Indicator Species and Scale of Observation

Indicator Species and Scale of Observation Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, 209 Tucker, Columbia, MO 65211, U.S.A., email weaver@biosci.mbp.missouri.edu Introduction Arthropods, because of their small size, diversity, and sensitivity to environmental variability, can be good indicators of habitat heterogeneity, ecosystem biodiversity, and environmental stress (Brown 1991; Hafernik 1992; Pearson & Cassola 1992; Kremen et al. 1993; Oliver 1993; Kremen 1994). Species richness among arthropod taxa can predict the richness of other taxa from an indicator (Pearson 1992), priority (Oliver 1993), or target (Kremen 1994) taxon. Erwin (1982) hypothesized that there were 30 million tropical arthropods, an estimate based partly on beetles comprising 40% of described taxa. May (1992) cited a lower estimate of six million, based on the percentage of British insects that were butterries (0.3%). He pointed out, however, that relationships among taxa could vary from place to place, leading to great uncertainty in estimates of total richness. One factor in that uncertainty is that estimates of richness are invariably tied to areas of a particular size. Consequently, richness depends on scale of observation. If different taxa accumulate species at different rates as area increases, then correlations among taxa, or taxon percentages of total species richness, will vary with area size. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

Indicator Species and Scale of Observation

Conservation Biology, Volume 9 (4) – Aug 1, 1995

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
D.O.I.
10.1046/j.1523-1739.1995.09040939.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, 209 Tucker, Columbia, MO 65211, U.S.A., email weaver@biosci.mbp.missouri.edu Introduction Arthropods, because of their small size, diversity, and sensitivity to environmental variability, can be good indicators of habitat heterogeneity, ecosystem biodiversity, and environmental stress (Brown 1991; Hafernik 1992; Pearson & Cassola 1992; Kremen et al. 1993; Oliver 1993; Kremen 1994). Species richness among arthropod taxa can predict the richness of other taxa from an indicator (Pearson 1992), priority (Oliver 1993), or target (Kremen 1994) taxon. Erwin (1982) hypothesized that there were 30 million tropical arthropods, an estimate based partly on beetles comprising 40% of described taxa. May (1992) cited a lower estimate of six million, based on the percentage of British insects that were butterries (0.3%). He pointed out, however, that relationships among taxa could vary from place to place, leading to great uncertainty in estimates of total richness. One factor in that uncertainty is that estimates of richness are invariably tied to areas of a particular size. Consequently, richness depends on scale of observation. If different taxa accumulate species at different rates as area increases, then correlations among taxa, or taxon percentages of total species richness, will vary with area size.

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Aug 1, 1995

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