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Functional diversity and assembly rules of

the Baltic Sea fish assemblages

PhD project
Laurne Pcuchet

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

1st study:
Environmental filtering driving the traits
composition of the Baltic fish community
Laurne Pcuchet, Martin Lindegren and Anna Trnroos

12-02-2015

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

Mechanisms influencing patterns of community assembly

Species enter and persist in local


communities because of their
ecological fit to local conditions.
Mechanisms influencing patterns
of community assembly act on the
ecological similarities and/or
differences of organisms

Trait-based approach

Mouillot et al., 2007


12-02-2015

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

The Baltic Sea a strong salinity gradient

Studied area bottom salinity contour (PSU) from CTD data, and representations of
the ICES squares in the Baltic Sea

Hypothesis: Abiotic control of the biological community


12-02-2015

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

Baltic International Trawl Survey (BITS)

2003-2014, February - March

Number of hauls performed from 2003 to 2014

For each haul, the species are sorted and counted (CPUE/h) by length class
From this dataset we derived the occurence and mean CPUE of Species per ICES square for the
period
2003-2014
12-02-2015
laupe@aqua.dtu.dk
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Species and traits database


Traits values from literature primarily and secondarily
BODY SHAPE through species fact sheet (FAO/FishBase)
DIET

CAUDAL SHAPE

MEAN LENGTH
AGE AT MATURITY
6 traits characterising the diet, the demography, the habitat and the
FECUNDITY
morphology.
42 strictly demersal (10 pelagics eliminated)
3 traits are categorical.
laupe@aqua.dtu.dk
3 traits are continuous.

Diversity pattern of the Baltic Sea: Species vs Functional richness


Functional Richness : The amount of niche space
filled by species in the community (Convex Hull)

Metrics
Species Richness
Functional Rich.
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Best gam model


Temp.* + Salinity*** + Oxy*** + habitat***
Salinity*** + Oxygen* + habitat***

Dev.expl
92.5% Salinity 83.3
67.1% Salinity 51.8

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

Investigate potential
abiotic drivers of the
diversity indices:
Salinity
Oxygen
Temperature
Depth
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Sediment

Investigating the assembly rules


- Observed Functional Richness vs null model
Functional Richness : The amount of niche space filled by
species in the community (Convex Hull)

Limiting similarity

Neutral

Niche filtering

Co-occurrence index

Functional Richness

Limiting sim

Species Richness

Function

Null model : for each species richness level, mean Fric calculated from random
assemblages of species from the ecosystem pool
12-02-2015

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

Observed Functional Richness vs null model

G1

59

F9

0.03

Environmental filtering
Neutral
Limiting similarity

46

58

0.06

G9

45
44

57

Latitude

0.06

G7

43
42
41

56

0.09

G5

40

0.00

55

0.03

39
38

54

Functional Richness
Functional Richness

0.09

G3

37

0.00

10

20
10

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Species Richness
Species Richness

30
30

36
10

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

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What about the biomass distribution in the communities?


Calculation of communities weighted Functional Dissimilarities
Functional Dissimilarity: Quantify how similar/dissimilar are two species based
on their traits

Ecologically analogous species


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Ecologically different species


laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

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What about the biomass distribution in the communities?

Mean Functional dissimilarity per hauls of the pairwise functional


dissimilarities of the two species with the highest abundance in each haul.
12-02-2015

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

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Conclusion

Strong environmental control : Salinity high explanatory power of


species and functional richness in the Baltic.
In general, Environmental filtering appears to drive the Baltic fish
assemblages composition and is especially strong in the Western
Baltic, which corresponds to the salinity transition zone.
The fish communities in the Baltic have a lower functional
richness than expected by random. The communities are
composed of functionally similar species.

12-02-2015

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

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2nd study:
Functional diversity of coastal fish
assemblages along a salinity gradient
Laurne Pcuchet, Martin Lindegren, Jens Olsson, Anna Grdmark and friends

12-02-2015

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

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Why a new study on Baltic fish assemblages?


Studying a longer salinity gradient
Permits to include the freshwater species absent from BITS
survey
Sensitive to other environmental pressures, e.g. eutrophication
Datasets available

12-02-2015

laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

Wetzel, 2001

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What type of data?


Example. Gillnet survey from Sweden

If possible environmental information:


Salinity
Oxygen
&
Temperature
Depth
laupe@aqua.dtu.dk
Sediment type/habitat

Gear type, mesh size


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Which hypothesis and analysis?


Would be depending of the datasets available
Spatial analyses and not temporal no need of long time-series
Due to different surveys catchability, CPUE is risky. Use of
presence/absence only?
Functional diversity patterns other traits could describe better
ecological niche of the coastal fish?

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laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

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Who wants to join?

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laupe@aqua.dtu.dk

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