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Trophic metacommunities in bromeliad-dwelling insects

posted on 06.09.2018, 00:00 by Srivastava, Diane, Melnychuk, Michael, Gilbert, Ben, Starzomski, Brian, Kirby, Kate, Ngai, Jackie, Petermann, Jana

This data was collected by D. S. Srivastava and members of her research lab (including B. Gilbert, K. Kirby, J. Ngai, J. Petermann, B. Starzomski) at Estación Biológica Pitilla, in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste in north-western Costa Rica in 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2010. Over these five years, we collected a total of 85 bromeliads between late September and early December. Specifically, this data relates to the abundance of the mosquitoes in the genus Wyeomyia and Culex, and their predator Mecistogaster modesta.

Water depths were measured to the nearest mm in three marked leaves of 30 bromeliads, every two days for one year (8 October 2012 to 9 October 2013). The maximum volume of each bromeliad was measured at the inception of the survey. We assumed that mosquito larvae encountered in our invertebrate survey could be affected by water depths only from the period 15 September to 22 December, that is, at most three weeks before and after our survey (as a mosquito encountered at the beginning of the invertebrate survey may be already a late instar, and at the end of our invertebrate survey may be just an early instar). We trimmed our year of water level data to this 15 September-22 December period, and calculated the proportion of days each of the 30 bromeliads had standing water (defined as >5mm moisture, as the basal debris retains some moisture in the absence of standing water).