Diversity distribution of saproxylic beetles in Chilean Mediterranean forests: influence of spatiotemporal heterogeneity and perturbation
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Mediterranean ecosystems have been recognized as a priority for biodiversity conservation due to their high levels of species richness and endemism. In South America, these environments are restricted to central Chile and represent a biodiversity hotspot. The study of saproxylic beetles in this area is an unexplored topic, despite the ecological role they play in these ecosystems and their potential usefulness for monitoring the degree of forest conservation. We investigated the diversity distribution of trophic guilds of saproxylic beetles in Chilean Mediterranean forests, to identify the main environmental variables that influence their distribution. We also analyzed seasonal dynamics as a key factor influencing insect communities and the effect of human disturbance on their diversity and composition. We identified characteristic species of perturbation degree as bioindicators for habitat monitoring. A total of 40 window traps were used to survey three Mediterranean forest types in the Rio Clarillo National Reserve and the adjacent non-protected areas. We found that the diversity, abundance and composition of saproxylic beetles varied significantly spatiotemporally among the studied forest types and among perturbation degrees, showing different patterns depending on the trophic guild. Results indicated that conservation decisions should include the preservation of a larger range of different vegetation types and the nearby zones that have suffered low levels of disturbance or fragmentation and where actions promoting the presence of old native trees would have a significant conservation value.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemJournal of Insect Conservation. Volumen: 20 Número: 4 Páginas: 723-736
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