Published February 2, 2022 | Version v1
Dataset Open

The biogeography of community assembly: latitude and predation drive variation in community trait distribution in a guild of epifaunal crustaceans

  • 1. University of California, Davis
  • 2. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
  • 3. San Diego State University
  • 4. Åbo Akademi University
  • 5. San Francisco State University
  • 6. Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
  • 7. Stockholm University
  • 8. Universidade do Algarve*
  • 9. University of Groningen
  • 10. University of North Carolina
  • 11. Swansea University
  • 12. Universidad Autónoma de Baja California*
  • 13. Fisheries Research Agency
  • 14. Northeastern University
  • 15. St Petersburg University
  • 16. National University of Tierra del Fuego
  • 17. University of Zadar
  • 18. Pusan National University
  • 19. University of Virginia
  • 20. University of Gothenburg
  • 21. Hokkaido University
  • 22. University of British Columbia
  • 23. Trinity College Dublin
  • 24. Virginia Institute of Marine Science*
  • 25. Stony Brook University
  • 26. Nord University
  • 27. Université Côte d'Azur
  • 28. University of Washington
  • 29. College of Charleston
  • 30. Institute of Marine Research
  • 31. IMEDEAS (CSIC)*
  • 32. Hakai Institute*
  • 33. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories


While considerable evidence exists of biogeographic patterns in the intensity of species interactions, the influence of these patterns on variation in community structure is less clear. Using a model selection approach on measures of trait dispersion in crustaceans associated with eelgrass (Zostera marina) spanning 30º of latitude in two oceans, we found that dispersion strongly increased with increasing predation and decreasing latitude. Ocean and epiphyte load appeared as secondary predictors; Pacific communities were more overdispersed while Atlantic communities were more clustered, and increasing epiphytes were associated with increased clustering. By examining how species interactions and environmental filters influence community structure across biogeographic regions, we demonstrate how both latitudinal variation in species interactions and historical contingency shape these responses. Community trait distributions have implications for ecosystem stability and functioning, and integrating large-scale observations of environmental filters, species interactions, and traits can help us predict how communities may respond to environmental change.


Funding provided by: National Science Foundation
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number: OCE 1336206, OCE 1336905, OCE 1336741

Funding provided by: Åbo Akedemi University Foundation*
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number:



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Related works

Is derived from
10.5281/zenodo.5669434 (DOI)
Is source of
10.5281/zenodo.5669440 (DOI)