Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2021.0554
Title (Primary) Long-term abundance trends of insect taxa are only weakly correlated
Author van Klink, R.; Bowler, D.E.; Gongalsky, K.B.; Chase, J.M.
Journal Biology Letters
Year 2022
Department iDiv; ESS
Volume 18
Issue 2
Page From art. 20210554
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords biodiversity monitoring; indicator taxa; longterm trends; surrogate taxa; taxon congruence; umbrella taxa
Abstract Changes in the abundances of animals, such as with the ongoing concern about insect declines, are often assumed to be general across taxa. However, this assumption is largely untested. Here, we used a database of assemblage-wide long-term insect and arachnid monitoring to compare abundance trends among co-occurring pairs of taxa. We show that 60% of co-occurring taxa qualitatively showed long-term trends in the same direction—either both increasing or both decreasing. However, in terms of magnitude, temporal trends were only weakly correlated (mean freshwater r = 0.05 (±0.03), mean terrestrial r = 0.12 (±0.09)). The strongest correlation was between trends of beetles and those of moths/butterflies (r = 0.26). Overall, even though there is some support for directional similarity in temporal trends, we find that changes in the abundance of one taxon provide little information on the changes of other taxa. No clear candidate for umbrella or indicator taxa emerged from our analysis. We conclude that obtaining a better picture of changes in insect abundances will require monitoring of multiple taxa, which remains uncommon, especially in the terrestrial realm.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
van Klink, R., Bowler, D.E., Gongalsky, K.B., Chase, J.M. (2022):
Long-term abundance trends of insect taxa are only weakly correlated
Biol. Lett. 18 (2), art. 20210554