SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.59 issue3The role of the host-specific grasshopper Cornops aquaticum (Orthoptera: Acrididae) as consumer of native Eichhornia crassipes (Pontederiaceae) floating meadowsIndicadores ecológicos de hábitat y biodiversidad en un paisaje neotropical: perspectiva multitaxonómica author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


FAGUNDES, Marcílio  and  WILSON FERNANDES, G. Insect herbivores associated with Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae): responses of gall-forming and free-feeding insects to latitudinal variation. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2011, vol.59, n.3, pp.1419-1432. ISSN 0034-7744.

The spatial heterogeneity hypothesis has been invoked to explain the increase in species diversity from the poles to the tropics: the tropics may be more diverse because they contain more habitats and microhabitats. In this paper, the spatial heterogeneity hypothesis prediction was tested by evaluating the variation in richness of two guilds of insect herbivores (gall-formers and free-feeders) associated with Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae) along a latitudinal variation in Brazil. The seventeen populations of B. dracunculifolia selected for insect herbivores sampling were within structurally similar habitats, along the N-S distributional limit of the host plant, near the Brazilian sea coast. Thirty shrubs were surveyed in each host plant population. A total of 8 201 galls and 864 free-feeding insect herbivores belonging to 28 families and 88 species were sampled. The majority of the insects found on B. dracunculifolia were restricted to a specific site rather than having ageographic distribution mirroring that of the host plant. Species richness of free-feeding insects was not affected by latitudinal variation corroborating the spatial heterogeneity hypothesis. Species richness of gall-forming insects was positively correlated with latitude, probably because galling insect associated with Baccharris genus radiated in Southern Brazil. Other diversity indices and evenness estimated for both gall-forming and free feeding insect herbivores, did not change with latitude, suggesting a general structure for different assemblages of herbivores associated with the host plant B. dracunculifolia. Thus it is probable that, insect fauna sample in each site resulted of large scale events, as speciation, migration and coevolution, while at local level, the population of these insects is regulated by ecological forces which operate in the system. Rev. Biol. Trop. 59 (3): 1419-1432. Epub 2011 September 01.

Keywords : community organization; latitudinal diversity gradient; spatial heterogeneity hypothesis; species diversity.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License