Calling for a new strategy to measure environmental (habitat) diversity in Island Biogeography: a case study of Mediterranean tenebrionids (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

  • Simone Fattorini | simone.fattorini@gmail.com CE3C, Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes/Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores - Departamento de Ciências Agrárias, Açores, Portugal.
  • Leonardo Dapporto Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University - Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • Giovanni Strona European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (VA), Italy.
  • Paulo A.V. Borges CE3C, Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes/Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores - Departamento de Ciências Agrárias, Açores, Portugal.

Abstract

Many recent researches in island biogeography attempted to disentangle the effects of area per se and “habitat diversity” on species richness. However, the expression “habitat diversity” in this context should be avoided, because habitats can be only recognized by referring to the resources needed by a particular species. What is really measured in such researches is some form of “environmental heterogeneity”. Although habitat heterogeneity can be measured in various ways, most researches in island biogeography simply used the number of biotopes (typically classified as land cover categories). However, not all biotopes have the same surface. On the basis of the area occupied by each land cover category, it is possible to calculate indices of environmental diversity, evenness and dominance, as commonly done in community ecology research. These indices can be used to investigate the role of environmental diversity in determining species richness. We used the tenebrionid beetles inhabiting twenty-five small islands around Sicily (Central Mediterranean) to illustrate these concepts. We found that both area per se and environmental heterogeneity contributed to determine species richness. Moreover, we found that the relationship between species richness and environmental homogeneity followed a power function model. This indicates that environmental homogenization may determine a rapid, non linear decline in species richness.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.
Published
2015-06-30
Section
Research Articles
Keywords:
diversity, environmental heterogeneity, evenness, habitat hypothesis, structural equations, Sicily
Statistics
Abstract views: 1485

PDF: 545
HTML: 426
Share it

PlumX Metrics

PlumX Metrics provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment. Examples include, when research is mentioned in the news or is tweeted about. Collectively known as PlumX Metrics, these metrics are divided into five categories to help make sense of the huge amounts of data involved and to enable analysis by comparing like with like.

How to Cite
Fattorini, S., Dapporto, L., Strona, G., & Borges, P. (2015). Calling for a new strategy to measure environmental (habitat) diversity in Island Biogeography: a case study of Mediterranean tenebrionids (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Fragmenta Entomologica, 47(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.4081/fe.2015.129