Road size and carrion beetle assemblages in a New York forest
- 191 Downloads
In many parts of the world, roads are the most common causes of forest fragmentation. We know roads can affect wildlife, but understand little the extent to which these effects depend on road type and use. We compared the effects of several road types upon a diverse, carrion frequenting beetle assemblage in rural New York State. We found no consistent effects of distance from road on the diversity, abundance or species density of beetles across road types. However, forests near highways and two-lane paved roads were significantly less diverse than were forests near dirt roads. The reduced diversity of beetles near roads was at least in part due to lower species turnover in space near dirt roads than near either type of paved roads. Our data suggest that all roads are not created equal and that comparably sized minimum-use paved roads have a substantially greater affect on fauna than dirt roads. Highways and two-lane paved roads appear to depress biodiversity even among relatively vagile animals like beetles.
KeywordsRoads Carrion Burying beetles Fragmentation Diversity Turnover
Monica C. Sanchez and Nathan J. Sanders read versions of this manuscript and provided valuable comments. Katherine Pease helped with all aspects of the fieldwork. Research was supported by a grant from the Black Rock Forest Consortium to JDB and RRD.
- Andrews A (1990) Fragmentation of habitat by roads and utility corridors: a review. Aust Zool 26:130–141Google Scholar
- Colwell RK (2001) EstimateS: statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples (Software and User’s Guide), Version 7. http://viceroy.eeb.uconn.edu/estimatesGoogle Scholar
- Forman RTT, Sperling D, Bissonette JA, Clevenger AP, Cutshall CD, Dale VH, Fahrig L, France R, Goldman CR, Heanue K, Jones JA, Swanson FJ, Turrentine T, Winter TC (2003) Road ecology: science and solutions. Island Press, USAGoogle Scholar
- Gotelli NJ, Entsminger GL (2005) Ecosim: null models software for ecology, Version 6.0. Acquired Intelligence Inc, & Kesey-Bear. http://homepages.together.net/gentsmin/ecosim.htmGoogle Scholar
- Haffter G, Arellano L (2002) Response of dung beetle diversity to human-induced changes in a tropical landscape. Biotropica 34:144–154Google Scholar
- Lassau S, Hochuli DF (2003) Effects of Roads on Ant Assemblages in the Sydney Region: Are patterns scale-dependent? Rec South Austr Mus 7:283–290Google Scholar
- Magurran AE (2004) Measuring biological diversity. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
- Manly BFJ (1997) Randomization, Bootstrap, and Monte Carlo methods in Biology. Chapman and Hall, London, UKGoogle Scholar
- Sikes DS (1994) Influences of ungulate carcasses on coleopteran communities in Yellowstone National Park, USA. MS Thesis, Montana State UniversityGoogle Scholar
- Spellerberg IF (1998) Ecological effect of roads and traffic: a literature review. Global Ecol Biogeogr Lett 7:317–333Google Scholar
- Wahlberg N, Klemetti T, Selonen V, Hanski I (2002) Metapopulation structure and movements in five species of checkerspot butterflies. Oecologia 130:33–43Google Scholar