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Swarthmore College

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation

Abstract

Pitfall traps are commonly used to sample epigeal fauna, and are especially utilized for the collection of ground-dwelling arthropods; however, this sampling method has yet to be employed in Cerro Candelaria, a protected cloud forest reserve in Tungurahua, Ecuador. Pitfall trap systems were established at two different sites in the reserve that differed in elevation and forest type. Although individuals from 4 different phlya, 11 classes and 17 orders were encountered over the duration of the study, pitfalls were most effective at sampling Coleoptera, which comprised 40% of the total catch across both sites. The two communities of beetle surveyed had similar alpha diversities and shared 6 out of 9 total families. However, over half of the morphospecies described at each site were found only at that particular site, indicating some degree of dissimilarity in diversity between the two locations. Overall, pitfall traps are a promising method for the long-term monitoring of beetle communities in Candelaria, and have the potential to provide information about other epigeal fauna inhabiting the reserve as well.

Trampas de pitfall están usadas para estudiar fauna epigeal, y están utilizados especialmente para colectar artrópodos que viven en el superficie del suelo; sin embargo, este método no ha sido empleado en Cerro Candelaria, un bosque protector en Tungurahua, Ecuador. Sistemas de trampas fueron establecidos en dos sitios diferentes en la reserva que diferenciaron en elevación y tipo de bosque. Aunque individuales de 4 phyla, 11 clases y 17 ordenes fueron encontrados durante el estudio, las trampas eran más eficaces para la colección de Coleoptera, que representaron 40% de la captura total. Las dos comunidades de escarabajos tuvieron diversidades alfas similares, y compartieron 6 de 9 familias en total. Sin embargo, más de la mitad de los morfoespecies encontrados en cada sitio sólo estaban presentes en ese sitio, lo cual indica un cierto grado de disimilitud entre los dos lugares. En total, trampas de pitfall son un método prometedor para monitorizar las comunidades de escarabajos en Candelaria a largo plazo, y tienen la potencial para proveer información sobre otra fauna epigeal que habita la reserva también.

Disciplines

Biology | Environmental Studies | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

 

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