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Patterns in the abundance and distribution of ichneumonid parasitoids within and across habitat patches

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JournalEcological entomology
DatePublished - Aug 2008
Issue number4
Volume33
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)473-483
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

1. Knowing how species are distributed across a landscape can considerably aid the management of populations and species richness. Insect parasitoids constitute a large fraction of terrestrial biodiversity and help regulate other insect populations, but their ecology is poorly known at a landscape scale.

2. Using Malaise traps distributed first extensively and then intensively across woodland patches in an agricultural landscape, we tested whether four ichneumonid subfamilies display (i) a positive relationship between abundance and occupancy, (ii) a positive relationship between abundance in the extensive sample and abundance in the intensive sample, and (iii) aggregation across traps.

3. A positive relationship between abundance and occupancy was found across species in both samples, and was relatively strong. Abundance in the extensive samples was positively correlated with abundance in the intensive samples. On average, species were aggregated in both samples, although aggregation was not necessary for a positive abundance-occupancy relationship.

4. These results suggest that ichneumonid species can largely be classified oil a continuum from widespread and locally abundant to localised and locally scarce. The former species allow the potential for pervasive natural control of host populations. The latter species, which constitute a substantial majority of the species list, will be vulnerable to extinction through both stochastic forces and widespread adverse forces such as climate change and habitat modification. However, the assessment of species' status is likely to be facilitated by the positive abundance-occupancy relationship.

5. Species inventories for ichneumonids will be taxing because of the need to sample both intensively and extensively to detect rare species, which constitute the majority of species. However, it is possible to generalise species abundances across spatial scales and years, facilitating monitoring.

    Research areas

  • abundance-occupancy, aggregation, biocontrol, conservation, distribution, geographic range, macroecology, monitoring, spatial scale, RANGE SIZE RELATIONSHIPS, CONSERVATION BIOLOGICAL-CONTROL, SATELLITE SPECIES HYPOTHESIS, COMMUNITY STRUCTURE, GEOGRAPHICAL-DISTRIBUTION, OCCUPANCY RELATIONSHIPS, INDEPENDENT CONTRASTS, DISPERSAL ABILITY, LOCAL ABUNDANCE, SPATIAL SCALES

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