The use of indicator groups for measuring biodiversity as related to community structure and function

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1997
Authors:M. E. Favila, Halffter G.
Journal:Acta Zoologica Mexicana Nueva Serie
Keywords:Animalia-, Animals-, Arthropoda-, Arthropods-, Biodiversity-, Coleoptera-: Insecta-, dung-beetles, ecological-analysis: analytical-method, human, Insects-, Invertebrata-, Invertebrates-, Methods-and-Techniques, Scarabaeinae- (Coleoptera-): indicator-group

In this study we discuss the reasons for using indicator groups to measure biodiversity at the species level ("organismal diversity" sensu Harper and Hawksworth). We further explore our previous proposals for the use of dung beetles belonging to the subfamily Scarabaeinae (Insecta: Coleoptera) as an indicator group for studying the types of communities found in tropical forests and derived formations, particularly those created by human activity. We present a method for obtaining quantifiable information that allows comparative studies to be done, as well as an analysis of the effects of human activities that result in the alteration, fragmentation and destruction of natural communities. Although emphasis is placed on the indicator group and the communities selected, we propose that this analysis of biodiversity can be used with other groups and in different community types. The arguments we present for the use of indicator groups can be applied to different ways of studying biodiversity at the species level, however this study focuses on presenting appropriate methodology for ecological analysis; that is, for the study of local biodiversity as an element for the interpretation of community structure and function.

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