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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Restricted dispersal in a flying beetle assessed by telemetry

Hedin, Jonas; Ranius, Thomas; Nilsson, Sven G.; Smith, Henrik G.


Many insects living in ancient trees are assumed to be threatened as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation. It is generally expected that species in habitats with low temporal variability in carrying capacity have lower degree of dispersal in comparison to those in more ephemeral habitats. As hollow trees are long-lived, species in that habitat are expected to be sensitive to habitat fragmentation, due to a low capacity to establish new populations far from present ones. Using radio telemetry, we studied the dispersal for a beetle, Osmoderma eremita, living in hollow trees. O. eremita exhibited philopatry and only dispersed over short ranges. About 82-88% of the adults remained in the tree where they were caught. All observed dispersal movements ended up in nearby hollow trees and 62% in the neighbouring hollow tree. These results corroborate the suggestion that habitat fragmentation may be detrimental to insects living in temporally stable but spatially variable habitats. In order to preserve such species, we propose that conservation efforts should be focused on maintaining or increasing the number of suitable trees in and near presently occupied stands.


dispersal distance; dispersal rate; Osmoderma eremita; radio transmitters; sedentary; tree hollow

Published in

Biodiversity and Conservation
2008, Volume: 17, number: 3, pages: 675-684
Publisher: SPRINGER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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