Lower Species Richness (lower + species_richness)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Evaluating reserves for species richness and representation in northern California

Jeffrey R. Dunk
ABSTRACT The Klamath-Siskiyou forests of northern California and southern Oregon are recognized as an area of globally outstanding biological distinctiveness. When evaluated at a national or global level, this region is often, necessarily, considered to be uniformly diverse. Due to large variation in biotic and abiotic variables throughout this region, however, it is unlikely that biological diversity is uniformly distributed. Furthermore, land management decisions nearly always occur at spatial scales smaller than this entire region. Therefore, we used field data from a random sampling design to map the distribution of local and regional richness of terrestrial molluscs and salamanders within northern California's portion of the Klamath-Siskiyou region. We also evaluated the protection afforded by reserves established for varying reasons (e.g. for inspiration and recreation for people vs. species conservation) to hotspots of species richness and species representation of these taxa. No existing reserves were created with these taxa in mind, yet it was assumed that reserves established largely around considerations for the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) would afford adequate protection for many lesser-known species. Species of terrestrial molluscs and salamanders share two general features: (1) they have extremely low vagility, and (2) they are often associated with moist, cool microclimates. Existing reserves disproportionately included areas of hotspots of species richness for both taxa, when hotspots included the richest c. 25% of the area, whereas non-reserved lands contained greater than expected areas with lower species richness. However, when a more strict definition of hotspot was used (i.e. the richest c.10% of areas), local hotspots for both taxa were not disproportionately found in reserves. Reserves set aside largely for human aesthetics and recreation and those set aside for biodiversity both contributed to the protection of areas with high (greatest 25%) species richness. Existing biodiversity reserves represented 68% of mollusc species and 73% of salamander species, corresponding to the 99th and 93rd percentiles, respectively, of species representation achieved by simulating a random distribution of the same total area of reservation. Cumulatively, however, reserves set aside for inspiration and biodiversity represented 83% of mollusc species and 91% of salamander species. The existing reserves provide conservation value for terrestrial molluscs and salamanders. This reserve network, however, should not be considered optimal for either taxa. [source]

Species pool size and invasibility of island communities: a null model of sampling effects

Abstract The success of alien species on oceanic islands is considered to be one of the classic observed patterns in ecology. Explanations for this pattern are based on lower species richness on islands and the lower resistance of species-poor communities to invaders, but this argument needs re-examination. The important difference between islands and mainland is in the size of species pools, not in local species richness; invasibility of islands should therefore be addressed in terms of differences in species pools. Here I examine whether differences in species pools can affect invasibility in a lottery model with pools of identical native and exotic species. While in a neutral model with all species identical, invasibility does not depend on the species pool, a model with non-zero variation in population growth rates predicts higher invasibility of communities of smaller pools. This is because of species sampling; drawing species from larger pools increases the probability that an assemblage will include fast growing species. Such assemblages are more likely to exclude random invaders. This constitutes a mechanism through which smaller species pools (such as those of isolated islands) can directly underlie differences in invasibility. [source]

Faunal make-up, host range and infestation rate of weevils and tephritid flies associated with flower heads of the thistle Cirsium (Cardueae: Astaraceae) in Japan

Abstract From 1988 to 1998, we collected flower heads of 39 thistle taxa (35 taxa of Cirsium, one species each of Breea, Synurus, Saussurea and Arctium; Cardueae; Astaraceae) in Japan, mainly from Hokuriku and other parts of central Honshu, and kept them in the laboratory to breed weevils and tephritid flies, the core fauna. We report the faunal make-up, host plants, geographic distribution and the attack levels of the insects. Results indicated that (i) three Larinus species (Curculionidae) and three species of tephritid flies (Tephritis, Urophora and Xyphosia) comprised the core fauna; (ii) two insect species belonging to the same taxonomic group (either Curculionidae (Larinus) or Tephritidae) tended to use different host plant species; (iii) two sympatric Larinus species (L. latissimus and L. meleagris) segregated the host plants seasonally in central Honshu (Cirsium blooming in spring and autumn, respectively); and (iv) two tephritid fly species, Xyphosia punctigera and Urophora sachalinensis, segregated geographically (the former on the Japan Sea side and the latter on the Pacific Ocean side). In comparison with their European counterparts, the weevils and tephritids of the Japanese Cirsium are characterized by a lower species richness and a lower degree of specialization in usage of the thistle flower heads, with gall-formers being distinctly under-represented, and callus tissue-feeders being absent. This reflects the fact that Japanese thistles are so closely related that hybridization frequently occurs, and also that the thistles have had a short history of interaction with the insects since the thistles' arrival in Japan. [source]

Distribution and growth of benthic macroinvertebrates among different patch types of the littoral zones of two arctic lakes

Summary 1. To evaluate the effect of habitat patch heterogeneity on abundance and growth of macroinvertebrates in arctic lakes, macroinvertebrate abundance, individual biomass, and potential food resources were studied in three patch types in two arctic lakes on the Alaskan North Slope near the Toolik Lake Field Station. An experiment was conducted to determine which sediment patch type supported higher growth rates for Chironomus sp., a commonly occurring macroinvertebrate. 2. Potential organic matter (OM) resources were significantly higher in both rock and macrophyte patches than in open-mud patches. Total macroinvertebrate densities in both lakes were highest in rock patches, intermediate in macrophytes and lowest in open-mud. The open-mud patches also had lower species richness compared with other patch types. Additionally, individual biomass for one clam species and two chironomid species was significantly greater in rock patches than in open-mud. 3. In a laboratory experiment, Chironomus showed two to three times greater mass increase in sediments from macrophyte and rock patches than from open-mud patches. Rock and macrophyte experimental sediments had at least 1.5 × the percentage OM as open-mud sediments. 4. Chlorophyll a appeared to be the best predictor for invertebrate abundances across all patch types measured, whereas OM content appeared to be the variable most closely associated with Chironomus growth. 5. Our results combined with previous studies show that the relationships between macroinvertebrate community structure, individual growth, and habitat heterogeneity are complex, reflecting the interaction of multiple resources, and biotic interactions, such as the presence or absence of a selective vertebrate predator (lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush). [source]

Urbanization and the more-individuals hypothesis

Claudia Chiari
Summary 1.,Urbanization is a landscape process affecting biodiversity world-wide. Despite many urban,rural studies of bird assemblages, it is still unclear whether more species-rich communities have more individuals, regardless of the level of urbanization. The more-individuals hypothesis assumes that species-rich communities have larger populations, thus reducing the chance of local extinctions. 2.,Using newly collated avian distribution data for 1 km2 grid cells across Florence, Italy, we show a significantly positive relationship between species richness and assemblage abundance for the whole urban area. This richness,abundance relationship persists for the 1 km2 grid cells with less than 50% of urbanized territory, as well as for the remaining grid cells, with no significant difference in the slope of the relationship. These results support the more-individuals hypothesis as an explanation of patterns in species richness, also in human modified and fragmented habitats. 3.,However, the intercept of the species richness,abundance relationship is significantly lower for highly urbanized grid cells. Our study confirms that urban communities have lower species richness but counters the common notion that assemblages in densely urbanized ecosystems have more individuals. In Florence, highly inhabited areas show fewer species and lower assemblage abundance. 4.,Urbanized ecosystems are an ongoing large-scale natural experiment which can be used to test ecological theories empirically. [source]

Comparative dynamics of avian communities across edges and interiors of North American ecoregions

Krithi K. Karanth
Abstract Aim, Based on a priori hypotheses, we developed predictions about how avian communities might differ at the edges vs. interiors of ecoregions. Specifically, we predicted lower species richness and greater local turnover and extinction probabilities for regional edges. We tested these predictions using North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data across nine ecoregions over a 20-year time period. Location, Data from 2238 BBS routes within nine ecoregions of the United States were used. Methods, The estimation methods used accounted for species detection probabilities < 1. Parameter estimates for species richness, local turnover and extinction probabilities were obtained using the program COMDYN. We examined the difference in community-level parameters estimated from within exterior edges (the habitat interface between ecoregions), interior edges (the habitat interface between two bird conservation regions within the same ecoregion) and interior (habitat excluding interfaces). General linear models were constructed to examine sources of variation in community parameters for five ecoregions (containing all three habitat types) and all nine ecoregions (containing two habitat types). Results, Analyses provided evidence that interior habitats and interior edges had on average higher bird species richness than exterior edges, providing some evidence of reduced species richness near habitat edges. Lower average extinction probabilities and turnover rates in interior habitats (five-region analysis) provided some support for our predictions about these quantities. However, analyses directed at all three response variables, i.e. species richness, local turnover, and local extinction probability, provided evidence of an interaction between habitat and region, indicating that the relationships did not hold in all regions. Main conclusions, The overall predictions of lower species richness, higher local turnover and extinction probabilities in regional edge habitats, as opposed to interior habitats, were generally supported. However, these predicted tendencies did not hold in all regions. [source]

Maximum size distributions in tropical forest communities: relationships with rainfall and disturbance

Lourens Poorter
Summary 1The diversity and structure of communities are partly determined by how species partition resource gradients. Plant size is an important indicator of species position along the vertical light gradient in the vegetation. 2Here, we compared the size distribution of tree species in 44 Ghanaian tropical forest communities, using data from 880 one-hectare plots and over 118 000 trees belonging to more than 210 species. 3The size distribution of forest species showed a continuous normal or log-normal distribution, with many canopy species and a few large species, and varied from community to community. Multiple regression showed that this variation is related to rainfall and to disturbance. 4Size distributions in wet forests were less skewed than those in dry forests, with a smaller proportion of big species and a smaller size range. At the same time they exhibited tighter species packing, resulting in higher species richness. Communities with high disturbance have less species packing and lower species richness. 5Synthesis. We conclude that the factors that constrain organism size and species coexistence in these tropical forest tree communities differ from those known to operate on a number of well-studied animal communities. [source]

Community structure and temporal variability of ichthyoplankton in North Brazilian mangrove creeks

A. Barletta-Bergan
The species composition and dynamics of fish larvae in three mangrove creeks located in the Caeté Estuary (north Brazil) were studied monthly using a trap net during diurnal ebb tides. A total of 109 954 larvae, representing 25 families and 54 species, were collected from October 1996 to October 1997. The community was dominated numerically by a few species, a feature common for other estuarine fish populations. The most abundant taxa were estuarine species, namely the eleotrid Guavina guavina (46ˇ7%) and the engraulid Anchovia clupeoides (14ˇ9%). The sciaenid Cynoscion acoupa was the only marine species that used the mangroves extensively as a nursery site, occurring mainly at the postflexion stage. The size distribution of G. guavina did not produce shifting modes, indicating continuous transport out of the mangroves by tidal currents. Significantly lower species richness was observed in the late rainy season, primarily due to the emigration of marine species. Intermediate seasons were characterized by more complex larval fish assemblages. The temporal trends of the dominant species was influenced to a great degree by their life history strategy. [source]

The impact of an insecticide on insect flower visitation and pollination in an agricultural landscape

Claire Brittain
1Pesticides are considered a threat to pollinators but little is known about the potential impacts of their widespread use on pollinators. Less still is known about the impacts on pollination, comprising the ecosystem service that pollinators provide to wildflowers and crops. 2The present study measured flower visitation and pollination in an agricultural landscape, by placing potted flowering plants (Petunia sp.) in vine fields sprayed with a highly toxic insecticide (fenitrothion). During two sampling rounds, insect visitors to the petunias were observed and measures of pollination were recorded by counting and weighing seeds. 3In the earlier sampling round, a lower species richness of insect visitors was observed in fields that had received an early application of insecticide. No negative impacts were found from later applications. The results obtained suggest a greater potential harm to insect pollinators and flower visitation as a result of insecticide application early in the season. 4No reduction in pollination was found in fields that received an early insecticide application. Pollination was greater with two insecticide applications between sampling rounds rather than one application. 5In the present study system, insecticide application had a negative effect on pollinators but a possible positive effect on pollination services. In some cases, it may be that actions for conserving biodiversity will not benefit pollination services to all plants. [source]

Invasion Possibility and Potential Effects of Rhus typhina on Beijing Municipality

Guangmei Wang
Abstract Rhus typhina, an alien species introduced from North America, was identified as a main afforestation species in Beijing municipality. However, its invasiveness is still at odds. To clarify this problem, we applied the North American Screening System and the Australian Screening System to preliminarily predict its invasion possibility. Both screening systems gave the same recommendation to "reject". The geographical distribution was surveyed, with the population features of R. typhina against the native plant communities being assessed. With anthropogenic assistance, R. typhina has been scattered on almost all habitats from downtown to mountains, including roadsides, farmlands and protected areas. As a clonal shrub, R. typhina possessed a high spreading rate, varying from 6.3 m/3 years at sterile habitats to 6.7 m/3 years at fertile ones. Significantly lower species richness, individual density and diversity were observed in the R. typhina community than those of the native Vitex negundo Linn.var. heterophylla (Franch.) Rehd. community at both sterile and fertile habitats. Continual wide plantation of R. typhina may further foster its population expansion, which helps the species to overcome spatial isolation. The fact that each root fragment can develop into a new individual makes R. typhina very difficult to be eradicated once established. From a biological point of view, we believe that R. typhina is a plant invader in Beijing. We therefore suggest the government should remove the name of R. typhina from the main tree species list in afforesting Beijing. [source]

Revegetation Methods for High-Elevation Roadsides at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

S. L. Petersen
Abstract Establishment of native plant populations on disturbed roadsides was investigated at Bryce Canyon National Park (BCNP) in relation to several revegetation and seedbed preparation techniques. In 1994, the BCNP Rim Road (2,683,2,770 m elevation) was reconstructed resulting in a 23.8-ha roadside disturbance. Revegetation comparisons included the influence of fertilizer on plant establishment and development, the success of indigenous versus commercial seed, seedling response to microsites, methods of erosion control, and shrub transplant growth and survival. Plant density, cover, and biomass were measured 1, 2, and 4 years after revegetation implementation (1995,1998). Seeded native grass cover and density were the highest on plots fertilized with nitrogen and phosphorus, but by the fourth growing season, differences between fertilized and unfertilized plots were minimal. Fertilizers may facilitate more rapid establishment of seeded grasses following disturbance, increasing soil cover and soil stability on steep and unstable slopes. However the benefit of increased soil nutrients favored few of the desired species resulting in lower species richness over time compared to unfertilized sites. Elymus trachycaulus (slender wheatgrass) plants raised from indigenous seed had higher density and cover than those from a commercial seed source 2 and 4 years after sowing. Indigenous materials may exhibit slow establishment immediately following seeding, but they will likely persist during extreme climatic conditions such as cold temperatures and relatively short growing seasons. Seeded grasses established better near stones and logs than on adjacent open microsites, suggesting that a roughened seedbed created before seeding can significantly enhance plant establishment. After two growing seasons, total grass cover between various erosion-control treatments was similar indicating that a variety of erosion reduction techniques can be utilized to reduce erosion. Finally shrub transplants showed minimal differential response to fertilizers, water-absorbing gels, and soil type. Simply planting and watering transplants was sufficient for the greatest plant survival and growth. [source]

Biophysical and human influences on plant species richness in grasslands: Comparing variegated landscapes in subtropical and temperate regions

S. Mcintyre
Abstract A survey of grassy woodlands in the Queensland subtropics was conducted, recording herbaceous species richness at 212 sites on three properties (2756 ha). A range of habitats typical of cattle grazing enterprises was sampled and site variables included lithology, slope position, tree density, soil disturbance, soil enrichment and grazing. Results were compared with a previously published survey of temperate grasslands. Lithology, slope position and tree density had relatively minor effects on plant species richness, although in both surveys there was some evidence of lower species richness on the more fertile substrates. Soil disturbance and soil enrichment significantly reduced the richness of native species in both surveys, while exotic species were insensitive (subtropics) or increased (temperate) with disturbance. Rare native species were highly sensitive to disturbances, including grazing, in the temperate study. Although some trends were similar for rare species in the subtropics, the results were not significant and there were complex interactions between grazing, lithology and slope position. Grazing did not have a negative effect on native species richness, except in the closely grazed patches within pastures, and then only on the most intensively developed property. At the scale recorded (30 m2), the native pastures, roadsides and stock routes sampled in the subtropics appear to be among the most species-rich grasslands ever reported, both nationally and globally. Native species richness was approximately 50% higher than the temperate survey figures across all the comparable habitats. While there are no clear reasons for this result, potential explanations are proposed. [source]

Rapid Recovery of Biomass, Species Richness, and Species Composition in a Forest Chronosequence in Northeastern Costa Rica

BIOTROPICA, Issue 5 2009
Susan G. Letcher
ABSTRACT Secondary forests are a vital part of the tropical landscape, and their worldwide extent and importance continues to increase. Here, we present the largest chronosequence data set on forest succession in the wet tropics that includes both secondary and old-growth sites. We performed 0.1 ha vegetation inventories in 30 sites in northeastern Costa Rica, including seven old-growth forests and 23 secondary forests on former pastures, ranging from 10 to 42 yr. The secondary forest sites were formerly pasture for intervals of <1,25 yr. Aboveground biomass in secondary forests recovered rapidly, with sites already exhibiting values comparable to old growth after 21,30 yr, and biomass accumulation was not impacted by the length of time that a site was in pasture. Species richness reached old-growth levels in as little as 30 yr, although sites that were in pasture for > 10 yr had significantly lower species richness. Forest cover near the sites at the time of forest establishment did not significantly impact biomass or species richness, and the species composition of older secondary forest sites (>30 yr) converged with that of old growth. These results emphasize the resilience of tropical ecosystems in this region and the high conservation value of secondary forests. [source]

Effects of Logging on the Diversity of Lianas in a Lowland Tropical Rain Forest in Hainan Island, South China

BIOTROPICA, Issue 5 2009
Yi Ding
ABSTRACT Lianas are an integral part of tropical forest ecosystems, which usually respond strongly to severe disturbances, such as logging. To compare the effect of different logging systems on the lianas diversity in tropical rain forest, we recorded all lianas and trees ,1 cm dbh in two 40-year-old forest sites after clear cutting (CC) and selective cutting (SC) as well as in an old-growth (OG) lowland tropical rain forest on Hainan Island in south China. Results showed that OG contained fewer liana stems and lower species richness (stems: 261, richness: 42 in 1 ha) than CC (606, 52) and SC (727, 50). However, OG had the highest Fisher's , diversity index (17.3) and species richness per stem (0.184). Species composition and dbh class distribution of lianas varied significantly with different logging systems. The mean liana dbh in OG (22.1 cm) were higher than those in CC (7.0 cm) and SC (10.4 cm). Stem twining was the most frequent climbing mechanism represented in the forest, as shown by the greatest species richness, abundance, basal area, and host tree number with this mechanism. The percent of host tree stems ,4 cm dbh hosting at least one liana individual in SC (39%) was higher than CC (23%) and OG (19.5%). Large host trees (dbh,60 cm) were more likely to be infested by lianas in SC and OG. Our study demonstrated that logging disturbance could significantly change the composition and structure of liana communities in the lowland tropical rain forest of south China. [source]

Brazilian Cerrado Folivore and Florivore Caterpillars: How Different are They?

BIOTROPICA, Issue 4 2009
Helena C. Morais
ABSTRACT Because of the large differences between flower buds and leaves as food resources we predict that florivore caterpillars compared with folivores would present: (1) higher degree of dietary specificity; (2) higher abundance; and (3) lower species richness. Based on emerged adults from caterpillars collected on leaves and inflorescences our results showed that the florivore fauna was strongly dominated by a few species with higher abundance and dietary specificity than the folivore fauna. [source]