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The spatial distribution of beetles within the canopies of oak trees in Richmond Park, U.K.

Authors

  • N. E. Stork,

    1. Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management, James Cook University, Australia and
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  • P. M. Hammond,

    1. Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, London
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  • B. L. Russell,

    1. Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management, James Cook University, Australia and
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    • 3

      Current address: CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Australia.

  • W. L. Hadwen

    1. Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management, James Cook University, Australia and
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    • 4

      Current address: School of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Australia.


N. E. Stork, Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Queensland, Australia 4870. E-mail: Nigel.Stork@jcu.edu.au

Summary

1. 5054 adult beetles of 144 species were collected in a total of 696 1-m2 collecting trays by knockdown insecticide fogging of 36 different oak trees in closed canopy woodland at Richmond Park, U.K., with three of the trees sampled on each of 12 dates, at 2- to 3-week intervals, between April and October 1984.

2. In late spring (April/May), more individuals and species of beetles were collected in trays close to the trunks of trees than in trays more distant from the trunk. The reverse was the case in late September/October. Neither pattern prevailed in the intervening months.

3. Individual species exhibited a variety of patterns, with some species more abundant near the trunk, e.g. Leiopus nebulosus (L.), Strophosoma melanogrammum (Forster), Cylindronotus laevioctostriatus (Goeze), and Dromius agilis (Fabricius), and some less abundant near the trunk, e.g. Curculio pyrrhoceras (Marsham) and Rhynchaenus signifer (Creutzer). For Adalia decempunctata (L.), this preference changed with season. The observed species preferences for parts of a tree crown near or distant from the main trunk are discussed with reference to their known biologies.

4. No pronounced pattern of preference for north- or south-facing aspects of trees in closed canopy woodland was observed, however populations of some species exhibited patterns of within-tree distribution that correlate with compass angle; for one species, the ladybird Adalia decempunctata, this distribution changed with season and between colour morphs.

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