Moreno, C.E. and G. Halffter. 2001. Spatial and temporal analysis of the alpha, beta and gamma diversities of bats in a fragmented landscape. Biodiversity and Conservation. 10: 367-382. ISSN: 1572-9710 (Online)
We test a strategy for analyzing species richness in a landscape. This strategy is based on the joint analysis of agr (local), beta (turnover) and gamma (landscape) diversities. We assessed the spatial and temporal relations among agr, beta and gamma diversity of bats (Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae) in a tropical landscape. In a spatial dimension, gamma diversity depends on the agr diversity of the most species-rich community. The value of spatial beta diversity between habitats was very low. A high agr diversity was found in a cornfield, which may be attributed to the reduced extent of the field (compared with a more extensive field) that allows the arrival of individuals from nearby rich communities. In a temporal dimension, within habitat cumulative richness over sampling period may be considerably different from the average richness. These differences are attributed to temporal turnover during short time intervals. Therefore, cumulative richness may be viewed as the temporal equivalent of within-habitat gamma diversity, which results of both average agr and temporal turnover. We discuss, which value must be taken as an estimate of habitat species richness, the average or the cumulative agr, and the implications that this decision can have in the evaluation of biodiversity.