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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 24, Issue 11, pp 2751–2767 | Cite as

Phylogenetic diversity of regional beetle faunas at high latitudes: patterns, drivers and chance along ecological gradients

  • Jani HeinoEmail author
  • Janne Alahuhta
  • Simone Fattorini
Original Paper

Abstract

Patterns in phylogenetic diversity are poorly known for many taxonomic groups, including hyperdiverse insect taxa. We contrasted patterns in the species richness and phylogenetic diversity of provincial beetle faunas in northern Europe (54°N to 71°N). We found that species richness and phylogenetic diversity varied rather predictably along ecogeographical gradients, with species richness and a proxy measure of phylogenetic diversity, average taxonomic distinctness (AvTD), decreasing from south to north and being strongly positively related to maximum temperature. A proxy measure of variation in phylogenetic diversity, variation in taxonomic distinctness (VarTD), was also strongly related to maximum temperature, but the relationship was negative. This was a novel finding, showing a reversed latitudinal gradient in biodiversity. In more than half of the provinces, AvTD value was significantly less than expected by chance. Also, more than half of the provinces showed significantly higher VarTD values than expected based on random draws of species. Our results showed that the phylogenetic diversity of beetle faunas is rather strongly associated with climatic gradients at high latitudes. Given that climatic variability and temperature extremes are correlated with phylogenetic diversity, climate change is likely to modify strongly this facet of diversity. Average phylogenetic diversity is likely to increase in the northernmost parts of the study area if climate and vegetation become more suitable for many southern beetle species. Our statistical approach to test chance expectations based on random draws of species from larger-scale species pool is highly flexible in tackling this question when true phylogenies are not available.

Keywords

Climatic variability Precipitation variability Species richness Taxonomic distinctness Temperature 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the Academy of Finland for financial support, and Maija Lantto and Riikka Savolainen for compiling the beetle data.

Supplementary material

10531_2015_963_MOESM1_ESM.doc (148 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 147 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Environment Centre, BiodiversityFinnish Environment InstituteOuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  3. 3.Azorean Biodiversity Group (Center for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes – CE3C) and Platform for Enhancing Ecological Research and Sustainability (PEERS)Universidade dos AçoresAngra Do Heroísmo, TerceiraPortugal

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