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Homogenization of lepidopteran communities in intensively cultivated agricultural landscapes

Ekroos, Johan LU ; Heliölä, Janne and Kuussaari, Mikko (2010) In Journal of Applied Ecology 47(2). p.459-467
Abstract

Landscape simplification and habitat fragmentation may cause severe declines of less mobile and habitat specialist species and lead to biotic homogenization of species communities, but large-scale empirical evidence on biotic homogenization remains sparse. We sampled butterfly and day-active geometrid moth communities within 134 differently fragmented landscapes in Finland situated in five geographical regions. Overall species richness was partitioned into alpha and beta diversity and butterflies were assigned a species-specific mobility rank and habitat specificity score based on published ecological trait classifications. Alpha and beta diversity of butterflies and geometrid moths decreased with increasing agricultural intensity,... (More)

Landscape simplification and habitat fragmentation may cause severe declines of less mobile and habitat specialist species and lead to biotic homogenization of species communities, but large-scale empirical evidence on biotic homogenization remains sparse. We sampled butterfly and day-active geometrid moth communities within 134 differently fragmented landscapes in Finland situated in five geographical regions. Overall species richness was partitioned into alpha and beta diversity and butterflies were assigned a species-specific mobility rank and habitat specificity score based on published ecological trait classifications. Alpha and beta diversity of butterflies and geometrid moths decreased with increasing agricultural intensity, independently of geographical position. The responses were either linear or nonlinear with accelerating decrease of diversity when arable field cover exceeded 60%. Mobility rank and percentage generalists of butterfly communities increased linearly with increasing field cover. In landscapes with high agricultural intensity (>60% field coverage), the decrease in beta diversity of butterflies was strongly associated with an increasing proportion of habitat generalists and increasing average mobility in the butterfly communities. However, there was no such relationship in landscapes with low or moderate agricultural intensity. Synthesis and applications. We demonstrate that biotic homogenization caused by land-use change arises as a consequence of the loss of habitat specialists and poor dispersers in intensively cultivated landscapes with simplified landscape structure. Agri-environment schemes will therefore be inefficient in protecting high beta diversity unless they explicitly increase habitat availability and connectivity for habitat specialists and poor dispersers. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Agri-environment schemes, Agricultural intensity, Alpha and beta diversity, Biodiversity loss threshold, Butterflies, Community similarity, Day-active moths, Habitat generalist, Habitat specialist, Mobility
in
Journal of Applied Ecology
volume
47
issue
2
pages
9 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • Scopus:77951201035
ISSN
0021-8901
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01767.x
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
3ec2eeb7-1af3-4081-8a1e-cc3f01ba3156
date added to LUP
2016-05-10 13:56:28
date last changed
2017-02-19 04:38:16
@article{3ec2eeb7-1af3-4081-8a1e-cc3f01ba3156,
  abstract     = {<p>Landscape simplification and habitat fragmentation may cause severe declines of less mobile and habitat specialist species and lead to biotic homogenization of species communities, but large-scale empirical evidence on biotic homogenization remains sparse. We sampled butterfly and day-active geometrid moth communities within 134 differently fragmented landscapes in Finland situated in five geographical regions. Overall species richness was partitioned into alpha and beta diversity and butterflies were assigned a species-specific mobility rank and habitat specificity score based on published ecological trait classifications. Alpha and beta diversity of butterflies and geometrid moths decreased with increasing agricultural intensity, independently of geographical position. The responses were either linear or nonlinear with accelerating decrease of diversity when arable field cover exceeded 60%. Mobility rank and percentage generalists of butterfly communities increased linearly with increasing field cover. In landscapes with high agricultural intensity (&gt;60% field coverage), the decrease in beta diversity of butterflies was strongly associated with an increasing proportion of habitat generalists and increasing average mobility in the butterfly communities. However, there was no such relationship in landscapes with low or moderate agricultural intensity. Synthesis and applications. We demonstrate that biotic homogenization caused by land-use change arises as a consequence of the loss of habitat specialists and poor dispersers in intensively cultivated landscapes with simplified landscape structure. Agri-environment schemes will therefore be inefficient in protecting high beta diversity unless they explicitly increase habitat availability and connectivity for habitat specialists and poor dispersers. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.</p>},
  author       = {Ekroos, Johan and Heliölä, Janne and Kuussaari, Mikko},
  issn         = {0021-8901},
  keyword      = {Agri-environment schemes,Agricultural intensity,Alpha and beta diversity,Biodiversity loss threshold,Butterflies,Community similarity,Day-active moths,Habitat generalist,Habitat specialist,Mobility},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {459--467},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Journal of Applied Ecology},
  title        = {Homogenization of lepidopteran communities in intensively cultivated agricultural landscapes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01767.x},
  volume       = {47},
  year         = {2010},
}