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Neotrop Entomol. 2016 Jun;45(3):231-9. doi: 10.1007/s13744-015-0355-9. Epub 2015 Dec 19.

Testing Dragonflies as Species Richness Indicators in a Fragmented Subtropical Atlantic Forest Environment.

Author information

1
Lab de Evolução e Ecologia, Centro Universitário Univates, Rua Avelino Talini, 171, Bairro Universitário, 95900-000, Lajeado, RS, Brasil. samuelrenner@hotmail.com.
2
Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Halmstad Univ, Halmstad, Sweden.
3
Lab de Evolução e Ecologia, Centro Universitário Univates, Rua Avelino Talini, 171, Bairro Universitário, 95900-000, Lajeado, RS, Brasil.

Abstract

We surveyed 15 bodies of water among remnants of the Atlantic Forest biome in southern Brazil for adult dragonflies and damselflies to test whether an empirical selection method for diversity indicators could be applied in a subtropical ecosystem, where limited ecological knowledge on species level is available. We found a regional species pool of 34 species distributed in a nested subset pattern with a mean of 11.2 species per locality. There was a pronounced difference in species composition between spring, summer, and autumn, but no differences in species numbers between seasons. Two species, Homeoura chelifera (Selys) and Ischnura capreolus (Hagen), were the strongest candidates for regional diversity indicators, being found only at species-rich localities in our surveyed area and likewise in an undisturbed national forest reserve, serving as a reference site for the Atlantic Forest. Using our selection method, we found it possible to obtain a tentative list of diversity indicators without having detailed ecological information of each species, providing a reference site is available for comparison. The method thus allows for indicator species to be selected in blanco from taxonomic groups that are little known. We hence argue that Odonata can already be incorporated in ongoing assessment programs in the Neotropics, which would also increase the ecological knowledge of the group and allow extrapolation to other taxa.

KEYWORDS:

Community; ecology; neotropics; nestedness; niche; seasonality

PMID:
26686194
DOI:
10.1007/s13744-015-0355-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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