Large-scale distribution patterns of mangrove nematodes: a global meta-analysis

Marco C Brustolin, Ivan Nagelkerken, Gustavo Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Mangroves harbor diverse invertebrate communities, suggesting that macroecological distribution patterns of habitat-forming foundation species drive the associated faunal distribution. Whether these are driven by mangrove biogeography is still ambiguous. For small-bodied taxa, local factors and landscape metrics might be as important as macroecology. We performed a meta-analysis to address the following questions: (1) can richness of mangrove trees explain macroecological patterns of nematode richness? and (2) do local landscape attributes have equal or higher importance than biogeography in structuring nematode richness? Mangrove areas of Caribbean-Southwest Atlantic, Western Indian, Central Indo-Pacific, and Southwest Pacific biogeographic regions. We used random-effects meta-analyses based on natural logarithm of the response ratio (lnRR) to assess the importance of macroecology (i.e., biogeographic regions, latitude, longitude), local factors (i.e., aboveground mangrove biomass and tree richness), and landscape metrics (forest area and shape) in structuring nematode richness from 34 mangroves sites around the world. Latitude, mangrove forest area, and forest shape index explained 19% of the heterogeneity across studies. Richness was higher at low latitudes, closer to the equator. At local scales, richness increased slightly with landscape complexity and decreased with forest shape index. Our results contrast with biogeographic diversity patterns of mangrove-associated taxa. Global-scale nematode diversity may have evolved independently of mangrove tree richness, and diversity of small-bodied metazoans is probably more closely driven by latitude and associated climates, rather than local, landscape, or global biogeographic patterns.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Ecology & Evolution
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)4734-4742
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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