Various edge response of ground beetles in edges under natural versus anthropogenic influence: A meta-analysis using life-history traits

Keywords: edge effect, feeding habit, herbivorous, omnivorous, predatory

Abstract

Edges are on the increase world-wide due to increasing fragmentation and loss of natural habitats. After formation, edges are maintained by various processes (natural vs. continued anthropogenic interventions: forestry, agriculture, urbanization) which influence the reaction of individual species to edge effects (history-based edge effect hypothesis), and this will be reflected in the diversity of assemblages. Diversity, however, is not the most appropriate indicator of the edge effect because species with different traits may respond differently to the edges. To further articulate the history-based edge effect hypothesis, we evaluated the edge effect on one of the most commonly used life-history traits, the feeding habit of ground beetles in forest edges. A meta-analysis based on 28 publications and 422 comparisons showed that natural vs. continued anthropogenic interventions as edge-maintaining processes reflected at the trait level. Abundance of herbivorous, omnivorous, and predatory ground beetle species were all higher in the natural edges than in the forest interiors, while no similar pattern occurred in edges with continued anthropogenic influence. These results suggest that structural and environmental changes at edges sustained by repeated anthropogenic influence adversely influencing ecosystem functions, with negative effects on ecosystem services like pest or weed control.

Author Biographies

Gábor L. Lövei, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Flakkebjerg Research Centre

Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Flakkebjerg Research Centre
DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark

Béla Tóthmérész, MTA-DE Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research Group, University of Debrecen

MTA-DE Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research Group, University of Debrecen

H-4032 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1, Hungary

Published
2019-11-22