The Biogeography of Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) on the Islands of Lac la Ronge, Saskatchewan, Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Bell, Aaron J
  • Islands offer unusual opportunities for studying theoretical concepts in ecology. I studied the role of island size and isolation in structuring assemblages of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) on the islands and adjacent mainland of Lac la Ronge, Saskatchewan, Canada. Carabid beetles were collected on 30 islands (0.2 – 980.7 ha in size, 0.13 – 10.7 km from mainland) and five mainland sites using pitfall traps throughout the frost-free season. Carabid body size, wing length and seasonal activity information was obtained from the literature. In wing-dimorphic species, wing length was diagnosed by removing the elytra and subsequent dissections to determine the condition of flight muscles. Island size was an important factor affecting beetle assemblage, diversity, and population processes on islands. Island isolation did not negatively influence diversity at the scales examined in this study. Life history characteristics of species such as body size, wing length, and breeding period significantly influenced the distribution of beetles on islands. This work suggests that small islands experience greater turnover of carabids, particularly large-bodied flightless species, and that this may account for the island area effect observed in this island system.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.