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Ant assemblage turnover is greater horizontally than vertically in the world's tallest tropical forest
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  • Shuang Xing,
  • Amelia Hood,
  • Roman Dial,
  • Tom Fayle
Shuang Xing
Sun Yat-Sen University
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Amelia Hood
University of Cambridge University Museum of Zoology
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Roman Dial
Alaska Pacific University
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Tom Fayle
Queen Mary University of London
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Abstract

Abiotic and biotic factors structure species assembly in ecosystems both horizontally and vertically. However, the way community composition changes along comparable horizontal and vertical distances in complex three-dimensional habitats, and the factors driving these patterns, remain poorly understood. By sampling ant assemblages at comparable vertical and horizontal spatial scales in a tropical rain forest, we compared observed patterns with those predicted according to environmental filtering by microclimate and microhabitat structure. We found that although dissimilarity between ant assemblages increased with vertical distance, the dissimilarity was higher horizontally but was independent of distance. The pronounced horizontal and vertical structuring of ant assemblages across short distances is likely explained by a combination of microclimate and microhabitat connectivity. Our results demonstrate the importance of considering three-dimensional spatial variation in local assemblages and reveal how highly diverse communities can be supported by complex habitats.
23 Mar 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
23 Mar 2022Submission Checks Completed
23 Mar 2022Assigned to Editor
08 Apr 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 May 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 May 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
02 Jul 20221st Revision Received
03 Jul 2022Submission Checks Completed
03 Jul 2022Assigned to Editor
03 Jul 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
11 Jul 2022Editorial Decision: Accept