Colonisation processes in benthic algal communities are well reflected by functional groups

Áron Lukács, Zsuzsanna Kókai, Péter Török, István Bácsi, Gábor Borics, Gábor Várbíró, Enikő T-Krasznai, Béla Tóthmérész, Viktória B-Béres

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Single-trait analyses are used to select the most appropriate species characteristics for an effective indication of changes in multiple stressors, but they are robust to detect fine-scale functional changes in biofilms. The combination of single traits may appropriately reflect ecological properties of changing benthic assemblages. We studied colonisation processes of benthic algal assemblages focusing on the changes in trait composition using life forms, type of attachments, cell size and mobility as single traits in a small lowland stream. We tested the descriptive power of single-trait groups (STGs) and also combined trait groups (CTGs). We assumed that STGs would be significantly affected by environmental factors, but compositional changes in biofilms would be described more easily by using CTGs rather than STGs. Our hypotheses were confirmed by the results. While some STGs correlated positively to environmental factors indicating disturbances, others correlated to environmental factors indicating the stable conditions. The fast settlement of large-sized groups was also relevant determining the compositional changes in the studied benthic community. Despite the strong correlation between STGs and environmental variables, CTGs analyses revealed important functional relations in the ecosystem, since CTGs display more sophisticated functional features of the organisms, which may provide more realistic responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-245
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Benthic algal communities
  • Colonisation
  • Combined trait groups
  • Functional processes
  • Single traits
  • Watercourses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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    Lukács, Á., Kókai, Z., Török, P., Bácsi, I., Borics, G., Várbíró, G., T-Krasznai, E., Tóthmérész, B., & B-Béres, V. (2018). Colonisation processes in benthic algal communities are well reflected by functional groups. Hydrobiologia, 823(1), 231-245.