Main content area

Diversity of terrestrial isopod species in the Chambi National Park (Kasserine, Tunisia)

Khila, Mouna, Zaabar, Wahiba, Achouri, Mohamed Sghaier
African journal of ecology 2018 v.56 no.3 pp. 582-590
Armadillidium, Porcellio, altitude, correspondence analysis, habitats, indigenous species, national parks, species richness, temperature, Tunisia
Diversity of terrestrial isopods across habitats and altitude was studied in the National Park of Chambi (central Tunisia). Samples were collected over five years in seven sites (S1–S7), within an altitudinal range from 750 to 1,500 m a.s.l. Twelve species belonging to five families were identified, with one endemic species (Porcellio djahizi) to this area, and three species were present in all sites (P. djahizi, Leptotrichus panzerii and Armadillidium tunisiense). Agnaridae represented by Hemilepistus reaumurii species was the most abundant family (58.77%) and found in only one site. Our results showed differences in species richness between sites. Indeed, S2 and S3 (900 and 1,050 m) showed the highest species richness with 11 species each. This result validates the hypothesis of mid‐elevational richness peak and contradicts the theory of large sampling regimes in determining the relationship between species richness and elevation. Terrestrial isopod species richness in the Chambi Mountain tends to decrease with altitude: 11 species in S2 and S3 to four species in S7. The highest Shannon–Wiener diversity index value was observed in S2 (H′ = 3.21 bits). Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that H. reaumurii was positively correlated with temperature whereas A. tunisiense and P. djahizi were the only species positively correlated with altitude.