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Linking the spatio-temporal distribution of an edaphic crane fly to its heterogeneous soil environment

Authors

  • MATTHEW J. PETERSEN,

    1. Department of Entomology, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, New York, U.S.A.
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  • MASANORI SETO,

    1. Department of Entomology, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, New York, U.S.A.
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  • DANIEL PECK

    1. Department of Entomology, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, New York, U.S.A.
    2. Grass Systems Entomology, LLC, Geneva, New York, U.S.A.
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Correspondence: Matthew J. Petersen, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, 630 West North Street, Geneva, NY 14456, U.S.A. E-mail: mpetersen13@gmail.com

Abstract

  1. The persistence of a species within a habitat patch is determined by the degree to which the habitat meets the species' biotic and abiotic requirements. Local-scale spatio-temporal population dynamics should be structured by the heterogeneity of these factors within the habitat patch.
  2. This study relates the abiotic (soil moisture) and biotic (plant community) factors defining a continuous turfgrass environment to the temporal population structure and spatial distribution of Tipula paludosa ontogenetic stages across 3 years of investigation.
  3. Populations declined greatly from first instar to pupa across all sites. Survival was greatest in soils with higher water-holding capacity. Intra-patch insect spatial distributions were associated with soil moisture but not with plant community distributions.
  4. A sink–source dynamic was evident. Low quality habitats could have high first instar populations, but these did not survive until pupation. Where high and low quality habitats intersected, there was a tendency for high quality habitats to be sparsely populated.
  5. Tipula paludosa spatio-temporal distributions are dynamic throughout the life cycle. This work suggests that population persistence within a habitat patch is determined by the quality of the habitat, largely defined by soil moisture, and the juxtaposition of high and low quality habitats within the patch.

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