Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 701-706.doi: 10.17520/biods.2018144

• Original Papers • Previous Article     Next Article

Distribution pattern and mechanism of insect species diversity in Inner Mongolia

Yu Zhang, Gang Feng*()   

  1. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Ecology and Resource Use of the Mongolian Plateau & Inner Mongolia Key Laboratory of Grassland Ecology, School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021
  • Received:2018-05-15 Accepted:2018-07-20 Online:2018-09-11
  • Feng Gang
  • About author:# Co-first authors

How species are distributed geographically and what drives these distributions remain core issues in macroecology and biogeography. Both regional and local scale factors such as temperature, precipitation, altitudinal range, habitat filtering, predation, competition and reciprocity affect the large-scale distribution pattern of insect species diversity. However, few studies have simultaneously discussed the effects of these multi-scale drivers on the geographical distribution of insect diversity. Using insect diversity data from 86 counties in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, we assessed the distribution patterns and main drivers of insect species diversity. We included mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, paleoclimate change, altitudinal range and plant diversity as predictors. Plant diversity and altitudinal range influenced insect diversity in Inner Mongolia while climatic factors had less influence. Our results show that interspecific relationships (food diversity) and habitat heterogeneity may play a crucial role in shaping distribution patterns of insect diversity in Inner Mongolia.

Key words: insect species diversity, habitat heterogeneity, interspecific interactions, climatic factor, altitudinal range, plant diversity

Fig. 1

Scatter plots of insect species diversity and the related variables. Anom MAP and Anom MAT are the change of MAP/MAT between LGM and contemporary time."

Table 1

Results of single-variable analysis by ordinary least squares (OLS) and simultaneous autoregressive (SAR) models"

coefOLS r2OLS coefSAR r2SAR
Mean annual temperature (MAT)
-0.22 0.04* -0.24 0.08**
Mean annual precipitation (MAP)
-0.06 0 -0.05 0
Anom MAT
0.17 0.02 0.2 0.06**
Anom MAP
-0.24 0.04* -0.23 0.07*
Plant diversity
0.35 0.16** 0.36 0.13**
Altitudinal range
0.42 0.11** 0.41 0.18**

Fig. 2

Four combinations of variables most associated with insect species diversity obtained from the random forest model. Group 1 are Anom MAP and Plant diversity, Group 2 are Anom MAP, Altitudinal range and Plant diversity, Group 3 are MAT, Anom MAP, Altitudinal range and Plant diversity, Group 4 are MAP, Anom MAP, Altitudinal range and Plant diversity. Anom MAP is the change of MAP between LGM and contemporary time."

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