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Title: Structural and taxonomic components of habitat selection in the neotropical folivore Lamponius portoricensis (Phasmetodea: Phasmatidae)

Lamponius portoricensis Rhen is a folivorous neotropical walkingstick that is a common light-gap inhabitant of the tabonuco forest in Puerto Rico. Little is known concerning the spatial distribution of this phasmatid or the manner in which it selects habitats. Based on multiple regression analysis of a suite of taxonomic and structural characteristics of understory flora, we determined that the density of walkingsticks was associated with patches that exhibit high apparency values for Piper treleaseanum Britton Wilson and Symplocos martinicensis Jacq., and low apparency values for Dryopteris deltoidea (Sw.) Kuntze. The total development of the understory regardless of taxonomic composition at 76 cm (2.5 ft) and 107 cm (3.5 ft) also contributes to high walkingstick density, based on correlative analyses. Moreover, nonparametric analysis suggests that L. portoricensis disproportionately occurs on P. treleaseanum (approximately twice as often as expected based on plant apparency). Despite these associations, only a third of the variation in walkingstick density is accounted for by this suite of floral characteristics. The low vagility of L. portoricensis may result in its having incomplete information about the abundance and distribution of forage plants, whereas patch-dynamic processes involving changes in quality of forage can confound the significance of apparency alone inmore » predicting density. The production of aromatic attractants by Piper may act as the proximate cue affecting patch selection.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. (Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock (United States) Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (United States))
  2. (Pennsylvania State Univ., Altoona (United States))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6442919
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Entomology; (United States); Journal Volume: 22:3; Journal Issue: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; INSECTS; BEHAVIOR; HABITAT; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; FORAGE; FORESTS; PLANTS; PUERTO RICO; REGRESSION ANALYSIS; ANIMAL FEEDS; ANIMALS; ARTHROPODS; DEVELOPED COUNTRIES; DISTRIBUTION; FOOD; GREATER ANTILLES; INVERTEBRATES; ISLANDS; LATIN AMERICA; MATHEMATICS; NORTH AMERICA; STATISTICS; USA; WEST INDIES 550000* -- Biomedical Sciences, Basic Studies