International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 277–286 | Cite as

High resilience of galling insect communities to selective and clear-cut logging in a tropical rainforest

  • G. M. MalingaEmail author
  • A. Valtonen
  • P. Nyeko
  • H. Roininen


Increasing anthropogenic disturbance in tropical rainforests is a major challenge to biodiversity conservation. The responses of herbivorous insect communities to habitat changes are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the resilience of galling insect communities associated with Neoboutonia macrocalyx (Euphorbiaceae) trees to logging in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Resilience was measured by comparing the species density, abundance and community structure of gallers in nine differently aged successional forests with those in adjacent primary forests. Insect galls were sampled from the canopy of 10 randomly selected trees in each successional stage, five times in a 10-month period. A total of 7219 individuals representing five galler species were recorded. No significant differences were found in the species density and overall density of gallers between the regenerating and primary forests. The mean tree height was positively correlated with the overall density of gallers. The community structure of gallers differed significantly among the successional stages, but exhibited no clear directional recovery trend. In addition, remarkable seasonal variations were observed in galler communities, with peak abundance being found in the wettest months. The results of the preset study indicate that specialist galling insects whose hosts are pioneer trees can recolonize successional sites rapidly and are resilient to the effects of selective and clear-cut logging in case primary or secondary forests with an established population of Neoboutonia host trees (source populations) are close by. Thus, recovering tropical forests can provide important habitats for galling insect biodiversity, highlighting the need to include them in management and conservation priority plans.

Key words

Afrotropical gallers deforestation Kibale National Park recovery regeneration secondary forests seasonality succession Uganda 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. M. Malinga
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Valtonen
    • 1
  • P. Nyeko
    • 2
  • H. Roininen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  2. 2.Department of ForestryBiodiversity and Tourism, Makerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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