Successional changes in the animal community of a temporary pond on the Iberian Peninsula were analyzed based on taxon abundance and the biomass–size spectrum. Changes in the community were studied over 6 hydroperiods during 1996 and 1997. Community dynamics were analyzed using multivariate analysis and a new statistical approach based on the Pareto probability distribution. Three successional phases could be distinguished on the basis of changes in taxon abundance. This pattern is consistent with the 3-phase model reported in other temporary ponds in temperate latitudes. The 1st and 3rd phases corresponded to changes in hydrological factors (pond drying, water turnover) and to seasonality, whereas the 2nd phase corresponded to more stable hydrological conditions. Five successional phases could be distinguished on the basis of biomass–size spectra with similar structure. These phases were consistent with variations over time of parameter c of Pareto Model I. The 3 middle phases (II, III, and IV) identified using the size-spectrum approach corresponded to the single middle phase identified using the taxonomic approach. Thus, community changes during the middle phase were better resolved by analysis of the biomass–size spectrum than by analysis of taxon abundance.
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