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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489

S. Afr. j. sci. vol.103 n.5-6 Pretoria May./Jun. 2007

 

RESEARCH LETTERS

 

Do insect distributions fit our biomes?

 

 

Ş.Procheş I, II; R.M. CowlingI

IBotany Department, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, P.O. Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa
IICentre for Invasion Biology, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa

 

 


ABSTRACT

An assessment of biome-specificity in southern African insect assemblages was undertaken using sweep collections in fynbos, grassland, subtropical thicket and Nama-karoo. Insect samples from the same biome generally cluster together in multidimensional scaling analyses, although there is a great variability between sites within each biome. Rich and distinctive insect faunas exist in each biome, including fynbos. In the Baviaanskloof Conservation Area of the southeastern Cape, where the four biomes marginally co-occur, some insect assemblages are enriched relative to sites at the core of the biomes, presumably through the mixing of faunas via transient or persistent establishment of populations recruited from adjacent biomes.


 

 

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Received 10 April 2006.
Accepted 12 August 2006.

 

 

*Author for correspondence. E-mail: rmc@kingsley.co.za

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