Land use affects macroinvertebrate community composition in phytotelmata in the Peruvian Amazon

S. P. Yanoviak, L. P. Lounibos, S. C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Patches of forest in the western Amazon often are converted to small-scale subsistence plantations (chacras), which become early successional forest (purma) when abandoned. Differences in abiotic conditions and phytotelm characteristics among chacras, purmas, and adjacent forest likely influence the distribution of phytotelm colonists. We sampled the contents of natural water-filled tree holes in the three habitat types and quantified differences in the abundance, species richness and composition of their macroinvertebrate communities. We additionally placed experimental tree-hole analogs (water-filled bamboo [Guadua sp.] internodes) in each of the habitat types and sampled their macroinvertebrate communities over 110 d. The species composition of macroinvertebrates in both tree holes and bamboo sections differed among habitats. Larvae of damselflies and crane flies, both important predators of mosquitoes, were replaced by larvae of the predatory mosquito Toxorhynchites spp. in chacras. Several mosquito species were relatively more abundant in chacra habitat. Macroinvertebrate abundance and species richness were correlated with water volume in tree holes and varied over time in bamboo sections. Species richness in bamboo did not differ among the three focal habitat types, but forest tree holes contained more species than tree holes in chacras. Differences in species composition between the two types of phytotelmata largely were attributed to the short duration of the bamboo experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1181
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the Entomological Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006


  • Abundance
  • Bamboo
  • Deforestation
  • Diversity
  • Tree hole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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