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Article

Niche Partitioning at Emergence of Two Syntopic Dragonflies

1
Laboratory of Terrestrial Ecosystems, Department of Life Sciences and System Biology, University of Turin, Via Accademia Albertina, I-10123 Torino, Italy
2
Laboratory for Integrative Biodiversity Research (LIBRe), Finnish Museum of Natural History (LUOMUS), University of Helsinki, F-00014 Helsinki, Finland
3
Molecular Ecology Group (MEG), Water Research Institute (IRSA), National Research Council (CNR), Largo Tonolli 50, I-28922 Pallanza, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Ecologies 2021, 2(1), 16-26; https://doi.org/10.3390/ecologies2010002
Received: 10 December 2020 / Revised: 28 December 2020 / Accepted: 29 December 2020 / Published: 3 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Ecologies 2021)
We investigated the ecological requirements in the emergence phase of two congeneric species of Aeshnidae, Aeshna grandis (Linnaeus 1758) and A. juncea (Linnaeus 1758), occurring in syntopy at the southernmost limit of their range. We sampled the exuviae of the two species at the peak of their emergence in three lakes in NW Italy. In each lake we defined 30 to 50 sampling plots along the lake borders where we checked for the presence of exuviae and collected data on the microhabitat composition. By modeling the response of the exuviae presence and abundance against the environmental parameters, we could highlight a partial differentiation in the ecological requirements of the two species at emergence. In particular, A. grandis is more influenced by the structure of the aquatic vegetation than A. juncea and the niche space occupied by A. grandis is wider, almost totally encompassing the one of A. juncea. We argue that A. grandis exploits microhabitats rich in aquatic plants to avoid competition with A. juncea. We suggest the preservation of well-structured aquatic vegetation as a key management practice to preserve the three studied populations of A. grandis, a species which has been recognized as Vulnerable for Italy according to the IUCN criteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aeshnidae; n-dimensional hypervolume; ecological niche; species coexistence; Odonata Aeshnidae; n-dimensional hypervolume; ecological niche; species coexistence; Odonata
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MDPI and ACS Style

Piano, E.; Mammola, S.; Dalle, M.; Riservato, E.; Isaia, M. Niche Partitioning at Emergence of Two Syntopic Dragonflies. Ecologies 2021, 2, 16-26. https://doi.org/10.3390/ecologies2010002

AMA Style

Piano E, Mammola S, Dalle M, Riservato E, Isaia M. Niche Partitioning at Emergence of Two Syntopic Dragonflies. Ecologies. 2021; 2(1):16-26. https://doi.org/10.3390/ecologies2010002

Chicago/Turabian Style

Piano, Elena, Stefano Mammola, Martina Dalle, Elisa Riservato, and Marco Isaia. 2021. "Niche Partitioning at Emergence of Two Syntopic Dragonflies" Ecologies 2, no. 1: 16-26. https://doi.org/10.3390/ecologies2010002

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