Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Large-scale experimental landscapes reveal distinctive effects of patch shape and connectivity on arthropod communities

  • Research Article
  • Published:
Landscape Ecology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

The size, shape, and isolation of habitat patches can affect organism behavior and population dynamics, but little is known about the relative role of shape and connectivity in affecting ecological communities at large spatial scales. Using six sampling sessions from July 2001 until August 2002, we collected 33,685 arthropods throughout seven 12-ha experimental landscapes consisting of clear-cut patches surrounded by a matrix of mature pine forest. Patches were explicitly designed to manipulate connectivity (via habitat corridors) independently of area and edge effects. We found that patch shape, rather than connectivity, affected ground-dwelling arthropod richness and beta diversity (i.e. turnover of genera among patches). Arthropod communities contained fewer genera and exhibited less turnover in high-edge connected and high-edge unconnected patches relative to low-edge unconnected patches of similar area. Connectivity, rather than patch shape, affected the evenness of ground-dwelling arthropod communities; regardless of patch shape, high-edge connected patches had lower evenness than low- or high-edge unconnected patches. Among the most abundant arthropod orders, increased richness in low-edge unconnected patches was largely due to increased richness of Coleoptera, whereas Hymenoptera played an important role in the lower evenness in connected patches and patterns of turnover. These findings suggest that anthropogenic habitat alteration can have distinct effects on ground-dwelling arthropod communities that arise due to changes in shape and connectivity. Moreover, this work suggests that corridors, which are common conservation tools that change both patch shape and connectivity, can have multiple effects on arthropod communities via different mechanisms, and each effect may alter components of community structure.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Amarasekare P, Hoopes MF, Mouquet N, Holyoak M (2004) Mechanisms of coexistence in competitive metacommunities. Am Nat 164:310–326

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Andersen AN (1995a) A classification of Australian ant communities, based on functional groups which parallel plant life-forms in relation to stress and disturbance. J Biogeogr 22:15–29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Andersen AN (1995b) Measuring more of biodiversity: genus richness as a surrogate for species richness in Australian ant faunas. Biol Conserv 73:39–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Anderson MJ, Ellingsen KE, McArdle BH (2006) Multivariate dispersion as a measure of beta diversity. Ecol Lett 9:683–693

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Anderson MJ, Gorley RN, Clarke KR (2008) PERMANOVA+ for PRIMER: guide to software and statistical methods. PRIMER-E Ltd., Plymouth

    Google Scholar 

  • Borror DJ, Triplehorn CA, Johnson NF (1989) An introduction to the study of insects. Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia

    Google Scholar 

  • Brudvig LA, Damschen EI, Tewksbury JJ, Haddad NM, Levey DJ (2009) Landscape connectivity promotes plant biodiversity spillover into non-target habitats. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:9328–9332

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cardoso P, Silva I, de Oliviera NG, Serrano ARM (2003) Higher taxa surrogates of spider (Araneae) diversity and their efficiency in conservation. Biol Conserv 117:453–459

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chen J, Saunders SC, Crow TR, Naiman RJ, Brosofske KD, Mroz GD, Brookshire BL, Franklin JF (1999) Microclimate in forest ecosystem and landscape ecology. Bioscience 49:288–297

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clarke KR, Gorley RN (2006) PRIMER v6: user manual/tutorial. PRIMER-E Ltd., Plymouth

    Google Scholar 

  • Collinge SK (2000) Effects of grassland fragmentation on insect species loss, colonization, and movement patterns. Ecology 81:2211–2226

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Collinge SK, Palmer TM (2002) The influences of patch shape and boundary contrast on insect response to fragmentation in California grasslands. Landscape Ecol 17:647–656

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Damschen EI, Haddad NM, Orrock JL, Tewksbury JJ, Levey DJ (2006) Corridors increase plant species richness at large scales. Science 313:1284–1286

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Damschen EI, Brudvig LA, Haddad NM, Levey DJ, Orrock JL, Tewksbury JJ (2008) The movement ecology and dynamics of plant communities in fragmented landscapes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105:19078–19083

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Davies KF, Margules CR (1998) Effects of habitat fragmentation on carabid beetles: experimental evidence. J Anim Ecol 67:460–471

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davies KF, Melbourne BA, Margules CR (2001) Effects of within- and between-patch processes on community dynamics in a fragmentation experiment. Ecology 82:1830–1846

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Debinski DM, Holt RD (2000) A survey and overview of habitat fragmentation experiments. Conserv Biol 14:342–355

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Didham RK, Hammond PM, Lawton JH, Eggleton P, Stork NE (1998) Beetle species responses to tropical forest fragmentation. Ecol Monogr 68:295–323

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dobson A, Bradshaw AD, Baker AJM (1997) Hopes for the future: restoration ecology and conservation biology. Science 277:515–522

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dunning JB, Danielson BJ, Pulliam HR (1992) Ecological processes that affect populations in complex landscapes. Oikos 65:169–175

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ewers RM, Didham RK (2008) Pervasive impact of large-scale edge effects on a beetle community. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105:5426–5429

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Fagan WE, Cantrell RS, Cosner C (1999) How habitat edges change species interactions. Am Nat 153:165–182

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fahrig L (2003) Effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 34:487–515

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fischer J, Lindenmayer DB (2007) Landscape modification and habitat fragmentation: a synthesis. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 16:265–280

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fletcher RJ Jr, Ries L, Battin J, Chalfoun AD (2007) The role of habitat area and edge in fragmented landscapes: definitively distinct or inevitably intertwined? Can J Zool 85:1017–1030

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Forman RTT (1995) Land mosaics: the ecology of landscapes and regions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Fried JH, Levey DJ, Hogsette JA (2005) Habitat corridors function as both drift fences and movement conduits for dispersing flies. Oecologia 143:645–651

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gilbert F, Gonzalez A, Evans-Freke I (1998) Corridors maintain species richness in the fragmented landscapes of a microecosystem. Proc R Soc B 265:577–582

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Golden DM, Crist TO (2000) Experimental effects of habitat fragmentation on rove beetles and ants: patch area or edge? Oikos 90:525–538

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gonzalez A, Lawton JH, Gilbert FS, Blackburn TM, Evans-Freke I (1998) Metapopulation dynamics, abundance, and distribution in a microecosystem. Science 281:2045–2047

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gotelli NJ, Colwell RK (2001) Quantifying biodiversity: procedures and pitfalls in the measurement and comparison of species richness. Ecol Lett 4:379–391

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gotelli NJ, Entsminger GL (2000) EcoSim: null models software for ecology. Acquired Intelligence Inc./Kesey-Bear, Jericho

    Google Scholar 

  • Grez AA, Prado E (2000) Effect of plant patch shape and surrounding vegetation on the dynamics of predatory Coccinellids and their prey Brevicoryne brassicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Environ Entomol 29:1244–1250

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haddad NM, Baum KA (1999) An experimental test of corridor effects on butterfly densities. Ecol Appl 9:623–633

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haddad NM, Bowne DR, Cunningham A, Danielson BJ, Levey DJ, Sargent S, Spira T (2003) Corridor use by diverse taxa. Ecology 84:609–615

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haddad NM, Hudgens B, Damschen EI, Levey DJ, Orrock JL, Tewksbury JJ, Weldon AJ (2011) Assessing positive and negative ecological effects of corridors. In: Liu J, Hull V, Morzillo AT, Wiens JA (eds) Sources, sinks, and sustainability. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp 475–503

  • Harrison S, Bruna E (1999) Habitat fragmentation and large-scale conservation: what do we know for sure? Ecography 22:225–232

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haynes KJ, Cronin JT (2003) Matrix composition affects the spatial ecology of a prairie planthopper. Ecology 84:2856–2866

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hilty JA, Lidicker WZ Jr, Merenlender AM (2006) Corridor ecology: the science and practice of linking landscapes for biodiversity conservation. Island Press, Washington

    Google Scholar 

  • Holldobler B, Wilson EO (1990) The ants. Belknap Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Hunter MD (2002) Landscape structure, habitat fragmentation, and the ecology of insects. Agric For Entomol 4:159–166

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hurlbert SH (1971) The nonconcept of species diversity: a critique and alternative parameters. Ecology 52:577–586

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Izhaki I, Levey DJ, Silva WR (2003) Effects of prescribed fire on an ant community in Florida pine savanna. Ecol Entomol 28:439–448

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Janzen DH (1983) No park is an island—increase in interference from outside as park size decreases. Oikos 41:402–410

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kaspari M, Alonso L, O’Donnell S (2000) Three energy variables predict ant abundance at a geographical scale. Proc R Soc B 267:485–489

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Leibold MA, Holyoak M, Mouquet N, Amarasekare P, Chase JM, Hoopes MF, Holt RD, Shurin JB, Law R, Tilman D, Loreau M, Gonzalez A (2004) The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology. Ecol Lett 7:601–613

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leonard JG, Bell RT (1999) Northeastern tiger beetles: a field guide to tiger beetles of New England and eastern Canada. CRC Press, Boca Raton

    Google Scholar 

  • MacArthur RH, Wilson EO (1967) The theory of island biogeography. Princeton University Press, Princeton

    Google Scholar 

  • Öckinger E, Smith HG (2008) Do corridors promote dispersal in grassland butterflies and other insects? Landscape Ecol 23:27–40

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Orrock JL, Damschen EI (2005) Corridors cause differential seed predation. Ecol Appl 15:793–798

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Orrock JL, Danielson BJ, Burns MJ, Levey DJ (2003) Spatial ecology of predator-prey interactions: corridors and patch shape influence seed predation. Ecology 84:2589–2599

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Porter SD, Tschinkel WR (1987) Foraging in Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), effects of weather and season. Environ Entomol 16:802–808

    Google Scholar 

  • Retana J, Cerdá X (2000) Patterns of diversity and composition of Mediterranean ground ant communities tracking spatial and temporal availability in the thermal environment. Oecologia 123:436–444

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ries L, Fletcher RJ, Battin J, Sisk TD (2004) Ecological responses to habitat edges: mechanisms, models, and variability explained. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:491–522

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith B, Wilson JB (1996) A consumer’s guide to evenness indices. Oikos 76:70–82

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Steffan-Dewenter I, Tscharntke T (2002) Insect communities and biotic interactions on fragmented calcareous grasslands—a mini review. Biol Conserv 104:275–284

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stiles JH, Jones RH (1998) Distribution of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, in road and powerline habitats. Landscape Ecol 13:335–346

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suarez AV, Bolger DT, Case TJ (1998) Effects of fragmentation and invasion on native ant communities in coastal southern California. Ecology 79:2041–2056

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Taylor PD, Fahrig L, Henein K, Merriam G (1993) Connectivity is a vital element of landscape structure. Oikos 68:571–573

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tewksbury JJ, Levey DJ, Haddad NM, Sargent S, Orrock JL, Weldon A, Danielson BJ, Brinkerhoff J, Damschen EI, Townsend P (2002) Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:12923–12926

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Turner MG (1989) Landscape ecology: the effect of pattern on process. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 20:171–197

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Pelt A, Gentry JB (1985) The ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina. Savannah River Site, Aiken

    Google Scholar 

  • Vitousek PM, Mooney HA, Lubchenco J, Melillo JM (1997) Human domination of Earth’s ecosystems. Science 277:494–499

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Yaccobi G, Ziv Y, Rosenzweig ML (2007) Effects of interactive scale-dependent variables on beetle diversity patterns in a semi-arid agricultural landscape. Landscape Ecol 22:687–703

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This study was made possible by J. Blake, E. Olson, Timber and Fire Crews, and other members of the USDA Forest Service Savannah River, who were instrumental in the construction of the experimental landscapes. We thank I. Izhaki, D. Levey, and W. Silva for use of their data set, J. Resasco for providing identification of polygyne S. invicta, and J. Trager for sharing his knowledge of arthropod ecology. We thank N. Haddad for leadership in the construction of the experimental landscapes. D. Keufler, T. Slack, T. Cary, and M. Beck provided excellent field assistance. The manuscript was improved by comments from I. Billick, W. Clark, E. Damschen, N. Gotelli, N. Haddad, D. Levey, S. Porter, J. Resasco, and J. Watling. Funding and support were provided by the Department of Energy-Savannah River Operations office through the U. S. Forest Service Savannah River under Interagency Agreement DE-IA09-00SR22188. Funding also provided by an NSF REU Supplement to BJD and GRC, NSF Grant to BJD (DEB-9907365).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to John L. Orrock.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Orrock, J.L., Curler, G.R., Danielson, B.J. et al. Large-scale experimental landscapes reveal distinctive effects of patch shape and connectivity on arthropod communities. Landscape Ecol 26, 1361–1372 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-011-9656-5

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-011-9656-5

Keywords

Navigation