congresos y reuniones científicas
Ground beetles assemblages (Coleoptera, Carabidae) along elevational gradients in NW Patagonia.
WERENKRAUT, VICTORIA; SPEZIALE, KARINA L.
San Carlos de Bariloche
Congreso; VI Southern Connection Congress; 2010
The study of species distribution along environmental gradients can shed light on the factors governing and maintaining species diversity, and provide useful information for species conservation. In particular, altitudinal gradients offer a good scenario for these studies given they provide significant changes in environmental variables within relatively short distances. We examined the variation in ground beetles community composition along five altitudinal transects ranging from 800 to 2000 m.a.s.l., within Nahuel Huapi National Park, Patagonia, Argentina. Sampling plots were placed every 100 m of altitude from the base to the summit of each mountain. We used pitfall traps to sample insects during four sampling periods spread along two years. Biotic and abiotic environmental variables were also recorded. We used canonical correspondence analysis to determine the relationship between beetles assemblage structure and the environmental variables. We collected 6207 carabid beetles representing 21 species. The analysis showed three main assemblages of beetles. A small group of high altitude species was associated with open habitats and low temperatures. A second group was related to an increase in tree cover and minimum temperature, and was repelled by the presence of carnivorous ants. The remaining species were positively related to plant species richness. Thus, both biotic and abiotic factors affect carabid species distributions along elevational gradients in Patagonia.