Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands

TitleEcological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJoern, A, Laws, A
JournalAnnual Review of Entomology
Pagination19 -36
Accession NumberKNZ001479

Arthropods are an important component of grassland systems, contributing significantly to biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Climate, fire, and grazing by large herbivores are important drivers in grasslands worldwide. Arthropod responses to these drivers are highly variable and clear patterns are difficult to find, but responses are largely indirect with respect to changes in resources, species interactions, habitat structure, and habitat heterogeneity resulting from interactions among fire, grazing, and climate. Here, we review these ecological mechanisms influencing grassland arthropod diversity. We summarize hypotheses describing species diversity at local and regional scales and then discuss specific factors that may affect arthropod diversity in grassland systems. These factors include direct and indirect effects of grazing, fire, and climate, species interactions, above- and belowground interactions, and landscape-level effects.