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Bellisario B, Camisa F, Abbattista C, Cimmaruta R.2019. A network approach to identify bioregions in the distribution of Mediterranean amphipods associated with Posidonia oceanica meadows. PeerJ Preprints7:e27285v2https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.27285v2
Although amphipods are key components of the macro-fauna associated with Posidonia oceanica meadows, to date no studies focused on the structure and diversity of their assemblages across the whole Mediterranean Sea. Here, we applied a network approach based on modularity on a dataset mined from literature to identify biogeographic modules and to assess the biogeographic roles of associated localities. We also correlated the patterns evidenced with the biogeographic distribution of amphipod groups by means of a multivariate analysis. Modularity analysis highlighted four biogeographic modules bounded by the main Mediterranean biogeographic divides and evidenced a decrease in species diversity along a NW-SE gradient. Assemblages associated with Central-Western Mediterranean and, to a lesser extent, Tunisian modules showed the highest species richness and were identified as hubs, characterized by species with regional distributions that behave as source in a biogeographic context. The paleogeographic history of the host seagrass and the ecology of associated amphipods, both suggest the joint effect of species persistence and post-Last Glacial Maximum expansion in explaining the pattern of amphipod distribution in the Mediterranean Sea.
Major changes of the ms after a second step revision:
1. Title changed
2. Added the authority for each species mentioned in the text
3. New dataset and Supplemental Materials and Methods with references for each species included in the dataset