The real pattern in the species-area relationship: Case study using ground beetles

T. Magura, Viktor Ködöböcz, B. Tóthmérész

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

A central issue in conservation biology and nature management is whether or notcharacteristic species of a given habitat type could be preserved by fragmented habitatpatches or not. The classical theory of island biogeography predicts that the number ofspecies supported by an island increases with the area of the island. However, there is asignificant difference between real and habitat islands. In real islands, the surroundinghabitat (ocean, sea, lake, river etc.) is usually inhospitable to organisms occurring onislands. In the case of habitat islands, the bordering habitat (the matrix) is usually lesshostile. Consequently, species richness of real islands is not influenced notably by thesurrounding habitat. This difference is increasingly emphasized when studying thepredictions of island biogeography theory on habitat islands. Clear distinction should bedrawn between specialist species that truly perceive the habitat patches as islands and areunable to survive in the surrounding matrix, and those species that occur in both thehabitat patch and the matrix (generalist species).In this case study, we demonstrated that depending on the ratio of specialist andgeneralist species in an assemblage, the species-area relationship may be positive ornegative. Ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) of sandy grassland patches werestudied in Eastern Hungary (Central Europe). The total number of ground beetle speciescorrelated negatively with grassland area. Based on this result, one can draw the(seriously false) conclusion that it is sufficient to conserve small patches because theysupport most species. This negative relationship was due to the increasing ratio ofgeneralist species with decreasing patch size. Analyzing the habitat specialist species(open-habitat species associated with sandy soils), the significant negative relationshipturned over, and became significantly positive; i.e. the ratio of habitat specialist speciesincreased with patch size, as predicted by the theory of island biogeography.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGrasslands: Ecology, Management and Restoration
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages29-36
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781606920244
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

Fingerprint

species-area relationship
beetle
habitat
island biogeography
patch size
matrix
grassland
habitat type
generalist
sandy soil
species richness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Magura, T., Ködöböcz, V., & Tóthmérész, B. (2008). The real pattern in the species-area relationship: Case study using ground beetles. In Grasslands: Ecology, Management and Restoration (pp. 29-36). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..

The real pattern in the species-area relationship : Case study using ground beetles. / Magura, T.; Ködöböcz, Viktor; Tóthmérész, B.

Grasslands: Ecology, Management and Restoration. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2008. p. 29-36.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Magura, T, Ködöböcz, V & Tóthmérész, B 2008, The real pattern in the species-area relationship: Case study using ground beetles. in Grasslands: Ecology, Management and Restoration. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., pp. 29-36.
Magura T, Ködöböcz V, Tóthmérész B. The real pattern in the species-area relationship: Case study using ground beetles. In Grasslands: Ecology, Management and Restoration. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 2008. p. 29-36
Magura, T. ; Ködöböcz, Viktor ; Tóthmérész, B. / The real pattern in the species-area relationship : Case study using ground beetles. Grasslands: Ecology, Management and Restoration. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2008. pp. 29-36
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