Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 203–214

Coupling impoverishment analysis and partitioning of beta diversity allows a comprehensive description of Odonata biogeography in the Western Mediterranean

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s13127-013-0161-3

Cite this article as:
Heiser, M., Dapporto, L. & Schmitt, T. Org Divers Evol (2014) 14: 203. doi:10.1007/s13127-013-0161-3


Islands host a subset of organisms occurring at their sources, and these assemblages are usually dominated by the most generalistic and dispersive species. In this study, we aim to identify which species are missing on islands and which ecological traits are responsible for differential occurrence. Then, we apply this information to beta diversity analyses. As a study group and area, we selected the Odonata in the Western Mediterranean. Based on the presence/absence of 109 species, we applied a series of analyses at both community and individual species level. The islands of the Balearics, Corsica, Sardinia and Malta are highly impoverished, but Sicily is not. Non-parametric multivariate adaptive regression splines predicted the occurrence of individual species on each island. Principal component analysis recognised differences between damselflies (Zygoptera) and dragonflies (Anisoptera), but members of the two suborders have similar occurrences on islands, and island occurrence is determined mostly by species’ frequencies at source and by their degree of generalism. Island species predicted correctly to occur on islands showed opposite characteristics to species unpredicted to occur and being present. The similarity pattern highlighted by turnover (Simpson index) is clearer than that obtained by non-partitioned beta diversity (Sørensen index). In fact, indicator value analyses revealed more indicator species for the Simpson compared to Sørensen index, and indicator species from islands where unpredicted to occur by impoverishment analysis. This suggests that island species predicted absent determine most of an island’s turnover pattern, thus encompassing fundamental biogeographic information. Due to their absence on nearest sources, they are also at higher risk of extinction, and deserving of special conservation effort.


DragonfliesIsland biogeographyCommunity levelSpecies assemblagesSpecies impoverishmentDispersal capacitySpecies-area relationship

Supplementary material

13127_2013_161_MOESM1_ESM.xls (102 kb)
Appendix S1(XLS 101 kb)
13127_2013_161_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (58 kb)
Appendix S2(PDF 57 kb)

Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Heiser
    • 1
  • Leonardo Dapporto
    • 2
  • Thomas Schmitt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biogeography, Faculty of Geography / GeosciencesTrier UniversityTrierGermany
  2. 2.Centre for Ecology, Environment and Conservation, Department of Biological and Medical SciencesOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK