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Ring-based versus disc-based separation of spatial scales: a case study on the impact of arable land proportions on invertebrates in freshwater streams

Publiceringsår: 2011
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 351-356
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Aquatic Ecology
Volym: 45
Nummer: 3
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Springer


The impact of different land-use types on

species is traditionally estimated by correlating

landscape proportions recorded in buffer areas around

focal points with species data observed at these sites.

If a high proportion of a specific land-use type exists

within a small radius, it will be accumulated in larger

buffers and may confound the interpretation at larger

scales. We sampled freshwater invertebrates in ten

streams using cages with artificial substrate and

compared the effects of arable land proportions

calculated in disc-shaped buffers of increasing radius

versus areas calculated from non-overlapping rings of

increasing radius. We hypothesize that (1) the

accumulative disc-based approach leads to confounding

effects across increasing buffer size and that (2)

the use of ring-based methods facilitates the identification

of relevant scales for conservation measures.

The abundance of crustaceans showed a positive

relationship with arable land proportions, but Plecoptera

abundance and the taxonomic richness of

Ephemeroptera and Plecoptera decreased with

increasing arable land proportions in the surrounding

landscape. Our results further support the presence of

confounding effects in disc-based analyses, as correlations

between arable land proportions and Crustacea,

or Plecoptera, respectively, were affected by the

accumulation of small-scale area proportions. The

distance at which arable land proportions significantly

affected benthic fauna in freshwater streams

was consistently shorter if calculated from rings

rather than from discs. Although an a priori definition

of ring width introduces new challenges, a combined

use of disc- and ring-based techniques for the

estimation of land-use effects may substantially

improve the realization of conservation and protection

measures in terrestrial and aquatic systems.


  • Ecology
  • Arthropod diversity
  • Crustacea
  • EPT taxa
  • Landscape analysis
  • Land-use type
  • Multi-scale analysis
  • Spatial analysis
  • Spatial memory


  • ISSN: 1386-2588

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