Comparing composition and diversity of parasitoid wasps and plants in an Amazonian rain-forest mosaic
Local species richness and between-site similarity in species composition of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae; Pimplinae and Rhyssinae) were correlated with those of four plant groups (pteridophytes, Melastomataceae, Burseraceae and Arecaceae) in a western Amazonian lowland rain forest mosaic. The mosaic structure of the forest was related to variation in soils within the non-inundated terrain. Significant matrix correlation between patterns in parasitoid wasp species composition and plant species composition was found. Most of the overall correlation was due to idiobiont parasitoids of weakly concealed hosts, which attack host larvae and pupae in exposed situations, with two of the four ecologically defined parasitoid groups showing no correlation at all. A positive correlation between the number of plant species and the number of Pimplinae and Rhyssinae species at a site was found when the latter was corrected for collecting effort. Consequently, the degree of floristic difference between sites may be indicative of the difference in species composition of ichneumonids, and the species richness of plants may serve as a predictor of the species richness of parasitoid wasps. Although these results were obtained in a mosaic including structurally and floristically clearly different types of rain forest, the correlation coefficients were relatively low, and the present results lend only weak support to the idea of using plant distributions as indicators of animal distributions.(Accepted August 30 2005)
Key Words: environmental heterogeneity; faunistic composition; floristic composition; Ichneumonidae; lowland rain forest; parasitoid wasps; species richness.
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