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Temperature-driven colour lightness and body size variation scale to local assemblages of European Odonata but are modified by propensity for dispersal
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  • Daniel Acquah - Lamptey,
  • Martin Braendle,
  • Roland Brandl,
  • Stefan Pinkert
Daniel Acquah - Lamptey
Philipps-Universität Marburg
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Martin Braendle
Philipps-Universität Marburg
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Roland Brandl
Philipps-Universität Marburg
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Stefan Pinkert
Philipps-Universität Marburg
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Abstract

1. Previous macrophysiological studies suggested that temperature-driven colour lightness and body size variations strongly influence biogeographical patterns in ectotherms, but whether these trait-environment relationships scale to local assemblages and the extent to which they can be modified by dispersal remains largely unexplored. We test whether the predictions of the thermal melanism hypothesis and the Bergmann’s rule hold for local assemblages. We also assess whether these trait-environment relationships are more important for species adapted to less stable (lentic) habitats, due to their greater dispersal propensity compared to those adapted to stable (lotic) habitats. 2. We quantified the colour lightness and body volume of 99 European dragon- and damselflies (Odonata) and combined these trait information with survey data for 518 local assemblages across Europe. Based on this continent-wide yet spatially explicit dataset, we tested for effects temperature and precipitation on the colour lightness and body volume of local assemblages and assessed differences in their relative importance and strength between lentic and lotic assemblages, while accounting for spatial and phylogenetic autocorrelation. 3. The colour lightness of assemblages of odonates increased and body size decreased with increasing temperature. Trait-environment relationships in the average and phylogenetic predicted component were equally important for assemblages of both habitat types but were stronger in lentic assemblages when accounting for phylogenetic autocorrelation. 4. Our results show that the mechanism underlying colour lightness and body size variations scale to local assemblages, indicating their general importance. These mechanisms were of equal evolutionary significance for lentic and lotic species, but higher dispersal ability seems to enable lentic species to cope better with historical climatic changes. The documented differences between lentic and lotic assemblages also highlight the importance of integrating interactions of thermal adaptations with proxies of the dispersal ability of species into trait-based models, for improving our understanding of climate-driven biological responses.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

02 Apr 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
03 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
03 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
11 Apr 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
18 May 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
31 May 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
26 Jun 20201st Revision Received
27 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
27 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
27 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
29 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Accept