Eur. J. Entomol. 108 (4): 659-672, 2011 | 10.14411/eje.2011.084

Biogeography of tenebrionid beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) in the circum-Sicilian islands (Italy, Sicily): Multiple biogeographical patterns require multiple explanations

Simone FATTORINI
WET - Water Ecology Team, Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 2,

The tenebrionid beetles on 25 circum-Sicilian islands were studied to determine the influence of island geographical and landscape features on three main intercorrelated biogeographical patterns: (1) species richness, studied using species-area and species environment relationships, (2) species assemblage composition, investigated using Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA), and (3) inter-site faunal similarity, investigated using Canonical Correlation Analysis (CANCOR) applied to multidimensional scaling of inter-island faunal dissimilarities. Species richness was mostly influenced by island area and landscape heterogeneity (expressed using various indices of diversity based on land cover categories). When species identities were considered in the CCA, no substantial effect of landscape was detected. Current island isolation did not have a strong influence on species richness, but has a distinct effect in determining species assortments on the remotest islands. Historical influences of Pleistocene landbridge connections were not detectable in species richness relationships using geographical variables in species richness analyses or in assemblage gradients in the CCA, but emerged distinctly from inter-island similarities in the CANCOR.

Keywords: Biogeography, Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae, Mediterranean, Pleistocene, Sicily, species-area relationship

Received: March 14, 2011; Accepted: June 27, 2011; Published: October 3, 2011

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