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    Description

    The seasonal dynamics of foliage arthropod populations are poorly studied in tropical dry forests despite the importance of these studies for understanding arthropod population responses to environmental change.We monitored the abundance, temporal distributions, and body size of arthropods in five naturalized alien and one native tree species to characterize arthropod seasonality in dry novel Prosopis–Leucaena woodlands in Puerto Rico. A branch clipping method was used monthly to sample foliage arthropod abundance over 39 mo. Seasonal patterns of rainfall and abundance within various arthropod taxa were highly variable from year to year. Abundance for most taxa did not show significant seasonality over the 3 yr, although most taxa had abundance peaks each year. However, Homoptera displayed high seasonality with significant temporal aggregations in each year. Formicidae, Orthoptera, and Coleoptera showed high variation in abundance between wet and dry periods, whereas Hemiptera were consistently more abundant in the wet period. Seasonal differences in mean abundance were found only in a few taxa on Tamarindus indica L., Bucida buceras L., Pithecellobium dulce, and (Roxburgh) Benth. Mean arthropod abundance varied among tree species, with highest numbers on Prosopis juliflora, (Swartz) De Candolle, Pi. dulce, Leucaena leucocephala, and (Lamarck) de Wit. Abundance of Araneae, Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera larvae, and all arthropods showed weak relationships with one or more climatic variables (rainfall, maximum temperature, or relative humidity). Body size of arthropods was usually largest during the dry periods. Overall, total foliage arthropod abundance showed no consistent seasonality among years, which may become a more common trend in dry forests and woodlands in the Caribbean if seasonality of rainfall becomes less predictable.

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    Citation

    Beltran, W.; Wunderle, Jr., J.M. 2014. Temporal dynamics of arthropods on six tree species in dry woodlands on the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico. Journal of Insect Science. 14(199): 2014; DOI: 10.1093/jisesa/ieu061

    Keywords

    alien tree species, body size, dry woodland, rainfall effect, temporal dynamics

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