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Functional structure of European forest beetle communities is enhanced by rare species

Burner, Ryan C. and Drag, Lukas and Stephan, Jörg and Birkemoe, Tone and Wetherbee, Ross and Muller, Jörg and Siitonen, Juha and Snäll, Tord and Skarpaas, Olav and Potterf, Mária and Doerfler, Inken and Gossner, Martin M. and Schall, Peter and Weisser, Wolfgang W. and Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne (2022). Functional structure of European forest beetle communities is enhanced by rare species. Biological Conservation. 267 , 109491
[Research article]

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Abstract

Biodiverse communities have been shown to sustain high levels of multifunctionality and thus a loss of species likely negatively impacts ecosystem functions. For most taxa, however, roles of individual species are poorly known. Rare species, often most likely to go extinct, may have unique traits and functional roles. Alternatively, rare species may be functionally redundant, such that their loss would not disrupt ecosystem functions. We quantified the functional role of rare species by using captures of wood-living (saproxylic) beetle species, combined with recent databases of morphological and ecological traits, from three regions in central and northern Europe. Using a rarity index based on species' local abundance, geographic range, and habitat breadth, we used local and regional species removal simulations to examine the contributions of both the rarest and the most common beetle species to three measures of community functional structure: functional richness, functional specialization, and functional originality. Both regionally and locally, all three measures declined more rapidly when rare species were removed than under common (or random) species removal scenarios. These consistent patterns across scales and among forest types give evidence that rare species provide unique functional contributions, and their loss may disproportionately impact ecosystem functions. This implies that conservation measures targeting rare and endangered species, such as preserving intact forests with dead wood and mature trees, can provide broader ecosystem-level benefits. Experimental research linking functional structure to ecosystem processes should be prioritized to increase understanding of the functional consequences of species loss and to develop more effective conservation strategies.

Authors/Creators:Burner, Ryan C. and Drag, Lukas and Stephan, Jörg and Birkemoe, Tone and Wetherbee, Ross and Muller, Jörg and Siitonen, Juha and Snäll, Tord and Skarpaas, Olav and Potterf, Mária and Doerfler, Inken and Gossner, Martin M. and Schall, Peter and Weisser, Wolfgang W. and Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne
Title:Functional structure of European forest beetle communities is enhanced by rare species
Series Name/Journal:Biological Conservation
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:267
Article number:109491
Number of Pages:10
ISSN:0006-3207
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-115973
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-115973
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109491
ID Code:27211
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Swedish Species Information Centre
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:25 Feb 2022 13:25
Metadata Last Modified:25 Feb 2022 13:31

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