Flooding is an important process in natural fluvial floodplains. How the flood shapes aquatic community diversity in highland floodplains is still poorly understood. The aim of this study was to unravel the multi-faceted responses of benthic macroinvertebrate diversity to flooding and habitat environments in the Baihe River Basin from a taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional perspective. We examined the alpha and beta diversity patterns of benthic macroinvertebrate communities in the mainstream, tributaries, and oxbow lakes during the normal water and flood periods. The results showed that the traditional alpha taxonomic diversity (TD) varied across habitats, despite minor changes after flood pulse. Alpha phylogenetic diversity (PD) decreased and alpha functional diversity (FD) markedly increased after flooding, with functional traits transiting toward risk avoidance. While all the three facets of beta diversity significantly responded to habitat differences, beta TD and PD shifted in response to flooding. Species turnover prominently increased in beta TD and PD after flood pulse, which contrasted with a weaker response of this process in FD. The explanatory power of significant environmental factors on both alpha and beta diversity was reduced by flooding. Compared with traditional TD, cooperating multi-faceted diversity could better depict the responses of benthic macroinvertebrate communities to flooding. The assessment and conservation of aquatic biodiversity in highland floodplains should take into account the three facets of alpha and beta diversity.

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