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      Invertebrates diversity in mountain Neotropical quartzite caves: which factors can influence the composition, richness, and distribution of the cave communities?

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      Subterranean Biology

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Twenty caves located in a high altitudinal quartzite area in Brazil were examined for invertebrate richness and composition and in terms of environmental factors that determine community structure. We evaluate how distance, altitude, cave extension, environmental stability, number and size of cave entrances and stream presence can act on species composition and richness. The caves presented a high richness of troglophilic (463 spp.) and troglobitic species (6 spp.) in relation to other siliciclastic caves around the world. The average richness was 39.55 species per cave (sd = 21.87), the quantitative similarity among caves was 41% and turnover was βrepl. = 0.769. Araneae (20% of the sampled species), Diptera (18%) and Coleoptera (14%) were the dominant orders regarding species richness. Only twenty percent of the caves were placed out of the confidence interval of the average taxonomic distinctness (∆+); however, the ∆+ decreased with the increase of environmental stability. Cave extension and stream presence were the main factors determining the variation of species composition among caves. Cave extension also influenced species richness variations. Furthermore, the total richness and richness of troglobitic species increased with cave extension. The threats to these habitats further revealed that the fauna is at risk due to tourism, trampling and natural soil erosion that can promote microhabitat alterations. Therefore, quartzite caves also require special attention regarding conservation actions in order to keep their natural biological dynamics.

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          Most cited references 46

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          Environmental heterogeneity as a universal driver of species richness across taxa, biomes and spatial scales.

          Environmental heterogeneity is regarded as one of the most important factors governing species richness gradients. An increase in available niche space, provision of refuges and opportunities for isolation and divergent adaptation are thought to enhance species coexistence, persistence and diversification. However, the extent and generality of positive heterogeneity-richness relationships are still debated. Apart from widespread evidence supporting positive relationships, negative and hump-shaped relationships have also been reported. In a meta-analysis of 1148 data points from 192 studies worldwide, we examine the strength and direction of the relationship between spatial environmental heterogeneity and species richness of terrestrial plants and animals. We find that separate effects of heterogeneity in land cover, vegetation, climate, soil and topography are significantly positive, with vegetation and topographic heterogeneity showing particularly strong associations with species richness. The use of equal-area study units, spatial grain and spatial extent emerge as key factors influencing the strength of heterogeneity-richness relationships, highlighting the pervasive influence of spatial scale in heterogeneity-richness studies. We provide the first quantitative support for the generality of positive heterogeneity-richness relationships across heterogeneity components, habitat types, taxa and spatial scales from landscape to global extents, and identify specific needs for future comparative heterogeneity-richness research. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.
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            Invertebrate Morphospecies as Surrogates for Species: A Case Study

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              BAT - Biodiversity Assessment Tools, an R package for the measurement and estimation of alpha and beta taxon, phylogenetic and functional diversity

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Subterranean Biology
                SB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2615
                1768-1448
                February 13 2020
                February 13 2020
                : 33
                : 23-43
                Article
                10.3897/subtbiol.33.46444
                © 2020

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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