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Seasonal interactions and rewiring in freshwater stream fish networks
  • Chris Brimacombe,
  • Korryn Bodner,
  • Marie-Josee Fortin
Chris Brimacombe
University of Toronto
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Korryn Bodner
University of Toronto
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Marie-Josee Fortin
University of Toronto
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Abstract

Despite evidence that seasonal variation may lead to the persistence of competing species, studies on the effect of seasonality on community network structures are limited. Furthermore, identifying whether seasonal network changes are the result of species turnover or rewiring (rearrangement of interactions among species), also remains understudied. Here, we investigate seasonal network changes in a stream fish community across Fall and Spring data. We find strong evidence that seasonality influences species interactions, particularly through rewiring. Moreover, we find that a species’ number of rewiring interactions was best explained by its status as a piscivore/non-piscivore and its maximum length. Overall, we argue that rewiring may be a dominant process in communities experiencing seasonal environments and that traits linked to trophic-level may identify species contributing most to rewiring. As networks dominated by rewiring may be more robust, understanding the causes of changes in species interactions can help determine when communities may persist given a disturbance.