Species richness in Mediterranean agroecosystems: spatial and temporal analysis for biodiversity conservation

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:J. Zamora, Verdu, J. R., Galante, E.
Journal:Biological Conservation
Keywords:agroecosystem, biodiversity, conservation, Dung beetles, Mountainous Mediterranean, Temporal turnover measures

We used dung beetles as an indicator group to identify the most important habitats for bio- diversity conservation in a Mediterranean traditional agroecosystem. The relationships between traditional grazing and farming activities and biodiversity were analysed by com- paring species richness and temporal turnover across three different habitat types, defined according to vegetation structure and human land use. In this study, both spatial (land- scape, among-habitats) and temporal (intra-annual, seasonal) analyses were contemplated at mesoscale. The measurement and use of temporal beta diversity (i.e. an index of temporal species turnover) in conservation biology showed that it is a simple method to characterize and compare different habitat species-assemblages, particularly when time seems to be a sig- nificant factor in explaining biodiversity features. Our results showed open mosaic areas as the richest and most temporally heteroge- neous habitats. We suggest the maintenance of traditional human activities carried out in these areas, since they have been a significant diversification agent, to avoid the loss of the high Mediterranean biological diversity.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith