The biogeography of community assembly: latitude and predation drive variation in community trait distribution in a guild of epifaunal crustaceans

  • Collin Gross (Creator)
  • J Duffy (Creator)
  • Kevin Hovel (Creator)
  • Melissa Kardish (Creator)
  • Pamela L. Reynolds (Creator)
  • Christoffer Boström (Creator)
  • Katharyn E. Boyer (Creator)
  • Mathiew Cusson (Creator)
  • Johan Eklöf (Creator)
  • Aschwin H. Engelen (Creator)
  • Britas Klemens Eriksson (Creator)
  • Fredrick Joel Fodrie (Creator)
  • John N. Griffin (Creator)
  • Clara M. Hereu (Creator)
  • Masakazu Hori (Creator)
  • A. Randall Hughes (Creator)
  • Mikhail V. Ivanov (Creator)
  • Pablo Jorgensen (Creator)
  • Claudia Kruschel (Creator)
  • Kun Seop Lee (Creator)
  • Jonathan S. Lefcheck (Creator)
  • Karen McGlathery (Creator)
  • Per-Olav Moksnes (Creator)
  • Masahiro Nakaoka (Creator)
  • Mary I. O'Connor (Creator)
  • Nessa E. O'Connor (Creator)
  • JEANINE OLSEN (Creator)
  • Robert J. Orth (Creator)
  • Bradley J. Peterson (Creator)
  • Henning Reiss (Creator)
  • Francesca Rossi (Creator)
  • Jennifer L. Ruesink (Creator)
  • Erik E. Sotka (Creator)
  • Jonas Thormar (Creator)
  • Fiona Tomas (Creator)
  • Richard K. F. Unsworth (Creator)
  • Erin Voigt (Creator)
  • Matt Whalen (Creator)
  • Shelby Ziegler (Creator)
  • Jay Stachowicz (Creator)



While considerable evidence exists of biogeographic patterns in the intensity of species interactions, the influence of these patterns on variation in community structure is less clear. Using a model selection approach on measures of trait dispersion in crustaceans associated with eelgrass (Zostera marina) spanning 30º of latitude in two oceans, we found that dispersion strongly increased with increasing predation and decreasing latitude. Ocean and epiphyte load appeared as secondary predictors; Pacific communities were more overdispersed while Atlantic communities were more clustered, and increasing epiphytes were associated with increased clustering. By examining how species interactions and environmental filters influence community structure across biogeographic regions, we demonstrate how both latitudinal variation in species interactions and historical contingency shape these responses. Community trait distributions have implications for ecosystem stability and functioning, and integrating large-scale observations of environmental filters, species interactions, and traits can help us predict how communities may respond to environmental change.
Date made available2 Feb 2022

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