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Patch occupancy of two hemipterans sharing a common host plant

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Abstract Aim 

Two hemipteran species were chosen as a study system for the comparative analysis of patch occupancy and spatial population structure of insects sharing a common host plant. This study tested whether (1) the incidence in the host plant patches differed between the two species, and (2) the two species exhibited a different spatial population structure, i.e. were they affected differentially by isolation and area of the host plant patches. Location 

The porphyry landscape north of Halle (Saale) in Germany comprising 506 patches of the host plant Brachypodium pinnatum. Methods 

The host plant patches were surveyed for the two hemipterans. To assess the influence of patch quality on species occurrence the patches were characterized by mean cover abundance of B. pinnatum, type of subsoil, slope, exposure, and shading. The spatial configuration of the patches was considered by patch area and isolation. The influence of the habitat factors and the spatial configuration on the occupancy of the two species was analysed by logistic regression. Results 

Adarrus multinotatus was found in 441 patches, while Neophilaenus albipennis was found in only 90 patches. While A. multinotatus showed virtually no relationship to the habitat factors, the occupancy of N. albipennis was influenced by subsoil type, cover abundance, and shading. The effects of area and isolation on occupancy of the patches also differed between the two species. The occupancy of N. albipennis was determined largely by area and isolation, whereas in A. multinotatus no considerable effect of spatial configuration was found. Main conclusions 

The study revealed a marked difference between the two hemipteran species in respect of spatial population structure. Adarrus multinotatus built up a ‘patchy population’, whereas N. albipennis showed a ‘metapopulation’ structure within the same set of patches in the same landscape. Spatial population structure was found to be not only a function of spatial configuration of habitat patches, but population structure differed between the habitat generalist A. multinotatus and the habitat specialist N. albipennis.
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Keywords: Adarrus multinotatus; Brachypodium pinnatum; Neophilaenus albipennis; fragmentation; habitat requirement; metapopulation; patch occupancy; patchy population; spatial population structure

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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