Odonata diversity and species assemblages in the Northwest Central Plateau of Iran

Zohreh Eslami Barzoki, Mehregan Ebrahimi, Saber Sadeghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Central Iran has been faced with deterioration of water quality and quantity, but yet the biodiversity of freshwater-associated insects in this area remains uncertain and without this information the development of conservation strategies is not possible. Here we explore Odonata diversity patterns and species assemblages in three terrestrial ecoregions of Central Iran. We used the first three Hill numbers and phylogenetic generalizations of these indices to compare the species diversity between the ecoregions. To compare Odonata species composition a PERMANOVA analysis was performed. Alpha-diversity of each water body was estimated by Hill numbers, taxonomic diversity, taxonomic distinctness and average taxonomic distinctness. The effects of habitat and environmental factors on Odonata diversity indices were modelled using a linear mixed model. About 42% of all Odonata that have been reported in Iran were found during this study. Species richness in the Desert and Steppe ecoregions were almost equal, the same pattern was observed for phylogenetic diversity indices. The Steppe ecoregion also had significantly different Odonata assemblage. Results of the linear mixed model showed that environmental factors have different effects on different diversity indices. Additionally different diversity indices resulted in different outcomes when comparing ecoregions, demonstrating that single measure cannot precisely assess the properties of an assemblage’s diversity. The high diversity of Odonata observed in such an arid environment shows the importance of man-made water bodies, as well as the necessity of preparing a conservation plan for these ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-471
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Desert
  • Diversity pattern
  • Ecoregions
  • Hill numbers
  • Iran
  • Odonata
  • Odonata assemblage
  • Phylogenetic diversity


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