Organisms have evolved by coupling their vital activities to specific times of year, resulting in annual or seasonal temporal patterns of life history and abundance called phenologies. A major component of communities is the seasonal variation in the number of species that are observed performing a particular behavior, i.e. community phenology. A current challenge for ecology is to describe and predict the phenological changes and their consequences at different levels of organization associated to global warming.
In this thesis I present the analysis of phenological data from 52 communities of Neotropical anurans using a deconstructive perspective: from the structure of local communities, through geographic patterns, to phenological modules and species, and returning to community assembly. Predictions of the metabolic theory of ecology are analyzed in relation to the phenological phenomenon: the richness of calling species and its connection with environmental temperature.
I include a description of the geographical variation in temperature dependence and its relationship with the phylogenetic composition of communities. Then I analyze three core components of community structure: phylogenetic diversity, phenological modularity (i.e. species coexistence over time), and temperature dependence of species richness. In order to explore the putative effects of global warming, I explore the latitudinal trend in community structure and its relationship to environmental variables in 34 communities presenting thermal dependence. Finally, through the analysis of 22 modular communities of Neotropical anurans I describe the phenological modular structure and its relationship with seasonality, richness, and phylogenetic structure. The relevance of seasonality and phenological modules on the history of the assembly of Neotropical communities is discussed.