Segregation Structure in Odonata Assemblages Follows the Latitudinal Gradient

Oecologia. 2020 Jun 18. doi: 10.1007/s00442-020-04687-9. Online ahead of print.


Latitude is known to deeply affect life with effects generalizable into ecological rules; the increasing species diversity toward tropics is the most paradigmatic. Several hypotheses tested patterns of biotic interactions' intensity along latitude. Negative interactions (i.e. competition and predation) are expected to be among the processes that produce checkerboard distribution of species. However, no relationship between checkerboardness and latitude has been uncovered. We tested Odonata assemblages worldwide for segregation patterns using a faunistic dataset (395 species arranged in 386 natural communities) spanning a wide latitudinal range (87°). We used co-occurrence analyses (C-score index and Standardized Effect Size) as an estimate of checkerboardness then correlated the occurrence of segregation to latitude. Odonata followed the Latitudinal Diversity Gradient at the regional scale (i.e. country scale) within our analyzed assemblages spanning, whereas local richness (i.e. community scale) did not follow the same pattern. Odonata assemblages structured with segregation are more common going from high to low latitudes, and local species richness have no effect on the pattern. We summarized hypotheses on how biotic interactions or ecological and historical processes can influence the spatial patterns in the checkerboards of assemblages and presented promising ways to help to gain a better mechanistic understanding of the drivers of the Latitudinal Diversity Gradient.

Keywords: Biological interactions; C-score; Co-occurrence; Community structure; Dragonflies; Latitude.