Body size affects the spatial scale of habitat–beetle interactions


  • Jeffrey D. Holland,

  • Lenore Fahrig,

  • Naomi Cappuccino

J. D. Holland, Dept of Entomology, Purdue Univ., 901 W. State St., West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA ( – L. Fahrig and N. Cappuccino, Dept of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Carleton Univ., 1125 Colonel By Dr., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1S 5B6.


We used abundance data and the program Focus to determine the spatial scale at which 31 species of longhorned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) respond to forest habitat amount. We predicted that the spatial scale at which species respond would increase with body size, and that species using ephemeral larval habitat would respond at larger spatial scales than species using more stable larval habitat. We found that forest cover was a better measure of the amount of habitat for polyphagous species than for oligophagous species. Larger species of longhorned beetles responded to forest cover at larger scales. We did not find evidence that species using more ephemeral larval habitat conditions responded at larger scales than species developing in more stable habitat conditions. Our results highlight the importance of accurately describing habitat in studies of species–environment relationships. While scales of response may be species-specific, some generalizations across species are possible.