In the present study, we inventoried gall-inducing arthropod species and evaluated the effects of habitat anthropization, vegetation structure and seasonality on this group in areas of deciduous seasonal forest of Parque da Sapucaia, Montes Claros, MG, Brazil. The gall-inducing fauna was sampled between April 2017 and February 2018 from 20 plots distributed in anthropized and preserved habitats. A total of 29 morphospecies of gall-inducing arthropods and 21 species of host plants were recorded. The Fabaceae plant family had the highest number of gall morphospecies (n = 10), while the Cecidomyiidae (Diptera) insect family induced the most galls (41.3%). Mean gall richness did not differ between preserved and anthropized plots, but was negatively affected by mean vegetation height and density. The total number of gall morphospecies recorded during each sampling did not differ between dry and rainy seasons, but the mean richness of galls per plot was higher in the rainy season. In conclusion, natural factors, such as vegetation structure and seasonality, were more important for the distribution of gall-inducing species than anthropic factors, such as vegetation anthropization level.
Several plant-related factors can influence the diversity of gall-inducing species communities. In the present study we performed an inventory of gall-inducing arthropods and we tested if the plant species richness and the abundance of super-host plants (Copaifera oblongifolia) influenced positively in the diversity of gall-inducing arthropod species. The study was realized in an area of Neotropical savanna (cerrado sensu stricto) in the Environmental Protection Area (EPA) of Rio Pandeiros, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Host-plant species and gall-inducing arthropods were sampled in 18 10 × 10 m plots distributed in the vegetation. In total we found 40 arthropod gall morphotypes, distributed on 17 botanical families and 29 plant species. Cecidomyiidae (Diptera) induced the most arthropod galls (85%), and the plant family Fabaceae had the greatest richness of gall morphotypes (16). The plant species Copaifera oblongifolia and Andira humilis (Fabaceae) were the most important host species with five and three morphotypes, respectively. Galling species richness was not affected by none of explanatory variables (plant species richness and abundance of super-host plants). On the other hand, galling species per plant species was negatively affected by plant species richness and positively affected by abundance of super-host plants. This is the first study of arthropod-induced galls conducted in EPA of Rio Pandeiros, Brazil. Our results corroborate previous studies that highlight the importance of super-host plants for galling arthropod diversity on a local scale.
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