Effects of bromeliad flowering event on the community structuring of aquatic insect larvae associated with phytotelmata of Aechmea distichantha Lem. (Bromeliaceae)

Felipe Emiliano Amadeo


Aim: This study aimed to understand how aquatic insect larvae communities associated with bromeliad phytotelmata are affected by plant architecture, predators and resources (local factors), and by geographical distance (regional factors) in two different phenologycal phases. Bromeliad flowering results in plant structural changes, which favours insect dispersion. Considering that local and regional factors may affect the community of aquatic insect larvae, we expected that composition, Beta diversity and that the importance of those factors would differ in the vegetative growth and flowering phases.

Methods: We performed six samplings of the bromeliad associated fauna in 2010, three during the first semester – vegetative growth phase - and three during the second semester - flowering phase. In each sampling, we sampled 12 plants along the rocky walls with similar location distribution, with a total of 72 bromeliads studied.

Results: Although Beta diversity (PERMDISP) did not differ between vegetative growth and flowering, NMDS followed by ANOSIM demonstrated that composition was significantly different in the distinct phenological phases. IndVal results showed that three Diptera morphospecies were discriminant of the vegetative growth phase. In addition, pRDA revealed differences in the relative contribution of local and regional factors to explain insect larvae community structure:during the flowering phase, local factors predominated, while during vegetative growth, regional factors were more important.

Conclusion: Differences in dispersal rates in the two phenological phases, likely due to adult insect pollination and further reproduction, influenced community structuring. Therefore, flowering events account for differences not only in the composition, but also in community structuring of aquatic insect larvae inhabiting Aechmea distichantha Lem. (Bromeliaceae) phytotelmata. 


assembly rules; environmental component; spatial component; inflorescence

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Departamento de Ecologia – IB - UNESP/Rio Claro. Avenida 24 A n° 1515. CEP 13506-900. Rio Claro (SP) / Brasil

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