Theory predicts that environmental filtering determines species assemblages – and their reassembly dynamics in a changing habitat such as a recovering rainforest. This prediction can be tested by studying trajectories of functional trait and phylogenetic composition. Phil Hoenle and coauthors examined 13 morphological traits from a total of 284 ant species from 58 genera, and their distribution along the REASSEMBLY chronosequence sites and across three microhabitats (ground, leaf litter, lower tree trunk). Their findings reveal how the distribution of traits changed with forest age and across different habitat components (stratification) – and how these two environmental filters interact.
Hoenle PO, Staab M, Donoso DA, Argoti A, Blüthgen N (2023) Stratification and recovery time jointly shape ant functional reassembly in a Neotropical forest. Journal of Animal Ecology DOI:10.1111/1365-2656.13896