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Boreal ground-beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages of the mainland and islands in Lac la Ronge, Saskatchewan, Canada

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 May 2017

Aaron J. Bell*
Affiliation:
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, 751 General Services Building, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H1, Canada Troutreach Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, #9 Lancaster Road, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, S7J 1M8, Canada
Iain D. Phillips
Affiliation:
Troutreach Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, #9 Lancaster Road, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, S7J 1M8, Canada Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan, #112 Science Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5E2, Canada Water Quality Services, Integrated Water Services, Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan, #101-108 Research Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3R3, Canada
Scott E. Nielsen
Affiliation:
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, 751 General Services Building, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H1, Canada
John R. Spence
Affiliation:
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, 751 General Services Building, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H1, Canada
*
1 Corresponding author (e-mail: ajbell@ualberta.ca)

Abstract

We tested the applicability of the “passive sampling” hypothesis and theory of island biogeography (TIB) for explaining the diversity of forest-dwelling carabid assemblages (Carabidae: Coleoptera) on 30 forested islands (0.2–980.7 ha) in Lac la Ronge and the adjacent mainland in Saskatchewan, Canada. Species richness per unit area increased with distance to mainland with diversity being highest on the most isolated islands. We detected neither a positive species-area relationship, nor significant differences in species richness among island size classes, or between islands and the mainland. Nonetheless, carabid assemblages distinctly differed on islands <1 ha in area and gradually approached the structure of mainland assemblages as island area increased. Small islands were characterised by abundant populations of small-bodied, winged species and few if any large-bodied, flightless species like Carabus taedatus Fabricius. Our findings suggest that neither the “passive sampling” hypothesis nor the theory of island biogeography adequately explain carabid beetle diversity patterns observed among islands in Lac la Ronge. Instead, we hypothesise that population processes such as higher extinction rates of large-bodied, flightless species and the associated release of smaller-bodied, flying species from intra-guild predation on small islands contribute to observed differences in the structure of carabid assemblages between islands.

Type
Biodiversity & Evolution
Copyright
© Entomological Society of Canada 2017 

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Footnotes

Subject editor: Derek Sikes

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