Despite their heterogeneous landscapes which are associated with strongly fluctuating climatic variables, Mediterranean ecosystems support more or less homogeneous faunas rich in both numbers of species and individuals. According to Vitali-Di Castri (1973), the faunas in Mediterranean regions were established prior to the development of the Mediterranean climate. Most arthropod species inhabiting regions with Mediterranean climates are therefore cosmopolitan (Table 7.1), while endemic species are somewhat rare (e.g. Sgardelis et al. 1981; Greenslade 1982; Bernini 1984; Poinsot-Balaguer 1988). In general, specific Mediterranean faunas such as those of dung beetles over the Iberian peninsula (Kirk and Ridsdill-Smith 1986) have rarely been recorded. Moreover, different Mediterranean habitats have species in common, and habitat-specific faunas have rarely been reported. For example, Warburg et al. (1980) recorded overlaps in the distribution of scorpion species over mesic and xeric Mediterranean regions as well as in the arid regions of Israel.
KeywordsHabitat Selection Detrended Correspondence Analysis Dung Beetle Oribatid Mite Mediterranean Ecosystem
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