Physiological condition of an animal is flexible and can quickly change in relation to the quality of its environment. This makes it potentially suitable as an estimator of environmental stress. We studied the condition in three predatory ground beetles, Carabus nemoralis, Nebria brevicollis and Pterostichus melanarius along an urbanisation gradient (forest-suburban area - forest fragments in urban park) in Sorø, Denmark to test whether urbanisation-related stress is reflected in body condition. We also considered the interaction between condition and the true asymmetry using a local polynomial regression model. Females showed consistently better condition than males in all studied species. The condition indices in C. nemoralis and N. brevicollis were higher in the urban habitats than the other sites, while P. melanarius showed better condition in the suburban forest fragments than the forest or urban habitats. A significant negative correlation was found between condition and asymmetry for C. nemoralis and N. brevicollis in the suburban as well as urban forest fragments. This indicates a complex interaction between tolerance limits, feeding conditions and stress levels during advancing urbanisation, emphasising the importance of using multiple criteria for assessing its impact on biodiversity.
General Linear Model
Ball, S.L., B.A. Woodcock, S.G. Potts and M.S. Heard. 2015. Size matters: Body size determines functional responses of ground beetle interactions. Basic Appl. Ecol. 16:621–628.
Bolund, P. and S. Hunhammar. 1999. Ecosystem services in urban areas. Ecol. Econ. 29:293–301.
Cleveland, W. S. and S.J. Devlin. 1988. Locally weighted regression: an approach to regression analysis by local fitting. J. Am. Stat. Assoc. 83:596–610.
Cleveland, W. S., E. Grosse and W. M. Shyu. 1992. Local regression models. In: Chambers, J.M., Hastie, T.J. (eds.), Statistical Models in S. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole, Springer, New York.
Deepayan, S. 2008. Lattice: Multivariate Data Visualization with R. Springer, New York.
Diaz, M., T. Santos and J.L. Telleria. 1999. Effects of forest fragmentation on the winter body condition and population parameters of an habitat generalist, the wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus: a test of hypotheses. Acta Oecol. 20:39–49.
Elek, Z., G.L. Lövei and M. Bátki. 2014. Fluctuating asymmetry in ground beetles (Carabidae) as an indication of the impact of urbanisation in Denmark. Community Ecol. 15:131–138.
Elek, Z. and G.L. Lövei. 2005. Ground beetle (Coleoptera, Carabidae) assemblages along an urbanisation gradient near Sorø, Zealand, Denmark. Entomologiske Meddelelser 73:115–121.
Elek, Z. and G.L. Lövei. 2007. Patterns of ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages along an urbanisation gradient in Denmark. Acta Oecol. 32:104–111.
Eversham, B.C., D.B. Roy, and M.G. Telfer. 1996. Urban industrial and other manmade sites as analogues of natural habitats for Carabidae. Ann. Zool. Fenn. 33:149–156.
Floate, K. D. and A.S. Fox. 2000. Flies under stress: a test of fluctuating asymmetry as a biomonitor of environmental quality. Ecol Appl. 10:1541–1550.
Floate, K. D. and P.C. Coghlin. 2010. No support for fluctuating asymmetry as a biomarker of chemical residues in livestock dung. Can. Entomol. 142:354–368.
Gaston, K. J., P.H. Warren, K. Thompson and R.M. Smith. 2005. Urban Domestic Gardens (IV): The Extent of the Resource and its Associated Features. Biodivers. Conserv. 14:3327–3349.
Gould, S. 1975. Allometry in primates, with emphasis on scaling and evolution of the brain. Contrib. Primatol. 5:244–292.
Hendrickx, F., J-P. Maelfait and L. Lens. 2003. Relationship between fluctuating asymmetry and fitness within and between stressed and unstressed populations of the wolf spider Pirata piraticus. J. Evolution. Biol. 16:1270–1279.
Hothorn, T., F. Bretz and P. Westfall. 2008. Simultaneous inference in general parametric models. Biometrical J. 50:346–363.
Hůrka, K. 1996. Carabidae of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kabourek, Zlin, Czech Republic.
Jakob, E.M., S.D. Marshall and G.W. Uetz. 1996. Estimating fitness: a comparison of body condition indices. Oikos 77:61–67.
Janin A.U., A. Lena and J.P. Joly. 2011. Beyond occurrence: body condition and stress hormone as integrative indicators of habitat availability and fragmentation in the common toad. Biol. Conserv. 144:1008–1016.
Karraker, N. E. and H. Welsh. 2006. Long-term impacts of even-aged timber management on abundance and body condition of terrestrial amphibians in Northwestern California. Biol. Conserv. 131:132–140.
Knapp, M. and J. Knappová. 2013. Measurement of body condition in a common carabid beetle, Poecilus cupreus : A comparison of fresh weight, dry weight, and fat content. J. Insect Sci. 13:1–10.
Lagisz, M. 2008. Changes in morphology of the ground beetle Pterostichus oblongopunctatus F. (Coleoptera; Carabidae) from vicinities of a zinc and lead smelter. Environ. Toxicol Chem. 27:1744–1747.
Lens, L., S. Van Dongen and E. Matthysen. 2002. Fluctuating asymmetry as an early warning system in the critically endangered Taita thrush. Cons. Biol. 16:479–487.
Lindroth, C.H. 1985. The Carabidae (Coleoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica, Vol. 15, part 1. E.J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Lindroth, C.H. 1986. The Carabidae (Coleoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica, Vol. 15, part 2. E.J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Magura, T., B. Tóthmérész and T. Molnár. 2004. Changes in carabid beetle assemblages along an urbanisation gradient in the city of Debrecen, Hungary. Landscape Ecol. 19:747–759.
Magura, T., R. Horváth and B. Tóthmérész. 2010a. Effects of urbanization on ground-dwelling spiders in forest patches, in Hungary. Landscape Ecol. 25:621–629.
Magura, T., G.L. Lövei and B. Tóthmérész. 2010b. Does urbanization decrease diversity in ground beetle (Carabidae) assemblages? Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 19:16–26.
Marshall, S.D., E.M. Jakob and G.W. Uetz. 1999. Re-estimating fitness: can scaling issues confound condition indices? Oikos 87:401–402.
McIntyre, N.E., J. Rango, W.F. Fagan and S.H. Faeth. 2001. Ground arthropod community structure in a heterogeneous urban environment. Landscape Urban Plan. 52:257–274.
McKinney, M.L. 2001. Effects of human population, area, and time on non-native plant and fish diversity in the United States. Biol. Conserv. 100:243–252.
McKinney, M.L. and J.L. Lockwood. 1999. Biotic homogenization: a few winners replacing many losers in the next mass extinction. Trends Ecol. Evol. 14:450–453.
Mendiburu, F. 2010. agricolae: Statistical Procedures for Agricultural Research. R package version 1.0-9. http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=agricolae (accessed on 15/12/2017)
Niemelä, J., J. Kotze, A., Ashworth, P. Brandmayr, K. Desender, T. New, L. Penev, M. Samways and J. Spence. 2000. The search for common anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity: a global network. J. Insect Conserv. 4:3–9.
Niemelä, J. and J. Kotze. 2009. Carabid beetle assemblages along urban to rural gradients: A review. Landscape Urban Plan. 92:65–71.
Öberg, S. 2009. Influence of landscape structure and farming practice on body condition and fecundity of wolf spiders. Basic Appl. Ecol. 10:614–621.
Palmer, A. R. 1994. Fluctuating Asymmetry Analyses: A Primer, In: Markow, T. A. (ed.), Developmental Instability: Its Origins and Evolutionary Implications. Kluwer, Dordrecht. pp. 335–364.
Parsons, P.A. 1992. Fluctuating asymmetry: a biological monitor of environmental and genomic stress. Heredity 68:361–364.
Pickett, S.T.A., M.L. Cadenasso, J.M. Grove, C.H. Nilon, R.V. Pouyat, W.C. Zipperer and R. Costanza. 2001. Urban ecological systems: linking terrestrial ecological, physical, and socioeconomic components of metropolitan areas. Annu. Rev. Ecol. S. 32:127–157.
Pickett, S.T.A., M.L. Cadenasso, J.M. Grove, C.G. Boone, P.M. Groffman, E. Irwin, S.S. Kaushal, V. Marshall, B.P. McGrath, C.H. Nilon, R.V. Pouyat, K. Szlávecz, A. Troy and P. Warren. 2010. Urban ecological systems: Scientific foundations and a decade of progress. J. Environ. Manage. 92:331–362.
Puttker, T., Y. Meyer-Lucht and S. Sommer. 2008. Effects of fragmentation on parasite burden (nematodes) of generalist and specialist small mammal species in secondary forest fragments of the coastal Atlantic Forest, Brazil. Ecol. Res. 23:207–215.
Rasband, W. 2003. ImageJ Image Processing and Analysis in Java. National Institutes of Health, USA, http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/ (accessed on 15/12/2017).
R Development Core Team. 2010. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3–900051-07-0, http://www.R-project.org.
Sapia, M., G.L. Lövei and Z. Elek. 2006. Effects of varying sampling effort on the observed diversity of carabid (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages in the Danglobe Project, Denmark. Entomol. Fennica 17:345–350.
Suorsa, P., H. Helle, V Koivunen, E. Huhta, A. Nikula and H. Hakkarainen. 2004. Effects of forest patch size on physiological stress and immunocompetence in an area-sensitive passerine, the Eurasian treecreeper (Certhia familiaris): an experiment. Proc. Roy. Soc. B-Biol. Sci. 271:435–440.
Uetz, G.W., R. Papke and B. Kilinc. 2002. Influence of feeding regime on body size, body condition and a male secondary sexual character in Schizocosa ocreata wolf spiders (Araneae, Lycosidae): condition-dependence in a visual signaling trait. J. Arachnol. 30:461–469.
United Nations 2006. World Urbanisation Prospects: The 2005 Revision. Population Division, Dept Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations, New York.
Vilisics, F., Z. Elek, G.L. Lövei and E. Hornung. 2007. Composition of terrestrial isopod assemblages along an urbanisation gradient in Denmark. Pedobiologia 51:45–53.
We thank the Sorø Akademi Stilftelse for permission to work on their land, former Director Mr. J. Thomsen and Mr. A. Grube for their kind assistance, Dr. J. Jakobsen, Mrs. H-B. Christiensen, and Dr. H-P. Ravn for support and technical assistance, and Dr. Morten Pedersen (Dept. of Life Sciences and Chemistry, Roskilde University) for comments. This study was partially funded by the Danish International School for Biodiversity Studies (ISOBIS) (ZE), the Hungarian Scholarship Board (ZE), Aarhus University, Flakkebjerg Research Centre and the Domus Hungarica Foundation, Budapest, Hungary (GLL). This study was also partly supported by Hungarian Academy of Sciences (ZE) and Bolyai Research Grant (ZE, grant no.: BO/ 00045/11/8). This is publication no. 12 of the Danglobe Project. Author sequence follows the sequence by merit system. Author contributions: GLL, ZE: designed the study, all authors participated in field work; evaluation: ZE; writing: ZE, GLL.
About this article
Cite this article
Elek, Z., Lövei, G.L. & Bátki, M. Sex-specific interaction of body condition and asymmetry in carabids in distinct urbanisation stages. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 18, 253–259 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1556/168.2017.18.3.4
- Body condition
- Developmental homeostasis
- Fluctuating asymmetry
- Ground beetles