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      Hollow oaks and beetle functional diversity: Significance of surroundings extends beyond taxonomy

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          Abstract

          Veteran hollow oaks ( Quercus spp.) are keystone structures hosting high insect diversity but are declining in numbers due to intensification of land use and the abandonment of traditional management. The loss of this vital habitat is resulting in a reduction of biodiversity, and this likely has consequences for ecosystem functioning, especially if functional diversity is reduced. A considerable amount of research has been done on predictors of beetle taxonomic diversity in veteran oaks, but predictors of functional diversity have remained largely unexplored. The aim of this study was to establish whether the features and surroundings of veteran oaks are related to functional diversity within three functional groups of beetles (decomposers, predators, and flower visitors) and determine whether species richness and functional diversity within the groups are dependent on the same predictors. Sampling was carried out intermittently between 2004 and 2011 on 61 veteran oaks in Southern Norway. Of the 876 beetle species that were collected, 359 were determined to be decomposers, 284 were predators, and 85 were flower visitors. Species richness and functional diversity in all groups were consistently higher in traps mounted on veteran oaks in forests than in open landscapes. However, additional predictors differed between groups, and for species richness and functional diversity. Decomposer species richness responded to tree vitality, while functional diversity responded to habitat connectivity, predator species richness responded to regrowth of shrubs while functional diversity responded to tree circumference, and flower visitor richness and functional diversity did not respond to any additional predictors. Previous studies have found that the features and surroundings of veteran oaks are important for conservation of taxonomic diversity, and the results from this study indicate that they are also important for functional diversity within multiple functional groups.

          Abstract

          Veteran hollow oaks (Quercus spp.) are keystone structures hosting high insect diversity. The aim of this study was to establish whether the features and surroundings of these trees are related to functional diversity of beetles within three functional groups (decomposers, predators, and flower visitors) and determine whether species richness and functional diversity within the groups are dependent on the same predictors. Previous studies have found that veteran oak's features and surroundings are important for conservation of taxonomic diversity, but the results from this study clearly indicate that they are also important for supporting multiple ecosystem functions.

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          Most cited references 74

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          EFFECTS OF BIODIVERSITY ON ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONING: A CONSENSUS OF CURRENT KNOWLEDGE

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            Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity.

            The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Approximately 9 million types of plants, animals, protists and fungi inhabit the Earth. So, too, do 7 billion people. Two decades ago, at the first Earth Summit, the vast majority of the world's nations declared that human actions were dismantling the Earth's ecosystems, eliminating genes, species and biological traits at an alarming rate. This observation led to the question of how such loss of biological diversity will alter the functioning of ecosystems and their ability to provide society with the goods and services needed to prosper.
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              A protocol for data exploration to avoid common statistical problems

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                rowe@nmbu.no
                Journal
                Ecol Evol
                Ecol Evol
                10.1002/(ISSN)2045-7758
                ECE3
                Ecology and Evolution
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                2045-7758
                08 January 2020
                January 2020
                : 10
                : 2 ( doiID: 10.1002/ece3.v10.2 )
                : 819-831
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management Norwegian University of Life Sciences Aas Norway
                [ 2 ] Natural History Museum University of Oslo Oslo Norway
                [ 3 ] Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) Oslo Norway
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Ross T. Wetherbee, P.O. Box 5003, N‐1432 Ås, Norway.

                Email: rowe@ 123456nmbu.no

                Article
                ECE35940
                10.1002/ece3.5940
                6988526
                © 2020 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 3, Pages: 13, Words: 9924
                Product
                Categories
                Original Research
                Original Research
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                January 2020
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.7.5 mode:remove_FC converted:29.01.2020

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