The order of beetles (Coleoptera) is divided into 112 families in

The order of beetles (Coleoptera) is divided into 112 families including no less than 4,116 species, with the ground beetle family (Carabidae) representing the third most species-rich beetle family in The Netherlands (390 species), after the Staphilinidae and the Curculionidae. Although it cannot be excluded that certain species and genera within other arthropod families will be more discriminative with respect to the environmental characteristics investigated, the rather high ratios of family: order (112) and species: family (390) indicate that the influence of these floodplain characteristics on arthropod Sapitinib assemblages is not severely underestimated by the choice for beetles and ground

beetles. Taxonomic level required for biomonitoring The present body of knowledge is ambiguous with respect to the taxonomic SC79 molecular weight level most suited for biological monitoring. A number of studies have concluded that investigations of higher taxonomic levels give outcomes comparable to results obtained at the species level (Biaggini et al. 2007; Cardoso et al. 2004; Hirst 2008; Sánchez-Moyano

et al. 2006), whereas several others indicate that species data are most appropriate (Andersen 1995; Nahmani et al. 2006; Verdonschot 2006). One explanation for these seemingly conflicting findings might be that the taxa investigated in the different studies show a different degree of taxonomic bifurcation. The extent to which species assemblages are mirrored by higher taxonomic level find more assemblages depends upon the diversity of the fauna being considered (Andersen 1995; Marshall et al. 2006). Where only a few species are present per higher level taxon and higher level taxa are numerically dominated by a single species, higher level data can adequately represent species patterns. Where diversity is higher, it may be necessary to actually investigate genera or species, because higher taxa may have undergone adaptive radiation and the species within for example one family are less likely isothipendyl to share common ecological tolerances and preferences (Marshall

et al. 2006; Sánchez-Moyano et al. 2006; Verdonschot 2006). The degree of taxonomic bifurcation might actually explain why several studies performed in marine environments emphasize the feasibility of higher taxonomic level investigations (Olsgard et al. 1998; Sánchez-Moyano et al. 2006; Stark et al. 2003; Warwick 1988), as there are on average substantially fewer species per higher taxon in the marine environment than on land (Vincent and Clarke 1995; Williams and Gaston 1994). Another explanation for the ambiguity in the literature might relate to the range of environmental characteristics covered by the respective studies. Higher taxonomic units may aggregate species with different ecological tolerances and preferences, resulting in a wider variety of ecological response and thus wider distribution ranges.

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