Ground - dwelling arthropods in a biosphere reserve: patterns of diversity and conservation implications

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dc.contributor.advisor Foord, Stefan
dc.contributor.advisor Hamer, Michelle
dc.contributor.author Schoeman, Colin Stefan
dc.date 2019
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-27T13:49:53Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-27T13:49:53Z
dc.date.issued 2019-05-17
dc.identifier.citation Schoeman, Colin Stefan (2019) Ground - dwelling arthropods in a biosphere reserve: patterns of diversity and conservation implications, University of Venda, South Africa, <http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1290>.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1290
dc.description PhD (Zoology) en_US
dc.description Department of Zoology
dc.description.abstract Invertebrate diversity is often neglected in conservation planning initiatives. There are also very few large-scale diversity studies in Africa, with most studies being restricted to single properties and spatial extents that are on average not much larger than 30 km2. Here, we provide a comparative regional assessment, two orders of magnitude larger than usual (30 000 km2), of epigeal spider, beetle and millipede diversity in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve – the largest biosphere reserve in South Africa, and one of the largest in Africa. Firstly we aim to provide an evaluation of the ability of a range of broad and fine scale predictors to explain the variation in the diversity of these taxa. Secondly, we measured cross-taxon congruence between our selected invertebrate taxa and woody vegetation, and within-taxon surrogate efficiency. Thirdly we evaluated performance of existing and proposed zonations in representing regional invertebrate species diversity. Finally, to aid in the development of species conservation profiles for lesser known taxa, annotated check lists are provided for two neglected but dominant epigeal beetle families, Tenebrionidae and Carabidae. Vegetation units explained the largest and most significant component of beetle and spider diversity (richness and complementarity of alpha and beta diversity). Elevation and mean annual temperature played a lesser but still significant role. Overall, woody vegetation was a poor surrogate, especially for millipedes which have several localized endemics. The use of higher taxa (genus and tribe in particular) shows the greatest potential for conservation planning. The current zonation of the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve performed significantly better than expected in representing invertebrate diversity across the region. The reality though is that conservation decision-making is largely informed by knowledge on the distribution of rare, localized or endangered species, for which detailed species inventories are 10 required. Though a coarse filter approach is recommended, the augmentation of species level data provides an extra filter, and contributes to our knowledge of what taxa are in urgent need of protection. Targeting rare and endangered species in transition zones and developing conservation assessments and plans for these in relatively small areas would compliment existing conservation initiatives in the VBR. Annotated check lists ofTenebrionidae of the Vhembe Biosphere suggest that the family is particularly speciose, the assemblage being comprised of an east African and a Kalahari element which contributes significantly to local endemicity, and yielded three new species, one of which is described in the revision to the genus Anaxius, a group largely restricted to the mountainous areas of Limpopo Province. Carabidae were also found to be speciose, with the assemblage comprised of a large proportion of stenotypic species. There is support for the use of vegetation types in conservation plans but these should be augmented with species level conservation initiatives that target particularly transition and buffer zones. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NRF en_US
dc.format.extent ! online resource (291 leaves : color illustration, color maps)
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Invertebrate
dc.subject Diversity
dc.subject Epigeal
dc.subject Spider
dc.subject Beetle
dc.subject Phylum Arthropod
dc.subject Biosphere conservation
dc.subject Conservation
dc.subject.ddc 595.0968257
dc.subject.lcsh Invertebrates -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Arthropoda -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Arthropoda -- Environmental aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Insects -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Habitat (Ecology) -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.title Ground - dwelling arthropods in a biosphere reserve: patterns of diversity and conservation implications en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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