Patterns of orchid bee species diversity and turnover among forested plateaus of central Amazonia

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Abstract

The knowledge of spatial pattern and geographic beta-diversity is of great importance for biodiversity conservation and interpreting ecological information. Tropical forests, especially the Amazon Rainforest, are well known for their high species richness and low similarity in species composition between sites, both at local and regional scales. We aimed to determine the effect and relative importance of area, isolation and climate on species richness and turnover in orchid bee assemblages among plateaus in central Brazilian Amazonia. Variance partitioning techniques were applied to assess the relative effects of spatial and environmental variables on bee species richness, phylogeny and composition. We hypothesized that greater abundance and richness of orchid bees would be found on larger plateaus, with a set of core species occurring on all of them. We also hypothesized that smaller plateaus would possess lower phylogenetic diversity. We found 55 bee species distributed along the nine sampling sites (plateaus) with 17 of them being singletons. There was a significant decrease in species richness with decreasing size of plateaus, and a significant decrease in the similarity in species composition with greater distance and climatic variation among sampling sites. Phylogenetic diversity varied among the sampling sites but was directly related to species richness. Although not significantly related to plateau area, smaller or larger PDFaith were observed in the smallest and the largest plateaus, respectively.

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Antonini, Y., De Machado, C. B., Galetti, P. M., Oliveira, M., Dirzo, R., & Fernandes, G. W. (2017). Patterns of orchid bee species diversity and turnover among forested plateaus of central Amazonia. PLoS ONE, 12(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175884

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