Plantations, not farmlands, cause biotic homogenisation of ground-active beetles in South-Eastern Australia

Sweaney, Nicole, Driscoll, Don A., Lindenmayer, D.B. and Porch, Nicholas 2015, Plantations, not farmlands, cause biotic homogenisation of ground-active beetles in South-Eastern Australia, Biological conservation, vol. 186, pp. 1-11, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.02.026.

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Title Plantations, not farmlands, cause biotic homogenisation of ground-active beetles in South-Eastern Australia
Author(s) Sweaney, Nicole
Driscoll, Don A.
Lindenmayer, D.B.
Porch, NicholasORCID iD for Porch, Nicholas
Journal name Biological conservation
Volume number 186
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-06-01
ISSN 0006-3207
Keyword(s) Alpha diversity
Beta diversity
Biotic homogenisation
Commodity farming
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biodiversity Conservation
Environmental Sciences
Biodiversity & Conservation
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Summary Following landscape change, species invasions and extinctions may lead to biotic homogenisation, resulting in increased taxonomic and functional similarity between previously distinct biotas. Biotic homogenisation is more likely to occur in landscapes where the matrix contrasts strongly with native vegetation patches. To test this, we examined the distribution of ground-active beetles in a landscape of remnant Eucalyptus open woodland patches where large areas of lower contrast matrix (farmland) are being transformed to high-contrast pine plantations in south-eastern Australia. We sampled beetles from 30 sites including six replicates of five categories; (1) remnants adjacent to farmland, (2) remnants adjacent to plantation, (3) farmland, (4) plantation, and, (5) remnants between pine plantation and farmland. Community composition in the pine matrix was similar to native patches embedded in pine (ANOSIM, Global R=. 0.49, P<. 0.000), which we suggest is due to biotic homogenisation. Remnant patches with edges of both farmland and pine plantation did not represent an intermediate community composition between patches surrounded by either matrix type, but rather a unique habitat with unique species. Farmland supported the greatest number of individuals (. F=. 9.049, df. =. 25, P<. 0.000) and species (. F=. 5.875, df. =. 25, P=. 0.002), even compared to native remnant patches. Our results suggest that matrix transformations can reduce species richness and homogenise within-patch populations. This may increase the risk of species declines in fragmented landscapes where plantations are not only replacing native vegetation patches, but also other matrix types that may better support biodiversity. Our findings are particularly concerning given expanding plantation establishment worldwide.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.02.026
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
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