Spatial mismatch in morphological, ecological and phylogenetic diversity, in historical and contemporary European freshwater fish faunas

Published online: 
23 February 2018

Kuczynski Lucie, Côte Jessica, Toussaint Aurèle, Brosse Sébastien, Buisson Laëtitia, Grenouillet Gaël

Biodiversity encompasses multiple facets, among which taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic aspects are the most often considered. Understanding how those diversity facets are distributed and what are their determinants has become a central concern in the current context of biodiversity crisis, but such multi-faceted measures over large geographical areas are still pending. Here, we measured the congruence between the biogeographical patterns of freshwater fish morphological, ecological and phylogenetic diversity across Europe and identified the natural and anthropogenic drivers shaping those patterns. Based on freshwater fish occurrence records in 290 European river catchments, we computed richness and evenness for morphological, ecological and phylogenetic diversity using standardized effect sizes for each diversity index. We then used linear models including climatic, geo-morphological, biotic and human-related factors to determine the key drivers shaping freshwater fish biodiversity patterns across Europe. We found a weak spatial congruence between facets of diversity. Patterns of diversity were mainly driven by elevation range, climatic seasonality and species richness while other factors played a minor role. Finally, we found that non-native species introductions significantly affected diversity patterns and influenced the effects of some environmental drivers. Morphological, ecological and phylogenetic diversity constitute complementary facets of fish diversity rather than surrogates, testifying that they deserve to be considered altogether to properly assess biodiversity. Although the same environmental and anthropogenic factors overall explained those diversity facets, their relative influence varied. In the current context of global change, non-native species introductions may also lead to important reshuffling of assemblages resulting in profound changes of diversity patterns.