Browsing by Subject "ENSO"

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  • Ariza, Gloria Maria; Jacome, Jorge; Kotze, D. Johan (2021)
    The tropical dry forest (TDF) ecosystem is characterised by strong seasonality exasperated periodically by the El Nino/southern oscillation (ENSO). The environment produced by this event could constrain the survival of small organisms, such as insects. Carabid beetles were collected in a TDF in Armero, Colombia, during wet and dry seasons in both El Nino and non-El Nino periods. A series of traits linked to desiccation resistance were measured to characterise their adaptation to the TDF environment and to investigate changes experienced by carabid beetles during both episodes in quantitative (assemblage) and qualitative (traits) parameters. We found no difference in the presence of traits between El Nino and non-El Nino episodes, but carabid assemblages changed significantly in composition and assemblage structure between these episodes. During both periods, small-sized and nocturnal species dominated the assemblages, but in terms of number of individuals, medium and large-sized, and visual hunter species dominated. Calosoma alternans and Megacephala affinis were the most abundant species with high dispersal capacity. Carabid beetles exhibited morphological traits well-adapted to drought experienced in TDF, including when it is exasperated by ENSO. However, long-term studies can help to elucidate the real effects of ENSO and to confirm the adaptation of carabid beetles to cope with this extreme environment.
  • Maria Ariza, Gloria; Jacome, Jorge; Eduardo Esquivel, Hector; Kotze, Johan D. (2021)
    Little is known about the successional dynamics of insects in the highly threatened tropical dry forest (TDF) ecosystem. For the first time, we studied the response of carabid beetles to vegetal succession and seasonality in this ecosystem in Colombia. Carabid beetles were collected from three TDF habitat types in two regions in Colombia: initial successional state (pasture), early succession, and intermediate succession (forest). The surveys were performed monthly for 13 months in one of the regions (Armero) and during two months, one in the dry and one in the wet season, in the other region (Cambao). A set of environmen-tal variables were recorded per month at each site. Twenty-four carabid beetle species were collected during the study. Calosoma alternans and Megacephala affinis were the most abundant species, while most species were of low abundance. Forest and pasture beetle assemblages were distinct, while the early succession assemblage overlapped with these assemblages. Canopy cover, litter depth, and soil and air temperatures were important in structuring the assemblages. Even though seasonality did not affect the carabid beetle assemblage, individual species responded positively to the wet season. It is shown that early successional areas in TDF could potentially act as habitat corridors for species to recolonize forest areas, since these successional areas host a number of species that inhabit forests and pastures. Climatic variation, like the El Nino episode during this study, appears to affect the carabid beetle assemblage negatively, exasperating concerns of this already threatened tropical ecosystem.