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Data from: Temperature accounts for the biodiversity of a hyperdiverse group of insects in urban Los Angeles

Citation

McGlynn, Terrence P. et al. (2019), Data from: Temperature accounts for the biodiversity of a hyperdiverse group of insects in urban Los Angeles, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gr68f2j

Abstract

The urban heat island effect is a worldwide phenomenon that has been linked to species’ distributions and abundances in cities. However, effects of urban heat on biotic communities are nearly impossible to disentangle from effects of land cover in most cases because hotter urban sites also have less vegetation and more impervious surfaces than cooler sites within cities. We sampled phorid flies, one of the largest, most biologically diverse families of true flies (Insecta: Diptera: Phoridae), at 30 sites distributed within the central Los Angeles Basin, where we found that temperature and the density of urban land cover are decoupled. Abundance, richness, and community composition of phorids inside urban Los Angeles were most parsimoniously accounted for by mean air temperature in the week preceding sampling. Sites with intermediate mean temperatures had more phorid fly individuals and higher richness. Communities were more even at urban sites with lower minimum temperatures and sites located further away from natural areas, suggesting that communities separated from natural source populations may be more homogenized. Species composition was best explained by minimum temperature. Inasmuch as warmer areas within cities can predict future effects of climate change, phorid fly communities are likely to shift non-linearly under future climates in more natural areas. Exhaustive surveys of biotic communities within cities, such as the one we describe here, can provide baselines for determining the effects of urban and global climate warming as they intensify.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: OISE-1261015

Location

Los Angeles
California