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Habitat-based conservation priorities for carabid beetles within the Picos de Europa National Park, northern Spain.

Gutiérrez, David and Menéndez, Rosa and Méndez, Marcos (2004) Habitat-based conservation priorities for carabid beetles within the Picos de Europa National Park, northern Spain. Biological Conservation, 115 (3). pp. 379-393. ISSN 0006-3207

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Abstract

Quick biodiversity studies on poorly studied taxa and areas are increasingly popular for setting conservation priorities over a wide range of spatial scales. However, the implementation of such studies is complicated by the variable extent to which the different criteria used in prioritisation are correlated to each other. Using methods of constrained ordination, we examined the species-habitat relationships of carabid beetles based on ground beetle assemblages from 22 sites in the Picos de Europa National Park, northern Spain. We found characteristic species assemblages for subalpine meadows, Genista shrublands, and pastures, whereas mown meadows, heathlands, beech and riparian woodlands were occupied by more habitat generalist species. Species associated with subalpine meadows and Genista shrublands tended to be mostly brachypterous and to have geographic ranges restricted to northern Spain. In contrast, we found no relationship between the degree of species' association with pastures and geographic range-wing size type. Although the species richness was higher in riparian woodlands and mown meadows, we suggest a higher conservation value for subalpine meadows and Genista shrublands across the landscape because they sustain characteristic assemblages dominated by species with restricted ranges and reduced powers of dispersal. Our study suggests that preserving areas in the landscape supporting higher biodiversity will not necessarily preserve those species potentially more susceptible to habitat loss and fragmentation. It also supports the feasibility of biodiversity studies based on multivariate techniques for setting conservation priorities over complex landscapes.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Biological Conservation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Carabidae ; Geographic range ; Iberian peninsula ; Picos de Europa ; Species richness
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 9611
Deposited By: Dr Rosa Menéndez
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2008 10:27
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 18:39
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/9611

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