diversity.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02535-8

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02535-8

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