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Higher taxa can be effective surrogates for species-level data in detecting changes in invertebrate assemblage structure due to disturbance: a case study using a broad range of orders

Driessen, MM and Kirkpatrick, JB ORCID: 0000-0002-3152-3299 2017 , 'Higher taxa can be effective surrogates for species-level data in detecting changes in invertebrate assemblage structure due to disturbance: a case study using a broad range of orders' , Austral Entomology , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.1111/aen.12315.

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Abstract

Cost-effective assessment tools are needed to manage the impacts of natural and human disturbances on communities. Higher taxa are widely used as surrogates for species-level identification in invertebrates; however, few studies have compared their effectiveness with species-level data for terrestrial invertebrates or assessed the mechanistic basis for their performance, and none of these studies have used a broad range of orders. Here, a terrestrial invertebrate dataset comprising 21 orders, 197 families and 751 species was used to investigate whether order- and family-level identifications were effective surrogates for species-level identification in representing patterns in assemblage structure and detecting the effects of fire. Factors potentially influencing the performance of surrogates among invertebrate orders were also investigated. Family-level identification of invertebrates in moorland sites with a wide range of fire history was found to be an effective surrogate for species-level identification. Order-level identification was also an effective surrogate, but the level of discrimination among sites was typically lower than for species- or family-level identification. Higher taxonomic surrogates performed well for invertebrate orders comprising a few species that were abundant and with a small mean and variance in the number of species per higher taxon. Use of higher taxa as surrogates for species-level identification can be a cost-effective approach to monitoring impacts of disturbance, but outcomes are influenced by taxonomic diversity and community structure.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Driessen, MM and Kirkpatrick, JB
Keywords: biodiversity assessment, buttongrass moorland, fire, higher taxon approach, taxonomic sufficiency
Journal or Publication Title: Austral Entomology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
ISSN: 2052-174X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/aen.12315
Copyright Information:

© 2017 Australian Entomological Society and State of Tasmania

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