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Reconstructing aquatic insect metacommunity assembly after a severe disturbance


Dispersal rates and the diversity of the regional species pool strongly affect community assembly in habitat patches. Incorporating these elements mechanistically into a model of community assembly requires adoption of a metacommunity paradigm. We developed a hierarchical model of community assembly for stream insects that incorporates regional effects (distance to and generic richness of other stream reaches) and local effects (water quality and community composition). We tested our model with a unique data set detailing changes in stream-insect community composition over 6 sampling periods across a 27-y period of watershed recovery from anthropogenic effects.