Species richness of insects and mites on trees: expanding Southwood

Authors

  • Martin Brändle,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Museum of Natural History, Karlsruhe, Department of Zoology, Erbprinzen Str. 13, D–76133 Karlsruhe, Germany; and
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  • Roland Brandl

    1. UFZ Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle Ltd, Department of Community Ecology, Theodor-Lieser Str. 4, D–06120 Halle, Germany
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Martin Brändle, State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe, Department of Zoology, Erbprinzen Str. 13, D–76133 Karlsruhe, Germany Fax: + 49 (721) 1752110, Tel: + 49 (721) 1752138. E-mail:MartinBraendle@web.de

Summary

  • 1 Data on the species richness of phytophagous insects and mites associated with 25 tree genera occurring as natives in Germany were compiled and compared to data for British trees published by Kennedy & Southwood (1984). For tree genera occurring in Germany and Britain patterns of species richness and composition of phytophage faunas were similar.
  • 2 Present abundance of trees, their distributional history during the Holocene, morphological traits and taxonomic isolation were used to explain the variance of species richness and proportion of specialists across tree genera occurring as natives in Germany. Tree genera were either used as independent data points or to calculate phylogenetically independent contrasts. For the latter approach, a phylogeny for the tree genera was generated from published rbcL gene sequences. In general, the conclusions from the two types of analyses were similar.
  • 3 The species richness of phytophages on German tree genera were positively related to present tree abundance, tree height and tree abundance derived from pollen samples. For phylogenetically independent contrasts the length of time a genus was present since the end of the last glaciation also became significant.
  • 4 The proportions of specialists showed a negative relationship with present abundance of trees, a positive relationship with taxonomic isolation as well as the length of time of genus was present since the end of the last glaciation. For phylogenetically independent contrasts only the latter two variables remained significant.
  • 6 Overall the results support the species–area and the coevolutionary hypotheses.

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