Arthropod communities on creosote bush ( Larrea tridentata) in desert patches of varying degrees of urbanization
Received: 06 November 2003 Accepted: 15 March 2004 DOI:
Cite this article as: Rango, J. Biodivers Conserv (2005) 14: 2185. doi:10.1007/s10531-004-4669-x Abstract
The goal of the present study was to investigate the influence of urbanization on the richness, abundance and composition of arthropod communities associated with creosote bush,
Larrea tridentata [DC] Cov., in Phoenix, Arizona. Arthropod communities were sampled in two desert types varying in degree of urbanization including fringe deserts (relatively undisturbed expanses of desert outside of Phoenix) and urban deserts (patches of desert within the urban core of Phoenix). Two studies were conducted including (1) a seasonal study (conducted at two fringe desert and two urban desert sites over a nine-month period), and (2) a snapshot study (conducted at multiple fringe desert and urban desert sites over an eight-day period). Results from both studies demonstrated that overall richness and abundance of creosote bush arthropod communities were lower in urban deserts than in fringe deserts. Additionally, creosote bush arthropod community composition varied greatly, both temporally and spatially. These differences in richness and abundance between fringe deserts and urban deserts suggest that the creosote bush arthropod community may be a useful focal biotic community to monitor when assaying for environmental change due to urbanization in arid habitats. Key words Arthropod communities Community composition Creosote bush Larrea tridentata Sonoran desert Urbanization References Abensperg, M.T., Smith, T.G., Arnold, G.W., Steven, D.E. 1996 The effects of habitat fragmentation and livestock-grazing on animal communities in remnants of gimlet Eucalyptus salubris woodland in the Western Australian wheatbelt. I. Arthropods Journal of Applied Ecology 33 1281 1301 Google Scholar Andersen, A.N. 1993 Ants as indicators of restoration success at a uranium mine in tropical Australia Restoration Ecology 1 156 167 Google Scholar
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