The abundance, diversity, seasonal changes in the weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) fauna of leaf litter were evaluated in different habitats on a single mountain peak in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. The mountain peak sampled was the 100 ha Huitepec Reserve that contains both old growth cloud forest, and secondary oak forests. Eight samples of 0.5 m of leaf litter were taken at four different altitudinal sites in four transects during both wet and dry seasons (256 total samples). Samples were extracted using berlese funnels and sorted to sample site and date into morpho-species. Approximately 40 species of weevils were found in the leaf litter on this mountain slope. Species accumulation curves indicated that all virtually all weevil species were found during the sample period, within the portion of the leaf litter sampled. The most common weevil genera were Heptarthrum, Theognete, Dioptrophorus, Anchonus, Sciomus, Tylodinus and Eurhoptus. Preliminary data indicated that the densities of weevils were high and averaged 33.0 + 21.5 individuals per m2. Point diversity was also high with a mean of 6.9 species per m2 of sample. Beta diversity was also relatively high with different weevil assemblages found in different habitats. Weevil diversity in late secondary growth was significantly less than in old growth, despite nominal differences in the depth of leaf litter layers and shading. Weevil larvae were most common during the wetter, warmer months of August and September. Results suggest that even minor disturbances of these tropical montane forests can significantly affect the composition of weevil fauna in leaf litter and colonization of adjacent areas is relatively slow. The importance of these results for conservation biology of the humid, montane forests of Mesoamerica will be discussed.
Species 1: Coleoptera Curculionidae
Keywords: Biodiversity, Disturbance
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA