DIVERSITY OF ODONATA WITHIN A MAJOR TROPICAL URBAN REGION IN THE SAN JUAN METROPOLITAN AREA, PUERTO RICO
Urbanization is one of the most dramatic types of alteration to natural environments. However, within urban areas, species can adapt and be successful at inhabiting urban ecosystems. We focus on the San Juan Metropolitan Area; Puerto Rico and assessed Odonata diversity. The goal of our study was to understand how the diversity of odonates varies within the urban area and whether it differs among streams according to the level of urbanization that surrounds their ecosystems. We selected 30 urban streams and classified them according to their level of urbanization. Habitat quality was assessed using the stream visual assessment protocol as modified for Puerto Rico. Odonata were surveyed by visual identification, listing the species observed in one hour, and estimating their relative abundance. Most study sites had regular habitat conditions. Species richness ranged from 10 to 3 species per site. The most heavily urbanized sites had poor habitat conditions and the lowest species richness. Our study shows that the diversity of odonates reflects the degree of impact introduced by urbanization, even when studying populations that are adapted to urban environments.
Angelique Rosa-Marin (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Puerto Rico at Bayamon, email@example.com;