Compositional changes in bee and wasp communities along Neotropical mountain altitudinal gradient
by Lucas Neves Perillo, Frederico de Siqueira Neves, Yasmine Antonini, Rogério Parentoni MartinsClimate conditions tend to differ along an altitudinal gradient, resulting in some species groups’ patterns of lower species richness with increasing altitude. While this pattern is well understood for tropical mountains, studies investigating possible determinants of variation in beta-diversity at its different altitudes are scarce. We sampled bee and wasp communities (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) along an altitudinal gradient (1,000–2,000 m.a.s.l.) in a tropical mountainous region of Brazil. Trap nests and Moericke traps were established at six sampling points, with 200 m difference in altitude between each point. We obtained average climate data (1970–2000) from Worldclim v2 for altitudes at each sampling site. Nest traps captured 17 bee and wasp species from six families, and Moericke traps captured 124 morphospecies from 13 families. We found a negative correlation between altitude and species richness and abundance. Temperature, precipitation, water vapor pressure, and wind speed influenced species richness and abundance, and were correlated with altitude. β-diversity was primarily determined by species turnover as opposed to nestedness, and Aculeate community similarity was higher for more similar altitudinal ranges. Moericke traps seem to be more efficient for altitudinal surveys compared to nest traps. We found high occurrence of singleton and doubleton species at all altitudes, highlighting the need for long-term studies to efficiently assess hymenopteran diversity in these environments.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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