Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 201–211 | Cite as

Trees as templates for tropical litter arthropod diversity

  • David A. DonosoEmail author
  • Mary K. Johnston
  • Michael Kaspari
Community ecology - Original Paper

Abstract

Increased tree species diversity in the tropics is associated with even greater herbivore diversity, but few tests of tree effects on litter arthropod diversity exist. We studied whether tree species influence patchiness in diversity and abundance of three common soil arthropod taxa (ants, gamasid mites, and oribatid mites) in a Panama forest. The tree specialization hypothesis proposes that tree-driven habitat heterogeneity maintains litter arthropod diversity. We tested whether tree species differed in resource quality and quantity of their leaf litter and whether more heterogeneous litter supports more arthropod species. Alternatively, the abundance–extinction hypothesis states that arthropod diversity increases with arthropod abundance, which in turn tracks resource quantity (e.g., litter depth). We found little support for the hypothesis that tropical trees are templates for litter arthropod diversity. Ten tree species differed in litter depth, chemistry, and structural variability. However, the extent of specialization of invertebrates on particular tree taxa was low and the more heterogeneous litter between trees failed to support higher arthropod diversity. Furthermore, arthropod diversity did not track abundance or litter depth. The lack of association between tree species and litter arthropods suggests that factors other than tree species diversity may better explain the high arthropod diversity in tropical forests.

Keywords

Tree specialization hypothesis Abundance Leaf litter Arthropods 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank L. Vitt, M. Yuan, R. Broughton, Y. Luo, L. Weider, and G. Wellborn for serving in our graduate committee. We thank S. Hubbel, R. Foster, R. Condit, and J. Wright for allowing access to the CTFS plot. We thank O. Dangles, O. Lewis, C. Riehl, J. Shik, L. Williams, and the ZEEB Journal Club for comments in this manuscript. We thank professor H. Schatz for mite identification. An Adams scholarship supported D.A.D. during the writing of this paper. This research was supported by NSF Grant No. 0212386 to M.K. O. Acevedo and H. Castañeda provided logistic support at BCI.

References

  1. Agosti D, Majer LE, Schultz TR (2000) Ants: standard methods for measuring and monitoring biodiversity. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson JM (1975) The enigma of soil animal species diversity. In: Progress in soil zoology. Proc of the 5th Int Coll Soil Zool, pp 51–58Google Scholar
  3. Anderson JM (1978) Inter- and intra-habitat relationships between woodland cryptostigmata species diversity and the diversity of soil and litter microhabitats. Oecologia 32:341–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. André HM, Noti M-I, Lebrun P (1994) The soil fauna: the other last biotic frontier. Biodivers Conserv 3:45–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. André HM, Ducarme X, Lebrun P (2002) Soil biodiversity: myth, reality or conning? Oikos 96:3–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Armbrecht I, Perfecto I, Vandermeer J (2004) Enigmatic biodiversity correlations: ant diversity responds to diverse resources. Science 304:284–286CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Ayres E, Dromph KM, Bardgett RD (2006) Do plant species encourage soil biota that specialise in the rapid decomposition of their litter? Soil Biol Biochem 38:183–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bardgett RD (2005) The biology of soil: a community and ecosystem approach. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bardgett RD, Cook R (1998) Functional aspects of soil animal diversity in agricultural grasslands. Appl Soil Ecol 10:263–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bardgett RD, Usher MB, Hopkins DW (eds) (2005a) Biological diversity and function in soils. Ecological reviews. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  11. Bardgett RD, Yeates GW, Anderson JM (2005b) Patterns and determinants of soil biological diversity. In: Bardgett RD, Usher MB, Hopkins DW (eds) Biological diversity and function in soils. Ecological reviews. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 100–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Basset Y (1992) Host specificity of arboreal and free-living insect herbivores in rain forests. Biol J Linn Soc 47:115–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brühl CA, Gunsalem G, Linsenmair KE (1998) Stratification of ants (Hymenoptera, Fromicidae) in a primary rain forest in Sabah, Borneo. J Trop Ecol 14:285–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Burghouts T, Ernsting G, Korthals G, de Vries T (1992) Litterfall, leaf litter decomposition and litter invertebrates in primary and selectively logged dipterocarp forest in Sabah, Malaysia. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 335:407–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chapman MG, Underwood AJ (1999) Ecological patterns in multivariate assemblages: information and interpretation of negative values in ANOSIM tests. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 180:257–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Coleman DC, Crossley DA Jr, Hendrix PF (2004) Fundamentals of soil ecology, 2nd edn. Elsevier, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  17. Coley PD (1983) Herbivory and defensive characteristics of tree species in a lowland tropical forest. Ecol Monogr 53:209–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Coley PD, Barone JA (1996) Herbivory and plant defenses in tropical forests. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 27:305–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Colwell RK (2006) EstimateS: Statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples. Version 8. User’s Persistent URL: http://purl.oclc.org/estimates
  20. Dominy NJ, Lucas PW, Wright SJ (2003) Mechanics and chemistry of rain forest leaves: canopy and understorey compared. J Exp Bot 54:2007–2014CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Donoso DA, Ramón G (2009) Composition of a high diversity leaf litter ant community (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from an Ecuadorian pre-montane rainforest. Ann Soc Entomol Fr (ns) 45:487–499Google Scholar
  22. Dufrêne M, Legendre P (1997) Species assemblages and indicator species: the need for a flexible asymmetrical approach. Ecol Monogr 67:345–366Google Scholar
  23. Elger A, Lemoine DG, Fenner M, Hanley ME (2009) Plant ontogeny and chemical defence: older seedlings are better defended. Oikos 118:767–773CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Erwin TL (1982) Tropical forests, their richness in Coleoptera and other arthropod species. Coleopt Bull 36:74–75Google Scholar
  25. Fittkau EJ, Klinge H (1973) On biomass and trophic structure of the central Amazonian rain forest ecosystem. Biotropica 5:2–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fromm H, Winter K, Filser J, Hantschel R, Beese F (1993) The influence of soil type and cultivation system on the spatial distributions of the soil fauna and microorganisms and their interactions. Geoderma 60:109–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Giller PS (1996) The diversity of soil communities, the ‘poor man’s tropical rainforest’. Biodivers Conserv 5:135–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Grove SJ (2002) Saproxylic insect ecology and the sustainable management of forest. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 33:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hansen RA (2000) Effects of habitat complexity and composition on a diverse litter microarthropod assemblage. Ecology 81:1120–1132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hansen RA, Coleman DC (1998) Litter complexity and composition are determinants of the diversity and species composition of oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) in litterbags. Appl Soil Ecol 9:17–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hubbell SP (2004) Two decades of research on the BCI Forest Dynamics Plot. In: Losos ECJ, Leigh EG (eds) Tropical forest diversity and dynamism: findings from a large-scale plot network. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 8–30Google Scholar
  32. Hubbell SP, Foster RB (1986) Biology, chance, and history and the structure of tropical rain forest tree communities. In: Diamond J, Case T (eds) Community ecology. Harper and Row, New York, pp 314–329Google Scholar
  33. Hutchinson GE (1959) Homage to Santa Rosalia or why are there so many kinds of animals? Am Nat 93:145–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Illig J, Langel R, Norton RA, Scheu S, Maraun M (2005) Where are the decomposers? Uncovering the soil food web of a tropical montane rain forest in southern Ecuador using stable isotopes (15 N). J Trop Ecol 21:589–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jermy T, Szentesi A (2003) Evolutionary aspects of host plant specialisation—a study on bruchids (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). Oikos 101:196–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jolliffe IT (2002) Principal component analysis, 2nd edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Jouquet P, Dauber J, Lagerlöf J, Lavelle P, Lepage M (2006) Soil invertebrates as ecosystem engineers: Intended and accidental effects on soil and feedback loops. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment. Appl Soil Ecol 32:153–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kaspari ME (1993) Removal of seeds from Neotropical frugivore droppings: ant responses to seed number. Oecologia 95:81–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kaspari ME (1996) Worker size and seed size selection by harvester ants in a Neotropical forest. Oecologia 105:397–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kaspari ME, Yanoviak SP (2008) The biogeography of litter depth in tropical forests: evaluating the phosphorus growth rate hypothesis. Funct Ecol 22:919–923CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kaspari ME, Yuan M, Alonso L (2003) Spatial grain and gradients of ant species richness. Am Nat 161:459–477CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Leigh EG Jr, Loo de Lao S, Condit RS, Hubbell SP, Foster RB, Perez R (2004) Barro Colorado island forest dynamics plot, Panama. In: Losos ECJ, Leigh EG Jr (eds) Tropical forest diversity and dynamism: findings from a large-scale plot network. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 451–463Google Scholar
  43. Lewinsohn TM, Roslin T (2008) Four ways towards tropical herbivore megadiversity. Ecol Lett 11:398–416CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Longino JT, Nadkarni NM (1990) A comparison of ground and canopy leaf litter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a Neotropical montane forest. Psyche 97:81–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. MacArthur RH, Levins R (1964) Competition, habitat selection, and character displacement in a patchy environment. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 51:1207–1210PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Maraun M, Schatz H, Stefan S (2007) Awesome or ordinary? Global diversity patterns of oribatid mites. Ecography 30:209–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. May RM (1975) Patterns of species abundance and diversity. In: Cody ML, Diamond JM (eds) Ecology and evolution of communities. Belknap, Cambridge, pp 81–120Google Scholar
  48. May RM (1988) How many species are there on earth? Science 241:1441–1449CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Medianero E, Castaño-Meneses G, Tishechkin A, Basset Y, Barrios H, Ødegaard F, Cline AR, Bail J (2007) Influence of local illumination and plant composition on the spatial and seasonal distribution of litter-dwelling arthropods in a tropical forest. Pedobiologia 51:131–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Moore JC, Walter DE, Hunt HW (1988) Arthropod regulation of micro- and mesobiota in below-ground detrital food webs. Annu Rev Entomol 33:419–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Novotny V, Basset Y (2005) Host specificity of insect herbivores in tropical forests. Proc R Soc Lond B 272:1083–1090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Novotny V, Drozd P, Miller SE, Kulfan M, Janda M, Basset Y, Weiblen GD (2006) Why are there so many species of herbivorous insects in tropical rainforests? Science 313:1115–1118CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Novotny V, Miller SE, Hulcr J, Drew RAI, Basset Y, Janda M, Setliff GP, Darrow K, Stewart AJA, Auga J, Isua B, Molem K, Manumbor M, Tamtiai E, Mogia M, Weiblen GD (2007) Low beta diversity of herbivorous insects in tropical forests. Nature 448:692–695CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Oksanen J, Kindt R, O’Hara RB (2005) Vegan: Community Ecology Package. R Package version 1.6-10Google Scholar
  55. OSU (2009) Soil, water and forage analytical laboratory. Available at: http://www.soiltesting.okstate.edu/
  56. Powers JS, Kalicin MH, Newman ME (2004) Tree species do not influence soil chemistry in a species-rich Costa Rica rain forest. J Trop Ecol 20:587–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. R Development Core Team (2008) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0, URL http://www.R-project.org
  58. Rosenzweig KL (1995) Species diversity in space and time. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Scheu S (2005) Linkage between tree diversity, soil fauna and ecosystem processes. In: Scherer-Lorenzen M, Körner Ch, Schulze E-D (eds) Forest diversity and function: temperate and boreal systems. Springer, Berlin, pp 211–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Scheu S, Setälä H (2002) Multitrophic interactions in decomposer communities. In: Tscharntke T, Hawkins BA (eds) Multitrophic level interactions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 223–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Seastedt TR (1984) The role of microarthropods in decomposition and mineralization processes. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 29:25–46Google Scholar
  62. Setälä H, Berg M, Jones TH (2005) Trophic structure and functional redundancy in soil communities. In: Bardgett RD, Hopkins DW, Usher M (eds) Biological diversity and function in soils. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 236–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. St. John MG, Wall DH, Behan-Pelletier VM (2006) Does plant species co-occurrence influence soil mite diversity? Ecology 87:625–633CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Stork NE (1988) Insect diversity: facts, fiction and speculation. Biol J Linn Soc 35:321–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Stork NE, Grimbacher PS (2006) Beetle assemblages from an Australian tropical rainforest show that the canopy and the ground strata contribute equally to biodiversity. Proc R Soc Lond B 273:1969–1975CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Swift MJ (1976) Species diversity and the structure of microbial communities in terrestrial habitats. In: Anderson JM, Macfadyen A (eds) The role of terrestrial and aquatic organisms in decomposition processes. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 185–222Google Scholar
  67. Tilman D, Pacala S (1993) The maintenance of species richness in plant communities. In: Ricklefs RE, Schluter D (eds) Species diversity in ecological communities: historical and geographical perspectives. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 11–25Google Scholar
  68. Townsend AR, Asner GP, Cleveland CC (2008) The biogeochemical heterogeneity of tropical forests. Trends Ecol Evol 23:424–431CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Usher MB (1976) Aggregation responses of soil arthropods in relation to soil environment. In: Anderson JM, Macfadyen A (eds) The role of terrestrial and aquatic organisms in decomposition processes. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 61–94Google Scholar
  70. van der Gucht K, Vandekerckhove T, Vloemans N, Cousin S, Muylaert K, Sabbe K, Gillis M, Declerk S, de Meester L, Vyverman W (2005) Characterization of bacterial communities in four freshwater lakes differing in nutrient load and food web structure. Microbial Ecol 53:205–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Walter D, Proctor HC (1999) Mites: ecology, evolution and behavior. University of New South Wales Press, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  72. Wardle DA (2005) How plant communities influence decomposer communities. In: Bardgett RD, Usher MB, Hopkins DW (eds) Biological diversity and function in soils. Ecological reviews. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 119–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Williams LJ, Bunyavejchewin S, Baker PJ (2008) Deciduousness in a seasonal tropical forest in western Thailand: interannual and intraspecific variation in timing, duration and environmental cues. Oecologia 155:571–582CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Wilson EO (2005) Oribatid mite predation by small ants of the genus Pheidole. Insect Soc 52:263–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Yanoviak S, Kaspari M (2000) Community structure and the habitat templet: ants in the tropical forest canopy and litter. Oikos 89:259–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Donoso
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mary K. Johnston
    • 1
    • 3
  • Michael Kaspari
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Department of ZoologyThe University of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.Museo de Zoología QCAZ, Escuela de Ciencias BiológicasPontificia Universidad Católica del EcuadorQuitoEcuador
  3. 3.Section of Integrative BiologyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  4. 4.Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteBalboaRepublic of Panama

Personalised recommendations