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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Li, Lin [1], Berkov, Amy [2].

Host plant and forest successional status impact beetle community structure.

Due to anthropogenic activities, tropical rain forests face many challenges in sustaining biodiversity and maintaining global climates. This project examines how forest successional status affects community composition of saproxylic cerambycids, which, as early colonists of moribund trees, have an important role in nutrient cycling. In the lowland rain forest of Costa Rica, thirty-nine trees in five plant families (Fabaceae, Lecythidaceae, Malvaceae, Moraceae, and Sapotaceae) were sampled in a mosaic of primary and secondary forest. They yielded 3545 cerambycids in 49 species. Species richness was almost identical in primary and secondary forest; but abundance was higher in primary. This was largely because several cerambycid species, that appear to be both host and forest specialists, reached high densities within primary forest patches but seldom colonized apparently suitable trees within secondary forest. Overall, community structure was most strongly influenced by host plant species; within most plant families it was also impacted by forest structure. Moraceae was the exception, presumably because the focal tree species was abundant in both primary and secondary forest. This study suggests that even small areas of primary forest can act as refuges for specialized forest species, but that secondary forest may act as a barrier to their dispersal. The ability of the host trees to disperse to and persist in disturbed habitats will be linked to the vulnerability of specialized saproxylic insects to global change.

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1 - 28-20 37 Street Apt. C2, Astoria, NY, 11103, USA
2 - The City College of New York, Biology, 160 Convent Ave, New York, NY, 10031, USA

Tropical forest
forest fragmentation

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC012
Abstract ID:752
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Poster

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