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Drosophila diversity over a disturbance gradient.

Kim van der Linde & Jan G. Sevenster (2002).

Proceedings Experimental and Applied Entomology 13: 51-56

Applied biodiversity research is often constrained by the time available to conduct proper research. An appropriate indicator taxon could simplify this kind of research. One of the prerequisites is that the diversity of the indicator shows a clear relation with the disturbance gradient. In this study, we investigate if Drosophila flies meet this prerequisite. Collections were made over a disturbance gradient from closed canopy forest to grassland in the Philippines. The results indicate that there are no differences in biodiversity among habitats regardless of the index used. However, the overlap between faunas of the two most extreme land use types is only 10% and most of the 35 species found clearly show habitat specialisation. In conclusion, the Drosophila communities show a clear response to the disturbance gradient but this phenomenon is not easily measurable with diversity indices.

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