Macroecological approach for scorpions (Arachnida, Scorpiones): β-diversity in Brazilian montane forests

Canadian Journal of Zoology, e-First Articles. The montane forests of northeastern Brazil are patches of rainforests, surrounded by xeric vegetation, that originated during the expansion of rainforests in the Pleistocene epoch. Their historical processes make these areas ideal for biogeographical investigations of organisms, particularly in groups with low dispersion and habitat specificity, such as scorpions. We perform a macroecological investigation of the community assembly process of scorpions, disentangling the pattern of β-diversity to test the hypothesis that the similarity in the composition of scorpion fauna in areas of montane forests and coastal rainforests is greater when these localities are geographically close. We also investigated if larger patches of montane forests exhibit a positive species–area rela tionship. Our results state that species replacement accounts for 71% of the total scorpion β-diversity in montane forest remnants. Additionally, scorpion assemblages were influenced by the spatial arrangement, with a higher similarity between the fauna of montane forests and coastal forests when t hese areas were geographically close. We did not find a species–area relationship in montane forest patches. The expressive contribution of species replacement to the overall β-diversity may reflect both the high environmental heterogeneity and the historical and independent colonization events t hat took place in these areas.
Source: Canadian Journal of Zoology - Category: Zoology Authors: Source Type: research

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