Habitat fragmentation effects on the orchid bee communities in remnant forests of southeastern Brazil
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The effect of habitat fragmentation on the structure of orchid bee communities was analyzed by the investigation of the existence of a spatial structure in the richness and abundance of Euglossini species and by determining the relationship between these data and environmental factors. The surveys were carried out in four different forest fragments and one university campus. Richness, abundance, and diversity of species were analyzed in relation to abiotic (size of the area, extent of the perimeter, perimeter/area ratio, and shape index) and biotic characteristics (vegetation index of the fragment and of the matrix of each of the locations studied). We observed a highly significant positive correlation between the diversity index and the vegetation index of the fragment, landscape and shape index. Our analysis demonstrated that the observed variation could be explained mainly by the vegetation index and the size of the fragment. Variations in relative abundance showed a tendency toward an aggregated spatial distribution between the fragments studied, as well as between the sampling stations within the same habitat, demonstrating the existence of a spatial structure on a small scale in the populations of Euglossini. This distribution will determine the composition of species that coexist in the area after fragmentation. These data help in understanding the differences and similarities in the structure of communities of Euglossini resulting from forest fragmentation.