We tested the application of the concept of hemeroby and generalism at community level, on a set of birds occurring in various habitats of central Italy characterized by different level of disturbance. In each habitat-related bird community, we applied the recently published species-specific score in hemeroby (a proxy of habitat-related disturbance; HSi) and hemerobiotic diversity (a proxy of generalism; H’Hi) to local species frequency, obtaining weighted values at community level (HStot and H’Htot). The relationship between HStot vs. H’Htot showed an increasing trend moving from reed beds through forests and mosaics to urban communities. Quadratic model (best fit) evidenced a significant correlation between these variables and a tendency toward a hump-shaped curve, corroborating results already observed at species level (intermediate generalism hypothesis). The co-inertia analysis discriminated four groups of habitat-related communities, characterized by species with different levels of disturbance-sensitivity (expressed by HSi) and generalism (expressed by hemerobiotic diversity; H’Hi): (i) forest type-related, where mature wood communities were separated from a coppiced wood one; (ii) communities of moderately disturbed agricultural habitats; (iii) communities embedded in highly disturbed mosaics, and (iv) a group including either a highly disturbed urban habitat or a low disturbed wetland reed bed, with highly specialized species (respectively, synanthropic species and water-related species). Total scores in hemeroby and hemerobiotic diversity, expressing the composition in species with different disturbance preference and generalism, might act as good community-based indicators of degree of naturalness, especially for forest habitat types.
Madhur Anand, CAN (forest ecology, computational ecology, and ecological complexity)
S. Bagella, ITA (temporal dynamics, including succession, community level patterns of species richness and diversity, experimental studies of plant, animal and microbial communities, plant communities of the Mediterranean)
P. Batáry, HUN (landscape ecology, agroecology, ecosystem services)
P. A. V. Borges, PRT (community level patterns of species richness and diversity, sampling in theory and practice)
A. Davis, GER (supervised learning, multitrophic interactions, food webs, multivariate analysis, ecological statistics, experimental design, fractals, parasitoids, species diversity, community assembly, ticks, biodiversity, climate change, biological networks, cranes, olfactometry, evolution)
Z. Elek, HUN (insect ecology, invertebrate conservation, population dynamics, especially of long-term field studies, insect sampling)
T. Kalapos, HUN (community level plant ecophysiology, grassland ecology, vegetation-soil relationship)
G. M. Kovács, HUN (microbial ecology, plant-fungus interactions, mycorrhizas)
W. C. Liu,TWN (community-based ecological theory and modelling issues, temporal dynamics, including succession, trophic interactions, competition, species response to the environment)
L. Mucina, AUS (vegetation survey, syntaxonomy, evolutionary community ecology, assembly rules, global vegetation patterns, mediterranean ecology)
P. Ódor, HUN (plant communities, bryophyte ecology, numerical methods)
F. Rigal, FRA (island biogeography, macroecology, functional diversity, arthropod ecology)
D. Rocchini, ITA (biodiversity, multiple scales, spatial scales, species distribution, spatial ecology, remote sensing, ecological informatics, computational ecology)
F. Samu, HUN (landscape ecology, biological control, generalist predators, spiders, arthropods, conservation biology, sampling methods)
Sinauer Associates, Sunderland MA, xv+601 pp. ISBN: 978-0-87893-640-3; hardcover price: $86.95. Instructor’s resource CD-ROM (ISBN 978-0-87893-638-0). eBook format is also available (ISBN 978-0-87893-637-3).