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Inverse latitudinal diversity gradient pattern of the trogid beetles and the drivers
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  • Lulu Li,
  • Yuanyuan Lu,
  • Xuan Zhou,
  • Xin Chen,
  • Ming Bai
Lulu Li
Institute of Zoology Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Yuanyuan Lu
Institute of Zoology Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Xuan Zhou
Yangtze University
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Xin Chen
Cangzhou Normal University
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Ming Bai
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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The rare inverse latitudinal diversity gradient is almost neglected compared with the dominant latitudinal diversity gradient, and the underlying mechanism of this biodiversity pattern remains elusive, especially for invertebrates. Necrophage trogid beetles are a vertebrate-dependent family group that may potentially serve as an environmental indicator, but comprehensive distributional knowledge is lacking. Here, a geographical distribution dataset of 11321 coordinates belonging to 284 species (over 80% of Trogidae) was compiled, and pairwise dependencies of trogids and vertebrates were integrated. The diversity patterns of Trogidae were revealed by calculating species richness and performing endemicity analysis. To further illustrate the underlying richness-variable relationships, the relative effects of environmental factors on the richness of trogids were investigated by random forest analysis. The hotspots of trogid species richness and areas of endemism were both located in temperate zones, together generating a rare inverse latitudinal diversity gradient in which similar height bimodal peaks appeared in the mid-latitude temperate zone (near 30°S and 40°N). Climatic conditions and food availability combined to explain 21.94% of the variance in global trogid richness. This work first reported the global diversity pattern of necrophagous beetles at the specimen grade and supported the ‘resource-dependent hypothesis’. And the case study in trogids provides valuable insights into inverse latitudinal diversity gradient patterns. The loose linkage of trogids and vertebrates is another interesting insight, with implications for carefully using trogids as an indicator of vertebrate distribution.