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Participation of species with different zoogeographical ranks in the formation of local faunas: a case study

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Abstract Aim

To find out how common the earlier explored regularity is in numerical relationships among co-occurring species with various zoogeographical rank. Location

The distribution of 284 species of Scarabaeoidea beetles in 20 biotic provinces of Israel and the Sinai Peninsula is considered. This Eastern Mediterranean territory is a part of the Levant area. Methods

All species are allocated to one of three groups with different zoogeographical rank. These are the Levantine endemics (E), Regional (R) and Ubiquitous (U) species. Relationships among the numbers of species of each group were analysed with the use of multiple and ordinary regression. Similarity between faunas of resulting sets of provinces was analysed using the of chi-square test. Results

The numbers of E- and R-species in each province are statistically independent, while the number of U-species increases linearly with an increase in the E- and/or R-species number. Two linear regressions appear in the coordinates: ln (E + 1) − R. These regressions unify nine and seven provinces, respectively. The faunas of two sets of provinces differed significantly. Two fringe provinces, which were present within the territory considered only by small parts of their respective zoogeographical units, as well as two provinces with heavily destroyed habitats, fall out of the regression lines. The number of E-species increases in a south–north direction. The area of maximum diversity is assumed to be somewhat north of the Israeli state border. Success of the invading E-species is discussed from the standpoint of Van Valen's (1973) Red Queen Theory. Main conclusions

Species persisting together are not selected by chance. In our case, three zoogeographical ranks correspond to three grades of species’ ranges. Different ranges are assumed to have different species’ fitness. The present faunas have formed in the two sets of provinces in similar but independent ways.
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Keywords: Biogeographical rank; Levant; Red Queen; Scarabaeoidea; endemics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Moskowitz St. 26/12, 76468 Rehovot, Israel, Email:, Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Zoology, The Life Sciences Faculty of Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel

Publication date: 2000-09-01

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