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Oecologia

, Volume 84, Issue 1, pp 29–38 | Cite as

Resource heterogeneity and community structure: A case study inHeliconia imbricata Phytotelmata

  • Shahid Naeem
Original Papers

Summary

Complex or non-additive differences in the distribution and abundance of arthropod species inhabiting the water-filled bracts ofHeliconia imbricata can be created by simple manipulations of resource levels. The primary resources for these assemblages are the corollas of the flowers that accumulate in the bracts. Removing or adding corollas to individual bracts changes the pattern in the abundance of arthropod species within each bract such that bracts with different treatments ultimately differ in composition and numerical associations among species. These results suggest that direct and indirect resource-mediated factors can structure or significantly affect the distribution and abundance of species in these and perhaps other assemblages. Thus, in natural communities, if resources are heterogeneous among patches (such as among the bracts in this study) structure in a given patch may be a function of the resource level of that patch and can differ significantly from neighboring patches that provide different resource levels.

Key words

Community ecology Heliconia imbricata Phytotelmata Resource heterogeneity Arthropods 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahid Naeem
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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