Most studies have attempted to identify the major environmental factors responsible for elevational variations in species richness. Such studies have been mainly performed in temperate and tropical areas, whereas the mediterranean biome has been substantially neglected. The aim of this paper was to disentangle the effects of available area, mid-domain constraints, and the environmental tolerance of species, on the altitudinal distribution of tenebrionid beetles in a Mediterranean region. A comprehensive faunistic database was used to assess the elevational distribution of tenebrionids in Latium (Central Italy). Variations in species richness, beta diversity and nestedness were analysed in association with variation in species ranges and midpoints. Variation in species richness was contrasted with patterns expected on the basis of the mid domain effect (MDE) and available surface area. After correcting for differences in area availability due to the conical shape of mountains, an unexpected triphasic pattern emerged: (1) at low altitudes, species richness was higher than expected on the basis of the effect of area and the MDE; (2) at around 800 m elevation, there is an abrupt change in species assemblages, and richness values fit those predicted by the MDE; (3) a new dramatic change occurred at 1,700 m, with tenebrionid assemblages composed of a small number of mainly eurytopic species. The integrated approach used in this study demonstrates that neither MDE nor monotonic patterns fully explain the observed diversity patterns. Variations in species ranges indicate that the elevational gradient filters species according to their ecological tolerance.

Disentangling the effects of available area, mid-domain constraints, and species environmental tolerance on the altitudinal distribution of tenebrionid beetles in a Mediterranean area

FATTORINI, SIMONE
2014-01-01

Abstract

Most studies have attempted to identify the major environmental factors responsible for elevational variations in species richness. Such studies have been mainly performed in temperate and tropical areas, whereas the mediterranean biome has been substantially neglected. The aim of this paper was to disentangle the effects of available area, mid-domain constraints, and the environmental tolerance of species, on the altitudinal distribution of tenebrionid beetles in a Mediterranean region. A comprehensive faunistic database was used to assess the elevational distribution of tenebrionids in Latium (Central Italy). Variations in species richness, beta diversity and nestedness were analysed in association with variation in species ranges and midpoints. Variation in species richness was contrasted with patterns expected on the basis of the mid domain effect (MDE) and available surface area. After correcting for differences in area availability due to the conical shape of mountains, an unexpected triphasic pattern emerged: (1) at low altitudes, species richness was higher than expected on the basis of the effect of area and the MDE; (2) at around 800 m elevation, there is an abrupt change in species assemblages, and richness values fit those predicted by the MDE; (3) a new dramatic change occurred at 1,700 m, with tenebrionid assemblages composed of a small number of mainly eurytopic species. The integrated approach used in this study demonstrates that neither MDE nor monotonic patterns fully explain the observed diversity patterns. Variations in species ranges indicate that the elevational gradient filters species according to their ecological tolerance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/111676
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