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Hymenoptera diversity and abundance in fragmented and continuous forest in San Luis, Costa Rica

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Title:
Hymenoptera diversity and abundance in fragmented and continuous forest in San Luis, Costa Rica
Translated Title:
La diversidad y la abundancia de Hymenoptera en los bosques fragmentados y continuos en San Luis, Costa Rica ( )
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English
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MacDiarmid, Katie
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Fragmented landscapes   ( lcsh )
Hymenoptera--Costa Rica--Puntareans--Monteverde Zone   ( lcsh )
Paisajes fragmentados
Hymenoptera--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde
Tropical Ecology 2006
Ecología Tropical 2006
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Reports   ( lcsh )
Reports

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Abstract:
Fragmentation of forest habitats can have a negative impact on the diversity of many species. When fragmentation impacts pollination, it can result in major changes to the composition of forest plant communities as well as a reduction in fruit production for nearby agriculture. I studied Hymenoptera diversity in a four hectare fragment and a continuous forest using Euglossine traps as well as a mixture of honey and water to attract Hymenoptera species. Hymenoptera diversity did not differ significantly between the two habitats but abundance of Hymenoptera, Euglossine, and Apidae were all significantly greater in the continuous forest site. This indicates that continuous forest supports a larger, more stable population of Hymenoptera species, thereby supplying steadier pollination services to the forest and nearby farms.
Abstract:
La fragmentación de los hábitats forestales puede tener un impacto negativo en la diversidad de muchas especies. Cuando la fragmentación impacta los procesos como la polinización, puede causar cambios grandes de la composición de especies de plantas en las comunidades del bosque. Además podría ocasionar una reducción en la producción de frutos en los cultivos aledaños. Estudie la diversidad de Hymenoptera en un fragmento de cuatro hectáreas de bosque continuo usando trampas de Euglossines, además de una mezcla de miel y agua para atraer a las especies de Hymenoptera.
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Text in English.
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Born Digital

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usfldc doi - M39-00174
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Hymenoptera diversity and abundance in fragmented and continuous forest in San Luis, Costa Rica Katie MacDiarmid Department of Environmental Sc ience, University of Oregon ABSTRACT Fragmentation of forest habitats can have a negative impact on the diversity of many species. When fragmentation impacts pollinatio n, it can result in major changes to the composition of forest plant communities as well as a reduction in fruit production for nearby agriculture. I studied Hymenoptera diversity in a four hectare fragment and a continuous forest using Euglossine traps as well as a mixture of honey and water to attract Hymenoptera species. Hymenoptera di versity did not differ significantly between the two habitats but abundance of Hyme noptera, Euglossine, and Apidae were all significantly greater in the con tinuous forest site. This indi cates that continuous forest supports a larger, more stable population of Hymenoptera species, thereby supplying steadier pollination services to th e forest and nearby farms. RESUMEN La fragmentacin de los bosques puede tener un impacto negativo en la diversidad de muchos especies. Cuando la fragmentacin impacta procesos como la pollinizacin, puede causar cambios grandes de la compos icin de especies de plantas en las comunidades del bosque. Adems prodria ocacionar una reduccin en producin de frutos en los cultivos aledanos. Estudi la diversidad de Hymenoptera en un fragmento de bosque y un bosque continuo usando trampas de Euglossinos, adems de una mezcla de miel y agua. La diversidad de Hymenopter a no fue diferente en los dos habitats. Sin embargo, la abundancia de Hymenoptera, Eugl ossinos, y la familia Apidae fue ms alta en el sita bosque continuo. Esto indica que el bosque continuo mantiene poblaciones ms grandes y ms estables de es pecios deHymenoptera. Por lo que el abastecimiento de polinizadores aloscultivos es ms estable en sitios prximos al bosque continuo. INTRODUCTION Forests throughout the tropics ar e experiencing fragmentation as patches are cleared for agriculture and development (Aizen and Feinsinger 1994a). A growing body of evidence is showing that this practice significantly affects forest communities (Aizen and Feinsinger 1994a, Aizen and Feinsinger 1994b, Powell and Powell 1987, Sekercioglu et al 2001). Fragmented habitats differ from c ontinuous forests in several crucial ways. Fragments are discontinuous with reduced area and a greater edge to interior ratio. Wind 1

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and insolation are stronger in fragments, putting organisms at a greater risk for desiccation (Aizen and Feinsinge r 1994a). Consequently, sus ceptible species will suffer in fragments, potentially reducing diversit y and abundance in these harsher habitats. Studies of different species have shown that many species suffer when their forest habitat is fragmented (Powell and Powell 1987, Aizen and Feinsinger 1994a). For example, a study by Sekercioglu et al. ( 2001) found significantly fewer insectivorous birds in the understory of fragments compared to continuous forests. They reported that the best determinant of success by a bird species in fragments was the ability to disperse through deforested habitats (Sekercioglu et al. 2001). By changing the conditions of the habitat, fragments can add new selective pressures fo r species, favoring thos e that can adapt to the new conditions. Changes in species composition have a stronger impact on the forest when they disrupt pollination and seed dispersal mutu alisms (Aizen and Feinsinger 1994a). When pollinator populations change, this can imp act both native plant species and nearby crops (Aizen and Feinsinger 1994b) because diversity of pollinators may impact pollination and consequently seed and fruit set (Ricketts 2003 ). A study by Ricketts et al. (2004) showed that coffee plants near large forest patches (greater than 46 ha) produced more fruit than those located far from forest. Pollination st udies showed that the increase in production was due to the pollination services received from the nearby forest (Ricketts et al. 2004). However, it is still unclear if small fr agments will yield the same benefit. This study addresses the effects of frag mentation on the abundance and diversity of Hymenoptera. Hymenopterans have a large impact on the forest community because they provide pollination services through b ees (Apidae) and biological control of agricultural pests through wasps (Kean and Barlow 2001). My purpose was to determine how fragmentation impacts Hymenopter a populations. My hypothesis was that Hymenoptera diversity and abundance would diff er between the four-hectare fragment and the continuous forest. I predicted that diversity and abundance would be greater in the continuous forest. The results of my study will provide insight into what land use strategies are necessary to preserve fore st Hymenoptera species for conservation and agricultural benefits. MATERIALS AND METHODS My two study sites were located in San Luis a farming community in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The farms in San Luis are bordered by eith er continuous forest or forest fragments. The continuous forest site was located near the egde of a forest that is contiguous with the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preser ve. The fragment site, loca ted less than one km away from the continuous forest, was a four-hectare patch situated behind a series of small coffee farms collectively known as Finca la Bella. In each site, I placed my traps 100 m in from the edge of the forest. To catch Euglossine bees, I hung two commercial, yellow euglossine bee traps in each site. The trap s were hung from branches at eye level (1.5 m) and were located roughly two meters apart. I placed blotter paper covered with eugenol scent inside each trap. I visited each site in the morning for 11 days between October 26 and November 15. Each day I took three sample s of the number of bees present inside or outside the trap. I recorded the bees presen t when I arrived, ten minutes later, and again 2

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after another ten minutes. I preserved a sample of each species in a vial of alcohol and later identified the species to the genus level. To study overall Hymenoptera diversity a nd abundance, I visited each site six times in the morning from November 8 to November 15. In each site, I selected two palm branches at eye level (1.5 m) roughly th ree meters apart. I sprayed the underside and topside of the leaves with a mixture of one part honey to four parts water. Ten minutes later, I observed each branch for one minute and recorded the number of each Hymenoptera species present. I repeated th is two more times for a total of three observations per site each day. I used the Shannon-Weiner diversity i ndex to calculate the Shannon-Weiner diversity indices for the continuous forest and the fragment. I then used a t-test to determine if the indices were significantly di fferent. I used three separate chi-squared tests to compare the abundances of Hymenopt era, bees, and Euglossine bees in the continuous and fragment sites. RESULTS I observed nine species in the continuous forest site and found all but two of the same species in the fragment site (Fig 1). Apis mellifera and the clear wing morphospecies were not found in the fragment site (Fig 1). No species were found only in the fragment and all except two species were observed more often in the continuous site (Fig 1). Eulaema sp. was observed only once in each habitat (Fig 1). The yellow morphospecies of Ichneumonidae was the only species that was more abundant in the fragment site with ten sightings in the fragment and seve n in the continuous site (Fig 1). Hymenoptera diversity was not significantly different between continuous forest (H= 0.659) and fragmented forest habita ts (H = 0.631) (t test, t = 0.343, df = 94.31, p>.05, Fig 1). Hymenoptera abundance was sign ificantly greater in continuous forest compared to the fragment ( 2= 100.77, df =1, p<.05, Fig 2) as was total bee abundance ( 2 = 19.932, df =1, p<.05, Fig 3). Euglossine be e abundance was significantly greater in the continuous forest site (2=7.136 df =1, p<.05, Fig 4). DISCUSSION I expected the diversity and abundance of Hymenoptera to be greater in continuous forest than in fragmented forest but I found no significant difference. I may have found no significant difference in diversity because my sites were located within 100 meters of the edge of the forest. I chose to sample from the edge to accurately sample the Hymenoptera populations available for pollinati ng nearby crops. However, the edge habitat of a forest contains some of the same conditions, such as increased wind and insolation, that are found in fragments (Ai zen and Feinsinger 1994a). This could have altered the community on the edge of the continuous forest. However, it is also possible that not enough time has passed since fragmentation to show all its effects on the forest. The Sa n Luis area was first cleared for agriculture 50-60 years ago. Often, forest communities take longer than this to fully adapt to a new pressure; it is possible that diversity may decr ease in this fragment in the future. This possibility is supported by the higher abundance of Hymenoptera, Apidae, and 3

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Euglossine that I found in the continuous site. These results indicate that fragmentation may lead to smaller populations of Hymenoptera species. Due to genetic drift, a reduced population size is likely to lead to reduced genetic variability, which in turn leads to less stable populations with a greater likelihood of extinction (Aizen and Feinsinger 1994a). Some of the observed Hymenoptera species may later experience local extinctions in this fragment due to their decreased abundance. This would reduce the local diversity of Hymenopterans in the fragment. In the future the continuous forest may contain greater Hymenoptera diversity, especially if further fragmentation of the four-hectare patch occurs. It remains to be seen whether fragmentation will ultimately lead to a decrease in Hymenoptera diversity. Howe ver, we do know that as conditions change with fragmentation, species that do well in disturbed areas, such as members of the Ichneumonidae family and Apis mellifera ( Gauld 1995 and Hanson et al.1995), will have an advantage over species that suffer in fr agments, such as Euglossians (Powell and Powell 1987). This is not only true for Hy menoptera species; as an order with many plant-animal interactions, a change in either Hymenopt era abundance, diversity, or composition is likely to mean changes for plant communities as well (Aizen and Feinsinger 1994b). Plants that are dependent on declining pollinator species will suffer declines themselves. Euglossine bees are si gnificant pollinators for over 30 tropical plant families including Orchidaceae, Solanaceae, Bignoniaceae, and Luguminaceae. If euglossine bee populations decline in fragmented forest, as it seems they have done in San Luis, these plant families are likely to follow (Powell and Powell 1987). It is likely that this change in pollina tor composition will ultimately result in a less diverse community of plants. Aizen a nd Feisingers study on forest fragmentation revealed that 13 out of the 16 plant species st udied showed declines in pollination levels from continuous forest to fragments. Seed production also decreased for many of these species in the fragmented forest patches as a result of reduced pollination. This suggests that a smaller group of species will contribute more seeds to the seed set. These few species will eventually come to dominate th e plant community in fragments (Aizen and Feinsinger 1994a). In a farming community like San Luis, preser vation of forest diversity is not just for conservations sake alone. The pollination services provided by forest bee species are highly valuable to nearby agricultural pr oduction (Ricketts et al 2004). More diverse pollinator populations stabilize pollination serv ices and help buffer against declines in any one species (Ricketts 2004). Taylor Ricket ts has shown that coffee farms near large patches of forest (46 and 111 ha) produce more and higher quality coffee than farms near a narrow riparian strip (2.5 km long by 30-70 m wide)(Rickets 2004). In addition, many species of wasps can also provide ecosystem services as biological control agents for agricultural pests (Kean and Barlow 2001). The results of my study demonstrate that sm all forest fragments, even within one km of continuous forest, cannot support th e same size of Hymenoptera populations that continuous forest can. This indicates that communities like San Luis cannot continue to fragment their surrounding forests to produce more land for agriculture. As a result, farmers may lose money in the end due to decreased crop yield following decreased pollinator abundance. Further directions for re search include repeating this study with a 4

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larger sample size in sites further into the forest to more accurately sample Hymenoptera populations in the forest interior. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks to Milton Brennis for letting me use his forest patch and walking me around. Thanks to the Leiton familiy for use of their forest as well. Also thanks to Tanya for her help identifying and catching bees. Thanks to Cam and Tom for answering my questions and always being available for help. Thanks to Alan and Karen for their advising help. LITERATURE CITED Aizen, M.A. and P. Feinsinger. 1994(a). Fore st fragmentation, pollination, and plant reproduction in a Chaco dry forest, Argentina. Ecology 75 : 330-351 Aizen, M.A. and P. Feinsinger. 1994(b). Habitat fragm entation, native insect pollinators, and feral honey bees in Argentine Chaco Serrano. Ecological Applications 4 : 378-392 Gauld, I.D. and S.R. Shaw. 1995. The Icheneumonidae families. In: The Hymenoptera of Costa Rica, P.E. Handson and I.D. Gauld, eds. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 890 pp Griswold, T., F.D. Parker, and P.E. Hanson. The bees (Apidae) In: The Hymenoptera of Costa Rica P.E. Handson and I.D. Gauld, eds. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 890 pp Kean, J.M. and N.D. Barlow. 2001. A spatial model for the successful biological control of Sitona discoideus by Microctonus aethiopoides Ecology 38 : 162-169 Powell, H.A. and G.V.N. Powell. 1987. Population dynamics of male euglossian bees in Amazonian forest fragments. Biotropica 19 : 176-179 Ricketts, T.H. 2003.Tropical forest fragments enhance pollinator activity in nearby crops. Conservation Biology 18 : 1262-1271 Ricketts, T. H., G.C. Daily, P.R. Ehrlich, and C.D. Michener. 2004. Economic value of tropical forest to coffee production. Conservation Biology 15 : 378-388 Sekercioglu, C.H., P.R.vEhrlich, G. C.Daily, D.Aygen, D. Goehring, and R.F. Sandi. 2002. Disappearance of insectivorous birds from tropical forest fragments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States : 99 : 263-267 5

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0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140A p id ae (E u glossia sp ). Api da e (E ula em a sp). Apid a e (Apis me llif e ra ) A p id ae (Part h emona sp. ) Ichneu m onidae ( yellow morph) I ch neum onid a e (clea r w in g morph) Ichneu m onidae (green m o rp h ) S colid a e V e sp ida eHymenoptera families observed # Continous # fragment Fig 1. Hymenoptera species observed in conti nuous and fragment sites. Hymenoptera diversity was not significantly different between sites (t = 0.343, df = 94.31, p>.05). 6

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0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Continuous Fragment Site Fig 2. Total number Hymenoptera observed in continuous and fragment sites. Hymenoptera abundance was significantly greater in the continuous forest site ( 2= 100.77, df =1, p<.05). 7

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0 20 40 60 80 100 120 continuous fragment Site Fig 3. Total number of Apidae individuals observed in continuous a nd fragment sites. Apidae abundance was significantly greater in the continuous forest site ( 2 = 19.932, df = 1, p<.05). 8

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0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 continuous fragment Site Fig 4. Total number of Euglo ssinae individuals observed in continuous and fragment sites. Euglossinae abundance was signifi cantly greater in the continuous site (2 = 7.136, df = 1, p<.05). 9


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Fragmentation of forest habitats can have a negative impact on the diversity of many species. When fragmentation impacts pollination, it can result in major changes to the composition of forest plant communities as well as a reduction in fruit production for nearby agriculture. I studied Hymenoptera diversity in a four hectare fragment and a continuous forest using Euglossine traps as well as a mixture of honey and water to attract Hymenoptera species. Hymenoptera diversity did not differ significantly between the two habitats but abundance of Hymenoptera, Euglossine, and Apidae were all significantly greater in the continuous forest site. This indicates that continuous forest supports a larger, more stable population of Hymenoptera species, thereby supplying steadier pollination services to the forest and nearby farms.
La fragmentacin de los hbitats forestales puede tener un impacto negativo en la diversidad de muchas especies. Cuando la fragmentacin impacta los procesos como la polinizacin, puede causar cambios grandes de la composicin de especies de plantas en las comunidades del bosque. Adems podra ocasionar una reduccin en la produccin de frutos en los cultivos aledaos. Estudie la diversidad de Hymenoptera en un fragmento de cuatro hectreas de bosque continuo usando trampas de Euglossines, adems de una mezcla de miel y agua para atraer a las especies de Hymenoptera.
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Text in English.
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