Data from: What shapes cerambycid beetle communities in a tropical forest mosaic? Assessing the effects of host tree identity, forest structure, and vertical stratification
Li, Lin; Aguilar, Reinaldo; Berkov, Amy (2016), Data from: What shapes cerambycid beetle communities in a tropical forest mosaic? Assessing the effects of host tree identity, forest structure, and vertical stratification, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t4h50
Due to anthropogenic activities, tropical rain forests face many challenges in sustaining biodiversity and maintaining global climates. This study explores how forest successional stage, tree composition, and stratum affect communities of saproxylic cerambycid beetles—concealed feeders that play important roles in forest nutrient cycling. Forty trees in five families (Fabaceae, Lecythidaceae, Malvaceae, Moraceae, and Sapotaceae) were sampled in a mosaic of old-growth and secondary forest on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Bait branches yielded 3549 cerambycid individuals in 49 species. Species richness was almost identical in old-growth and secondary forest, and both yielded specialists, but abundance was higher in old-growth forest. Overall community structure was most strongly influenced by host plant species; within most plant families it was also impacted by forest successional status. Moraceae was the exception, presumably because the focal tree species was abundant in both old-growth and secondary forest. Several host and old-growth specialist species reached high densities within patches of old-growth forest, but seldom colonized apparently suitable trees within secondary forest. This suggests that even small areas of old-growth forest can act as refuges, but that secondary forest may act as a barrier to dispersal. The vulnerability of specialized saproxylic insects to land use change will be linked to the ability of their preferred hosts to disperse to and persist in successional habitats; rearing studies may provide the most accurate method to monitor community changes over time.