The vertical structure and the tree species in a forest have a strong influence on the communities of wood-inhabiting (xylobiont) beetles. However, since little is known how this influence varies between common and rare beetle species, doctoral researcher Nora Haack compared alpha and beta diversity patterns of both, common and rare species in the canopy of the Leipzig floodplain forest. The understorey displayed a significantly higher number of common species than the tree canopy. Conversely, the canopy harbored a higher number of rare species. Moreover, vertical canopy structure had a higher influence on the beetle communities than tree species. Essentially, her results emphasize that studying biodiversity of xylobiont beetles carried out in the understorey alone does not allow to draw conclusions on their biodiversity and overall community structure of in the whole canopy. Thus, biodiversity assessment in forests should include the canopy in sampling schemes whenever possible.
Response of Common and Rare Beetle Species to Tree Species and Vertical Stratification in a Floodplain Forest
Haack N, Borges PAV, Grimm-Seyfarth A, Schlegel M, Wirth C, Bernhard D, Brunk I, Henle K, Pereira HM
Insects. 2022 Feb;13(2):161.