Biodiversity indicator groups of tropical land-use systems: Comparing plants, birds, and insects

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:C. H. Schulze, Waltert, M., Kessler, P. J. A., Pitopang, R., Shahabuddin,, Veddeler, D., Muhlenberg, M., Gradstein, S. R., Leuschner, C., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Tscharntke, T.
Journal:Ecological Applications
Date Published:Oct
Accession Number:ISI:000224568800003
Keywords:Dung beetles

Tropical landscapes are dominated by land-use systems, but their contribution to the conservation of biodiversity is largely unknown. Since changes in biodiversity in response to human impact are known to differ widely among taxonomic groups and guilds there is a need for multidisciplinary collaboration of plant, vertebrate, and invertebrate experts. We used inventories of trees, understory plants, birds (subdivided into endemics, insectivores, frugivores/nectar feeders), butterflies (endemics, fruit feeders), and dung beetles in Sulawesi (Indonesia) to characterize a gradient from near-primary to secondary forests, agroforestry systems, and annual crops. As expected, overall species richness tended to decrease within this gradient of increasing habitat modification, but, in contrast to previous studies, we found the species richness between most taxonomic groups to be significantly correlated (36 out of 38 pairwise comparisons). However, on average only 48% of the variance could be explained (within the five main groups), and only a few taxonomic groups/guilds turned out to be good predictors for others: for example, trees for fruit- and nectar-feeding birds (88% explanation) and fruit-feeding butterflies (83%), endemic birds for endemic butterflies (72%), and frugivorous/nectar-feeding birds for fruit-feeding butterflies (67%). Although biodiversity of land-use systems showed taxonomic group- and guild-specific differences, most groups were affected in a similar way by habitat modification. Near-primary forest sites proved to be of principal importance for conservation; however, land-use systems such as secondary forests (for understory plants, birds, and butterflies) and agroforestry systems (for butterflies) supported relatively high numbers of species and might play a significant role for biodiversity conservation in tropical landscapes.

URL:<Go to ISI>://000224568800003
Alternate Journal:Ecol. Appl.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith