Tank organisms of Ecuadorian cloud forest bromeliads

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Megan Wilson , University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Many bromeliads form phytotelmata, bodies of water held by plants, by overlapping leaf bases, providing habitats for invertebrates, including many insects.  In this study, 40 bromeliads were sampled from the Andean cloud forest in Napo Province, Ecuador.  One hundred morphospecies were identified; the most abundant groups sampled were Araneae and Coleoptera, however most morphospecies were represented by only one or two individuals.  Relationships between bromeliad tank size and morphospecies richness and abundance were tested with multiple regression, showing that morphospecies richness and abundance were positively correlated with an increase in tank size with a statistically significant, positive relationship (P = 0.023) between bromeliad plant size and species richness.

Keywords: phytotelmata, bromeliads, invertebrates, insects, morphospecies richness, Ecuador 

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