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Local stochastics and ecoclimatic situation shape phytophagous chafer assemblage composition
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  • Sasanka Ranasinghe,
  • Jonas Eberle,
  • Suresh Benjamin,
  • Dirk Ahrens
Sasanka Ranasinghe
Zoological Reserch Museum Alexander Koenig

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jonas Eberle
Paris Lodron University of Salzburg
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Suresh Benjamin
National Institute of Fundamental Studies
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Dirk Ahrens
Zoological Reserch Museum Alexander Koenig
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Very little is known about factors determining the assemblage structure of megadiverse polyphagous-herbivore scarab chafers in the tropics (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Here, we examined the composition of Sri Lankan chafer assemblages and investigated whether it is influenced more by the general ecoclimatic situation, macrohabitat, of indetermined stochastic biotic and abiotic factors of each locality. We also explored the influence of the latter on separate lineages and general body size. Based on dedicated field surveys conducted during the dry and wet seasons, we examined 4847 chafer individuals of 105 species sampled using multiple UV-light traps in 11 localities covering different forest types and altitudinal zones. Assemblages were assessed for compositional similarity, species diversity, and abundance within four major eco-spatial partitions: forest types, elevational zones, localities, and macrohabitats. Our results revealed that assemblages were shaped mainly by locality stochastics, and to a minor extent by ecoclimatic conditions. Macrohabitat had little effect on the assemblage composition. This was true for the entire chafer assemblage as well as for all single lineages or different body size classes. However, in medium and large specimens the contrasts between localities were less pronounced, which was not the case for individual lineages of the assemblage. Contrasts of assemblage similarity between localities were much more evident than those for forest types and elevation zones. Significant correlation between species composition and geographic distance was found only for the assemblage of small-bodied specimens. Seasonal change (dry-wet) in species composition was minor and only measurable in a few localities.
27 Oct 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
27 Oct 2022Submission Checks Completed
27 Oct 2022Assigned to Editor
10 Nov 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
21 Nov 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
05 Dec 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
31 Jan 20231st Revision Received
06 Feb 2023Submission Checks Completed
06 Feb 2023Assigned to Editor
06 Feb 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Feb 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
24 Feb 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
20 Apr 20232nd Revision Received
21 Apr 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Apr 2023Submission Checks Completed
21 Apr 2023Assigned to Editor
28 Apr 2023Editorial Decision: Accept