Seasonality and vertical structure of light-attracted insect communities in a dipterocarp forest in Sarawak [Malaysia]

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1995
Authors:M. Kato, Inoue, T., Hamid, A. Abdul, Nagamitsu, T., Ben Merdek, M., Nona, A. Rahman, Itino, T., Yamane, S., Yumoto, T.
Journal:Researches on Population Ecology
Keywords:Borneo, canopy, insect community, light-trap, seasonality in tropics, vertical distribution

Nocturnal flying insects were collected monthly for 13 months using ultra violet light-traps set at various vertical levels in a weakly-seasonal, tropical lowland dipterocarp forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. Abundance, faunal composition, size distribution and guild structure of these samples were analyzed with respect to temporal and vertical distributions. The nocturnal flying insect com- munity in the canopy level was highly dominated by fig wasps (84~) in individual number, and by scarabaeid beetles (28%) in weight. A principal component analysis on monthly catches detected non-random, seasonal trends of insect abundance. The first two principal trends were an alternation of wetter (September to January) and less wet seasons (February to August) and an alternation be- tween the least wet (January to March) and the other seasons. Many insect groups were less abundant in the least wet season than the other seasons, whilst inverse patterns were found in Scarabaeidae and Tenebrionidae. Significantly positive and negative correlations between monthly catch and rainfall were detected only in ovule-feeders and in phloem-feeders, respectively. Delayed, significant negative correlations between monthly catch and 1-3 month preceding rainfall were more frequently detected in phytophages, phloem-feeders, seed-feeders, wood-borers and scavengers. The peak in abundance along vertical levels were found at the canopy level (35 m) for phloem-, ovule-, seed-, root-, fungal- feeders and nectar collectors, at an upper subcanopy level (25 m) for scavengers and aquatic predators, and at a middle subcanopy level (17 m) for ants. Catches at the emergent level (45 m) did not exceed those at the canopy level.

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