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Restricted dispersal in a flying beetle assessed by telemetry

  • Jonas Hedin
  • Thomas Ranius
  • Sven Nilsson
  • Henrik Smith
Publishing year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 675-684
Publication/Series: Biodiversity and Conservation
Volume: 17
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Many insects living in ancient trees are assumed to be threatened as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation. It is generally expected that species in habitats with low temporal variability in carrying capacity have lower degree of dispersal in comparison to those in more ephemeral habitats. As hollow trees are long-lived, species in that habitat are expected to be sensitive to habitat fragmentation, due to a low capacity to establish new populations far from present ones. Using radio telemetry, we studied the dispersal for a beetle, Osmoderma eremita, living in hollow trees. O. eremita exhibited philopatry and only dispersed over short ranges. About 82-88% of the adults remained in the tree where they were caught. All observed dispersal movements ended up in nearby hollow trees and 62% in the neighbouring hollow tree. These results corroborate the suggestion that habitat fragmentation may be detrimental to insects living in temporally stable but spatially variable habitats. In order to preserve such species, we propose that conservation efforts should be focused on maintaining or increasing the number of suitable trees in and near presently occupied stands.


  • Ecology
  • sedentary
  • tree hollow
  • transmitters
  • radio
  • Osmoderma eremita
  • dispersal distance
  • dispersal rate


  • ISSN: 0960-3115
Sven G. Nilsson
E-mail: sven [dot] nilsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus




Research group

Biodiversity and Conservation Science