MARTINEZ fernando Joaquin
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Darkling beetles as environmental bioindicators in Northeastern Patagonia.
CHELI, G. H.; FLORES, G. E.; MARTÍNEZ, F. J.; MARTÍNEZ ROMÁN, N.; CARRARA, R.
Simposio; Fourth International Tenebrionoidea Symposium; 2016
Darkling beetles are among the most abundant and diverse arthropods in arid Patagonia. In recent years the knowledge of its biodiversity and ecology in northeastern Patagonia have been increased substantially, highlighting their ecological importance and improving the understanding of the functioning of these fragile ecosystems. This report presents a practical application of the study of tenebrionid biodiversity in northeastern Patagonia, highlighting its importance as environmental bioindicators at local and regional level through the development of three practical examples. It is widely known that desertification is a major conservation problem in the arid Patagonia, and that grazing is their main cause. As a first study case it is showed that darkling beetles are good bioindicators for monitoring the environmental effects of sheep grazing at local scale in northeastern Patagonia. At the same time, it is showed the utility of this community to build environmental classifications, demonstrating that these beetles are sensitive to environmental heterogeneity at the regional level. Finally it is explored the value of these beetles for monitoring the environmental effects of fire, the main natural disturbance factor in these environments, even for long time periods since the event have occurred. We believe that the inclusion of this animal group on management plans and monitoring of this region will strengthen its long-term preservation.