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Identifying appropriate sampling and modelling approaches for analysing distributional patterns of Antarctic terrestrial arthropods along the Victoria Land latitudinal gradient

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2010

Tancredi Caruso*
Affiliation:
Institute of Biology, Dahlem Center of Plant Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Altensteinstraße 6, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Ian D. Hogg
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
Roberto Bargagli
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental Sciences “G. Sarfatti”, University of Siena, via P.A. Mattioli, 4, 53100 Siena, Italy

Abstract

Biotic communities in Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are relatively simple and often lack higher trophic levels (e.g. predators); thus, it is often assumed that species’ distributions are mainly affected by abiotic factors such as climatic conditions, which change with increasing latitude, altitude and/or distance from the coast. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that factors other than geographical gradients affect the distribution of organisms with low dispersal capability such as the terrestrial arthropods. In Victoria Land (East Antarctica) the distribution of springtail (Collembola) and mite (Acari) species vary at scales that range from a few square centimetres to regional and continental. Different species show different scales of variation that relate to factors such as local geological and glaciological history, and biotic interactions, but only weakly with latitudinal/altitudinal gradients. Here, we review the relevant literature and outline more appropriate sampling designs as well as suitable modelling techniques (e.g. linear mixed models and eigenvector mapping), that will more adequately address and identify the range of factors responsible for the distribution of terrestrial arthropods in Antarctica.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2010

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