Taxonomic groups with lower movement capacity may present higher beta diversity
Iheringia: Série Zoologia
Diversity analysis by partition is an approach employed in order to understand how communities spatially structure themselves and the factors that operate in the generation and maintenance of distribution patterns. We examined the spatial structure of species diversity of four taxonomic groups, with different dispersal abilities, in 16 forest fragments in the southern region of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Specifically, we tested: i) if the similarity in species composition would be
... vely related to geographical distance between the 16 fragments; and ii) if the beta diversity of the different groups could be negatively related to their dispersal abilities. Alpha diversity and the compositional similarity between localities were both low. Beta diversity was not correlated with distance for any of the groups. Primates, followed by birds, showed a higher tendency of forming similarity groupings, although in a manner that was independent from distance between fragments, as well as showed the lowest beta diversity relative values. Spermatophytes and amphibians did not define groupings and presented the highest values of beta diversity. We interpreted such results as indications that the groups with higher dispersal ability (primates and birds) tend to reach, on average, farther localities and, therefore, to define more similar groupings (low beta diversity). The groups with lower dispersal ability (spermatophytes and amphibians) showed the opposite tendency. Although most of the species were restricted to few localities, contributing to the low similarity, beta and gamma diversity values showed the extent which the localities are, respectively, different and complementary to each other in terms of species composition. Such features reinforce and justify future conservation initiatives, both in local and regional levels.