Seasonal Variation in Spatial Organization of a Darkling Beetle (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) Community

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Abstract

We studied the spatial organization of a darkling beetle community in different seasons to understand the variation in environmental requirements of individual species and to examine seasonal changes in the beetle community response to the complex of environmental variables. Most tenebrionid species changed their environmental selection seasonally. Mechanical soil composition strongly affected seasonal distribution of 6 of 13 common species. Abundance of annual vegetation and canopy cover influenced seasonal distribution of 8 and 7 species, respectively. The character of seasonal shifts was linked neither with taxonomical affiliation of a species nor with its annual cycle of abundance. The pattern of division of ecological space by tenebrionids was relatively stable from season to season. Patterns of the general parameters of the tenebrionid community (abundance, number of coexisting species, and diversity) in the ecological space were seasonally variable. Spatial variation of these parameters was most pronounced in spring and autumn and least expressed in winter and summer. The expression of spatial guild structure of the community was strong in spring, weak in summer and autumn, and not detectable in winter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-190
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997

Keywords

  • Community
  • Environmental variables
  • Seasonal changes
  • Spatial structure
  • Tenebrionidae

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