diversity

Invertebrate communities in a tropical rain forest canopy in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Hugo

Schowalter, T. W., and L. M. Ganio. 1999. Invertebrate communities
in a tropical rain forest canopy in Puerto Rico
following Hurricane Hugo. Ecological Entomology 24:
191–201.

Abstract: 
1. Canopy invertebrate responses to Hurricane Hugo, tree species, and recovery time were examined at the Luquillo Experimental Forest in Puerto Rico during 1991–92 and 1994–95. Six tree species representing early and late successional stages were examined in paired plots representing severe hurricane disturbance (most trees toppled) and light hurricane disturbance (all trees standing and most branches intact). 2. Hurricane disturbance affected invertebrate abundances significantly. Sap-suckers and molluscs were more abundant, and defoliators, detritivores, and emergent aquatic insects were less abundant in recovering tree-fall gaps than in intact forest during this 5-year period. These changes in functional organisation are consistent with comparable studies of arthropod responses to canopy removal during harvest in temperate forests. 3. Tree species also affected invertebrate abundances significantly, but invertebrate communities did not differ significantly between the three early successional and three later successional tree species. 4. Most taxa showed significant annual variation in abundances, but only two Homoptera species showed a significant linear decline in abundance through time, perhaps reflecting long-term trends during recovery. 5. Leaf area missing, an indicator of herbivore effect on canopy processes, showed significant seasonal and annual trends, as well as differences among tree species and hurricane treatments. Generally, leaf area missing peaked during the wet season each year, but reached its highest levels during an extended drought in 1994. Leaf area missing also tended to be higher on the more abundant tree species in each disturbance treatment. 6. Herbivore abundances and leaf area missing were not related to concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, or calcium in the foliage. 7. This study demonstrated that invertebrate community structure and herbivory are dynamic processes that reflect the influences of host species and variable environmental conditions.

The Bromeliad Microcosm and the Assessment of Faunal Diversity in a Neotropical Forest

The Bromeliad Microcosm and the Assessment of Faunal Diversity in a Neotropical Forest
Barbara A. Richardson
Biotropica
Vol. 31, No. 2 (Jun., 1999), pp. 321-336

Abstract: 
The faunas of tank bromeliads were sampled over two years in three forest types at different elevations in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico, and the diversity of their animal communities compared. Bromeliad plants behaved as islands in that, within forests, the species richness and abundance of their animal communities were significantly and positively correlated with increase in plant size. The amount of canopy debris they accumulated was similarly correlated with increase in plant size. Overall diversity was lowest in the dwarf forest, where plants were uniformly small. Animal communities were stable from year to year, and could be characterised for each forest type and for compartments within the plant. They showed a pattern of high dominance, which increased with elevation (McNaughton index 37, 54, and 73, respectively, for the tabonuco, palo colorado, and dwarf forest). Alpha-diversity for sites sampled in each year reflected net primary productivity (NPP) of the forest, declining with increasing elevation when animal abundance measures were used (jackknife estimates of Simpson's diversity index 6.54 & 11.04 [tabonuco], 3.53 & 6.22 [palo colorado], and 2.75 & 2.17 [dwarf forest]). Species richness over the two years, however, was highest in the intermediate palo colorado forest (187 species), compared to 146 and 88 in the tabonuco and dwarf forests, respectively. These figures were close to jackknife estimates of maximum species richness. The difference in species richness between tabonuco and palo colorado forests was significant in one year only. In addition to NPP, other factors, such as litter quality and the structural complexity of the habitat in the palo colorado forest, may have influenced species richness. The most abundant species in individual plants were also the most widely occurring, confirming known patterns of abundance and distribution in other functional groups. Diversity within bromeliad microcosms at different elevations supported known relationships between diversity, productivity, and habitat complexity along gradients and was not related to differences in the total bromeliad habitat available for colonization.

Relationship between aboveground biomass and multiple measures of biodiversity in subtropical forest of Puerto Rico

Vance-Chalcraft, Heather D.; Willig, Michael R.; Cox, Stephen B.; Lugo, Ariel E.; Scatena, Frederick N. 2010. Relationship between aboveground biomass and multiple measures of biodiversity in subtropical forest of Puerto Rico. Biotropica. 42(3):290-299.

Abstract: 
Anthropogenic activities have accelerated the rate of global loss of biodiversity, making it more important than ever to understand the structure of biodiversity hotspots. One current focus is the relationship between species richness and aboveground biomass (AGB) in a variety of ecosystems. Nonetheless, species diversity, evenness, rarity, or dominance represent other critical attributes of biodiversity and may have associations with AGB that are markedly different than that of species richness. Using data from large trees in four environmentally similar sites in the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico, we determined the shape and strength of relationships between each of five measures of biodiversity (i.e., species richness, Simpson’s diversity, Simpson’s evenness, rarity, and dominance) and AGB. We quantified these measures of biodiversity using either proportional biomass or proportional abundance as weighting factors. Three of the four sites had a unimodal relationship between species richness and AGB, with only the most mature site evincing a positive, linear relationship. The differences between the mature site and the other sites, as well as the differences between our richness–AGB relationships and those found at other forest sites, highlight the crucial role that prior land use and severe storms have on this forest community. Although the shape and strength of relationships differed greatly among measures of biodiversity and among sites, the strongest relationships within each site were always those involving richness or evenness.

Relationship Between Aboveground Biomass and Multiple Measures of Biodiversity in Subtropical Forest of Puerto Rico

Vance-Chalcraft, Heather D.; Willig, Michael R.; Cox, Stephen B.; Lugo, Ariel E.; Scatena, Frederick N. 2010. Relationship between aboveground biomass and multiple measures of biodiversity in subtropical forest of Puerto Rico. Biotropica. 42(3):290-299.

Abstract: 
Anthropogenic activities have accelerated the rate of global loss of biodiversity, making it more important than ever to understand the structure of biodiversity hotspots. One current focus is the relationship between species richness and aboveground biomass (AGB) in a variety of ecosystems. Nonetheless, species diversity, evenness, rarity, or dominance represent other critical attributes of biodiversity and may have associations with AGB that are markedly different than that of species richness. Using data from large trees in four environmentally similar sites in the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico, we determined the shape and strength of relationships between each of five measures of biodiversity (i.e., species richness, Simpson’s diversity, Simpson’s evenness, rarity, and dominance) and AGB. We quantified these measures of biodiversity using either proportional biomass or proportional abundance as weighting factors. Three of the four sites had a unimodal relationship between species richness and AGB, with only the most mature site evincing a positive, linear relationship. The differences between the mature site and the other sites, as well as the differences between our richness–AGB relationships and those found at other forest sites, highlight the crucial role that prior land use and severe storms have on this forest community. Although the shape and strength of relationships differed greatly among measures of biodiversity and among sites, the strongest relationships within each site were always those involving richness or evenness.

Global and local variations in tropical montane cloud forest soils

Roman L, Scatena FN, Bruijnzeel LA. 2010. In Tropical Montane Cloud Forests: Science for Conservation and Management, Bruijnzeel LA, Scatena FN, Hamilton LS (eds).

Abstract: 
Although soil resources are widely considered as a major factor that reduces the productivity, stature, and diversity of tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF), systematic comparisons of soil resources within and between TMCF are lacking. This study combines published reports on TMCF soils with new data on the soils and forest structure of the Luquillo Mountains in Puerto Rico to assess the current state of knowledge regarding global and local-scale variation in TMCF soils. At the global scale, soils from 33 TMCF sites and over 150 pedons are reviewed. Compared to soils in humid lowland tropical forests, TMCF soils are relatively acidic, have higher organic matter content, and are relatively high in total nitrogen and extractable phosphorus. Across all sites, significant correlations also exist between mean annual precipitation and soil pH and base saturation, but not between any soil chemical factor and canopy height, site elevation, or air temperature. Although comparisons between TMCF are limited by inconsistent sampling protocols, analysis of available data does indicates that lower montane cloud forests (LMCF) have taller canopies, higher soil pH, lower soil nitrogen, and higher C/N ratios than upper montane cloud forests (UMCF). Within an UMCF in NE Puerto Rico, the abundance of soil nitrogen, carbon, and potassium accounted for 25% to 54% of the variation in canopy height. However, as much as 68% of the variation in stand height could be accounted for when site exposure, slope gradient, and the percent coverage of surface roots were also included in the analysis.

Effects of nutrient availability and other elevational changes on bromeliad populations and their invertebrate communities in a humid tropical forest in Puerto Rico

RICHARDSON, BARBARA A.; RICHARDSON,M. J.; SCATENA, F. N.; MCDOWELL, W. H. 2000. Effects of nutrient availability and other elevational changes on romeliad populations and their invertebrate communities in a humid tropical forest in Puerto Rico. Journal of Tropical Ecology 16:167±188.

Abstract: 
Nutrient inputs into tank bromeliads were studied in relation to growth and productivity, and the abundance, diversity and biomass of their animal inhabitants, in three forest types along an elevational gradient. Concentrations of phosphorus, potassium and calcium in canopy-derived debris, and nitrogen and phosphorus in phytotelm water, declined with increasing elevation. Dwarf forest bromeliads contained the smallest amounts of debris/plant and lowest concentrations of nutrients in plant tissue. Their leaf turnover rate and productivity were highest and, because of high plant density, they comprised 12.8% of forest net primary productivity (0.47 t ha-1 y-1), and contained 3.3 t ha-1 of water. Annual nutrient budgets indicated that these microcosms were nutrient-abundant and accumulated < 5% of most nutrients passing through them. Exceptions were K and P in the dwarf forest, where accumulation was c. 25% of inputs. Animal and bromeliad biomass/plant peaked in the intermediate elevation forest, and were positively correlated with the debris content/bromeliad across all forest types. Animal species richness showed a signi®cant mid-elevational peak, whereas abundance was independent of species richness and debris quantities, and declined with elevation as forest net primary productivity declined. The unimodal pattern of species richness was not correlated with nutrient concentrations, and relationships among faunal abundance, species richness, nutrient inputs and environment are too complex to warrant simple generalizations about nutrient resources and diversity, even in apparently simple microhabitats.

Eutrophic overgrowth in the self-organization of tropical wetlands illustrated with a study of swine wastes in rainforest plots

Kent,Roberta; Odum, H.T.; Scatena, F.N. 2000. Eutrophic overgrowth in the self-organization of tropical wetlands illustrated with a study of swine wastes in rainforest plots. Ecological Engineering 16 255-269.

Abstract: 
The relationship of plant species diversity to cultural eutrophy in tropical wetlands was studied in Puerto Rico with experimental plots, a survey of 25 eutrophic sites developing from the wastes of society, and a simulation mini-model. The model is a quantitative hypothesis which contains the mechanisms to maximize empower (gross production) by reinforcing low diversity, net production overgrowth when resources are in excess, but switches to high diversity efficiency and recycle to maximize gross production when excess resources are absent. To study self-organization with eutrophy, six wetland plots (32 m) were seeded with many plant species and treated for five months with pig wastewaters and control plots with groundwater. Vegetation was seeded: (1) with seed bank; (2) with ten species of local rainforest and wetland trees (60 individuals in each plot); and (3) with weedy species invading from fertile surroundings. The fertilized waste plots filled in with vegetation in less than half the time (9 weeks) required for the clear water control plots (21 weeks). Vegetative diversity in both waste and control plots was maximum (2.73–3.34 bits per individual) shortly before 100% cover was reached, and then declined with the competitive overgrowth of a few species (mixed grasses and Commelina diffusa). Of the planted seedlings, there was little growth, and individuals of only four species survived. Survival of Andira inermis and Cyrilla racemiflora was 42 and 53%, respectively. Dominants of oligotrophic wetlands (Pterocarpus officinalis and Prestoea montana) were displaced. A survey of 25 other wetland sites, receiving high nutrient waters from developments, found low diversity overgrowth, but different species prevailing. Eighty-five species were involved in wetland self-organizational processes and ecological engineering management. Eutrophic wetlands, such as those released from sugar cane closure in Puerto Rico and elsewhere, may be in a state of marshy, arrested succession because there may not be a forest species already adapted for rapid reforestation of the excess nutrient habitat. The study provides evidence of the overgrowth principle as the natural means for ecological engineering of eutrophic interfaces between the current civilization and environment.

A Comparison of Two Sampling Strategies to Assess Discomycete Diversity in Wet Tropical Forests

CANTRELL, SHARON A. 2004. A Comparison of Two Sampling Strategies to Assess Discomycete Diversity in Wet Tropical Forests. Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 40, No. 1, 8-16, .

Abstract: 
Most of the fungal diversity studies that have used a systematic collecting scheme have not included the discomycetes, so optimal sampling methods are not available for this group. In this study, I tested two sampling methods at each sites in the Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico and Ebano Verde Reserve, Dominican Republic. For a plot-based sampling method, 10 × 10 m plots were established and divided into one hundred 1 × 1 m subplots. For each sample, 12 subplots were selected at random with replacement. For a transect-based sampling method, 60 m long transects were established with twelve 1 × 1 m subplots randomly placed on either side of the transect line at 5 m intervals at the beginning of the study. The study was conducted from October 2001 to September 2002. For Puerto Rico, 46 and 51 morpho-species were identified in the transects and plots, respectively. There was a 32% overlap (68% complementarity) between sites. The Sorensen Similarity Coefficient between sites was 0.50 for both methods, and 0.55-0.63 between methods within sites. For the Dominican Republic, 25 and 26 morpho-species were identified in the transects and plots, respectively. There was a 24-31% overlap (69-76% complementarity) between sites. The Sørensen Similarity Coefficient between sites was 0.40-0.47 for transects and plots, respectively, and 0.40-0.70 between methods within sites. The species accumulation curve indicates that the minimum number of subplots needed is 10 per transect and 60-70 per plot to obtain between 70-80% of the species. In terms of sampling effort, I concluded that at least 12 samples distributed throughout a year but with shorter intervals during the rainy season are needed. There was no difference between using transects or plots based on the number of species and similarity indexes. Based on a Chi-Square analysis using the frequencies of species, however, transects were better that plots because the distribution of species is more homogeneous.
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