Molecular Tools for Assessing Saproxylic Insect Diversity

  • Ryan C. GarrickEmail author
  • Christophe BougetEmail author
Part of the Zoological Monographs book series (ZM, volume 1)


Little is known about the amount and spatial distribution of diversity within and among deadwood-dependent insect species and saproxylic communities as a whole. Molecular approaches offer a solution to these knowledge gaps, even in cases where species and genera are not yet formally described. Indeed, molecular data are broadly connectable among otherwise unrelated studies and directly complement the invaluable work of expert taxonomists. Here we provide an overview of the applications of molecular tools for assessing saproxylic insect diversity. To do this, we use an organizational framework based on the hierarchy of biological units, beginning with diversity at the intraspecific level, followed by species-level diversity within genera, and then close with community-level diversity. Within each of these sections, we consider the types of genetic data that have typically been used and provide an overview of research questions and findings from the primary literature.



R.C.G.’s work on North American saproxylic invertebrates was supported by start-up funds from the University of Mississippi and research grants from the American Philosophical Society, Bay and Paul Foundations, Conservation and Research Foundation, Eppley Foundation for Research, National Geographic Society, Systematics Research Fund, and Washington Biologists’ Field Club. We thank Mike Ulyshen for his generous invitation to contribute to this book series, as well as Chaz Hyseni, Fabien Laroche, Rodolphe Rougerie, Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde, Mike Ulyshen, and two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on earlier drafts.


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© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection.  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of MississippiOxfordUSA
  2. 2.National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (Irstea), UR EFNONogent-sur-VernissonFrance

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