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Life-history strategies constrain invertebrate community tolerance to multiple stressors: A case study in the Ebro basin

Abstract : Context: Multiple stressors constitute a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the Mediterranean region where water scarcity is likely to interact with other anthropogenic stressors. Biological traits potentially allow the unravelling of the effects of multiple stressors. However, thus far, trait-based approaches have failed to fully deliver on their promise and still lack strong predictive power when multiple stressors are present. Goal: We aimed to quantify specific community tolerances against six anthropogenic stressors and investigate the responses of the underlying macroinvertebrate biological traits and their combinations. Methods: We built and calibrated boosted regression tree models to predict community tolerances using multiple biological traits with a priori hypotheses regarding their individual responses to specific stressors. We analysed the combinations of traits underlying community tolerance and the effect of trait association on this tolerance. Results: Our results validated the following three hypotheses: (i) the community tolerance models efficiently and robustly related trait combinations to stressor intensities and, to a lesser extent, to stressors related to the presence of dams and insecticides; (ii) the effects of traits on community tolerance not only depended on trait identity but also on the trait associations emerging at the community level from the co-occurrence of different traits in species; and (iii) the community tolerances and the underlying trait combinations were speci␣c to the different stressors. Conclusion: This study takes a further step towards predictive tools in community ecology that consider
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 9:10:49 AM
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Cedric P. Mondy, Isabel Munoz, Sylvain Doledec. Life-history strategies constrain invertebrate community tolerance to multiple stressors: A case study in the Ebro basin. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2016, 572, pp. 196-206. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.227⟩. ⟨hal-01368791⟩



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