Diversity of carrion visiting beetles at rural and urban sites

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:W. Ulrich, Zalewski, M., Komosiñski, K.
Journal:Community Ecology
Keywords:Carcass, Coleoptera, Destruents, Disturbance, Diversity, Homogenization, Predators, Species abundance

The question whether and to what degree urbanization causes a decrease in diversity of animal and plant
species and changes in community structure is still a matter of debate. While many studies used ground beetles, vertebrates,
and butterflies as assumed model taxa, little work has been done with other, particularly insect, taxa. Here we
report on rural and urban diversities of communities of carcass visiting destruent and predatory beetles (Coleoptera).
From 8 rural and 2 city sites, we sampled 15323 destruent beetles representing 58 species and 1871 predators from 43
species. We observed a reduced diversity and changes in community structure of both beetle guilds towards the city.
However, these changes were guild specific and our study gives no evidence that there are simple rules that govern rural
and urban patterns of diversity. Species abundance distributions did not significantly differ between the study sites. There
is also no evidence that the intermediate disturbance hypothesis might apply. Lastly, we found only little support for a
homogenizing effect of urban environments on carrion visiting beetles.

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