Trait-specific effects of habitat isolation on carabid species richness and community composition in managed grasslands
Article first published online: 19 AUG 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Insect Conservation and Diversity © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society
Insect Conservation and Diversity
Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 9–18, February 2012
How to Cite
WAMSER, S., DIEKÖTTER, T., BOLDT, L., WOLTERS, V. and DAUBER, J. (2012), Trait-specific effects of habitat isolation on carabid species richness and community composition in managed grasslands. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 5: 9–18. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2010.00110.x
- Issue published online: 10 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 19 AUG 2010
- Accepted 14 July 2010 First published online 19 August 2010 Editor/associate editor: Simon R. Leather
- Agricultural landscapes;
- dispersal potential
1. Isolation of natural and semi-natural habitats, a consequence of increasing management intensification, has been identified as a major threat to the diversity of many taxa in agricultural landscapes. Yet, it is increasingly apparent that the effects of habitat isolation vary not only among distantly but also closely related taxa, depending on their respective ecological traits.
2. We studied the effects of habitat isolation on carabid beetles with different dispersal potential in common perennial grasslands. The grasslands belonged to three isolation classes: (i) situated in a continuous belt of grasslands, (ii) in an arable matrix but connected to the continuous belt via corridors or (iii) completely isolated in the arable matrix.
3. Neither total carabid species richness nor richness of carabids with high dispersal potential was affected by habitat isolation. In contrast, richness of carabid species with low dispersal potential was more than two times lower in isolated than in continuous grasslands. Communities of isolated sites were characterised by species with high dispersal potential whereas species with low dispersal potential were associated with continuous or well connected grasslands.
4. Our results revealed trait-specific responses of carabids to habitat isolation and highlight the need for considering these differences when predicting effects of landscape structure on carabid diversity. Grassy corridors seemed to assist the dispersal of carabids with low dispersal potential, thereby allowing these species to persist also in non-continuous but connected habitats. Thus, corridors represent a suitable measure to maintain the diversity of carabids in spatially structured grasslands in agricultural landscapes.