The influence of spatial and temporal discontinuities of forest habitats on the current presence of flightless saproxylic beetles


Flightless saproxylic beetles were selected in order to study the impact of temporal and spatial discontinuity of forests. They were chosen because: (1) they are unable to fly, making them dispersal-limited species, (2) they have a saproxylic diet, which means they are closely linked to the forest, and (3), they have rarely been studied. Forest temporal continuity was expected to be the main factor explaining the presence of these species, modulated by the past and present amount of forest in the surrounding landscape. Twenty-seven forests, distributed into three zones, were sampled in southwestern France. Flightless saproxylic beetles were surveyed using a Winkler extractor and a Berlese funnel. Their presence/absence were modelled using generalised linear mixed models, with zone variable as random effect. Two species showed significant zone effect and were only or more present in the zone with the highest present forest amount in a 0.5 km radius. In the model that converged, the only selected variable was the past amount of forest in the landscape. The size of the forest, the presence of dead wood and the forest temporal continuity were not included in this model. The importance of the amount of forest in the landscape supports the hypothesis that dispersal-limited species are affected by landscape characteristics. This study demonstrates an important link between the presence of Dienerella clathrata and the amount of forest in the past, which led to an indicator species analysis being performed.

In PLoS ONE, 13(5), e0197847