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Zhao, T., Villeger, S., & Cucherousset, J. (2019). Accounting for intraspecific diversity when examining relationships between non-native species and functional diversity. Oecologia, 189(1), 171–183.
Résumé: Quantifying changes in functional diversity, the facet of biodiversity accounting for the biological features of organisms, has been advocated as one of the most integrative ways to unravel how communities are affected by human-induced perturbations. The present study assessed how functional diversity patterns varied among communities that differed in the degree to which non-native species dominated the community in temperate lake fish communities and whether accounting for intraspecific functional variability could provide a better understanding of the variation of functional diversity across communities. Four functional diversity indices were computed for 18 temperate lake fish communities along a gradient of non-native fish dominance using morphological functional traits assessed for each life-stage within each species. First, we showed that intraspecific variability in functional traits was high and comparable to interspecific variability. Second, we found that non-native fish were functionally distinct from native fish. Finally, we demonstrated that there was a significant relationship between functional diversity and the degree to which non-native fish currently dominated the community and that this association could be better detected when accounting for intraspecific functional variability. These findings highlighted the importance of incorporating intraspecific variability to better quantify the variation of functional diversity patterns in communities facing human-induced perturbations.