DOI: 10.1111/icad.12670 ISSN: 1752-458X

The spatial distribution of insect communities of a mountaintop forest archipelago is not correlated with landscape structure: A multitaxa approach

Flávio Camarota, Wesley Dáttilo, Pedro Giovâni da Silva, Flávio Siqueira de Castro, Marina do Vale Beirão, Lucas Neves Perillo, Erick Corro, Geraldo Wilson Fernandes, Frederico de Siqueira Neves
  • Insect Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Understanding community assembly in habitat patches requires an integrative approach, considering the potential role of local and regional factors and organisms' dispersal abilities among patches. For this, assessing the degree of species overlap between patches (nestedness) can be particularly informative, especially regarding different taxa and distinct patch properties.

We assessed the potential role of landscape‐patch structure in shaping the nestedness patterns of five taxonomic groups with distinct dispersal abilities (ants, bees, dung beetles, fruit‐feeding butterflies and aculeate wasps).

We collected insects from 11 forest patches in the Espinhaço mountain range in southeast Brazil. We assessed the potential contribution of three forest island attributes (size, distance and shape) to the nestedness of insect communities and then tested if metacommunities were significantly nested with respect to habitat (forest islands). Finally, we evaluated how species of each taxonomic group contribute to metacommunity nestedness.

While there was a substantial variation in the contribution to the nested pattern within each taxon, all taxa studied exhibited a significantly nested pattern of species distribution. The landscape‐patch structure and the vagility of the different taxa did not influence the contribution of sites to the metacommunity nested pattern.

Our integrative approach provides critical data on the role of different factors in shaping species distribution in natural patches. Species with different dispersal abilities and patches with distinct landscape properties contributed similarly to nestedness, indicating the potential role of the vegetation matrix permeability in shaping the distribution of organisms in the studied forest archipelago.

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