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Can urban consolidation limit local biodiversity erosion? Responses from carabid beetle and spider assemblages in Western France

Abstract : During the last decades, urban consolidation has been developed to minimize spatial expansion of cities, yet very few studies investigated whether it would actually reduce some negative effects of urbanization on biodiversity. In this study, we compared the invertebrate assemblages associated with two distinct urban forms (compact vs. conventional), focusing on two arthropod taxa often used as bioindicators, and dominant in urban habitats: spiders and carabid beetles. The following parameters were estimated: assemblage composition, species richness, activity-density total, per species (excluding seldom-recorded species) and per size class. The field collection was performed in 2009 using pitfall traps randomly set in hedgerows within 6 sites (representing 251 traps). A total of 4,413 spiders belonging to 117 species and 2,077 adult carabid beetles belonging to 39 species were collected. We found few significant differences in carabid beetle and spider assemblages between the two urban forms. The species richness of both groups was independent from the neighborhood design. Only four species of carabid beetles and ten of spiders significantly reacted to the neighborhood design, and no difference was found among the two designs for all other species. Large carabid beetles were more abundant and small spiders less abundant in the new neighborhood design compared to the conventional one. For both carabid beetles and spiders, no difference in assemblage composition was found between neighborhood designs. We therefore conclude that urban consolidation, by permitting a higher human density with similar arthropod assemblages, could contribute to reduce biodiversity loss in cities.
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Marion Varet, Francoise Burel, Julien Pétillon. Can urban consolidation limit local biodiversity erosion? Responses from carabid beetle and spider assemblages in Western France. Urban Ecosystems, Springer Verlag, 2014, 17 (1), pp.123-137. ⟨10.1007/s11252-013-0307-2⟩. ⟨hal-00999573⟩

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