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Title: Additive and synergistic effects of land cover, land use and climate on insect biodiversity
Contributor(s): Oliver, Ian  (author); Dorrough, Josh (author); Doherty, Helen (author); Andrew, Nigel R  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2016
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1007/s10980-016-0411-9Open Access Link
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Abstract: Context: We address the issue of adapting landscapes for improved insect biodiversity conservation in a changing climate by assessing the importance of additive (main) and synergistic (interaction) effects of land cover and land use with climate. Objectives: We test the hypotheses that ant richness (species and genus), abundance and diversity would vary according to land cover and land use intensity but that these effects would vary according to climate. Methods: We used a 1000 m elevation gradient in eastern Australia (as a proxy for a climate gradient) and sampled ant biodiversity along this gradient from sites with variable land cover and land use. Results: Main effects revealed: higher ant richness (species and genus) and diversity with greater native woody plant canopy cover; and lower species richness with higher cultivation and grazing intensity, bare ground and exotic plant groundcover. Interaction effects revealed: both the positive effects of native plant canopy cover on ant species richness and abundance, and the negative effects of exotic plant groundcover on species richness were greatest at sites with warmer and drier climates. Conclusions: Impacts of climate change on insect biodiversity may be mitigated to some degree through landscape adaptation by increasing woody native vegetation cover and by reducing land use intensity, the cover of exotic vegetation and of bare ground. Evidence of synergistic effects suggests that landscape adaptation may be most effective in areas which are currently warmer and drier, or are projected to become so as a result of climate change.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Landscape Ecology, 31(10), p. 2415-2431
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Place of Publication: The Netherlands
ISSN: 0921-2973
Field of Research (FOR): 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
060808 Invertebrate Biology
069902 Global Change Biology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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