Species richness and complementarity of beetle faunas in a mediterranean-type biodiversity hotspot
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- Caterino, M.S. Biodivers Conserv (2007) 16: 3993. doi:10.1007/s10531-007-9202-6
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Regions of mediterranean-type climate represent most extra-tropical biodiversity hotspots, being both highly diverse and highly endangered. Though renowned for their plant richness, these regions’ insects constitute the bulk of their alpha diversities. Data on insect distribution and rarity are generally lacking for such regions, and are often considered unattainable. Intensive field inventories combined with statistical extrapolation methods can provide a sufficient understanding of alpha, beta, and gamma diversity components for application to conservation planning. These are essential to assessing the adequacy of a regional reserve network for the conservation of insect diversity. Here the beetle faunas of three protected areas spanning three major ecoregions in the California Floristic Province were inventoried and analyzed for species richness, complementarity, and uniqueness. These surveys produced collectively nearly 1,200 species from all three sites, estimated to be about 80% of their total faunas. Diversity was highly partitioned among sites, no one site containing more than 60% of the species. Dissimilarity was moderate to high for all comparisons, and all sites contained >40% unique species. Comparison of these results with those based on species of co-occurring plants reveal incongruent species richness but congruent similarities among sites. These results provide quantitative support to the perception that mediterranean insect faunas show high spatial variability. Along with online specimen level data on distribution, rarity, and seasonality, these results will help speed the incorporation of insect data into serious conservation planning.