EFFECT OF DRACAENA LEAVES AS A RESOURCE FOR AQUATIC MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITITES
The objective of this study is to determine how plantation Dracaena leaves function as a resource for aquatic macroinvertebrates compared to common native riparian tree leaves ( Guarea glabara and Spathacanthus hoffmannii ) within cloud-forest streams (Homeier et al, 2005). Mesh bags filled with either Dracaena , G. glabara , or S. hoffmannii leaves were deployed into six streams within the Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserva in Costa Rica and decomposition and macroinvertebrate colonization were measured for three months. Leaves from G. glabara decomposed most quickly, with Dracaena and S. hoffmannii following behind respectfully (F(2,122)= 33.529,p<.01). MANCOVA analyses revealed a significant difference across leaf type for diversity, F(2, 87) = 4.36,p = .016 with S. hoffmannii having significantly greater diversity than G. glabara and Dracaena . However, NMDS ordination and perMANOVA reveal no significant differences among leaf type for macroinvertebrate communities. Tropical stream macroinvertebrate communities are known to be different between natural and deforested regions (i.e. Dudgeon, 2006); however, the complexity of the problem goes beyond available allochthonous resources.
EmmaLeigh Given (Primary Presenter/Author), Kent State University , email@example.com;