Competition and Coexistence (Ecological Studies)

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Supporting Information

Abundance distribution of An. Abundance distribution of Ae. Of the 30 ground pools examined, Ae. Observed pattern of co-occurrences or spatial segregation among potential competitors. The association between mosquito species richness and vegetation gradient had a bimodal hump-shaped pattern Figure 5 A, Additional file 6 : Table S5.

The vegetation heterogeneity also showed a bimodal hump-shaped pattern related to vegetation gradient Figure 5 B.

Mosquito species richness had a plateau correlation with vegetation gradient, i. The increase of vegetation heterogeneity was also associated with the rise of evenness Figure 5 D. Relationships between mosquito diversity and the gradient of forest physiognomies. A Mosquito species richness has a bimodal, skewed response pattern. The strong peak is related to the heterogeneity of vegetation complexity. B The heterogeneity of vegetation complexity has also a bimodal skewed response pattern, similar to mosquito species richness.

C Mosquito species richness increased linearly with heterogeneity of vegetation complexity until it reached an asymptote where a mix of arboreal and scrub vegetation occurred. D The mosquito assemblage evenness-dominance profile as a function of heterogeneity of vegetation complexity. High levels of heterogeneity of vegetation complexity resulted in assemblage evenness, whereas medium to low levels of heterogeneity of vegetation complexity resulted in the presence of dominant assemblages.

Analyses performed with GAM, a form-free method, detected the same overall pattern yielded with the employ of HOF models, i. Co-occurrences and spatial segregation of mosquito species were assessed at micro-habitat, habitat and landscape scales along vegetation gradient in a natural and undisturbed landscape of tropical rainforest, where ecologically and taxonomically similar mosquito species coexist.

These similar species usually exploit limiting resources in different ways, such as feeding at different heights inside the bromeliad water column at micro-habitat scale, colonizing either terrestrial or epiphytic bromeliads at the habitat scale and selecting more or less physically stressful habitats at landscape scale. Thus, resource partitioning may be an important structuring process in these assemblages. Mosquito species diversity was at least partly caused by the several ways in which potential competitors have evolved specialized traits. Anopheles bellator and Cx.

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Both species are frequent in Quesnelia bromeliads that are highly exposed to sunlight. In these bromeliads, larvae of both species collect and filter detritus and microorganisms [ 16 ]. Because of the lack of a respiratory siphon which characterizes all Anopheles species, An. Similarly, Marques et al. The non-random co-occurrence of these species at micro-habitat scale is indicative of the first mechanism of species coexistence in mosquito assemblages Figure 1 A. Prior to Gilbert et al.

Interestingly, this is a consistent explanation for the co-occurrence of An. Microculex species and An.

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Mosquito species richness varied non-linearly across the gradient of vegetation gradient. More species occurred in forested habitats than on scrublands, showing that only some mosquito species can endure the physiological stress of harsh environments.

More species occurred in the forest than was expected, attributable to diverse phytotelmata-inhabiting mosquito species of the tribe Sabethini [ 37 ]. However, the maximum species richness was observed in the middle where mixed vegetation occurs, with both arboreal and scrub elements. This represented a transition zone i. As expected, this is part of the gradient with highest heterogeneity of vegetation complexity. The resulting mosaic of trees and bushes caused variation in light incidence and thus the occurrence of both terrestrial and epiphytic bromeliads.

Wyeomyia Phoniomyia mosquito species occurred in this physiognomy. The feeding behavior of these species should be very similar at the micro-habitat scale and because of that these species did not co-occur in the same type of bromeliad. Wyeomyia muhelensis occurred in terrestrial Quesnelia bromeliads, whereas Wy. Hence, coexistence probably is possible because of the presence of these terrestrial and epiphytic bromeliad species and provides evidence in support of the second mechanism of species coexistence in mosquito assemblages Figure 1 B.

The pairs of potential competitor species Anopheles bellator - An. However, all species did co-occur at the landscape scale. Because both pairs of species are taxonomically and ecologically similar, they cannot possibly allow their persistence at local scales which may suggest a mechanism of coexistence at the landscape scale.

Competition and Coexistence (Ecological Studies)

This observational evidence may be related to the asymmetrical competition mechanism which results in a greater likelihood of local competitive exclusion, but it can provide a regional coexistence depending on the context [ 12 ]. This finding represents evidence for the third mechanism of species coexistence in mosquito assemblages Figure 1 C. The present work did not experimentally test the effects of competition among species across the gradient of vegetation physiognomies to ensure that the observed patterns match the predicted mechanism. Thus, it was found herein empirical evidence for three mechanisms of resource-niche partitioning that provided greater biodiversity in the species-rich mosquito community of Atlantic rainforest.

The mechanisms are: 1 spatial niche segregation in vertical strata in bromeliads, 2 niche partitioning mediated by spatial heterogeneity which promotes species coexistence at habitat scale and 3 asymmetrical competition with context dependence in groups of taxonomically similar species in bromeliads and ephemeral pools.

Competition and Coexistence (Ecological Studies)

GZL is a biologist with Ph. His main interests are landscape epidemiology, disease ecology and eco-epidemiology. MAMS is a professor with Ph. Her main interests are Culicidae systematic, evolution and ecology. Hutchinson GE: The multivariate niche. Syst Zool.

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Dayan T, Simberloff D: Ecological and community-wide character displacement: the next generation. Ecol Lett. Juliano SA: Species introduction and replacement among mosquitoes: interspecific resource competition or apparent competition?. Juliano SA: Species interactions among larval mosquitoes: context dependence across habitat gradients.

Annu Rev Entomol. Chesson P: General theory of competitive coexistence in spatially-varying environments. Theor Popul Biol. Amarasekare P: Competitive coexistence in spatially structured environments: a synthesis. J An Ecol. Stud Neotrop Fauna Environ. Ecosyst Health. J Vect Ecol. Holos Environ. Rev Saude Pub.

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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. Lane J: Neotropical Culicidae. J Am Mosq Contr Assoc. Parasit Vectors.

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