Impacts of Forest Fragmentation on Species Diversity of Orchid Bees (Apidae: Euglossini) in the Choco Biodiversity Hotspot of Northwest Ecuador Open Access

Botsch, Jamieson Conrad (2016)

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Forest fragmentation is occurring throughout the tropics at a high rate. This study addresses how fragmentation impacts orchid bee species diversity, because orchid bees are especially important ecologically and live almost exclusively in forests. Unlike previous studies on the impact of forest fragmentation on orchid bees, this study examined beta diversity, along with alpha diversity. We sampled Male Euglossine bees in 18 forest fragments (ranging in size from 2.5 to 33.5 ha) and one large (2700 ha) continuous forest in the Choco Biodiversity hotspot of Ecuador during the dry season in 2014. We compared alpha species diversity (as measured by abundance, richness, and evenness) in sites between fragments. We also compared alpha species diversity and beta diversity (as measured by turnover in community similarity over space) between sites in the continuous forest and in fragments. We found no significant result of fragment characteristics (size, shape, or distance to continuous forest) on abundance, richness, or evenness between sites within fragments. Sites within continuous forest did not differ significantly in abundance or richness, but were significantly more even. Species composition between sites in continuous forest appeared to have a faster rate of turnover over space than those in fragments. These results demonstrate the conservation value of continuous forest for orchid bee diversity.

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1

Materials and Methods. 4

Study sites. 4

Bee sampling and identification. 6

Site charactersitics and environmental variables. 7

Data analysis. 8

Results. 9

Overview. 9

Comparing sites among fragments. 10

Comparing sites within fragments and continuous forest. 10

β-Diversity. 10

Discussion. 24

References Cited. 29

Table 1. 6

Table 2. 12

Table 3. 13

Table 4. 16

Figure 1. 5

Figure 2. 14

Figure 3. 15

Figure 4.17

Figure 5. 18

Figure 6. 19

Figure 7. 20

Figure 8. 21

Figure 9. 22

Figure 10. 23

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