eCite Digital Repository

Moving beyond the guild concept: developing a practical functional trait framework for terrestrial beetles


Fountain-Jones, NM and Baker, SC and Jordan, GJ, Moving beyond the guild concept: developing a practical functional trait framework for terrestrial beetles, Ecological Entomology, 40, (1) pp. 1-13. ISSN 0307-6946 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Royal Entomological Society

DOI: doi:10.1111/een.12158


1. New logical and analytical frameworks for studying functional traits have led to major advances in plant and freshwater ecology at local and global scales. The ecological and taxonomic diversity of terrestrial adult beetles (Coleoptera) means that functional trait approaches should have considerable power to illuminate the function not only of these animals but also of the ecosystems in which they occur.

2. Even though the functional trait concept is not new in ecology, it is still plagued with inconsistencies in methodology and terminology. Plant-based studies have shown that an integrated and relatively consistent functional trait approach facilitates comparisons between studies, and allows the full utility and predictive capacity of trait-based approaches to be realised.

3. This review outlines a logical framework for adult beetle functional trait studies using uniform terminology and methodology similar to those used by plant ecologists. Beetle life-history and ecomorphological trait studies are synthesised and it is shown that a combination of both is analogous to the functional trait approach. A general functional trait list for beetles and potential functional links is outlined, as are potential analysis approaches. A consistent functional trait approach, coupled with advances in molecular techniques, has the capability to provide deeper insights into beetle community assembly and how beetles impact ecosystems and will enable worldwide comparisons and predictions to be made.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:entomology, assembly processes, functional traits, beetles
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Fountain-Jones, NM (Dr Nicholas Fountain-Jones)
UTAS Author:Baker, SC (Dr Sue Baker)
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
ID Code:98531
Year Published:2015
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP1010050)
Web of Science® Times Cited:47
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2015-02-18
Last Modified:2017-11-01

Repository Staff Only: item control page