Interspecific synchrony and trait-based differences between species are likely to be related to each other.
Therefore, we investigated interspecific synchrony patterns in a fish community under prolonged drought conditions, using a trait-based approach.
We hypothesized that trait-similarity would predict interspecific synchrony among fish populations.
We also expected that a general synchronous pattern for the whole community would be high during a severe drought context, indicating low stability.
The study was conducted in a semi-arid reservoir between 2010 and 2017, which encompassed a five-year period of severe drought.
We considered species differences in body length, gonadosomatic index, relative condition factor, and trophic level and found that interspecific synchrony was negatively related to species differences in body length.
This result can be related to species requirements in terms of habitats and food resources.
We also found a significant level of community-wide synchrony, with important implications for community stability during periods of prolonged drought.
In conclusion, our results indicated a strong effect of environmental filtering in fish population dynamics over time.
We highlight the importance of a trait-based approach to shed light on understanding ecological processes driving population dynamics.
Silva Rocha, B.; García-Berthou, E.; Costa Novaes, J.L.; Bini, L.M.; Vinicius Ciancaruso, M. (2021). Science of the Total Environment, vol. 781. In press.