Comparing patterns of spatial autocorrelation of assemblages of benthic invertebrates in upland rivers in south-eastern Australia

R. Mac Nally, N.J. Lloyd, P.S. Lake

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Patterns of spatial autocorrelation of biota may reveal much about underlying ecological and biological forces responsible for generating the patterns. Operationally, ecological work and many applied problems (e.g., impact detection, ecosystem health assessment using reference sites) require statistical knowledge of autocorrelation patterns. Here, we report on assemblage-level autocorrelation in the benthic-invertebrate assemblages of riffles in two adjacent, relatively pristine rivers in south-eastern Victoria, Australia (40 km reaches of the Wellington and Wonnangatta rivers). The assemblages of the Wellington River were strongly autocorrelated, but those of the Wonnangatta River showed a distance-independent pattern. There was no effect of taxonomic resolution, rarity protocols or whole-assemblage surrogates on the inferred levels of autocorrelation. We conclude that there is little evidence that one can assume the pattern of spatial relationships among invertebrate faunas within a river, and this probably holds true for the usual set of taxonomic resolutions and subsets used to discern changes wrought by human impacts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-156
    Number of pages10
    JournalHydrobiologia
    Volume571
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    autocorrelation
    highlands
    invertebrate
    invertebrates
    rivers
    river
    Victoria (Australia)
    ecosystem health
    riffle
    rarity
    anthropogenic effect
    anthropogenic activities
    biota
    fauna
    organisms

    Cite this

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    title = "Comparing patterns of spatial autocorrelation of assemblages of benthic invertebrates in upland rivers in south-eastern Australia",
    abstract = "Patterns of spatial autocorrelation of biota may reveal much about underlying ecological and biological forces responsible for generating the patterns. Operationally, ecological work and many applied problems (e.g., impact detection, ecosystem health assessment using reference sites) require statistical knowledge of autocorrelation patterns. Here, we report on assemblage-level autocorrelation in the benthic-invertebrate assemblages of riffles in two adjacent, relatively pristine rivers in south-eastern Victoria, Australia (40 km reaches of the Wellington and Wonnangatta rivers). The assemblages of the Wellington River were strongly autocorrelated, but those of the Wonnangatta River showed a distance-independent pattern. There was no effect of taxonomic resolution, rarity protocols or whole-assemblage surrogates on the inferred levels of autocorrelation. We conclude that there is little evidence that one can assume the pattern of spatial relationships among invertebrate faunas within a river, and this probably holds true for the usual set of taxonomic resolutions and subsets used to discern changes wrought by human impacts.",
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    Comparing patterns of spatial autocorrelation of assemblages of benthic invertebrates in upland rivers in south-eastern Australia. / Mac Nally, R.; Lloyd, N.J.; Lake, P.S.

    In: Hydrobiologia, Vol. 571, No. 1, 2006, p. 147-156.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - Patterns of spatial autocorrelation of biota may reveal much about underlying ecological and biological forces responsible for generating the patterns. Operationally, ecological work and many applied problems (e.g., impact detection, ecosystem health assessment using reference sites) require statistical knowledge of autocorrelation patterns. Here, we report on assemblage-level autocorrelation in the benthic-invertebrate assemblages of riffles in two adjacent, relatively pristine rivers in south-eastern Victoria, Australia (40 km reaches of the Wellington and Wonnangatta rivers). The assemblages of the Wellington River were strongly autocorrelated, but those of the Wonnangatta River showed a distance-independent pattern. There was no effect of taxonomic resolution, rarity protocols or whole-assemblage surrogates on the inferred levels of autocorrelation. We conclude that there is little evidence that one can assume the pattern of spatial relationships among invertebrate faunas within a river, and this probably holds true for the usual set of taxonomic resolutions and subsets used to discern changes wrought by human impacts.

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