The impact of trophic guild on the diversity of Coleoptera

Taylor, Christopher
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University of Delaware
Biodiversity is said to increase the productivity and stability of the various ecological processes that keep the environment as a whole functioning properly (Naeem et al., 1999). I compared the biodiversity of three target beetle families (Scarabaeidae, Chrysomelidae and Carabidae) in Yasuni National Park of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador in two different forest types, seasonally flooded forest (varzea) and dry forest (terre firme) to 1) to determine whether one forest type would be more diverse than the other; and 2) test the hypothesis that herbivores are more diverse than predators or detritivores. No significant differences were found between the herbivores, detritivores and predators in dry and seasonally flooded forest. Scarabaeidae: Aphodiinae and Scarabaeinae were more abundant than Chrysomelidae (herbivores) which were more abundant than Carabidae, which roughly followed predictions of energy transference up the feeding trophic levels. However species richness was highest in Chrysomelids, followed by the scarabs with the fewest species recorded within the Carabidae. This result suggests that herbivores are most diverse because of the high diversity of plant life in the tropics.