Habitat disturbance and hydrological parameters determine the body size and reproduction strategy of alluvial ground beetles

Article OPEN
Gerisch, Michael (2011)
  • Publisher: Pensoft Publishers
  • Journal: (issn: 1313-2989, eissn: 1313-2970)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3897/zookeys.100.1427
  • Subject: trait shifts | environmental variability | life-history traits | floodplain | ecosystem processes | QL1-991 | species sorting | Zoology

Environmental variability is the main driver for the variation of biological characteristics (life-history traits) of species. Therefore, life-history traits are particularly suited to identify mechanistic linkages between environmental variability and species occurrence and can help in explaining ecological patterns. For ground beetles, few studies directly related species traits to environmental variables. This study aims to analyse how life-history traits of alluvial ground beetles are controlled by environmental factors. I expected that the occurrence of species and the occurrence of specific traits are closely related to hydrological and disturbance parameters. Furthermore I expected most of the trait-variation to be explained by a combination of environmental variables, rather than by their isolated effects. Ground beetles were sampled in the year 2005 in floodplain grassland along the Elbe River in Germany. I used redundancy analysis to quantify the effects of hydrological, sediment, and disturbance related parameters on both species occurrence and species traits. I applied variation partitioning to analyse which environmental compartments explain most of the trait variation. Species occurrence and trait variation were both mainly controlled by hydrological and flood disturbance parameters. I could clearly identify reproductive traits and body size as key traits for floodplain ground beetles to cope with the environmental variability. Furthermore, combinations of hydrological, habitat disturbance, habitat type, and species diversity parameters, rather than their isolated effects, explained large parts of ground beetle trait variation. Thus, a main conclusion of this study is that ground beetle occurrence is mainly determined by complex, multi-scale interactions between environmental variability and their life-history traits.
  • References (50)
    50 references, page 1 of 5

    Adis J, Junk WJ (2002) Terrestrial invertebrates inhabiting lowland river floodplains of Central Amazonia and Central Europe: a review. Freshwater Biology 47: 711-731. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2427.2002.00892.x

    Antvogel H, Bonn A (2001) Environmental parameters and microspatial distribution of insects: a case study of carabids in an alluvial forest. Ecography 24: 470-482. doi: 10.1034/ j.1600-0587.2001.d01-203.x

    Bates AJ, Sadler JP, Fowles AP (2006) Condition-dependent dispersal of a patchily distributed riparian ground beetle in response to disturbance. Oecologia 150: 50-60. doi: 10.1007/ s00442-006-0508-y

    Bivand R (2009) spdep: Spatial dependence: weighting schemes, statistics and models, R package version 0.4-54, http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=spdep.

    Brose U (2003) Bottom-up control of carabid beetle communities in early successional wetlands: mediated by vegetation structure or plant diversity? Oecologia 135: 407-413.

    Dalgleish HJ, Koons DN, Adler PB (2010) Can life-history traits predict the response of forb populations to changes in climate variability? Journal of Ecology 98: 209-217. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01585.x

    Den Boer PJ, den Boer-Daanje W (1990) On life history tactics in carabid beetles: are there only spring- and autumn-breeders? In: Stork (Ed) The role of ground beetles in ecologhical and environmental studies. 7th European Carabidologist Meeting, London, Intercept, Andover-Hampshire, 247-258.

    Desender K (1989) Heritability of wing development and body size in a carabid beetle, Pogonis chalceus marsham, and its evolutionary significance. Oecologia 78: 513-520. doi: 10.1007/BF00378743

    Dormann CF, McPherson JM, Araujo MB, Bivand R, Bolliger J, Carlg G, Davies RG, Hirzel A, Jetz W, Kissling WD, Kühn I, Ohlemüller R, Peres-Neto PR, Reineking B, Schröder B, Schurr FM, Wilson R (2007) Methods to account for spatial autocorrelation in the analysis of species distributional data: a review. Ecography 30: 609-628. doi: 10.1111/j.2007.0906- 7590.05171.x

    Dray S, Dufour AB (2007) The ade4 package: implementing the duality diagram for ecologists, Journal of Statistical Software 22: 1-20.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark