Matthew Begley, Wilson Goode, Elizabeth Sasser
Faculty Sponsor: Kevin Smith
Habitat loss is known to decrease the biodiversity of an area. Some studies have used the Species-Area Relationship (SAR) to estimate this loss, but a study by Almeida and Smith (unpublished 2019) found that both the SAR and a rarefaction-based approach to estimating biodiversity loss underestimated the true cost of habitat loss. We analyze arthropod data from Almeida and Smith to determine the effect of this habitat loss on the family Hemiptera. In our study, rarefaction is found to closely predict the immediate biodiversity loss from a random 50% habitat removal treatment but underestimates the long-term effects of this removal. We calculate a Pe value, or probability of extinction, for each species of Hemiptera in our study based on random-chance removal by sample. Several species went “extinct” in our study despite low Pe values, which may represent selective forces rather than a random-chance decline in biodiversity.