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|Title:||Vegetation Structure Determines Insect Herbivore Diversity In Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests|
Camila Rabelo; Silva
Jhonathan Oliveira; Sousa-Souto
Frederico de Siqueira
|Abstract:||Vegetation structure can often determine insect herbivore fauna in forests, but this mechanism has been demonstrated in seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs) only at small spatial scales. In this study we evaluated the effects of the geographical location of SDTFs and vegetation structure on insect herbivore communities (leaf-chewing and sap-sucking guilds) in three Brazilian ecoregions (Cerrado, Cerrado/Caatinga transition, and Caatinga). We tested the following predictions: (1) insect herbivore species composition, richness, abundance and beta diversity differ among forests in different ecoregions; (2) insect richness, abundance and beta diversity are positively related to tree richness and density; (3) spatial turnover of species is the primary mechanism that generates herbivorous insect beta-diversity in different ecoregions, and is positively influenced by tree richness. The composition, richness, and abundance of herbivorous insects differed over SDFs along the gradient of Cerrado and Caatinga. Both herbivore guilds responded positively to tree richness. Tree density only determined the richness and abundance of sap-sucking herbivores. Insect beta-diversity was similar among Cerrado and transition areas, but lower in Caatinga itself; beta-diversity was also positively affected by tree richness. Species turnover, as opposed to nestedness, was the main mechanism generating beta-diversity, but itself was not related to tree richness. We demonstrate in this study the importance of landscape diversity and availability of local resources for herbivorous insect communities, and we emphasize the importance of SDTF conservation in different ecoregions as a result of species turnover.|
|Appears in Collections:||Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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