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Article

A Small-Scale Analysis of Elevational Species Richness and Beta Diversity Patterns of Arthropods on an Oceanic Island (Terceira, Azores)

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cE3c—Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Azorean Biodiversity Group, Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e do Ambiente, Universidade dos Açores, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Açores, Portugal
2
IBED—Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, 1012 WX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Roberto Pizzolotto and Mauro Gobbi
Insects 2021, 12(10), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12100936
Received: 29 September 2021 / Accepted: 4 October 2021 / Published: 14 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects in Mountain Ecosystems)
We studied the diversity of arthropods in native forests along a 1000 m elevation gradient on Terceira Island, Azores (Portugal). These forests form an isolated and threatened habitat with unique endemic species. We analysed the change in alpha and beta diversity of arthropod species with elevation and if the diversity of endemic, native non-endemic and introduced species responds differently to elevation. Resident arthropods were sampled using SLAM (Sea, Land and Air Malaise) traps between 2014 and 2018. Spiders (Araneae), beetles (Coleoptera), true bugs (Hemiptera) and barklice (Psocoptera), as well as endemic, native and introduced species, were analysed separately. Total species richness decreases with elevation for all species, Coleoptera and Psocoptera, and particularly so for introduced species, but peaks at mid-high elevation for Araneae and endemic species. These patterns are probably driven by unfavourable climatic conditions at higher elevations while being influenced by human disturbance at lower elevations. Total species diversity along the whole elevation gradient is shaped by this decreasing richness as well as the replacement of species at different elevations.
We present an analysis of arthropod diversity patterns in native forest communities along the small elevation gradient (0–1021 m a.s.l.) of Terceira island, Azores (Portugal). We analysed (1) how the alpha diversity of Azorean arthropods responds to increasing elevation and (2) differs between endemic, native non-endemic and introduced (alien) species, and (3) the contributions of species replacement and richness difference to beta diversity. Arthropods were sampled using SLAM traps between 2014 and 2018. We analysed species richness indicators, the Hill series and beta diversity partitioning (species replacement and species richness differences). Selected orders (Araneae, Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Psocoptera) and endemic, native non-endemic and introduced species were analysed separately. Total species richness shows a monotonic decrease with elevation for all species and Coleoptera and Psocoptera, but peaks at mid-high elevation for Araneae and endemic species. Introduced species richness decreases strongly with elevation especially. These patterns are most likely driven by climatic factors but also influenced by human disturbance. Beta diversity is, for most groups, the main component of total (gamma) diversity along the gradient but shows no relation with elevation. It results from a combined effect of richness decrease with elevation and species replacement in groups with many narrow-ranged species. View Full-Text
Keywords: insects; altitude; biodiversity; alpha-diversity; replacement; disturbance insects; altitude; biodiversity; alpha-diversity; replacement; disturbance
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Vries, J.P.R.; van Loon, E.; Borges, P.A.V. A Small-Scale Analysis of Elevational Species Richness and Beta Diversity Patterns of Arthropods on an Oceanic Island (Terceira, Azores). Insects 2021, 12, 936. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12100936

AMA Style

de Vries JPR, van Loon E, Borges PAV. A Small-Scale Analysis of Elevational Species Richness and Beta Diversity Patterns of Arthropods on an Oceanic Island (Terceira, Azores). Insects. 2021; 12(10):936. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12100936

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Vries, Jan P.R., Emiel van Loon, and Paulo A.V. Borges 2021. "A Small-Scale Analysis of Elevational Species Richness and Beta Diversity Patterns of Arthropods on an Oceanic Island (Terceira, Azores)" Insects 12, no. 10: 936. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12100936

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