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Cilleros Kevin



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Current project: Modelling of freshwater fish diversity in French Guiana (part of the LabEx CEBA-DIAMOND project)

PhD project: Diversity and assembly processes of Guyanese freshwater fish assemblages (grant from LabEx CEBA)

Summary: Tropical ecosystems, especially Amazonian ecosystems, host a great diversity of terrestrial and aquatic organisms. However, the causes and the processes behind this high diversity for freshwater fish assemblages are little known, but their identification will be an asset in the assessment of anthropogenic impacts that are increasing in these regions. We studied the processes that shape the diversity and the structure of freshwater fish assemblages of non-impacted streams and rivers located in French Guiana. Within-assemblage diversity increased along an upstream/downstream gradient and was higher in sites where the habitat was diversified. Species identity changed along this gradient, which created zones along the stream. Spatial relationships between assemblages and their isolation also greatly impacted species assemblages. Using information about species traits (functional diversity) and their phylogenetic relationships (phylogenetic diversity), we showed that within-assemblage diversity was not influenced by the environment or by species interactions. We also confirmed that dispersal limitation, linked with the past history of drainage basins, had a strong effect on assemblage structure in both streams and in rivers. Future investigations on the processes structuring fish assemblages will need to acquire more exhaustive biological data, and therefore to develop an efficient, and non-destructive sampling method. To this aim, we evaluated the efficiency of environmental metabarcoding applied to aquatic assemblages (the molecular identification of species present from a water sample) and compared it to traditional sampling methods. Currently, metabarcoding gives complementary information to traditional sampling. It thus needs developments and further tests to increase its efficiency and allow its use for assembly processes studies. Pursuing the formalization of a conceptual framework to investigate assembly rules together with the development of an efficient fish sampling protocol are now needed to better understand the structure of tropical fish assemblages. Those theoretical and practical developments will contribute to better evaluate anthropogenic disturbances on aquatic ecosystems.

Keywords: Community ecology, assembly rules, ecomorphology, ecophylogenetic, fish, eDNA metabarcoding, French Guiana


Cilleros, K., Valentini, A., Allard, L., Dejean, T., Etienne, R., Grenouillet, G., Iribar, A., Taberlet, P., Vigouroux, R. and Brosse, S., Unlocking biodiversity and conservation studies in high diversity environments using environmental DNA (eDNA): a test with Guianese freshwater fishes. Molecular Ecology Resources, in press. doi:10.1111/1755-0998.12900

Cilleros, K., Allard, L., Vigouroux, R. and Brosse, S., Disentangling spatial and environmental determinants of fish species richness and assemblage structure in Neotropical rainforest streams. Freshwater Biology, 62, 1707-1720. doi:10.1111/fwb.12981

Cilleros, K., Allard, L., Grenouillet, G. and Brosse, S. (2016), Taxonomic and functional diversity patterns reveal different processes shaping European and Amazonian stream fish assemblages. Journal of Biogeography, 43, 1832-1843. doi:10.1111/jbi.12839