Next Article in Journal
Are Land Based Surveys a Useful Tool for Managing Marine Species of Coastal Protected Areas?
Next Article in Special Issue
Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity—The Setting of a Lingering Global Crisis
Previous Article in Journal
Enhancing Soil Quality and Plant Health Through Suppressive Organic Amendments
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 1-14; doi:10.3390/d5010001
Article

Human-Induced Disturbance Alters Pollinator Communities in Tropical Mountain Forests

1,* , 2
,
3
,
1
 and
1,4,*
1 Institute of Biology/Geobotany and Botanical Garden, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Am Kirchtor 1, 06108 Halle, Germany 2 Estación Biológica Tunquini, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Casilla 10077, Correo Central. La Paz, Bolivia 3 Herbario Nacional de Bolivia, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Cota Cota, La Paz 10077, Bolivia 4 Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) and Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 November 2012 / Revised: 29 November 2012 / Accepted: 14 December 2012 / Published: 27 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Forests Ecology and Climate Change)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [686 KB, uploaded 27 December 2012]   |   Browse Figures
SciFeed

Abstract

Mountain forest ecosystems in the Andes are threatened by deforestation. Increasing fire frequencies lead to fire-degraded habitats that are often characterized by a persistent fern-dominated vegetation. Little is known about the consequences of these drastic changes in habitat conditions for pollinator communities. In a rapid diversity assessment, we collected individuals of two major groups of insect pollinators (bees and butterflies/moths) with pan traps and compared pollinator diversities in a spatial block design between forest interior, forest edge and adjacent fire-degraded habitats at eight sites in the Bolivian Andes. We found that bee species richness and abundance were significantly higher in fire-degraded habitats than in forest habitats, whereas species richness and abundance of butterflies/moths increased towards the forests interior. Species turnover between forest and fire-degraded habitats was very high for both pollinator groups and was reflected by an increase in the body size of bee species and a decrease in the body size of butterfly/moth species in fire-degraded habitats. We conclude that deforestation by frequent fires has profound impacts on the diversity and composition of pollinator communities. Our tentative findings suggest shifts towards bee-dominated pollinator communities in fire-degraded habitats that may have important feedbacks on the regenerating communities of insect-pollinated plant species.
Keywords: Anthropogenic fires; Apiformes; biodiversity; body size; Bolivian Andes; human disturbance; insect pollinators; Lepidoptera; rain forest; species traits Anthropogenic fires; Apiformes; biodiversity; body size; Bolivian Andes; human disturbance; insect pollinators; Lepidoptera; rain forest; species traits
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Supplementary material

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
RIS
MDPI and ACS Style

Kambach, S.; Guerra, F.; Beck, S.G.; Hensen, I.; Schleuning, M. Human-Induced Disturbance Alters Pollinator Communities in Tropical Mountain Forests. Diversity 2013, 5, 1-14.

View more citation formats

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here

Comments

[Return to top]
Diversity EISSN 1424-2818 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert