Ecogeographic patterns in a mainland-island system in Northern Europe as inferred from the rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) on Læsø island

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Rove beetles (Staphylinidae) are used to explore the forces that shaped the terrestrial fauna on Læsø, a young ca. 3000 year old Danish oceanic island located in the Kattegat strait between mainland Denmark and Sweden. We compile a detailed list of species of rove beetles for Læsø (328 species) and the surrounding Danish and Swedish regions (altogether 1075 species), which includes a standardized inventory of their body sizes, and the habitat and microhabitat preference of each species. The composition of the fauna on Læsø and adjacent mainland regions points to North-Eastern Jutland as the main source of the rove beetles on Læsø. Although large beetles are more active and likely to disperse than small beetles, there is no bias towards large species on the island indicating that the sea separating Læsø from the mainland has not been a barrier for rove beetle dispersal. The statistical analysis of the habitat and microhabitat preferences of the species of the entire system studied has shown that Læsø, compared to the mainland areas, is distinctly more dominated by ecological generalists, especially by species adapted to ephemeral, temporary humid microhabitats. Presumably, the mosaic of mostly dry open habitats available on Læsø fi lters for species, that are able to populate these suboptimal habitats via patches of humid but ephemeral microhabitats. A comprehensive eco-faunistic dataset for the Staphylinidae compiled for this study is the fi rst modern account of the rove beetle fauna on the Dan- ish island of Læsø.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Entomology
Issue number115
Pages (from-to)256-263
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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