Environmental determinants of diving beetle assemblages (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) in an urban landscape

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Blue infrastructure is an important component of urban green infrastructure, due to its capacity for water cycle regulation and soil formation, as well as supporting unique biodiversity. Urban ponds, as part of urban blue, can harbour a diverse assemblage of aquatic macroinvertebrates. As yet, it is not clear how urbanisation affects macroinvertebrate diversity. In this study, we focus on diving beetles (Dytiscidae) in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland, to investigate how urbanisation affects their diversity, as well as the effects of margin steepness and the presence or absence of fish on urban dytiscids. We sampled dytiscids using 1-L activity traps in 14 fishless ponds and 11 ponds with fish, at ten sites. We applied generalised linear mixed models (GLMM) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to analyse the effects on dytiscid assemblages. We found that urbanisation had a negative effect on species richness but not on abundance. Steepness of pond margins and the presence or absence of predatory fish, affected both species richness and abundance: dytiscids prefer ponds with gently sloping margins; they have 80% higher species richness and are 79% more abundant in fishless ponds, and medium to large-sized dytiscid species are more capable of coexisting with fish. Urban wetlands can support a diversity of dytiscids at the regional level, and the presence of ponds without predatory fish is beneficial for maintaining dytiscid diversity. We recommend maintaining a diverse range of ponds and wetland habitats for the maintenance of aquatic biodiversity in urban regions.
TidskriftBiodiversity and Conservation
Sidor (från-till)2343-2359
Antal sidor17
StatusPublicerad - jun 2020
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 1181 Ekologi, evolutionsbiologi

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