Mixed effects of habitat fragmentation on species richness and community structure in a microarthropod microecosystem

Hoyle, Martin and Harborne, Alastair R. (2005) Mixed effects of habitat fragmentation on species richness and community structure in a microarthropod microecosystem. Ecological Entomology, 30 6: 684-691. doi:10.1111/j.0307-6946.2005.00738.x


Author Hoyle, Martin
Harborne, Alastair R.
Title Mixed effects of habitat fragmentation on species richness and community structure in a microarthropod microecosystem
Journal name Ecological Entomology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0307-6946
1365-2311
Publication date 2005-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.0307-6946.2005.00738.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 30
Issue 6
Start page 684
End page 691
Total pages 8
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Abstract 1. Theory is unclear about the optimal degree of isolation of habitat fragments where the aim is to maximise species richness. In a field-based microecosystem of Collembola and predatory and non-predatory mites, moss patches of the same total area were fragmented to varying degrees. The habitat was left for several months to allow the communities to approach a new state of equilibrium. 2. The species richness (in particular of predatory mites) of a given area of habitat was greater when it was part of a large mainland area than part of an island, in agreement with theory. 3. Conversely, species richness and abundance were largely unaffected by fragmentation of a fixed area of island habitat. In this case, it is suggested here that the advantages of several small patches (e.g. reduced impact of environmental stochasticity, wider range of habitats overall) were equally balanced by the advantages of a single large patch (e.g. reduced effect of demographic stochasticity, wider range of habitats within a single patch, reduced edge effect), or that both effects were small. 4. The shapes of rank-abundance curves were similar among the levels of fragmentation of a fixed area of island habitat, implying that fragmentation had little impact on community structure. Conversely, the species composition of non-predatory mites varied weakly, but significantly, by fragmentation.
Keyword Beta diversity
Conservation
Habitat heterogeneity
Metapopulation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Sat, 05 May 2012, 02:42:16 EST by Alastair Harborne on behalf of School of Biological Sciences