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Spatiotemporal variation of Diptera changes how we evaluate High Nature Value (HNV) wet grasslands

Carey, JGJ and Williams, CD and Gormally, MJ (2017) Spatiotemporal variation of Diptera changes how we evaluate High Nature Value (HNV) wet grasslands. Biodiversity and Conservation. ISSN 0960-3115

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Abstract

Proposed strategies to protect biodiversity within agricultural systems are often based on botanical criteria with plant species richness generally considered the prime indicator of conservation potential. While wet grasslands dominated by rushes (Juncus spp.) are commonly considered to be of lesser ecological value than those which are more botanically diverse (e.g. Carex dominated wet grasslands), their value for invertebrates such as Diptera has not yet been fully explored. Data from two Diptera families (Sciomyzidae and Syrphidae) were examined at spatial, temporal and spatiotemporal scales to determine the contribution of two different (Juncus and Carex dominated) wet grassland habitats towards the maintenance of Diptera diversity. The two habitats were significantly different in terms of community structure for both families and temporal variation was a significant component of dipteran diversity. Spatiotemporal analysis showed that species turnover between habitats at different times made the most significant contribution to overall Diptera diversity. Temporal variation of both families suggests that the relative importance of each habitat type to overall diversity fluctuates depending on sampling period, with both habitats supporting diversity at different times. Our results indicate that lowland wet grasslands characterised by Juncus cover need to be recognised as ecologically important for the maintenance of dipteran diversity. We discuss the possible implications for the diversity of Diptera in wet grasslands if these commonly perceived marginal areas (both agriculturally and ecologically) are ignored in conservation strategies. The necessity of recognising spatiotemporal variation when evaluating habitats using invertebrates as indicators is also discussed. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-017-1314-z
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0501 Ecological Applications, 0502 Environmental Science And Management, 0602 Ecology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QK Botany
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 09:30
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 10:33
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s10531-017-1314-z
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6026

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