4 years ago

Thermal barriers constrain microbial elevational range size via climate variability

Jianjun Wang, Janne Soininen
Range size is invariably limited and understanding range size variation is an important objective in ecology. However, microbial range size across geographical gradients remains understudied, especially on mountainsides. Here, the patterns of range size of stream microbes (i.e., bacteria and diatoms) and macroorganisms (i.e., macroinvertebrates) along elevational gradients in Asia and Europe were examined. In bacteria, elevational range size showed non-significant phylogenetic signals. In all taxa, there was a positive relationship between niche breadth and species elevational range size, driven by local environmental and climatic variables. No taxa followed the elevational Rapoport's rule. Climate variability explained the most variation in microbial mean elevational range size, whereas local environmental variables were more important for macroinvertebrates. Seasonal and annual climate variation showed negative effects, while daily climate variation had positive effects on community mean elevational range size for all taxa. The negative correlation between range size and species richness suggests that understanding the drivers of range is key for revealing the processes underlying diversity. The results advance the understanding of microbial species thermal barriers by revealing the importance of seasonal and diurnal climate variation, and highlight that aquatic and terrestrial biota may differ in their response to short- and long-term climate variability.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13823

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