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Phylogenetic signal in diatom ecology: perspectives for aquatic ecosystems biomonitoring

Abstract : Diatoms include a great diversity of taxa and are recognized as powerful bioindicators in rivers. However using diatoms for monitoring programs is costly and time consuming because most of the methodologies necessitate species-level identification. This raises the question of the optimal trade-off between taxonomic resolution and bioassessment quality. Phylogenetic tools may form the bases of new, more efficient approaches for biomonitoring if relationships between ecology and phylogeny can be demonstrated. We estimated the ecological optima of 127 diatom species for 19 environmental parameters using count data from 2119 diatom communities sampled during eight years in eastern France. Using uni- and multivariate analyses, we explored the relationships between freshwater diatom phylogeny and ecology (i.e., the phylogenetic signal). We found a significant phylogenetic signal for many of the ecological optima that were tested, but the strength of the signal varied significantly from one trait to another. Multivariate analysis also showed that the multidimensional ecological niche of diatoms can be strongly related to phylogeny. The presence of clades containing species that exhibit homogeneous ecology suggests that phylogenetic information can be useful for aquatic biomonitoring. This study highlights the presence of significant patterns of ecological optima for freshwater diatoms in relation to their phylogeny. These results suggest the presence of a signal above the species level, which is encouraging for the development of simplified methods for biomonitoring survey.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01426854
Contributor : David James Sherman <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 5, 2017 - 7:32:37 AM
Last modification on : Friday, February 19, 2021 - 11:48:25 AM

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François Keck, Frédéric Rimet, Alain Franc, Agnès Bouchez. Phylogenetic signal in diatom ecology: perspectives for aquatic ecosystems biomonitoring. Ecological Applications, Ecological Society of America, 2016, 26 (3), pp.861 - 872. ⟨10.1890/14-1966⟩. ⟨hal-01426854⟩

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