Reinier de Vries, J.P., Van Loon, E & Borges, P.A.V. (2021) A small-scale analysis of elevational species richness and beta diversity patterns of arthropods on an oceanic island (Terceira, Azores).Insects, 12(10), 936. DOI:10.3390/insects12100936 (IF2021 3,141; Q1 Entomology)
We present an analysis of arthropod diversity patterns in native forest communities along the small elevation gradient (0–1021 m a.s.l.) of Terceira island, Azores (Portugal). We analysed (1) how the alpha diversity of Azorean arthropods responds to increasing elevation and (2) differs between endemic, native non-endemic and introduced (alien) species, and (3) the contributions of species replacement and richness difference to beta diversity. Arthropods were sampled using SLAM traps between 2014 and 2018. We analysed species richness indicators, the Hill series and beta diversity partitioning (species replacement and species richness differences). Selected orders (Araneae, Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Psocoptera) and endemic, native non-endemic and introduced species were analysed separately. Total species richness shows a monotonic decrease with elevation for all species and Coleoptera and Psocoptera, but peaks at mid-high elevation for Araneae and endemic species. Introduced species richness decreases strongly with elevation especially. These patterns are most likely driven by climatic factors but also influenced by human disturbance. Beta diversity is, for most groups, the main component of total (gamma) diversity along the gradient but shows no relation with elevation. It results from a combined effect of richness decrease with elevation and species replacement in groups with many narrow-ranged species.