Diversity of Ichneumonidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) in a protected area of Central Spain: What are we protecting?
- Invertebrates are rarely considered when designing protected areas, and their biodiversity patterns in these areas are almost always unknown.
- We studied the spatial and temporal diversity of Ichneumonidae in five selected habitats of Cabañeros National Park: grazing pastureland, shrubland, and three types of woodland (Pyrenean oak, cork oak, and ash woodlands). We focused on 11 subfamilies, with species classified into trophic guilds.
- The highest diversity and richness of Ichneumonidae were found in ash woodland and pastureland, each with similar structural habitat complexity. Species turnover between habitats was about 50% and it contributed more to the total species richness than the fauna inherent to the habitats, though less to the total species diversity.
- Shrubland is transitional between pasture and woodland and Ichneumonidae assemblages in this habitat are rather different in their species composition from the others.
- Parasitoids of phytophages are well represented in all habitats; other guilds are more related to specific habitats, e.g. parasitoids of xylophages in shrubland.
- We suggest that shrub may be invading and isolating some of the woodlands. The mosaic landscape of the National Park, including open areas, is essential to ensure the conservation of parasitoids.