|Year of Publication:
|E. Romero-Alcaraz, Avila J. M.
|altitude, Aphodiidae, baited pitfall traps, col communities, dung beetle biodiversity, effect, elevational, gradients, habitat selection, Scarabaeidae, species richness
Elevation and habitat type are often important factors influencing insect communities. We used dung-baited pitfall traps to test the effect of both elevation and habitat type on scarabaeoid dung beetle communities in Sierra de Baza (southeastern Iberian Peninsula). Habitat selection of species and variations of diversity in the assemblages according to habitat type and elevation were quantified. Both abundance and diversity were positively correlated with elevation, and habitat type was also relevant in structuring the assemblage. Similarities among assemblages in different biotopes were generally low, especially between closed habitats and open habitats, the latter showing higher abundance and diversity. Most species were less abundant in closed habitats, but some generalist species showed no habitat selection. We conclude that, although open habitats appear more adequate for dung beetles, the existence of different patterns within the assemblage probably reflects the importance of maintaining a high landscape heterogeneity in order to preserve dung beetle biodiversity.
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