Master's Theses

Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Biology

Keywords

Cerambycidae, Lecythidacea, Microclimate

Abstract

"Vertical stratification contributes to the great diversity of insects found in tropical rainforests. Due to differences in both biotic and abiotic factors, different strata of the forest provide different habitats for insects. A previous study in French Guiana revealed that wood-boring cerambycid beetles preferentially colonized branches at ground level in the dry season, but shifted to canopy level in the rainy season. The current beetle-rearing study was conducted to confirm the occurrence of this seasonal shift, explore possible causes, and to determine if similar microclimate conditions occurred at ground level in the dry season and the canopy level in the rainy season. Kestrel Pocket Weather Meters were placed at canopy and ground stratum (August 2007–September 2008). Microclimate data were regressed against beetle distribution for the species classified as “seasonal shifters.” They colonized branches at an optimal vapor pressure deficit range from 0–0.78 Pa (representing temperatures ranging from 22.7–24.2 °C, at relative humidities ranging from 91.9–100%). Cerambycid microclimate preferences may help us predict how these ecologically important beetles will respond to modifications in environmental conditions due to climate change and forest fragmentation."

Included in

Biology Commons

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