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Restoring Arthropod Communities in Coastal Sage Scrub

Authors

  • J. C. Burger,

    1. Department of Entomology, University of California–Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A.
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  • R. A. Redak,

    1. Department of Entomology, University of California–Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A.
    2. Center for Conservation Biology, University of California–Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A.
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  • E. B. Allen,

    1. Center for Conservation Biology, University of California–Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California–Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A.
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  • J. T. Rotenberry,

    1. Center for Conservation Biology, University of California–Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Biology, University of California–Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A.
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  • M. F. Allen

    1. Center for Conservation Biology, University of California–Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Biology, University of California–Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Abstract: Coastal sage scrub in California and northern Baja California has been severely affected by urban expansion and is, in places, badly in need of restoration. We measured arthropod abundance and diversity on one of its primary components, the native shrub Artemisia californica ( Asteraceae; California sage ), to evaluate whether arthropod communities had become reestablished after a restoration attempt. Arthropods were collected from shrubs on planted and undisturbed sites 6 years after a restoration attempt. Fifty-seven families and 146 adult morphospecies were found. Family and species richness were greater on planted shrubs, but arthropod diversity, once differences in species' abundances were corrected for, was greater on naturally established plants. Common arthropods occurred at similar densities regardless of planting history. The proportion of single occurrences of a species, in contrast, was significantly greater on naturally established shrubs. Planted shrubs supported more predators relative to herbivores than did naturally established shrubs. Planted shrubs were still distinguishable from naturally established ones in that they were both more isolated from neighboring shrubs and surrounded by more invasive weeds. We suggest that small-scale restoration attempts can be successful at restoring basic elements of surrounding biodiversity. They do create a different community, however, both taxonomically and functionally, and are at least initially less able to support rare species.

Abstract

Resumen: El matorral costero de salvia en California y en el norte de Baja California ha sido severamente afectado por la expansión urbana y en algunos lugares, se encuentra con gran necesidad de restauración. Medimos la abundancia y diversidad de artrópodos en uno de sus principales componentes, el arbusto nativo, Artemisia californica ( Asteraceae; salvia californiana ), para determinar si las comunidades de artrópodos se habían restablecido después de un esfuerzo de restauración. Se recolectaron artrópodos de arbustos en sitios plantados y no perturbados en los que se había hecho un intento de restauración seis años antes. Se encontraron cincuenta y siete familias y 146 morfoespecies adultas. La riqueza de familias y especies fue mayor en los arbustos plantados, pero la diversidad de artrópodos fue mayor en plantas establecidas de manera natural, una vez corregida para tomar en cuenta las diferencias en abundancia de especies. Los artrópodos comunes ocurrieron en densidades similares, independientemente de la historia de plantación. La proporción de presencias de un solo ejemplar de una especie, en contraste, fue significativamente mayor en arbustos establecidos de manera natural. Los arbustos plantados albergaron una mayor proporción de depredadores con respecto a herbívoros que los arbustos establecidos naturalmente. Los arbustos plantados se distinguían de los establecidos de manera natural dado que estaban más aislados de los arbustos vecinos y estaban rodeados de más hierbas invasoras. Sugerimos que los esfuerzos de restauración a pequeña escala pueden ser exitosos para restaurar elementos básicos de la biodiversidad circundante. Sin embargo, estos esfuerzos pueden crear una comunidad diferente, tanto taxonómica como funcionalmente que, por lo menos al principio, es menos capaz de albergar especies raras.

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