We analyzed the composition of upper Midwestern turtle communities, trends with latitude, and the effects of habitat and geographic region. The relative abundance (RA) of many species correlated negatively with the RA of Trachemys scripta. Neither richness nor equitability correlated with latitude; however, species diversity correlated positively with latitude. Riverine communities were significantly richer than ecotonal and lacustrine habitats, most likely because of the complex habitat structure of rivers. The RA of species within turtle communities could be partitioned into two discriminant functions, one explaining lentic species and one explaining lotic species. Turtle communities clustered by habitat, indicating that habitat is a strong force in shaping the structure of the community. Mississippi River communities were richer compared to southern Illinois lacustrine habitats. Although not as dominant as the clustering by habitat, temporal isolation has also shaped the structure of upper Midwestern freshwater turtle communities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science