Spatio-temporal distribution of bark and ambrosia beetles in a brazilian tropical dry forest
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Bark and the ambrosia beetles dig into host plants and live most of their lives in concealed tunnels. We assessed beetle community dynamics in tropical dry forest sites in early, intermediate, and late successional stages, evaluating the influence of resource availability and seasonal variations in guild structure. We collected a total of 763 beetles from 23 species, including 14 bark beetle species, and 9 ambrosia beetle species. Local richness of bark and ambrosia beetles was estimated at 31 species. Bark and ambrosia composition was similar over the successional stages gradient, and beta diversity among sites was primarily determined by species turnover, mainly in the bark beetle community. Bark beetle richness and abundance were higher at intermediate stages; availability of wood was the main spatial mechanism. Climate factors were effectively non-seasonal. Ambrosia beetles were not influenced by successional stages, however the increase in wood resulted in increased abundance. We found higher richness at the end of the dry and wet seasons, and abundance increased with air moisture and decreased with higher temperatures and greater rainfall. In summary, bark beetle species accumulation was higher at sites with better wood production, while the needs of fungi (host and air moisture), resulted in a favorable conditions for species accumulation of ambrosia. The overall biological pattern among guilds differed from tropical rain forests, showing patterns similar to dry forest areas.